Ben Cardin Talks Up Baltimore Breweries While Pushing Beer Legislation on Capitol Hill

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cardinHeavy Seas were reported on the Senate floor this week, as a Maryland Senator finally took up an issue we all care about: beer.

Ben Cardin proposed a bill that would cut excise taxes for craft brewers, and change the classification of small breweries to include more operations. The Small BREW Act would cut per-barrel excise taxes on brewers’ first 60,000 barrels from $7 to $3.50. It would also allow raise the production threshold for a brewery to be considered “small” from 2 million to 6 million barrels.

Best of all, Cardin used Baltimore breweries like Heavy Seas, Raven Beer and Union Brewing as prime examples of businesses that would benefit. And, he brought a placard to show them off.

It all seems primed to go down easy, but Cardin has competition. According to The Hill, a separate group of 23 lawmakers is supporting the Fair BEER Act. The bill would eliminate all excise taxes for brewers who make less than 7,143 barrels. But it’s backed by a lobbying group that represents macrobreweries like Anheuser Busch InBev and MillerCoors, so something tells us it’s watered down.

The only logical solution is a beer summit.

Stephen Babcock

Stephen Babcock is the editor of Baltimore and an editor-at-large of Baltimore Fishbowl.

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