Beer Industry Tussles Over ‘Small' Brewer Definition for Tax Reduction

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A change in IRS's definition of ‘small' beer brewer could make a big difference to the Boston Beer Company. Boston Beer, brewer of the Samuel Adams line of beers, is at the forefront of an effort to cut the already lower excise tax rates small brewers pay the federal government—and to expand the definition of small brewer so Boston Beer will qualify. The government defines small brewers as making fewer than 2 million barrels of beer annually; legislation the small brewers are pushing would expand the definition to 6 million barrels. Boston Beer makes about 2.2 million barrels, mostly Samuel Adams but also some smaller brands, a spokeswoman, Michelle Sullivan, tells BNA.

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