Ohio Craft Brewing Industry Benefitting from New Tax Reform Law

February 1, 2018 | Press Releases

Ohio ranks fourth in the country in craft beer production, resulting in a nearly $3 billion industry that supports more than 15,000 Ohio jobs. Like many Ohio companies that are responding to the new law with more investment in plants and equipment, pay raises, bonuses, higher 401(k) matches, and more, the craft brewing industry is benefiting from the historic tax reform and tax cuts recently signed into law. This is exactly what Senator Portman and others had in mind when Congress enacted long-overdue tax reform legislation designed to encourage more economic growth, investments, and more money in the pockets of Ohio families. Portman fought to have the bipartisan Craft Beverage Modernization & Tax Reform Act included in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. This new law provides excise tax relief to the growing craft beverage industry, helping these entrepreneurs reinvest more in their businesses and our communities.

Here’s a report from Cleveland Idea Stream from this week’s Ohio Craft Brewers Association Annual Convention:

“The brewers are feeling good about a new cut in the federal excise tax that was sponsored by Senator Rob Portman of Ohio. For small brewers the tax is cut in half from $7 a barrel to $3.50. Association spokesman Justin Hemminger said that’s a boon to these small businesses.”

“Even just a few thousand dollars can mean the difference between whether or not you have the flexibility to make a capital improvement you’ve been looking to do for a while, hire a new staff,” Hemminger said. “It’s absolutely essential to the bottom line of these breweries.” 

“For Columbus brewer Larry Horwitz, that means hiring more people. A board member for the national Brewers Association, Horwitz said Ohio offers some benefits to small brewers, like allowing them to distribute beer themselves.” 

“You can legitimately operate a pretty small brewery in Ohio and still feed your family,” said Horwitz. “If your goal is to take over the world, that’s a different situation. But we want to encourage small members to make and sell their products to the consumer and Ohio is a great state for that right now.”

Here’s what Senator Portman said about the Craft Beverage Modernization & Tax Reform Act, which is now the law of the land as part of tax reform:

“Craft breweries are on the rise across the United States, but in Ohio, brewing is more than just a trend, it’s a proud tradition dating back hundreds of years. The craft brewing industry now supports more than 15,000 Ohio jobs, and at least 61 new breweries opened up last year alone in Ohio. This legislation is only going to promote the expansion and the jobs that come with these entrepreneurial small business, and will help the resurging craft brewing industry in Ohio hire more workers with higher wages.”

The Toledo Blade editorial board recently called the new tax reform law, which Senator Portman helped craft, a “home run.”  The help provided to small businesses like craft brewers, along with the help provided to distressed communities in Ohio and across America, are yet more examples of how this new law is benefitting Ohio.