Tester brewing up jobs with support for Montana beer makers

Senator’s backing of Treasure State’s beer industry will benefit local hops, barley growers

(U.S. SENATE) – Senator Jon Tester is brewing up new Montana jobs with his support for the state’s beer makers.

Tester is supporting the bipartisan BEER Act, which will reduce the excise tax on beer produced in the United States. Tester says the strong growth of Montana brewers convinced him that reducing more economic barriers will strengthen Montana’s economy and create jobs.

“From Beaver Creek in Wibaux to the Great Northern in Whitefish, Montana’s brewers are growing the Big Sky State’s economy and creating new jobs,” Tester said. “Making it easier for our brewers to expand and build their businesses will double-down on their success and strengthen Montana’s reputation for great-tasting beer.”

“Small businesses are the engine of our economy, and once again Senator Tester is fighting the good fight for Main Street businesses in Montana and America,” said Tony Herbert, Executive Director of the Montana Brewers Association. “This bill will help breweries in Montana re-invest in jobs and in needed production growth to keep up with the fast pace of our industry. We appreciate Senator Tester stepping up for our small businesses.”

Tester’s bipartisan bill will reduce the tax on domestically brewed beers from $18 per barrel to $9 per barrel. It will also further reduce the excise tax for small brewers from $7 per barrel to $3.50 per barrel.

Tester, who in December toured MillerCoors’ barley storage facility in Huntley, noted that reducing the tax on brewers will benefit the state’s hop and barley growers. Montana produces most of the hops and barley used by big brewers MillerCoors and Anheuser-Busch. MillerCoors estimates that reducing the tax will result in a $1.46 million increase in barley sales.

Tester is also a co-sponsor of the Small BREW Act, which would reduce the excise tax specifically for small brewers. A small brewery is defined as an operation that brews less than two million barrels of beer each year.

Tester’s bipartisan Brewers Excise and Economic Relief Act (BEER Act) is available online HERE. It was introduced by Colorado Senator Mark Udall and is co-sponsored by seven other Senators.