U.S. Rep. Kuster backs bill to cut federal tax on beer by half
Congresswoman Annie Kuster and David Currier, owner of Henniker Brewing Company, discuss the impact of a proposed bill that would cut federal excise tax on beer produced at small breweries. (NANCY BEAN FOSTER/Union Leader Correspondent)
"Around 48 percent of the cost of making a barrel of beer goes to taxes," Currier said. "I pay $16.30 a barrel in state and federal tax. It's not cheap to be a beverage maker."
"We have a small bumper sticker we sell that says 'Drink Local,'" said Currier.
Since opening the Henniker Brewing Co. in 2012, Currier has hired five employees to help him brew and market four styles of beer. His flagship brew is Amber Apparition, but he has added Hop Slinger, Whipple's Wheat, and Working Man's Porter to the company's offerings.
Soon the company will begin canning its beer in addition to bottling it in order to tap into another corner of the market: beer drinkers who want to bring some brews to the beach, parks, golf courses or other places that ban glass containers.
Currier has his sights set on expanding beyond the Granite State in order to take his place in the regional market, but in order to do so, he needs to be able to increase production and bring on more employees. He's hoping that if Kuster's bill, and a companion bill in the Senate pass, he'll have more financial flexibility to expand.
She also said that cutting the federal excise tax would spur growth by local breweries that would offset the decrease in tax revenues.
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