Surly responds to proposed beer tax increases
On Tuesday the folks over at Surly Brewing Co. took the time to issue their response to the proposed tax increase on Minnesota-made alcohol. In a lengthy blog post that details their multiple issues with the proposed excise tax increase, Surly makes it clear that this legislation can only hurt Minnesota's currently booming beer business.
Surly speaks out against proposed beer taxes
Surly is currently in the works of developing their $20 million "destination brewery" which is going to allow them to increase their productions levels up to 100,000 barrels a year. This would still keep them under the affected volume, but they note that brewers like New Ulm's Schell's Brewery and St. Paul's Summit Brewery will both be affected and should Surly continue to grow, they too will eventually be impacted by the increases.
In their blog post, Surly states "As we continue to expand, we will soon outgrow Minnesota's small brewer excise tax exemption. If this tax is increased 600 percent, as proposed, it will deal us a serious blow while we try to make more beer.
If the proposed legislation goes through it will take the current tax of $4.60 per barrel of beer up to $27.75 a barrel resulting in a 600% increase. According to lawmakers, this increase will only result in an additional $.07 hike per bottle, but opponents of the legislation claim that the tax will compound as it's passed from brewer, to bar/retailer, to the consumer resulting in closer to a $.14 increase per bottle.
According to Surly's post, "A 600 percent tax increase is bad for business, no matter how you slice it, and this proposal comes at a crucial time for Minnesota craft beer. Our breweries are growing, adding jobs, and are becoming the talk of the nation."
Surly has been a vocal in the conversation regarding Minnesota's alcohol laws and taxation. The brewery played a key role in helping to pass legislation to allow craft brewers to have on-site tap rooms (in a bill affectionately known as the Surly Bill), which have been tremendously popular in the Twin Cities.