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Congressman Scott Tipton

Representing the 3rd District of Colorado

Tipton Praises Economic Impact of Colorado Craft Brewers

May 13, 2013
Press Release

DURANGO, CO—Today, Congressman Scott Tipton (CO-3) toured the Ska Brewing Company in Durango to highlight the economic benefits of craft brewing on Colorado’s economy and mark the beginning of American Craft Beer Week.

Colorado is home to more than 160 craft breweries and brewpubs, including more than 20 in the 3rd Congressional District, making it one of the top states in the nation for the industry.  These small businesses are a vital source of jobs—more than 4,000 direct jobs in CO—and revenue for local economies.

“Colorado’s craft breweries are a boon to our state’s economy.  In addition to providing thousands of jobs and generating millions in revenue, Colorado’s craft breweries draw tourists from around the world who come to sample the highest quality beer produced anywhere,” Tipton said. “As we saw firsthand at Ska Brewing Company today, some of our state’s most successful entrepreneurs and innovators are hard at work creating the next great beer, finding ways to grow their businesses and create new jobs.  American Craft Beer Week is a chance to recognize the achievements of these job-creators.”

“We’ve met with Congressman Tipton and his staff a number of times and appreciate his responsiveness and the work he’s doing to encourage growth and job-creation in the small brewing industry. Having Congressman Tipton visit our brewery today and take time to meet with us is a great way to kickoff American Craft Beer Week,” said David Thibodeau, Co-founder of the Ska Brewing Company. “At Ska Brewing Company we have nearly 50 employees and strive to make a positive economic and social impact in the community. Passage of a fairer and more competitive excise tax rate would allow us to do even more to further those goals and create new jobs right here in Durango.”


(Ska founder Dave Thibodeau and Tipton touring the brewery. High resolution here.)

Tipton, a subcommittee chairman on the House Small Business Committee and member of the House Small Brewers Caucus, has co-sponsored legislation to improve the business climate for small brewers and create a more level playing field. Currently, small brewers that produce under 60,000 barrels per year pay $7.00 per barrel in taxes, but once they exceed 60,000 barrels, the tax mark swells to $18.00 per barrel, which is what the largest brewers that produce over 105 million barrels pay. The Small Brewer Reinvestment and Expanding Workforce Act (H.R. 494) would create a graduated beer excise tax rate of $3.50 and $16.00 for small brewers and raise the threshold for qualifying for these rates from 2 million barrels to 6 million barrels, encouraging growth and allowing small brewers to be more competitive. Nationwide 2,200 small craft brewers make six percent of beer sold and employ 100,000 workers. Passage of the Small Brewer Reinvestment and Expanding Workforce Act would modernize the outdated tax rate that has failed to adjust with the evolving economic realities of small and large breweries and according to an economic impact study conducted by Dr. John Friedman of Harvard University, would create thousands of new jobs.

“The Craft Brewers of Colorado appreciate the leadership and support of Congressman Tipton. As a member of the House Small Brewers Caucus and co-sponsor of H.R. 494 it is clear that the Congressman recognizes the significant economic impact made by Colorado Craft Brewers on our local economy,” said Bob Pease, COO of the Brewers Association. “American Craft Beer Week is a great way to celebrate how craft brewers are creating living wage jobs not only in the 3rd District but all over the state and country.”