Tax reform bill will benefit Louisiana breweries

Tax reform bill will benefit Louisiana breweries
(Source: Maranda Whittington/KPLC)
(Source: Maranda Whittington/KPLC)
(Source: Maranda Whittington/KPLC)

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - Republicans passed their biggest tax reform bill last month promising it would help millions of people save money.

Inside the bill was a measure that could help those in the beer and wine industry.

Eric Avery knows a thing or two about beer.

So much so, he decided to open Crying Eagle Brewery back in 2015.

"We anticipate doing probably more than twice the volume we did last year," said Avery.

But for Avery, with growth comes taxes.

"What we currently pay is seven dollars for every barrel of beer we produce and a barrel represents 31 gallons," he said.

But just a few weeks ago the Republicans passed their biggest tax reform bill ever, and inside it includes some measures for the craft beer industry."

"The Craft Beverage Modernization Tax Reform Act was something that was just put into place and approved by Congress and President Trump, and it takes the excise taxes that we pay per barrel and cuts them in half," said Avery.

Instead of paying seven dollars, Avery and other breweries will now pay just $3.50 a barrel.

"For a new brewery that may do a couple thousand barrels a year that's around 14 to $20,000 that we pay," he said.

With the tax slashed in half, Avery says he'll save thousands of dollars that he plans to invest back into his brewery.

"We look to be able to more easily afford production staff, restaurant staff and also start to pay respectable wages and offer more benefits to our existing employees," he said.

With plans to add more tanks, and even open a restaurant, Avery says this measure is something he's excited for.

"This is an excellent way to start 2018," said Avery.

Last year Crying Eagle produced 2,000 barrels of beer paying $14,000 dollars in taxes. This year Avery says he anticipates producing twice the amount, but no more in taxes.

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