This week I am sure you are aware of the current battle with the State of Washington and the possible raising and extending the beer tax. This is one of the most progressive and highest beer taxes proposed in the country. So I asked the brewers/breweries the following question and below are there answers. I got an overwhelming response so I am posting every reply I received.
The question – The Governors proposed plan is to Extend and Raise the Beer Tax here in WA State. How do you feel this proposal will affect your brewery?
Yakima Craft Brewing Co –
We don’t feel real good about it. The extension of the “temporary” 2010 tax is one thing, but the expansion and inclusion of small (< 60k BBL) brewers of the tax is a real problem. For those of us just finishing an expansion of production, we are having second thoughts on the wisdom of expanding at all, or at least in the state we live in and love.
It seems particularly bad timing for the industry here; craft beer in Washington is really rolling now, and this has the potential to curtail that growth. No overstatement there; we are talking a > 400% increase in taxes paid in production. It will have to trickle down to the end consumer, and the trend of moving to a higher quality (and thus more expensive) product may reverse. A good deal for the big boys.
Those who argue that it will not happen do not understand how the industry work, and are looking for simplistic answers to difficult questions: single out craft beer in Washington and there could be no craft beer in Washington. I don’t think the voters want that at all.
Jeff Winn – Head Brewer