Berkshire County breweries are hoping that Congress will pass a bill that would cut some of their taxes. YNN's Madeleine Rivera went to a local brewery to learn more about how this bill would affect the business.
BERKSHIRE COUNTY, Mass. -- For more than a decade, the Barrington Brewery has been brewing and distributing beer all over Berkshire County.
"We produce about 1,100 barrels a year, which is not bad for a small brewery," said Andrew Mankin, the brewery's owner.
Mankin is one of the more than 30 craft brewers in the state. And in the country, there are a little over 2,000 of these breweries. Congressman Richard Neal says these numbers are growing. Calling them regional success stories, he's proposed a bill to give them more financial support.
"Right now, we pay $7 per barrel excise tax," said Mankin.
Breweries that make less than two million barrels a year have to pay that tax for their first 60,000 barrels. If they make more than 60,000 barrels, the tax jumps to $18 a barrel. But the proposal on the table would cut those taxes. The new bill would cut the $7 tax to $3.50 each for the first 60,000 barrels. And $18 to $16 after that.
"That would be savings for us of a little over $4,000 for a small brewery like this," said Mankin.
The bill was also created to increase job opportunities in microbreweries.
"The microbrewery industry has a lot of employees, so anything that will help growth is definitely going to create more jobs," he said.
It's a plan that may also sustain the profession, one which Markin says he loves.
"I think most brewers are the same. Either you love it or you don't," he said.
The Massachusetts Brewers Guild estimates that breweries in the state bring in millions of dollars in revenue and employ more than a thousand people.