Support Your Local Brewery Alert: Washington

Oppose State Tax Increase for Washington Small Brewers

Dear AHA, BA and Support Your Local Brewery Members,

The Washington Brewers Guild has requested that beer enthusiasts take action to oppose a state tax increase detrimental to small and independent brewers and craft beer consumers.

Please read the following information provided by the Washington Brewers Guild.

Washington small brewers are asking you to contact your state elected officials to oppose the five-fold increase of the beer excise tax contained in Governor Jay Inslee’s proposed budget.

Under the proposal, the per barrel tax would rise to at least $20.50 from the current $4.78, putting Washington’s beer taxes among the highest in the nation.

If such a tax were enacted, there would be immediate negative impacts to beer drinkers:

  • The price per keg of beer would increase by at least $15.00.
  • The cost of a pint could increase by as much as $1.00.
  • Bottled and canned beer prices would go up as well.
  • Less consumer choice at retail as small breweries struggle to remain competitive.

The impacts to the small breweries themselves could be devastating:

  • A 425% tax increase would severely test the ability of Washington’s roughly 200 small breweries to remain open and viable.
  • As breweries close or scale back, job losses would be inevitable and the ranks of the approximately 3,500 jobs at small breweries would be devastated.
  • Washington’s small brewers support Washington growers of hops, barley and many other local ingredients.  These businesses would also feel the impact and suffer proportional income and job losses.
  • Additional market pressures would come to bear as the lower cost of business in neighboring states make non-Washington brewed beer more affordable.

Washington small brewers will be in Olympia today to meet with legislators on this issue –
please add your voice to theirs and contact your state legislators and the Governor TODAY to express your opposition to this tax increase.

To contact your State legislators, use the Legislative (not Congressional) District Type function:

To express your views to the Governor:

Thank you for your support.

Heather McClung
Schooner Exact Brewing Co.
President, Washington Brewers Guild

Thanks for actively supporting Washington’s small and independent brewers.

Charlie Papazian
Brewers Association

Gary Glass
American Homebrewers Association