Senator Steve Daines, R-Montana, and Senator Jon Tester, D-Montana, and North Dakota Republican Senators Kevin Cramer and John Hoeven have written to the Senate leadership urging them to pass the Craft Beverage Modernization and Tax Reform Act At the end of the year, which would mean that the existing federal excise tax rates for beverage and alcohol manufacturers would last.
Montana and North Dakota are both among the states where the craft beer industry has grown significantly. Not only does it create new jobs and businesses across the state, with the potential to become tourist and entertainment attractions in and of themselves, but it creates jobs in various sectors, including agriculture and manufacturing.
However, the economic plight of the pandemic devastated this fledgling industry at a critical time, and that would be compounded by a sudden spike in federal excise taxes, lawmakers wrote in their letter to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senate Minority Leader , Charles Schumer.
The producers have already recorded dramatic drops in sales due to the closure of tasting rooms and restaurants, bars and other facilities on site and the cancellation of important sporting events and concerts, ”wrote the senators. “These losses affect the entire supply chain, affecting farmers, agricultural producers, manufacturers, truck drivers, warehouse workers, and countless others.”
The bill is supported by 77 senators and 351 representatives, as the legislature states in its letter.
“This bill is a bipartisan priority and an important economic lifeline for thousands of businesses across the country,” the senators conclude in their letter.
This surge in craft breweries has attracted both national and regional attention. Most recently, a Helena-based video marketing company looking to produce a full-length documentary about the rise of the industry in Montana launched a Kickstarter campaign to produce a documentary about the rise of the industry in the state.
Developed by Socialflixx, the independent film would put the spotlight on all 94 breweries in the state, including a 95th under construction, as well as Meadlowlark and 1035 Brewing in Sydney.
The film will also document the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as Montana’s unique agricultural infrastructure, on the rise of these breweries.
The Kickstarter campaign began on Friday, November 27, 2020 and will continue through Christmas Day to raise funds for the film. The goal is to raise $ 35,000 over this 30-day period to purchase essential cinema camera equipment and to cover travel expenses for filming in each brewery.
Kickstarter is an “all or nothing” format. So if the campaign does not get enough commitments, no funding will be given and the project will not be able to move forward.
A full recap of the film is available at www.montanabeerdocumentary.com.
Those who want to support the film can do so online on the project’s Kickstarter page at https://bit.ly/39CK1na.