Sam Adams Beer Pleads To Keep Craft Status

06/14/2010 09:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011
  • Joe Daly The Huffington Post

Boston Beer Company, which owns and operates Sam Adams beer, is trying to hold on to their official designation as a "craft beer," as the New York Times reported.

The company is eager to keep the designation not only for its cache (craft beers tend to focus on flavor rather than, say, 'drinkability'), but also for its tax benefits -- brewers who produce fewer than two million barrels per year are subject to lower excise taxes than the larger brewers. Boston Beer president Jim Koch remarked to the Times, "If we're not a craft brewer, what else are we? We're certainly not Budweiser."

Hoping to maintain that status and keep their low excise tax, Koch went to Washington where Massachusetts Senator John Kerry and Idaho Senator Micahel D. Crapo are fighting for a bill they introduced six months ago that increases the yearly production limit on "craft" breweries from two million to six million barrels. As Bloomberg reported:

[T]he law "would reduce the excise tax for small breweries from $7 to $3.50 per barrel for the first 60,000 barrels of beer produced each year. For every additional barrel up to 2 million, the bill would lower the excise tax from $18 to $16.

So, that's what's going on on the Senate floor these days?