Washington, D.C. — U.S. Senator Susan Collins met with Rob Tod of Allagash Brewing Company in Portland and Sean Sullivan, the Executive Director of the Maine Brewers Guild, to discuss legislation that supports the craft beverage industry.
“Maine is home to the best craft brewers in the country. In addition to producing exceptional beer, they are a major contributor to our state’s economy and a significant source of jobs,” said Senator Collins. “I had a productive discussion with members of the Maine Brewers Association about the challenges this industry faces and ways we are working together to support Maine’s more than 135 breweries.”
During the meeting, the members discussed their support for the Craft Beverage Modernization and Tax Reform Act of 2019 (CBMTRA), which Senator Collins has co-sponsored. This bill would help ensure the continued growth of America’s craft beverage industry by reducing excise taxes, compliance burdens, and regulations for brewers, cider makers, vintners, and distillers. It would extend several federal excise tax measures that were enacted as part of the new tax reform law at the end of 2017 and are helpful to craft brewers. Senator Collins voted in favor of the tax reform law, which included three amendments she authored to benefit middle-income families. According to the Maine Brewers’ Guild, craft beer contributes $260 million to the Maine economy.
As a senior member of the Appropriations Committee, Senator Collins worked to secure $8.7 million in the fiscal year 2019 appropriations bill for the U.S. Wheat & Barley Scab Initiative (USWBSI) and $2 million for the Small Grains Genomic Initiative (SGGI). USWBSI enhances food safety and supply by reducing the impact of fungal disease on barley and wheat. SGGI provides funding for wheat researchers and breeders at universities and U.S. Agricultural Research Services’ facilities.