Peters Tours Blackrocks Brewery in Marquette, Discusses Bill Supporting Small Breweries

MARQUETTE, MI – U.S. Senator Gary Peters (MI) today toured Blackrocks Brewery in Marquette and highlighted legislation he has cosponsored that would reduce excise taxes for small breweries. The Small BREW Act supports small breweries by dropping the tax rate per barrel from $7.00 to $3.50 for the first 60,000 barrels a brewery produces. It would then save small breweries an additional $2.00 on every barrel until they hit 2 million barrels.

“Michigan is home to over 150 breweries and some of the best craft beers in the country, including Blackrocks Brewery here in Marquette,” said Senator Peters. “Michigan’s growing craft beer industry supports thousands of jobs in agriculture, shipping, retail and tourism, and I’m proud to support bipartisan legislation that will cut the taxes for small breweries and help them grow their businesses and reach new customers.”

Michigan has the sixth-highest number of craft breweries in the country, with over 150 craft breweries across the state, up from only three in 1991. Michigan’s craft brewing industry directly supports over 7,000 jobs, resulting in more than $232 million in wages and a total economic impact of over $608 million in 2014. Michigan’s overall beer industry also supports an additional 30,000 retail jobs.

“Reducing the excise taxes on small breweries like Blackrocks will help companies like ours reach new customers, expand operations, and create more jobs in Michigan,” said David Manson, Co-Founder of Blackrocks Brewery. “We thank Senator Peters for supporting Michigan’s craft breweries and standing up for our state’s growing beer industry.”

Blackrocks Brewery first began in 2010 in a one-barrel brewhouse, producing 270 barrels in its first year. Since then, Blackrocks has expanded to a twenty-barrel brewhouse, producing 4,500 barrels in 2014 and employing sixteen workers. Recently, Blackrocks announced plans to increase production 60% and expand distribution across Michigan, including Metro Detroit.

Senator Peters is a strong supporter of Michigan’s growing spirits and tourism industry. He recently cosponsored the Craft Beverage Modernization and Tax Reform Act, bipartisan legislation that would recalibrate the federal excise tax for all brewers, wineries, distilleries, and cider makers. This legislation also includes language from the Distillery Excise Tax Reform Act, a bill Senator Peters introduced in May that would lower the federal excise tax on small distilleries from $13.50 per proof gallon to $2.70 per proof gallon on the first 100,000 gallons produced per year. Michigan has the third highest number of distilleries in the country, with nearly 40 across the state, many of which opened in recent years.