Craft breweries, distillers, could be big winners under GOP tax overhaul

KINSTON, N.C. (WNCT) – With a lot of debate left to have over the GOP’s proposed tax overhaul on Capitol Hill, one industry keeping close tabs is craft breweries and distilleries.

Under the Senate’s version of the tax plan, alcohol excise taxes would be cut from $7 a barrel, to just $3.50.

“I mean that’s a $25,000 to $30,000 dollars savings,” said Trent Mooring, co-founder and president of Mother Earth Brewing.

Mother Earth, which started in Kinston in 2009, has grown tremendously over the years.

“We’ve grown pretty consistently at around 35 to 40 percent a year,” he said.

For smaller breweries, like Uptown Brewing Company in Greenville, the proposed changes would still have a dramatic impact. Benjamin Self said it would save them about $4,000 a year.

“That’s two months salary for a production assistant,” Self said.

That’s especially important for Uptown Brewing, which is still in its first year of operation and trying to grow quickly.

“That is much more encouraging to me in terms of hiring new people, which is what I need right now,” Self said. “In order to grow my business, I need to hire new people.”

Mooring said the saved money would help them reinvest in the business and continue to transform downtown Kinston.

“These kids have earned their college degrees and they want to come back to Kinston, and they want to find a job, and it’s great for us to be able to provide these jobs,” Mooring said.

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