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Gov. Jerry Brown OKs bill that defines barrel-aged beers as "beer" in California

Discussion in 'Beer News' started by Todd, Jul 14, 2012.

  1. Todd

    Todd Founder (1,410) Colorado Aug 23, 1996 Staff Member

    Good news for beer aged in wooden barrels in California. It's officially "beer," which means it'll continue to be taxed as beer.

    http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/cal...7/gov-jerry-brown-california-craft-beers.html
    Why the clarification? There was concern from brewers that beers produced in this manner could be viewed as distilled spirits and get classified and taxed accordingly.
    Agreed, as it's seemingly a very fine line at times and my gut (and palate) tells me that quite a few beers from Californian craft brewers would fall under this; trace amounts, and even more.

    It'll be interesting to see where this goes and if other states follow.
    Tieman, Argenuvian and daysinthewake like this.
  2. Bitterbill

    Bitterbill Poobah (1,125) Wyoming Sep 14, 2002

    Yikes, trace amounts scares me. The good assemblyman needs to stfu, imho.
  3. So you would like bourbon-bal beers and the like to be taxed as distilled spirits?
  4. Todd

    Todd Founder (1,410) Colorado Aug 23, 1996 Staff Member

    Yeah, I think he misread. Chesbro is clearly in favor of the bill, hence his letter urging Brown to sign it.
  5. lol
  6. Nutwood

    Nutwood Savant (395) Kentucky Jun 30, 2012

    Hmmmm this tastes a little boozy, what the tax on it?
  7. Good for Jerry Brown.
  8. Bitterbill

    Bitterbill Poobah (1,125) Wyoming Sep 14, 2002

    Slowly I turn, step by step, inch by inch, I reach out to shake Mr Chesbro's hand. I clearly did misread.
  9. Has there been instances of it happening before or was the clarification for "future issues"?
  10. Back in 2008 (I guess around the time of the last Great Underage Caffeinated/Flavored Malt Beverage Drinking Scare) California started taxing FMB's at the "Spirts" rate and not the "Malt beverage(beer)" rate - $3.30/gallon vs. 20ยข/gallon.

    But that switch, thanks in part to a Diageo lawsuit, was recently overruled by the courts.

    At the time of the original change in the tax law, craft brewers in California were afraid that the way the law was worded it would apply to some barrel-aged beers. Many of the FMB's "flavors" are in an alcohol base liquid, so while they're technically made from a "neutral malt base" the "flavors" themselves added some of the alcohol content to the malt beverage.

    It seems that this new bill is meant to exempt barrel-aged beers ahead of time from any future attempts to tax some FMB's at rates above the standard "malt beverage" rate.

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