August 2017 News: DE Increases Tax, NC Passes Brunch Bill, and Breweries Adopt Independent Seal
Delaware Increases Beer Excise Tax
In an effort to balance the state budget, Delaware lawmakers agreed to a tax increase on alcohol, tobacco, and real estate sales. Beginning September 1, in-state breweries will pay an excise tax of $8.15 on each barrel of beer produced, up from $4.85. The new alcohol tax is expected to bring Delaware $5.2 million in revenue. Local brewers opposed the increase, claiming it would make their product pricing less competitive.
North Carolina Passes Brunch Bill
On June 20, North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper signed a bill into law allowing city and county governments to adopt an ordinance permitting the sale of alcoholic beverages at 10 a.m. on Sundays rather than noon. At least seven cities, including Raleigh, have since approved the change, which includes the sale of alcohol at stores. The bill also legalized Crowlers, beer samples at breweries, and the ability for brewers to taste beer on the job for sensory analysis.
Brooklyn Brewery and Carlsberg Expand International Ventures
In late June and early July, Brooklyn Brewery and Carlsberg announced three new international ventures as part of an international diversification strategy: HK Yau Brewing Company in Hong Kong, London Fields Brewery in the United Kingdom, and Švyturys Brewery in Lithuania. The two breweries previously teamed up on Norway’s E.C. Dahls Brewery in 2015 and Sweden’s New Carnegie Brewery in 2013.
Breweries Adopt the Brewers Association’s “Independent” Seal
Since the Brewers Association launched its “Certified Independent Craft” seal on June 27, more than 1,692 breweries meeting the association’s definition of craft as “small, traditional, and independent” have indicated plans to use the logo on packaging, websites, or in other marketing materials. The label, which has received some criticism for its depiction of an upside-down bottle, aims to provide transparency to consumers. ■