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

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

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Todd

    Todd Founder (5,552) Aug 23, 1996 California
    Staff Subscriber

    Good news for beer aged in wooden barrels in California. It's officially "beer," which means it'll continue to be taxed as beer.
    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 Poo-Bah (5,341) Sep 14, 2002 Wyoming
    Supporter Beer Trader

    Yikes, trace amounts scares me. The good assemblyman needs to stfu, imho.
  3. KevinBrewer

    KevinBrewer Initiate (0) Nov 18, 2008 California

    So you would like bourbon-bal beers and the like to be taxed as distilled spirits?
  4. Todd

    Todd Founder (5,552) Aug 23, 1996 California
    Staff Subscriber

    Yeah, I think he misread. Chesbro is clearly in favor of the bill, hence his letter urging Brown to sign it.
  5. beerFool28607

    beerFool28607 Initiate (0) Feb 22, 2012 North Carolina

  6. Nutwood

    Nutwood Aspirant (232) Jun 30, 2012 Kentucky

    Hmmmm this tastes a little boozy, what the tax on it?
  7. UCLABrewN84

    UCLABrewN84 Poo-Bah (12,229) Mar 18, 2010 California

    Good for Jerry Brown.
  8. Bitterbill

    Bitterbill Poo-Bah (5,341) Sep 14, 2002 Wyoming
    Supporter Beer Trader

    Slowly I turn, step by step, inch by inch, I reach out to shake Mr Chesbro's hand. I clearly did misread.
  9. porkinator

    porkinator Aspirant (200) Aug 26, 2009 California
    Beer Trader

    Has there been instances of it happening before or was the clarification for "future issues"?
  10. jesskidden

    jesskidden Meyvn (1,305) Aug 10, 2005 New Jersey

    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.
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  • About Us

    Founded in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.