Daines Supports Montana’s Brewers Efforts

U.S. SENATE — Senator Steve Daines today announced two new efforts to promote the growth of small craft breweries, a growing industry in Montana that has a significant impact on the state’s economy. 

Daines sponsored, S. 1562, the Craft Beverage Modernization and Tax Reform Act, which reduces the excise taxes on beer, wine, and distilled spirits. 

Daines recently joined the bipartisan Senate Small Brewers Caucus, established in June 2011, to “provide a forum for members of the Senate and their staffs to discuss the issues important to small brewers while exploring what lawmakers can do to strengthen the growth and role of these small businesses in local economies across the country.” 

“Montana is home to a vibrant craft brewing industry that supports our robust barley growers and creates more good-paying jobs,” Daines stated. “I’m proud to support commonsense efforts and stand with our small brewers to help them grow their businesses in Montana’s communities.”

This morning, Daines met with Montana beer and wine distributors to announce his efforts.


Click here to download a high-resolution photo.

Pictured above from left to right are:

  • Adam Decker – Briggs Distributing Co. (Billings, MT)
  • Laura Decker – Briggs Distributing Co. (Billings, MT)
  • Mike Markovich – VP of Community Relations, Summit Beverage (Missoula, MT)
  • Ardelle Watkins – President, Gusto Distributing Co. (Great Falls, MT)
  • Kristi Blazer – Executive Director and Legal Counsel, Montana Beer and Wine Distributors Association
  • Cathie Williamson – Large Store Team Leader, Eagle Beverage (Great Falls, MT)
  • David Irwin – General Manager, Eagle Beverage (Great Falls, MT)

Daines’ support of Montana’s brewers was applauded across Montana: 

Philipsburg Brewing Company: “We at Philipsburg Brewing Co. certainly appreciate Senator Daines joining the small brewers caucus and showing his commitment to small main street business’ and the MT brewing industry. We brewers face many challenges as our industry grows.  The current legislation Craft Beverage Modernization and Tax Reform Act (S. 1562) being considered for tax relief for small breweries is very important for continued growth and incentives for entrepreneurs to open new breweries all across the country.” 

Mike Markovich, Vice President of Community Relations, Summit Beverage, Missoula and Butte: “By supporting the Craft Beverage Modernization and Tax Reform Act (S. 1562), Sen. Daines understands that proposals to reform beer excise taxes should reflect current industry structure and apply to all brewers and importers. Montana’s beer distributors appreciate Sen. Daines’ efforts to advance excise tax legislation that would provide relief for all of our brewer partners – from the largest, most familiar brands to imports from around the world and local, start-up craft brewers making great beer right here in the Big Sky State. Independent beer distributors across the state value our partnerships with brewers and importers of all sizes and help build their brands by helping them access new markets and getting to thirsty consumers eager to try new labels. Montana’s beer industry – comprised of brewers/importers, independent distributors and retailers – is an economic engine for the state, supporting 5,000 jobs and generating nearly $400,000,000 in overall economic output.” 

Bjorn Nabozney, Founder, Big Sky Brewing: “Senator Daines’ leadership on this issue will positively impact craft brewers, like Big Sky Brewing Co., across the state.  The Craft Beverage Modernization and Tax Reform Act makes business sense and will give us the additional capacity to grow our operations and our people.  This tax relief legislation will go far to improve the vitality of the Montanan economy and keep money in our pockets rather than Washington’s.”

Lola Raska, Executive Vice President, Montana Grain Growers Association: “Senator Daines’ support of the Craft Beverage Modernization and Tax Reform Act is a boon for barley growers here in Montana.  This tax relief will keep money back home and allow us to invest more in jobs and do more of what we do well.  This bill benefits the entire state and Senator Daines’ cosponsorship will serve to make this much needed proposal a reality. The barley growers appreciate the senator’s commitment to us and the state.” 

Josh Townsley, Tamarack Brewing: “The reduction of the excise tax will allow small craft brewers to reinvest those dollars into equipment, education, and more jobs, which will better the communities where Montana breweries operate.”

Casey Folley, Beehive Basin Brewery: “As a small brewery in Big Sky, Montana, Beehive Basin appreciates Senator Daines’ recognition of the important role breweries play in our state’s economy. We are grateful the Senator has joined the small Brewers caucus in the United States Senate and look forward to working together on issues important to Brewers throughout Montana.”