Texas Whiskey Association Celebrates the Passage of CBMTRA

Texas Whiskey Association Celebrates the Passage of CBMTRA
Applauds The Thousands of Texans Who Advocated for Craft Distillers.    


AUSTIN, TX, December 22, 2020 – The Texas Whiskey Association, its distillery members and allied trade members are celebrating the passage of the Craft Beverage Modernization and Tax Reform Act (CBMTRA). Yesterday, it passed in both the US House and US Senate as part of the 2020 omnibus stimulus package. The bill now goes to the President’s desk, and we urge President Trump to sign this into law immediately.

The bill’s passage keeps today’s Federal Excise Tax (FET) rate at $2.70/gallon for the first 100,000 proof gallons produced by a distillery. The tax rate was introduced in 2017 and has dramatically improved the economic viability of craft distillers across the country. The FET tax rates were set to expire at the end of 2019, but were extended by one year after thousands of consumers rallied behind joint advocacy campaigns coordinated with our partners at the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States (Discus), the American Craft Spirits Association (ACSA), and other distillers’ guilds around the U.S.

Texans have sent over 15,000 emails, tweets, and calls to their elected federal officials urging them to protect craft distillers from 400% excise tax increases. The benefits of a strong craft distilling industry became even more clear in 2020, when craft distillers nationwide sprang into action — producing millions of gallons of ethanol-based hand sanitizers.

“American craft whiskey, and Texas Whiskey specifically, is experiencing a period of unprecedented growth, creativity and global recognition. Keeping distillers’ FET taxes reasonable and at parity with other beverage producers, gives us all the chance to see how far this industry can grow. At the end of a very difficult year, this gives us all a bit of hope for the future.”— Robert Likarish, President of TXWA.

Spencer Whelan, TXWA Executive Director said, “Certified Texas Whiskeys are emerging as some of the most recognized in the world. A 400% tax increase would have been devastating to our burgeoning industry. So today, we are extremely thankful to our consumer-advocates and their elected officials who worked to make this tax rate permanent.” Whelan added, “Now we can focus on ensuring Texas becomes the best environment for whiskey production and tourism in the United States.”

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About TXWA: The Texas Whiskey Association was established by a trailblazing group of whiskey makers with the common goals to promote Texas Whiskey, educate consumers and support distilleries that produce whiskey all within the territorial boundaries of the State of Texas. Their mission is to create and grow worldwide demand, appreciation and respect for whiskeys made in Texas.

In 2019 and 2020, the TXWA successfully mobilized advocates to send over 30,000 messages in support of federal issues like maintaining FET rates as well as reforming state restrictions on direct-to-consumer product sales. The Texas Whiskey Trail has added nearly 3000 registered Trail Members who have made nearly 9,000 verified in-person visits to Trail distilleries since Memorial Day 2019.