Following the introduction of legislation that contains a one-year extension of the Craft Beverage Modernization and Tax Reform Act (S.362/H.R. 1175), the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States President and CEO Chris Swonger, the Kentucky Distillers’ Association President Eric Gregory and the American Craft Spirits Association CEO Margie A.S. Lehrman applauded Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s continued support of the legislation.

The legislation extends the federal excise tax reduction and the leader’s Advancing Growth in the Economy through Distilled (AGED) Spirits Act, which will benefit more than 2,000 distillers, including 73 in the senator’s home state of Kentucky. The Craft Beverage Modernization and Tax Reform Act is also co-sponsored in the House of Representatives by Representatives Andy Barr (R-KY), James Comer (R-KY), Brett Guthrie (R-KY), Hal Rogers (R-KY) and John Yarmuth (D-KY).

“Senate Leader Mitch McConnell has been a steadfast advocate for the Craft Beverage Modernization and Tax Reform Act,” said Chris Swonger, Distilled Spirits Council of the United States president and CEO. “The Senator knows firsthand the devastating impacts Congressional inaction could have had on distillers throughout Kentucky, and his support is instrumental in moving this bill forward. We look forward to continuing to work with Leader McConnell on issues of critical importance to Kentucky distillers and their communities.”

Eric Gregory, president of the Kentucky Distillers’ Association, stated, “On behalf of the Birthplace of Bourbon, the Kentucky Distillers’ Association and its members are immensely grateful for the steadfast leadership of Leader McConnell in shepherding the extension of the FET rollback and the continuation of the AGED Spirits Act. These measures are vitally important in continuing Kentucky Bourbon’s historic renaissance, which is pouring more than $8.6 billion into the Commonwealth’s economy each year, and is responsible for 20,100 jobs, $1 billion in payroll and $2.3 billion in capital investment. Leader McConnell’s crucial commitment to our signature industry will continue to fuel Kentucky’s economy, which is why the KDA last year recognized his championship with our prestigious “100 Proof” Award. We appreciate and applaud his unwavering support.”

“On behalf of our community of more than 2,000 U.S. craft distillers, we are immensely grateful for the steadfast support from Senator McConnell and the broader Congress. It has been a long, hard fight for this one-year FET extension, a critical relief that will protect our industry in the near-term, and we look forward to working towards FET relief permanence as together we protect the future success of craft spirits and the peripheral industries we support,” said Margie A.S. Lehrman, CEO of the America Craft Spirits Association.

Introduced by Senators Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) and by Representatives Ron Kind (D-Wis.) and Mike Kelly (R-Pa.), the legislation includes reforms enacted in 2017 that create a fair and equitable tax structure for brewers, winemakers, distillers and importers of all beverage alcohol.