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2009 Brewha
Beer Tax Hearing
Why a 1900% Beer Tax Increase is a Bad Idea
Oregon Beer Industry Facts
OBG on Twitter
OBG Flickr Group
Oregon Brewers Guild on Facebook
02-13-2009 SNOB Blast
ZwickelmaniA List of Breweries
2009 Brewha
The Brew-Ha! 2009 brochure is here!
Each year the Oregon Brewers Guild helps produce and distribute the annual Brew-Ha! brochure, a comprehensive listing of breweries and brewpubs across the state.  The latest version will feature ten new locations, bringing the total directory to 138 locations. The brochure also features an expanded listing of events, highlighting 45 events taking place throughout the year.
The Brew-Ha! brochure is normally distributed at the beginning of March, but Oregon beer enthusiasts can get their copy on Feb. 14th at any OBG member participating in Zwickelmania.  A total of 75,000 Brew-Ha! brochures were printed for 2009.
Beer Tax Hearing

February 23rd

House Bill 2461 Hearing

Oregon State Legislature

House Revenue Committee

Oregon State Capitol

900 Court St. NE

Hearing Room A



8:00 AM


Map to the Capitol


Map to Hearing Room A


Find your legislator.


Link to the bill


Now is the time to let your legislator know what a 1908% increase in the beer excise tax will do to your business. 


Plan on making the trip to Salem on the 23rd if you can. 
Why a 1900% Beer Tax Increase is a Bad Idea

If, 25 years ago, a group had approached Oregon Legislators promising their industry would produce 5,200 direct jobs and over 10,000 indirect jobs, if they promised their industry would be clean, green, popular with Oregonians and provide a uniquely Oregon attraction for visitors that would equal the states wineries, if they would forego any tax breaks plus agree to pay tens of millions of dollars for the privilege of doing business in Oregon – what would legislators have said?

That is the history of Oregon’s craft brewing industry. We’ve grown an iconic industry built on uniquely Oregon advantages in agriculture, people, place, lifestyle and tourism.  Oregon legislators have encouraged the growth of the Oregon craft beer industry by keeping beer taxes here competitive with neighboring states. Only 1 of the top 50 Craft brewing companies in the U.S. in 2007 resides in a top 10 beer excise tax state. Oregon is home to 7 of the top 50 craft brewing companies in the U.S.  

Raising Oregon beer tax rates would be bad for Oregonians and Oregon beer producers because…

Boosting beer taxes by nearly $50 per barrel – an increase of over 1900% – would make Oregon beer taxes the highest in the country.[1]

Raising Oregon beer taxes by nearly $50 per barrel would be the largest single increase in beer taxes in American history.[2]

Oregon Brewers Guild members already pay millions of dollars per year in beer excise taxes in addition to state corporate and income taxes, property taxes and fees all other Oregon businesses must pay.

Tax hikes on beer producers would raise prices for Oregon consumers, retailers and restaurants at the worst possible moment

Beer taxes are inherently regressive – more than half of the proposed increase would be paid by Oregonians earning less than $45,000 per year.

Restaurants and taverns are already experiencing major revenue losses from the economic downturn, and to tack a price increase on beer would only drive more price-sensitive customers away.

The proposed tax would increase beer prices significantly, which would encourage customers to purchase their beer from retailers in bordering states.

Higher beer taxes threaten Oregon’s growing beer industry and the $375 million in economic benefits the industry generates in Oregon every year.[3]

The proposed beer tax increase will devastate a homegrown industry. Oregon’s beer industry directly provides over 5,200 jobs.[4]

Increasing state taxes on beer by more than 1900% over the current tax could result in the loss of up to 3,400 jobs. [5]

A huge beer tax hike will threaten the second-largest craft beer industry in the nation with higher costs and lost sales

Taxes already are the single most expensive ingredient in beer, costing more than the labor and raw materials.

Oregon’s beer tax rate is already higher than beer tax rates in Colorado, Missouri and Wisconsin.[6]

The Oregon Legislature’s recognition of the economic development benefit from keeping Oregon beer tax rates competitive with other beer-producing states has nurtured the second largest craft brewing industry in the nation.

Raising Oregon beer taxes would make Oregon beer, already premium-priced, less competitive and stunt its growth.

Around 12% of beer consumed in Oregon is made here by Oregonians. That’s the highest craft beer market share of any state in the country – three times higher than the national average.

Only 5.09% of current Oregon beer, wine and liquor tax net revenues actually are earmarked for mental health, alcohol and drug treatment programs.[7]

State and local governments have not been held accountable for the $155.8 million they collected in 2008 in net beer, wine and liquor revenues. They cannot tell you how they are spending most of the current alcohol taxes they collect because only a small percentage is specifically spent for treatment programs.

In 2008, only $7.9 million of the $155.8 million in total revenue collected was earmarked specifically for mental health, alcohol and drug treatment programs.

It’s unfair to ask beer drinkers to pay for prevention and treatment for all substance abuse in Oregon.

If policymakers want more money for alcohol and drug treatment programs, they should first consider reprioritizing the General Fund dollars we currently collect rather than boosting beer taxes.

Brewers would have to pay the higher tax whether or not they are profitable. To stay afloat, they will be forced to pass the tax increase on to consumers and suffer the sales losses rather than make too little margin per sale to keep their businesses viable.

1 The proposed increase would raise Oregon’s beer excise taxes to $1.68/gallon. Currently Alaska’s beer excise taxes are the highest state taxes in the country at $1.07/gallon.

2 The largest previous tax increase was when Alaska raised its rate from $10.35/barrel to the current rate of $33.17/barrel. The proposed increase in HB 2461 would raise Oregon’s current $2.60/barrel rate to $52.21/barrel.

3 Economic impact study, 2005, Beer Serves America

4 Oregon Brewers Guild data for jobs directly related to Oregon’s breweries.

5 Oregon’s beer excise tax rate is $.084/gallon. Colorado’s rate is $.080/gallon, Wisconsin’s is $.065/gallon and Missouri’s is $0.06/gallon according to Beer Institute’s Brewer’s Almanac.

6 Economic Impact Study, Beer Serves America

7 Oregon Liquor Control Commission Data for the Mental Health, Alcohol and Drug Services Account in 2008

Oregon Beer Industry Facts

Oregon Brewers Guild Fact Sheet

  • Oregon Breweries directly employ more than 5,200 people, many at family wage jobs. 1
  • Total economic impact from the beer industry on Oregon’s economy is $2.25 billion. 3
  • Over the last 5 years Oregon Breweries created 2300 jobs. 1
  • Over the last 5 years Oregon Brewed beer consumed in Oregon rose from 9.9% to 12.0%.1
  • Over the last 5 years for every 1,000 barrels Oregon Brewed beer consumed in Oregon,      more than 30 jobs were created. 1
  • Over the last 5 years per capita consumption of beer is down in Oregon.1
  • Oregon is the second largest producer of craft beer in the US. 1
  • Oregon is the second largest craft beer market in the US. 1
  • The Oregon market is the largest market for every craft brewer in Oregon. 1
  • 37% Percent of all draft beer consumed in Oregon is brewed in Oregon. 1
  • Oregon has the 4th highest percentage of beer draft sales in the US. 1
  • Oregonians consumed 2.72 million barrels of beer in 2008, of that more than 327,000 barrels were made in Oregon or about 12 percent of the total beer consumed in Oregon the highest percentage of local craft beer consumption in the country.1,3
  • Oregon is the No. 2 hop growing state in the country with a 2008 crop value of $38,000,000     which ranks 18th in Oregon’s five billion dollar agricultural economy. 4
  • There are currently 73 brewing companies, operating 96 brewing facilities in Oregon.1
  • There are 30 breweries operating in Portland, more than any other city in the world. 1 
  • The Portland metro area has 38 breweries, more than any other metro area in the world. 1
  • The Portland metro area is the largest craft brewing market in the United States(U.S.).2
  • The national average for total craft beer consumption is 4.0 percent. 2

Sources 1. Oregon Brewers Guild; 2 Brewers Association, 3 John Dunham and Associates, 2005; 4 Oregon Hop Commission; 5. U.S. Census Bureau 6.Brewers Almanac Oregon Beer Facts

OBG on Twitter
The Oregon Brewers Guild is up on Twitter.   We are known as Oregonbeer. You can also sign up for free.  You can use the link provided to get there or just go to the OBG homepage at

I will use this to send out last minute updates about events that are going on around town and they will go directly to your cell phone. In Portland this might be an almost daily thing but it is a good way to get info sent directly to you if you don't have constant email contact. 

So far we have 449 followers
Oregon Beer on Twitter
OBG Flickr Group
The Oregon Brewers Guild has a Flickr account set up and you can see the photos here

As of today we have 1,387 photos and 40 members. Keep up the good work!
OBG Flickr Group
Oregon Brewers Guild on Facebook
  You can sign up for Oregon Brewers Guild on Facebook by clicking on the link  Oregon Brewers Guilds Facebook profile