It’s hard enough to start a small business, and a microbrewery seems even more complicated. With the recession of the last few years and stiff competition in the marketplace, all the alcohol-related regulatory hoops to jump through, and, of course, the financial investment, it’s a brave soul who ventures down this path.


Hopefully a new tax break, proposed by Senators John Kerry (D-Mass) and Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), will make it easier, both for those thinking about entering the microbrewery game and those already in it.


The Brewers Employment and Excise Relief (BEER) Act of 2011 was announced in the Senate earlier this spring. The act seeks to give microbreweries - those brewing less than six million barrels of beer per year - a tax break of some $67 million. The tax break would provide additional capital to reinvest in equipment as well as funds for additional workers to allow small brewers to expand their business.


This is good, especially since the craft brewing trend continues to grow. In fact, while the overall beer industry was flat in 2010, experts say the craft beer industry was up 11 percent in terms of volume that year.


If the bill passes, I betcha there will be a lot of microbrewers out there more excited than ever before to do their annual tax preparation. I can see it now - groups of happy, beer-brewer guys (you now the type!) leaving the tax office back-slapping and high-fiving all the way to the bar, er, bank. Tax return preparation and tax filing has never been so fun!


Will this mean a larger surge of microbreweries competing for an even bigger share of the market in 2011 if the bill passes? Only time will tell. Tell us what you think.


In the meantime, we’ll be pondering this question at the local pub over a glass of suds. Cheers!