Connecticut Brewers Could Save Big In Lamont Budget Proposal | Connecticut Public Radio

Connecticut Brewers Could Save Big In Lamont Budget Proposal

Feb 23, 2019

There’s some good news for local brewers in Gov. Ned Lamont’s proposed biennium budget, which would cut the alcohol beverage tax on craft breweries in half.

"It’s really exciting for us if that does pass -- I know it’s been up a few times in the past,” said Joe Ploof, the founder of the Hanging Hills Brewing Company in Hartford.

Ploof hopes that the excise tax on alcoholic beverages is trimmed in the FY2020, FY2021 biennium budget.

“If we do 2,100 barrels [in a year], it’s going to save us about $7,000 or $8,000,” Ploof said.

About 2,100 barrels of beer is produced per year at Hartford's Hanging Hills Brewing Company. Founder Joe Ploof said a proposed reduction in the excise tax on alcoholic beverages would save him between $7,000 and $8,000.
Credit Frankie Graziano / Connecticut Public Radio

The Hartford Business Journal reports that the tax is 24 cents a gallon of beer as it stands now -- that’s $7.20 per barrel of beer. The proposed reduction would make it $3.60 per barrel.

Ploof said he’d use the savings to get his employees get a better deal on health insurance.

“We pay above market knowing that we can’t offer a full benefit plan here,” Ploof said. “Group rates are really expensive for a brewery our size–for any company our size. We subsidize health care for our full-time employees on the open market – on the Obamacare market.”

Lamont’s proposal now goes before the legislature. If approved, it could go into effect on July 1.