A move by the US government to simplify excise tax regulations for small brewers has been welcomed by the Beer Institute. 

The trade body said yesterday the ruling from the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) will reduce “unnecessary bureaucracy” and cut administrative costs. “The beer industry is experiencing immense change right now, thanks to efforts like this that open pathways to the marketplace for small brewers,” the group said.

According to the new rules, effective from 1 January, the TTB will enforce a flat US$1,000 penal sum for a brewer's bond for small brewers whose excise tax liability is expected to be under $50,000 in a calendar year and who were liable for no more than $50,000 in such taxes during the preceding calendar year.

The changes will also allow small brewers, defined by the TTB as those that produce less than 7,200 barrels a year, to move from monthly reports on operations and taxes to a quarterly report.

A copy of the rules, published on Tuesday, can be found here.

Last month, the Beer Institute welcomed figures showing a continuing drop in the rates of underage drinking in the US, but admitted there is “more work to do”.