BALTIMORE – U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.), a senior member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, today visited the Mt. Vernon Marketplace for a ceremonial opening of “The Local Oyster Stout,” a fresh collaboration by the Waverly Brewing Company, True Chesapeake Oyster Company and The Local Oyster.
“Small breweries and oysters have been staples of our regional economy for generations, and emerging craft brewers like Waverly Brewing and oyster farmers like True Chesapeake underscore the spirit of innovation that makes Maryland such a great place to establish and grow a small business. These businesses are not only bringing new high-quality, locally sourced products to market, they are building new jobs and reinvesting their profits back into the state,” said Senator Cardin. “I was proud to reintroduce in the Senate the Small Brew Act, which levels the playing field for craft brewers, because breweries across Maryland are ready to expand and create more well-paying jobs. And I’m similarly pleased to have the privilege of working to make it easier to establish and expand oyster farms in Maryland waters, because oyster aquaculture means much-needed good jobs in rural areas and cleaner water in the Chesapeake Bay.”
The Small BREW Act of 2015 would reduce the federal excise tax on every one of America’s small craft brewers. It will stimulate regional economies nationwide with a reduction in the excise tax on each barrel of beer brewed by small brewers. The bill also changes the threshold definition of a small brewer to better reflect modern production. Because of differences in economies of scale, small brewers have higher costs for raw materials, production, packaging, and market entry compared to larger, well-established multinational competitors. Adjusting the excise tax rate would provide small brewers with an additional $65-$70 million each year they could use to start or expand their businesses on a local, regional, or national scale.
“’The Local Oyster Stout’ brought together a diverse group of small business owners who have a direct stake in protecting clean water. Similarly, I’ve been working to bring together environmental advocates, watermen, local residents and policy makers to formulate policy that significantly helps revive struggling oyster populations in the Chesapeake Bay,” said Senator Cardin, who has been pushing the federal and state governments to aid in repopulating Chesapeake Bay oysters. “Today, we raised a glass to a quality beer, as well as a perfect example of how a healthy Chesapeake Bay and strong aquaculture industry can help seemingly unrelated sectors of the economy.”