PORTLAND, Ore., Feb. 22, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Eastside Distilling, Inc. (OTCQB: ESDI) ("Eastside" or the "Company"), a producer of award-winning hand-crafted spirits, today announced the endorsement of the Craft Beverage Modernization and Tax Reform Act, introduced by Senator Ron Wyden of Oregon.
The Craft Beverage Modernization and Tax Reform Act will help to ensure the continued growth of America's craft beverage industry. If enacted, it will reduce excise taxes, compliance burdens, and regulations for brewers, cider makers, vintners, and distillers. This legislation takes a tailored approach to promote job creation. The Company believes that this comprehensive bill is supported by the entire craft beverage industry.
Designed to help small businesses get off the ground, the legislation will lessen burdens on craft distillers. If enacted, it will lower the federal excise taxes paid by craft distilleries by 80% to $2.70 per gallon, for the first 100,000 proof gallons. Eastside believes that this change would reduce its excise tax burden by several hundreds of thousands of dollars per year, with a maximum hypothetical reduction of approximately $1.1 million if production reaches 100,000 gallons. The Act would also relax restrictions on tax-free transfers of spirits between distillers.
In 2014, the brewing industry alone had a national economic impact that stood at more than $253 billion, directly and indirectly employing about 1.75 million Americans. Wine contributed more than $162 billion and 1.1 million jobs, and spirits contributed more than $120 billion, employing 1.3 million workers. This legislation helps support the 5,300 breweries, 8,000 wineries, and 1800 distilleries across the country by reducing compliance and tax burdens for all producers, and improving excise tax administration:
- Exempt beverage producers from complex capitalization rules for aged products and level the playing field between U.S. businesses and their international competitors.
- Continue TTB funding increases to streamline critical programs for brewers, cider makers, vintners, distillers, and distributors.
In a statement released on January 30, 2017, Sen. Wyden commented:
"Oregon's economy earns significant benefits from the jobs and small business growth created by our state's world-renowned craft beer, wine and spirits producers," said Wyden, the top Democrat on the Senate Finance Committee, which oversees excise taxes and alcohol regulations.
"This bill would ensure these industries no longer face the unfair burdens of Prohibition-era rules and taxes," said Wyden, co-chair of the Senate Bipartisan Small Brewers Caucus. "My targeted approach to modernizing outdated regulations aims to build on the strengths of Oregon's craft brewers, vintners and distillers so they have every opportunity to keep creating new jobs and economic opportunity in every corner of our state."
Grover Wickersham, Executive Chairman of Eastside Distilling, commented, "As a small and growing craft spirits company, the burden of taxes placed on us is tremendous. Based on last year's sales levels, passing this bill would reduce the tax burden on Eastside Distilling by more than $250,000, increasing from that number, as and if shipments increase, which could be allocated for growth and hiring. We encourage our customers and shareholders to call their local congressperson to support the Craft Beverage Modernization and Tax Reform Act."
About Eastside Distilling
Eastside Distilling, Inc. (OTCQB: ESDI) is located in Southeast Portland's Distillery Row, and has been producing high-quality, master crafted spirits since 2008. Makers of award winning spirits, the company is unique in the marketplace and distinguished by its highly decorated product lineup that includes Barrel Hitch American Whiskies, Burnside Bourbon, Below Deck Rums, Portland Potato Vodka, and a distinctive line of infused whiskeys. All Eastside spirits are master crafted from natural ingredients for unparalleled quality and taste. The company is publicly traded under the symbol OTCQB: ESDI. For more information visit: www.eastsidedistilling.com or follow the company on Twitter and Facebook.
Important Cautions Regarding Forward-Looking Statements
Certain matters discussed in this press release may be forward-looking statements. Such matters involve risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results to differ materially, including the following: changes in economic conditions; general competitive factors; acceptance of the Company's products in the market; the Company's success in obtaining new customers; the Company's success in product development; the Company's ability to execute its business model and strategic plans; the Company's success in integrating acquired entities and assets, and all the risks and related information described from time to time in the Company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC"), including the financial statements and related information contained in the Company's Annual Report on Form 10-K and interim Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q. Examples of forward-looking statements in this release may include statements related to our strategic focus, product verticals, anticipated revenue, and profitability. The Company assumes no obligation to update the cautionary information in this release.
Robert Blum, Joe Diaz or Joe Dorame
Lytham Partners, LLC
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SOURCE Eastside Distilling, Inc.