New Tennessee beer tax law goes into effect July 1

New Tennessee beer tax law goes into effect July 1

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"It's always been something that's been a thorn in the side. I would say it's been a long time coming," said Eagle Distributing brand manager Jeremy Walker. "It's always been something that's been a thorn in the side. I would say it's been a long time coming," said Eagle Distributing brand manager Jeremy Walker.
Knoxville Craft Beer Week came to a close Saturday with hundreds attending the 3rd Annual Knoxville Brewfest, a massive beer sampling event in downtown Knoxville. Knoxville Craft Beer Week came to a close Saturday with hundreds attending the 3rd Annual Knoxville Brewfest, a massive beer sampling event in downtown Knoxville.
The new tax is based on volume, a flat tax in line with the current rate. The new tax is based on volume, a flat tax in line with the current rate.

By HAYLEY HARMON
6 News Anchor/Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - Tennessee's new beer tax law goes into effect on July 1, changing the basis for the tax from price of beer to volume.

It's a change local brewers and beer enthusiasts have rallied in support of for months.

A lot of people have been talking about the new tax during Knoxville Craft Beer Week, an event focused on showcasing local brews.

"We wanted to highlight Tennessee beers," said Jeremy Walker, craft beer brand manager of Eagle Distributing.

Knoxville Craft Beer Week came to a close Saturday with hundreds attending the 3rd Annual Knoxville Brewfest, a massive beer sampling event in downtown Knoxville.

Beer distributors hawking their best brews say they are ecstatic over the new beer tax law.

Before the new law, Tennessee had the highest beer tax in the nation at 17 percent.

It was based on price, meaning the more a beer cost, the higher the tax.

Walker says that made the beer cost everybody more, from the wholesalers to the customers.

"17 percent on 20 dollars. Then 17 percent on 25 dollars. Then 17 percent on 30 dollars. So that made things pretty difficult and made beer pretty expensive," said Walker.

Walker says the high tax deterred a lot of brewers from bringing their products to Tennessee, afraid customers wouldn't buy their beer, especially craft beers, which are already more expensive.

The new tax is based on volume, a flat tax in line with the current rate.

"It's gonna help open a lot of access and make it easier for suppliers that previously couldn't come into the state because it was very tough for them to make good margins on their beer," said Walker.

Walker says the change is going to mean a cheaper price for beer all around, including for consumers.

It's a change beer drinkers have been pushing for a long time.

"It's always been something that's been a thorn in the side. I would say it's been a long time coming," said Walker.

The new tax system is even prompting brewers to put new types of beer on the market.

"They'll be from us probably about 10 new beers hitting the street Monday which is always fun and exciting," said Walker.

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