Local
12:53 pm
Tue January 21, 2014

Schumer envisions Buffalo as a craft beer destination

Local craft brewers would pay less in taxes under a bill unveiled by Senator Charles Schumer in Buffalo Tuesday, which he says will spur investment and tourism.

Speaking at the Pearl Street Grill and Brewery, Schumer said the Small BREW Act will cut the excise tax in half for small breweries, which could save them thousands of dollars to reinvest in their businesses and expand.

Sen. Schumer speaking Tuesday at the Pearl Street Grill and Brewery
Credit Chris Caya/WBFO News

Across New York, Schumer says, the beer industry supports 60,000 jobs and draws tourists.

"We have a greater concentration of new brew pubs in Western New York than anywhere else. It helps the tourists come. Obviously, you can see what happened in the Finger Lakes with wine. There are now people from all over the country who come and stay in the motels and eat in the restaurants, as well as go to the wineries. We hope the same thing can happen with Buffalo in regards to beer," Schumer said.

The Brooklyn Democrat says so far the proposed legislation has the support of 20 bipartisan colleagues on Capitol Hill. He says large brewers also support the bill because it will attract more interest in beer, in general.

Schumer says most brewery operators would take the tax cut and invest it in new equipment and employees. He says a Harvard study shows the Small BREW Act would increase economic activity across America by more than $100 million in the first year.