How government makes your beer 44 percent more expensive

Bonnie Kristian has a great article over at Rare about how government regulation not only increases the cost of beer, but stifles competition in the marketplace:

The last six-pack of beer I bought ran me about $11. It was a craft Altbier from Wisconsin, and it was lovely.

It was also 44% more expensive than it needed to be.

Yep, it turns out if you total up all the taxes “levied on the production, distribution and retailing of beer,” according to the Beer Institute, they add 44% to the retail price. My Altbier pack could have cost just $6.60, which definitely would have made it even more delicious.

And it is about to get worse! Kristian continues:

 There’s a bill making its way through the Florida state legislatureright now which would force all breweries to sell their beer to distributors and then buy it back again before selling it to customers.

If this sounds completely nonsensical, that’s because it is.

For big beer makers, like Miller and Anheuser-Busch, a law like this is no problem. Corporate brewers don’t typically sell beer straight to customers anyway; and if they want to, they can afford to absorb the extra cost.

But for smaller, craft breweries in Florida, this bill could be devastating. The buy-back mark-up from distributors will force brewers to raise their prices by at least 30%, meaning a huge hike in prices at that adorable little brewpub you keep meaning to visit.

The entire article is worth a read.

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