Pennsylvania Craft Beer Tax

Starting in July crafts will cost more at Pennsylvanian breweries

Craft beer bartender

The Pennsylvania craft beer tax, beginning July 2019, means next time you go to your favorite brewery, bring change. According to the official bulletin, the craft tax is not new. The Department of Revenue points out it is simply officially reminding tap rooms they are subject to it as well. The old/new rule is frustrating consumers and brewers alike.

Clearing up the confusion

In a six page bulletin the Pennsylvania DOR sums it up as:

“In essence, manufacturers can now act as a traditional retailer when selling their products to the public for on-premises consumption, and distributors when selling their products to the public for off-premises consumption.”

TAX BULLETIN SALES AND USE TAX 2018-02, Pennsylvania Department of Revenue

However, the problem most breweries seem to have isn’t the tax itself. Taxes are a part of running a business after all. Their problem is the difference between taxing restaurants and taxing taprooms. In Pennsylvania, there is a whole sale tax on beer for restaurants. The entire keg is subject to tax, not the individual glasses. The PA breweries have to tax it by every glass, creating what the brewers are calling an unfair tax.

At first, the Department of Revenue put off the enforcing collection of the tax from January to July. However, it doesn’t seem that the tax will be put off again.

Pennsylvania Alcohol Tax History

This kind of not really new Pennsylvania craft beer tax isn’t the only time PA residents have taken exception to taxation. In the 1700’s, the whiskey rebellion took place in the western part of the state. This was to protest a national tax on alcohol that severely effected Pennsylvania’s grain farmers.
Interestingly enough, the tax

Speaking of alcohol taxes, the ‘state liquor tax’ in Pennsylvania was supposed to be temporary. After a flood completely destroyed the city of Johnstown, the state needed money to rebuild the town and the dam that broke. This ‘temporary’ tax earned the money the state needed, but never went away.

Please note: this blog is for informational purposes and should not to be considered, or used in place of, professional advice for your specific situation.

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