Merkley backs bills for breweries

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Oregon Sen. Jeff Merkley cosponsored legislation Wednesday that would lower the beer excise tax on small brewers. The Democrat said the bill would encourage job growth nationwide and in his home state.

“Oregon’s brewers are a valuable part of our state’s economy and culture,” Merkley said in a written statement. “They employ thousands of Oregonians and brew beers recognized the world over for their quality and flavor. This bill is an opportunity to create jobs while supporting Oregonians who take immense pride in their craft and brew a darn good pint of beer.”

Oregon has 77 brewing companies, and Portland has 33 microbreweries, more than any other city in the world. The overall economic impact of breweries in Oregon is $2.3 billion, the news release said.