The beer industry could be facing a new legislative battle as spirits producers may begin working to lower state and federal excise taxes on ready-to-drink cocktails (RTDs).
Lower taxes and relaxed regulations on RTD’s would be a substantial threat to brewers by providing wider retail and distribution availability for RTDs which compete with malt and sugar-based beverages. If successful, spirit-based RTD’s would be more price competitive with hard seltzers and hard teas which are currently taxed the same as beer. It could also allow RTD’s to be distributed through the same middle-tier channel as beer and wine instead of spirits.
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