Associated Press - February 23, 2011 3:05 AM ET
TROY, N.Y. (AP) - Sen. Chuck Schumer stopped in at a couple of brew pubs during an upstate tour on Tuesday, but he wasn't there to sample the suds.
Schumer toured Brown's Brewing Company in Troy and Empire Brewery in Syracuse to promote new legislation to cut the excise tax on small breweries. The BEER Act, sponsored by Schumer and more than 20 colleagues, would reduce the federal tax on beer from $7 a barrel to $3.50 for the first 60,000 barrels.
Schumer said about 65 microbreweries in New York would benefit. He said the beer industry supports nearly 60,000 jobs in New York state and cutting taxes on small brewing operations would allow the brewers to expand and hire more workers.
Empire employs 65 people at its Syracuse brewpub and makes 1,100 barrels a year in Syracuse and 3,000 at a second location in Brooklyn. Owner David Katleski says the company plans to develop a 5,000-barrel brewery in the town of Cazenovia by 2012.
Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.
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