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Yazoo, Calfkiller collaboration brew, “The Beacon,” shines light on Tenn.’s high beer taxes

November 30, 2012 By: mike Category: Breweries, Craft beer, Events, Government

The BeaconTennessee’s highest-in-the-nation beer taxes, including the state’s 17% beer wholesale tax, have inspired a new beer.

Yazoo Brewing Company and Calfkiller Brewing Company are shining a light on Tennessee’s beer taxes with a new collaboration brew, The Beacon, which will be available to taste for the first time Saturday at the sold-out 12 South Winter Warmer beer festival in Nashville.

The Beacon is an unfiltered beer brewed with some German oak smoked wheat malt, Tennessee honey and some in-house Calfkiller-roasted coffee. A seven-barrel batch of the beer was brewed in Sparta, Tenn., earlier this month.

Here’s more about the collaboration beer from Yazoo’s Linus Hall:

One thing we definitely have in common is our drive to change Tennessee’s beer taxes, which unfairly tax craft brewers at a higher per-gallon rate than beers from the big brewers, and which have risen every year since 1954, to where TN’s beer taxes are the highest in the country. So… we decided to put our frustrations into liquid form. Introducing… THE BEACON! Shining a light on a STYLE OF BEER UNIQUE TO TENNESSEE! THE “TENNESSEE HIGH TAX ALE” STYLE! Yes, only Tennessee can lay claim to this unique style of beer, where the taxes are raised to an almost unbelievable level of $37.00 per barrel. Other areas of the country can claim unique styles of beer, but only in TN are beer taxes taken to this level. We should be so proud!” [source]

If you aren’t going to the 12 South Winter Warmer, Hall says there will be keg tappings of the beer across Tennessee in the weeks to come. Plus, a second batch of the beer will be brewed at Yazoo and bottled in 750 ml bottles “for distribution wherever the light needs to shine in Tennessee.”

Hall is president of the board of directors for the newly-formed Tennessee Craft Brewers Guild, which is working to help change the beer laws in the Volunteer State.

More details about the Craft Brewers Guild’s efforts are expected to be announced soon. Stay tuned.

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