Everyone seems to have an opinion on the Tax Cut and Jobs Act pushed through Congress by Republicans and signed by President Trump mere days ago. With so many divergent opinions out there, it’s hard to tell partisan blustering from genuine analysis. But one thing is clear: the alcohol industry is happy with the legislation. The Craft Beverage Modernization and Tax Reform Act is nestled within the headline-grabbing Tax Cut and Jobs Act. Wine and craft beer producers say the reduction in excise taxes will allow producers to invest in their companies and in some cases add jobs. According to Wine Institute, the new law will reduce excise taxes on small to medium-sized wineries by 55 to 70 percent. The law allows large excise tax credits on annual production up to 750,000 gallons. The more wine a company produces, the more advantageous the tax credit. For the first time, sparkling wine counts toward the tax credits. The amount of the excise tax dropped from $1.57 to $1.07 per gallon. At the same time, the alcohol concentration threshold for applying the excise tax increased from 14 percent alcohol by volume to 16 percent meaning more wine varieties do not meet the alcohol concentration requirement for federal excise tax. “Wine Institute applauds today’s Congressional action to enact the first reduction in wine excise taxes in over 80 years and only the second reduction in the nation’s history,” Wine Institute said in a December 20 press release. “The comprehensive tax legislation ... will provide significant benefits for all wineries.” President Trump signed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act two days later. Brewers are also happy with the tax reforms. Like vintners, brewers will see substantial reduction in excise taxes. “Under the bill, the federal excise tax on beer will be reduced to $3.50/barrel (from $7/barrel) on the first 60,000 barrels for domestic brewers producing less than 2 million barrels annually, and reduced to $16/barrel (from $18/barrel) on the first 6 million barrels for all other brewers and all beer importers,” Brewers Association president and CEO Bob Pease explained in a December 20 article. “The bill maintains the current $18/barrel rate for barrelage over 6 million. In total, this represents more than $142 million in annual savings, which will allow America’s small brewers — who are manufacturers and entrepreneurs — to reinvest in their businesses, expand their operations, and hire more workers.” Reinvestment of excise tax savings has been a key bone of contention between proponents and opponents of the Tax Cut and Jobs Act. Proponents have said business owners -- including those benefiting from the Craft Beverage Modernization and Tax Reform Act -- will use the savings to improve their operations, grow their businesses and hire more workers. Opponents have said business owners will simply pocket the money and thus widen the gap between the US economy’s have and have-nots. Only time will tell what the actual outcome of this legislation will be.