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The Boston Globe



Action needed to preserve smaller breweries amid industry giants

Your story on how our federal excise tax system determines rates for the two huge brewers as compared with much smaller brewers describes the proposed legislation but doesn’t paint a complete picture (“Big seller Boston Beer argues for small-brewer tax break,” Page A1, May 13).

Samuel Adams has only 1 percent of the beer market. The American beer industry, however, is now a duopoly with two international conglomerates, Anheuser-Busch InBev and SABMiller, controlling almost 80 percent of sales. Large American-owned brewers are extinct, partly because when Congress instituted a tax differential in 1976, it treated midsized brewers the same as big brewers, and over time they went out of business.

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