CHEERS Act could help businesses invest in draft beer systems

Hands putting taps on kegs.
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In March 2024, Representatives Darin LaHood (R-IL) and Steve Horsford (D-NV) introduced the Creating Hospitality Economic Enhancement for Restaurants and Servers (CHEERS) Act. Supporters of the CHEERS Act today announced the launch of CHEEERSAct.org, a website offering information and resources for consumers and retailers.

The CHEERS Act was created to assist hospitality businesses by extending tax benefits to those companies, including tax benefits for certain investments in energy-efficient keg and tap systems, supporting the use of draft lines and keg equipment in restaurants and bars. As the Beer Institute puts it, “The CHEERS Act aims to alleviate financial strain on America’s hospitality and retail sector, including taprooms, restaurants, bars, and venues by encouraging the adoption of energy-efficient draft beer systems.”

One thing the CHEERS Act does not address is the reality that in the current environment, many businesses cannot afford to make significant investments in energy-efficient tap systems, tax benefits or not. It should be noted that the legislation has components that offer other benefits. For example, The CHEERS Act addresses tax implications related to lost or stolen kegs.

The legislation has earned broad support across the hospitality and related industries, including the beer industry. This includes several industry associations and organizations, including the Brewers Association, which works to promote and protect the nation’s craft brewers, their beers, and the community of brewing enthusiasts.


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The Brewers Association’s position statement says, “Section 179 of the U.S. tax code is an immediate exemption that business owners can take on purchases of depreciable business equipment. Taking the depreciation in the year it occurs allows a business owner to lower their tax liability in the current tax year instead of capitalizing and depreciating it over time. The current tax code provides the Section 179D deduction for qualifying investments in energy-efficient systems on commercial premises. The CHEERS Act impacts Section 179 as it relates to energy-efficient draught beer properties (identified as so under the existing tax code) primarily used in operating a restaurant or a bar. Hospitality businesses that undertake a remodel, refresh, repair, maintenance, or similar activities with respect to qualified energy-efficient draught property would be able to qualify for the deduction.”

Here is the press release we received this morning from the Beer Institute:


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CHEERSAct.org Launches in Support of Bipartisan Initiative to Boost Economic Relief for Local Retail Partners and Their Employees

WASHINGTON – Today, CHEERSAct.org, an information and grassroots clearinghouse for the bipartisan Creating Hospitality Economic Enhancement for Restaurants and Servers (CHEERS) Act, launched to serve as a resource for consumers and retailers about this crucial bill. The CHEERS Act aims to alleviate financial strain on America’s hospitality and retail sector, including taprooms, restaurants, bars, and venues by encouraging the adoption of energy-efficient draft beer systems.

Thirteen associations representing hospitality, retail, beer, cider, food and other industries, alongside three major retail employers, already support the legislation. The CHEERS Act expands existing sustainability tax credits to cover the installation of new keg and tap systems, an environmentally friendly way to distribute and sell beer.

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Organizations supporting the bill released the following statements heralding the new website and the initiative to invest in local businesses and employees, including the more than 16 million Americans working in the hospitality industry and the more than 300,000 draft locations in the United States.

“The beer industry and our partners across sectors are thrilled to see momentum build for the CHEERS Act, which will provide much-needed relief to local businesses and their employees,” said Brian Crawford, president and CEO of the Beer Institute. “CHEERSAct.org is an easy one-stop-shop that offers resources for consumers and retailers to tell policymakers what the CHEERS Act would mean for their communities.”

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“Independent venues still need help as they face inflation, predatory resellers driving up ticket costs, and the challenges plaguing all small businesses,” said Stephen Parker, executive director of the National Independent Venue Association. “The CHEERS Act would provide assistance to them for simply continuing offering cost- and energy-efficient draft beverages. It would also give independent venues a financial pathway to install draft lines if they have not been able to before. We urge Congress to prioritize relief and sustainability by passing The CHEERS Act.”

“America’s beer and beverage distributors are proud to support the CHEERS Act, which will allow community bars and restaurants to make important investments in draught beer to help revitalize their businesses,” said Craig Purser, president and CEO of the National Beer Wholesalers Association. “By educating policymakers and the public on the CHEERS Act, this new website will help keep momentum growing to advance this legislation.”

“Healthy on-premise business and draught service are crucial to the overall health of small and independent craft brewers,” said Bob Pease, president and CEO of the Brewers Association. “With 30% of all draft beer sold produced by craft brewers, restaurants, bars, and retail partners are integral parts of the brewing community. We are excited to support this consolidated new resource to fuel the momentum behind the CHEERS Act and support the economic recovery of the hospitality sector and its employees.”

“For local brewpubs, bars, restaurants and venues under tremendous pressure, the CHEERS Act will provide increased access to the economic and sustainability benefits REUSABLE steel kegs deliver,” said Dan Vorlage, executive director of the Steel Keg Association. “CHEERSAct.org is now the central rallying point to further increase focus and build momentum behind this critical piece of legislation.”

“BeerBoard continues to enthusiastically endorse the CHEERS Act,” said Mark Young, founder and CEO of BeerBoard. “This bill is a critical component in reducing the financial strain on America’s hospitality and retail sector, both for operators and consumers alike. As the leader in technology and insights for the three tiers of the hospitality industry, BeerBoard remains committed in its efforts to unite the industry, enhance efficiency and drive improved revenues for all. The CHEERS Act will play a major role in that effort moving forward.”

The following organizations currently support the CHEERS Act:

  • American Beverage Licensees
  • American Cider Association
  • American Hotel and Lodging Association
  • Beer Institute
  • BeerBoard
  • Brewers Association
  • Buffalo Wild Wings
  • Independent Restaurant Coalition
  • International Franchise Association
  • Latino Food Industry Association
  • National Beer Wholesalers Association
  • National Independent Venue Association
  • National Restaurant Association
  • Steel Keg Association
  • Tully’s
  • Winking Lizard Tavern

To learn more about the CHEERS Act or to lend support, visit CHEERSAct.org.

About the CHEERS Act:
Since 2005, the tax code has provided the Section 179D deduction for qualifying investments in energy-efficient systems on commercial premises. This provision would be expanded to apply to all new keg and tap properties, incentivizing the use of draft lines and keg equipment in taprooms, restaurants, bars and entertainment venues. The legislation also would provide an additional benefit for the remodeling of draft property and for lost or stolen kegs. Congress has modified definitions for qualifying property within Section 179D several times in recent years to expand the scope of the deduction. The CHEERS Act expands Section 179D again to include an incentive for energy-efficient draft containers and installation property, providing immediate tax relief to struggling on-premise businesses.


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