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Latest from The Spokesman-Review

Idaho now has map to lead folks to all the state’s craft beer breweries…

Idaho has gone from 34 craft beer breweries in 2013 to 51 now, with six more scheduled to open this year, according to the Idaho Department of Agriculture. So the Ag Department and Idaho Brewers United have teamed up to publish a new brochure highlighting them all, in the “Idaho Brewers Trail Map.” For those planning to take a tour along the “trail,” the department says, “Visitors and locals can now sip their way around Idaho and learn more about the state’s craft brew industry.”

In addition to locations and information on each brewery, the brochure includes information about Idaho-grown ingredients that are used in the brewing process. Idaho is the largest barley producing state in the country; the Brewers Association estimates that craft beer in Idaho had an economic impact of more than $172 million in 2013. Kelly Olson, administrator of the Idaho Barley Commission, said, “We especially celebrate the rapid expansion of craft brewing in all parts of Idaho. Craft beer makes up only about 11 percent of the total U.S. beer market today, but U.S. craft brewers buy more than 25 percent of the malting barley grown in this country.”

The Idaho Brewers Trail Map is available in brewery tasting rooms, visitor centers, and online here.

Crapo: Support growing for craft-beer tax cut

Here’s a news item from the Associated Press:  BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Idaho U.S. Sen. Mike Crapo says his bill to cut taxes for small breweries is gaining support, as evidenced by the addition of 24 co-sponsors. Crapo has joined Democratic Sens. John Kerry of Massachusetts and Ron Wyden of Oregon, as well as Republican Olympia Snowe of Maine, as an original sponsor of this push to halve federal excise taxes for smaller breweries. They contend the break to save small brewers about $3.50 per barrel on their first 60,000 barrels annually will leave them more money to invest in workers and supplies. Crapo, a Republican, will be touting his bill this weekend at the Portneuf Valley Brewing Company in Pocatello, though he won’t be sipping a cold, frothy one: He’s a member of the Mormon church, whose adherents don’t drink alcohol. He will join the Idaho Grain Producers Association to discuss the measure’s benefits to agriculture.

Where Crapo, Kerry, Snowe and Wyden agree: Tax cut for craft beer

Idaho Sen. Mike Crapo is co-sponsoring bipartisan legislation - along with Sens. John Kerry, D-Mass., Olympia Snowe, R-Maine, and Ron Wyden, D-Ore. - to halve the federal excise taxes smaller craft breweries pay, a move his office says “would benefit Idaho brewers and farmers and could boost employment and commerce.” The break for craft brewers also could boost ag products like hops and barley, Crapo said, along with production at growing craft breweries like Laughing Dog Brewery east of Sandpoint. On Monday, Crapo will visit and tour Laughing Dog and discuss the legislation.