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Next Week is Beer Week in Des Moines

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beerDES MOINES, Iowa – Craft beer fanatics, rejoice! Wine lovers had their fun this past week with Des Moines Winefest, but next week, Des Moines Beer Week takes over.

Des Moines Beer Week, which started only a year ago, is an annual, weeklong celebration aiming to highlight the Des Moines area’s growing craft beer scene. Organizers say breweries in the Metro are hoping to see Des Moines considered a craft beer destination alongside cities like Portland, San Diego, Denver and Philadelphia.

“Establishing an entire week devoted to craft beer within our community is just one of the ways to cultivate the culture surrounding craft beer and enhance tourism in Des Moines and and across Iowa,” said Melissa Carlson, one of the organizers, in a news release.

The event kicks off this Sunday at El Bait Shop from 1:00 – 5:00 p.m. Attendants can be the first to try the 2015 Des Moines Beer Week Collaboration Beer, “All Hands on Deck,” created together by nine Des Moines area breweries. On Tuesday, Confluence Brewing Company will host the official Des Moines Beer Week Collaboration Beer celebration in their taproom beginning at 4:00 p.m. The week will culminate with the Iowa Craft Brew Festival on June 20.

As small breweries aim to make medium-sized cities like Des Moines a craft beer destination, lawmakers on Capitol Hill are fighting to make their business easier. The Small BREW Act, introduced by Representative Patrick McHenry (R-North Carolina), would cut in half the taxes small breweries pay per barrel on their first 60,000 barrels. Right now, small breweries are subject to a $7-per-barrel tax, and many say its costing them their bottom line. The Small BREW Act would reduce the tax to $3.50-per-barrel for the first 60,000 barrels. For every barrel after 60,000 and up to two million, the price would be $16, and then $18 after the two million-mark.