By Greg Argos


PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Get ready to spend more on your beer at local breweries. There’s a new beer tax in place.

The new tax went into effect Tuesday. It’s so new that most people Eyewitness News spoke to had not even heard about it.

Most brew pubs, at least for now, are going to be drinking the extra cost.

That ice cold beer you enjoy at your favorite brew pub is now a little more expensive.

“We got hit with the sugary beverage tax a while back, and now it’s more of a price to pay,” beer drinker Candáce Wright said.

Legislators in Harrisburg passed the beer tax in June.

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Brew pubs, which sell their very own product, are affected. The tax is calculated by multiplying 25% of all retail sales by the local sales tax.

In Philadelphia County, that means the beer you’re nursing just went up by 2%.

“It might be 10, 15 cents on a pint of beer,” Matt Innes said.

Innes is the lead brewer at Dock Street South, and though he says it doesn’t sound like much, it adds up.

“That’s not nothing over the course of time,” he said.

So like most local breweries Eyewitness News spoke with, businesses are still trying to figure out how they’re going to handle the tax.

“That’s something we have to eat ourselves which would not be great, or it’s something we have to pass along to the consumer,” Innes said.

That used tax then gets funneled into Pennsylvania’s general fund, which, according to the Department of Revenue’s website, goes toward government and public services.

“With any additional tax, you want to make sure it’s appropriated the right way. There are some mixed results with the soda tax, for example,” beer drinker Alex Nassar said.

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“It’s just more of a price to pay for drinking anything at this point in Philadelphia,” Wright said.

The question is, will a price jump in that IPA dip drinking habits for beer lovers?

“I think most people aren’t going to be aware of it,” Wright said.

“I probably will still be drinking beer but I’ll be a little less inclined to buy something that is a little pricier,” Nassar said.

The tax only applies to beer sold at breweries and brew pubs — not at supermarkets or beer distributors.