Minnesota Beer Taxes are the 10th Highest in the Country

Over the weekend, I indulged in barbecue and Spotted Cow beer at my parents’ house in Wisconsin. I forgot how much I enjoy the popular New Glarus Brewing Co. ale and purchased a six-pack to bring back with me across the border (it is illegal to sell New Glarus products outside of Wisconsin; in 2016 a Maple Grove bar owner and manager were each charged with a felony for transporting the alcohol into Minnesota for resale).

New Glarus limits distribution to Wisconsinites not only for exclusivity purposes, but also because the owners say “they don’t want—or need—to deal with the byzantine tax and distribution systems that come with selling their beer outside their home state,” according to MinnPost.

Makes sense.

The Tax Foundation reports Wisconsin has one of the lowest state beer excise taxes in the country ($0.06 per gallon). It applies its general sales tax of 5 percent to the purchase of beer. Compare that to what Minnesota beer retailers are taxed: $0.15 per gallon and then an alcohol-specific sales tax of 9 percent.