WBOY | Local distillery pushing for alcohol tax reform

CLARKSBURG, W.Va. (WBOY) — If you’ve ever wondered why canned cocktails, like High Noon, are more expensive than something like White Claws, even though they are about the same ABV percentage, it all has to do with West Virginia’s excise tax on different types of alcohol.

White Claw is technically a flavored malt beverage, which puts it under the classification of other malt beverages like beer. A 5% ABV 12oz malt beverage is taxed at 1.7 cents per can.

West Virginia Alcohol Tax Rates (Courtesy DISCUS)

However, a drink that contains vodka, like High Noon, is considered a spirit and is taxed the same way a bottle of Jack Daniels would be, despite containing far less alcohol. A 5% ABV 12oz canned cocktail is taxed at 20.2 cents per can, 11 times more than a canned malt beverage, despite having the same alcoholic content. Read the full story >>>