AUGUSTA — Sens. Susan Collins and Angus King are hoping to ease the tax burden for craft beer brewers.

The bill introduced by Collins, a Republican, seeks to reduce the excise tax on barrels of beer brewed by small companies. King, an independent, is one of the original co-sponsors of the bill.

Collins says that reducing the tax burden on small brewers will allow them to “thrive, create jobs and further grow” the economy. King says that the measure would provide these companies a “vital boost.”

Collins’ office says that companies that produce fewer than 2 million barrels a year pay $7 in federal excise taxes for each barrel on the first 60,000 brewed barrels. The bill would lower that rate to $3.50 per barrel.