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US Revenue Stamps

Beer Tax Stamps

1933-1951

Federal beer tax US revenue stamps reappeared at the beginning of 1933, following the repeal of the Eighteenth Amendment to the US Constitution.

The new beer tax stamps featured significant changes from those produced before the Prohibition Era ...

  • The new, lower value, stamps were smaller in size.
  • The inscriptions of the new stamps featured the wording "FERMENTED LIQUOR" or "FERMENTED MALT LIQUOR", instead of the word "BEER".
  • The new stamps were no longer denominated in CENTS and DOLLARS.  Instead, the text inscriptions and printed numerals refer to the measure of barrels (or containers) for which the particular stamp was valid.

The federal beer tax rates fluctuated between $5.00 and $6.00 per barrel from 1933 to 1942.  Subsequent tax rates were $7.00 per barrel from 1942 to 1944, $8.00 per barrel from 1944-1951, and $9.00 per barrel, as of November 1951.  A standard barrel contains approximately 31.5 gallons of beer.


New
fermented liquor tax US revenue stamps were introduced in 1933.  These US revenue stamps were printed on Greenish Blue to Blue paper of varying shades, and they are all inscribed "SERIES OF 1933".  All of them, except for the high values, are shown in the image above.

The catalog details are as follows:

  • 1/8 bbl.  (1933 - Sc. #REA152) - Violet Red.
  • 1/6 bbl.  (1933 - Sc. #REA153) - Purple.
  • 1/4 bbl.  (1933 - Sc. #REA154) - Green.
  • 1/3 bbl.  (1933 - Sc. #REA155) - Brown Orange.
  • 1/2 bbl.  (1933 - Sc. #REA156) - Orange.
  • 01 bbl.  (1933 - Sc. #REA157) - Blue.
  • 02 bbl.  (1933 - Sc. #REA158) - Black.
  • 05 bbl.  (1933 - Sc. #REA159) - Black.
  • 10 bbl.  (1933 - Sc. #REA160) - Black.
  • 25 bbl.  (1933 - Sc. #REA161) - Black.

The 1/8 bbl., 1/2 bbl., and 01 bbl. stamps exist with provisional surcharges, indicating the tax increase from $5.00 to $6.00 per barrel.


The previously issued
fermented liquor tax US revenue stamps of 1933 were surcharged "ACT OF MARCH 22, 1933" in black, when the tax rate was increased to $6.00 per barrel.  Six of the nine stamps in this series are shown in the images above.

The catalog details are as follows:

  • 1/8 bbl.  (1933 - Sc. #REA162) - Violet Red.
  • 1/6 bbl.  (1933 - Sc. #REA163) - Purple.
  • 1/4 bbl.  (1933 - Sc. #REA164) - Green.
  • 1/3 bbl.  (1933 - Sc. #REA165) - Brown Orange.
  • 1/2 bbl.  (1933 - Sc. #REA166) - Orange.
  • 01 bbl.  (1933 - Sc. #REA167) - Blue.
  • 02 bbl.  (1933 - Sc. #REA168) - Black.
  • 05 bbl.  (1933 - Sc. #REA169) - Black.
  • 25 bbl.  (1933 - Sc. #REA170) - Black.


New fermented malt liquor tax US revenue stamps were also introduced in 1933.  These US revenue stamps were printed on White or Blue paper, and they are all inscribed "SERIES OF 1933".  Eight of the nine stamps in this series are shown in the images above.

The catalog details are as follows:

  • 1/8 bbl.  (1933 - Sc. #REA171) - Violet Red.
  • 1/6 bbl.  (1933 - Sc. #REA172) - Purple.
  • 1/4 bbl.  (1933 - Sc. #REA173) - Green.
  • 1/2 bbl.  (1933 - Sc. #REA174) - Orange.
  • 01 bbl.  (1933 - Sc. #REA175) - Blue.
  • 02 bbl.  (1933 - Sc. #REA176) - Black.
  • 05 bbl.  (1933 - Sc. #REA177) - Black.
  • 10 bbl.  (1933 - Sc. #REA178) - Black.
  • 25 bbl.  (1933 - Sc. #REA178A) - Black.


The two fermented malt liquor tax US revenue stamps shown above were also surcharged "ACT OF MARCH 22, 1933" in black, when the tax rate was increased to $6.00 per barrel.

The catalog details are as follows:

  • 1/4 bbl.  (1933 - Sc. #REA179) - Green.
  • 1/2 bbl.  (1933 - Sc. #REA180) - Orange.


The nine fermented malt liquor tax US revenue stamps shown above were issued between 1934 and 1945.  These revenue stamps were printed on White paper.  The inscribed "SERIES OF" dates vary, according to the year the particular stamps were issued.

The catalog details are as follows:

  • 1/8 bbl.  (1934 - Sc. #REA181) - Violet Red.
  • 1/6 bbl.  (1934 - Sc. #REA182) - Purple.
  • 1/4 bbl.  (1934 - Sc. #REA183) - Green.
  • 1/3 bbl.  (1934 - Sc. #REA184) - Brown Orange.
  • 1/2 bbl.  (1934 - Sc. #REA185) - Orange.
  • 001 bbl.  (1934 - Sc. #REA186) - Blue.
  • 002 bbl.  (1934 - Sc. #REA187) - Black.
  • 100 bbl.  (1942 - Sc. #REA188) - Carmine.
  • 500 bbl.  (1945 - Sc. #REA189) - Dark Brown.


The nine
fermented malt liquor tax US revenue stamps shown above were issued in 1947.  These revenue stamps are all inscribed "SERIES OF 1947".

The catalog details are as follows:

  • 1/8 bbl.  (1947 - Sc. #REA190) - Carmine on White.
  • 1/4 bbl.  (1947 - Sc. #REA191) - Green on White.
  • 1/2 bbl.  (1947 - Sc. #REA192) - Orange on White.
  • 001 bbl.  (1947 - Sc. #REA193) - Blue on White.
  • 005 bbl.  (1947 - Sc. #REA194) - Black on Blue.
  • 010 bbl.  (1947 - Sc. #REA195) - Black on Blue.
  • 025 bbl.  (1947 - Sc. #REA196) - Black on Blue.
  • 100 bbl.  (1947 - Sc. #REA169) - Carmine on White.
  • 500 bbl.  (1945 - Sc. #REA170) - Dark Brown on White.


The definitive reference book on beer tax revenue stamps is "United States Beer Stamps", by Thomas W. Priester.  This reference book, along with the Scott Specialized Catalog of United States Stamps, is an absolute necessity for anyone wishing to specialize in US beer stamps.





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Beer Tax Stamps of 1933-1951





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The FINAL fermented malt liquor (beer) US revenue stamp (Sc. #REA199) is shown above.

The 25 bbl. stamp of 1947 was provisionally hand-stamped "Value increased under / Revenue Act of 1951" in black or purple, signifying the new tax rate of $9.00 per barrel.

This provisional issue is VERY RARE.