Everyone knows what it’s like to be kept down by “the Man”. Zoning permits, parking tickets, taxes, everything meant to keep big business on top and us normal folk struggling. Occasionally we all have a chance to fight back and change our world in tiny insignificant ways. Our way of sticking it to the man is HOMEBREWING!
Brewing your own beer in a country that once outlawed all forms of alcohol is no small feat. It took a long time for home brewing to be where it is now and there is still a long way to go. In 1919 the 18th Amendment was added to the constitution and with that any alcohol was prohibited from sale or use. For the next 14 years the United States suffered in what many people (me) refer to as the dark ages. 1933 brought about the end of the alcohol ban but not the end of pointless restrictions on home brewing. In fact it wasn’t until 1979 that President Jimmy Carter signed H.R. 1337, permitting individuals to brew their own beers for personal and family use. Since this barrier was lifted the experimentation and ingenuity of American home brewers has lead new beers, new styles, and has even inspired some home brewers to become brewery and brew pub owners. Still there are restrictions on what we are allowed to do with what we brew (that rhymed).
There are still some states that won’t even allow people to home brew. As of this article some states including Alabama, Iowa, Maine, New Mexico, Ohio, West Virginia currently have laws that leave homebrewers in questionable standing with the authorities. Federal Law has established that it will be up to State Law to govern alcohol laws and restrictions, so hopefully it is only a matter of time before we can all make guilt-free beer. Thankfully, due to the increase in demand for craft beer and the reluctance to accept Conglomobev’s limited swill, Lawmakers are being influenced by more than just Big-3 lobbyists. This means that slowly and painfully the limitations of brewing will no longer be an obstacle to the dreams of enthusiastic zymurgists. Occasionally as we see progress through lawmaking or are frustrated with an impediment we will post the good or aggravating news.