Unifying the United States homebrew community has long been an aspiration of the American Homebrewers Association (AHA), and we are proud to announce this goal has been achieved with the help of countless dedicated homebrewers and AHA members like you. July 1, 2013 marks the day Mississippi lifts its homebrew restriction, unifying homebrewers in all of the United States for the first time since before prohibition.
Beer history in the United States region predates the very existence of the country as we know it. Native peoples of the Western Hemisphere produced a watery maize-beer, a pre-cursor to modern American adjunct beer, and as the earliest explorers settled down in the New World, America’s contemporary brewing culture was born.
“From our nation’s founders to our current President, this country has a long and storied tradition of homebrewing,” said AHA director Gary Glass.
Even after prohibition was eradicated with the implementation of the 21st Amendment in 1933, homebrewers would still be criminals in the eyes of the federal law for over four-and-a-half decades. President Jimmy Carter signed a bill that went into effect on February 1, 1979 federally legalizing homebrewing, but it remained up to each state to determine their individual alcohol policies, including home beer production. Over the course of the next forty-six years, states adopted legislation, permitting the making of beer at home.
Alabama & Mississippi
After five years of advocating for legalization with Alabama’s Right to Brew—an organization established by homebrewers during the 2008 National Homebrewers Conference—legislation permitting homebrewing was passed in Alabama despite opposition from House and Senate members. Prior to 2013, HB 354 passed the House only to expire on the Senate floor in 2012.
Legalization in Mississippi took three years of work with homebrew advocacy group Raise Your Pints. Despite a bill falling short in 2012, Mississippi homebrewers and the AHA were optimistic for the coming year. On February 7, Governor Bryant signed SB 2183, which takes effect on July 1, 2013.
“We appreciate the support of all the homebrewers, the dedicated grassroots efforts of local organizations, our AHA members and the local legislators who worked so diligently to make homebrewing a reality for all 50 states,” shares Glass. “The AHA will continue to pursue homebrewing rights efforts throughout our country.”
Earlier this year, homebrewing bills were passed in Georgia, Illinois, Iowa and Missouri to permit homebrewers the ability to transport homebrew from the home for the use at club meetings, competitions and more. The AHA’s support of these legislative campaigns is made possible by the members of the AHA.
Please help the AHA celebrate these legislative victories with a homebrew toast to legalization in all 50 states on July 1, 2013.
Cheers to homebrew solidarity in the United States of America!
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