Monday, March 09, 2009

Beer: An American Revolution

From Reason.tv, comes a new video on how the microbrew movement in America gave rise to massive consumer choice.

In 1920, the National Prohibition Act destroyed the beer industry in the United States, putting some 1,500 breweries out of business. When the "noble experiment" was repealed in 1933, beer lovers rejoiced, and the beer industry staggered back to its feet. The industry had lost much of its diversity, however, and the emergence of national brands in the 1950s and 1960s led to industry consolidation and fewer choices for American beer drinkers. By 1980, there were less than 50 breweries in the U.S.

By the 1980s, American beer had an international reputation as weak and watery as a case of Hamm's. Most breweries only produced American-style lagers, a light and inexpensive style of beer typically made with rice or corn adjuncts in addition to barley, hops, yeast and water.

What American beer lovers didn’t know at the time was that a revolution was imminent. In 1979, a clerical error in the 21st Amendment was corrected, and for the first time in nearly 50 years it became legal to brew small batches of beer at home. Home brewers who had little interest in cutting costs or making beer with mass appeal began brewing big, flavorful beers in a wide range of styles. Many of these home brewers decided to turn their passion into small businesses, and microbreweries began popping up all over the country.

Today, although mainstream beers still dominate the market, more than 14,00 breweries in the U.S. produce more styles of beer than anywhere else in the world, and American beers routinely dominate international beer competitions. So the next time you’re at your favorite brewpub, hold your glass up high and celebrate the American beer revolution.

5 Comments:

At 3/09/2009 2:40 PM, Blogger 1 said...

I have to say that for me personally the best part of that Reason beer video clip was the link to the following: Among the Global Warming Skeptics...

Thanks for that Professor Mark...

 
At 3/09/2009 4:38 PM, Blogger ExtremeHobo said...

Gimme some Star Hill!

 
At 3/09/2009 4:43 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for stating the obvious... Now can you explain why most Americans still prefer that watery swill. That's a question that needs an answer.

 
At 3/09/2009 11:06 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Young Republicans protest state lawmaker's proposed beer tax

The Associated Press

SAN JOSE, Calif.—About four dozen Republican college students are raising their voices in protest over an issue near and dear to them: a new proposed tax on beer. Assemblyman Jim Beall, D-San Jose, has proposed a tax on beer makers that would add almost $2 to the price of a six pack to help eliminate the state's budget deficit.

But 21-year-old Leigh Wolf, a member of the San Francisco State University Republicans, says the tax unfairly burdens poor college students, who often drink beer to relax at the end of a long day of school and work.

Others students protested outside of Beall's office waving signs that read "No taxation on intoxication!"

Beall said the tax would generate up to $2 billion a year for crime prevention and programs to prevent underage drinking.

 
At 3/10/2009 5:24 AM, Blogger OBloodyHell said...

Don't care who makes it, it still tastes like it shoulda been run through the horse another time.

 

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