It’s been awhile since I blogged about delicious beer on this here blog, so here you go:

Above image from Neat-o-Rama’s fun facts about beer. I guess you just punch a hole in the bag and chug. Also, St. Arnold is the patron saint of brewing–good to know. (Link via BunBun)

Good news on the Free the Hops front–the Gourmet Beer Bill has passed out of state House and Senate committees. Bad news: the Senate is still up to its old hijinx.

Reason has a great piece up on the highly beneficial results of of legalizing home brewing in the 1970s. Here’s a taste of the cleverly headlined “Draft Dodgers“:

The American public had decided it liked its beer cheap, bland, and less filling, and the industry—which, after decades of consolidation, consisted of a mere 44 breweries in 1979—was happy to oblige. Consumers with a thirst for something tastier, or at least different, had few options. Things were so bad, in fact, that Coors, distributed in just 11 Western states, was considered such a rare delicacy in other parts of the country that bootlegged cases went for three times their retail price in New Jersey and Tennessee. Was it any wonder that the nation was feeling weak and watered down?

Then Jimmy Carter took pity on our wretched souls. In 1978 he signed Senate Amendment 3534, a portion of which gave each household permission to produce up to 200 gallons of tax-exempt beer each year. (Alabama has a thing or two to learn from that crazy peanut farmer.)

Three decades later, the U.S. boasts 1,463 breweries, including 975 brewpubs.

The prolific and always-interesting Maureen Ogle pointed me to this interview with economist Ken Elzinga, who studies the brewing industry among other things. Here’s a sample:

Do you believe there is an opportunity for consolidation of microbrewery brands? While it has certainly occurred on a more minor scale (Independent Brewers United/Magic Hat example), do you anticipate it happening more extensively, or does consolidation undermine the competitive advantage that micros have (local focus, diverse and unique product offerings, etc)?

Yes, that’s starting to happen. Magic Hat would be the best example where you actually have a consolidation of brands that are not geographically contiguous to one another. Now how much money those guys are making, I do not know.

But I find that interesting and I suspect there will be more of that. So far the ties between craft brewers have been just through their trade association. And that’s been terribly important because it’s been a real trade association of networking, of camaraderie.

The ultimate home-brewing fridge. (Via Danner)

More:

All those who love beer should be alarmed at what’s going on in Oregon. The Beaver State, a microbrewing pioneer, is threatening to raise its beer tax by about 1900%—that is not a misprint. Some Oregonians are planning a little revolt a la the Boston Tea Party and, appropriately, are gathering at the Green Dragon in Portland Thursday evening.


2 Responses to “Beer Roundup”  

  1. 1 Kevin

    How about a link to the Reason article? Maybe I missed it.

  2. 2 tom

    Sorry; fixed:)

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