Beer Roundup!

First things first: Remember to keep calling and emailing your state representatives and senators urging them to support the Alabama Brewery Modernization Act (Free the Hops’ legislative effort for this session) and the Homebrew Legalization Act (not an FTH effort, but of course they wholeheartedly support it.) As always, keep informed and active by visiting the FTH blog and join up if you haven’t yet.

Speaking of Free the Hops, founder Danner Kline welcomes the first of Magic Hat’s delicious offerings, the legendary #9, to Birmingham. If you don’t know Magic Hat, it’s Vermont’s finest brewery and famous for its delicious and innovative brews as well as the pithy sayings found underneath their bottle caps. Here’s hoping it won’t take too long to get more of their tasty beers here.

Move over Utopias (Sam Adams’ very high-gravity (27% ABV), very expensive small-batch annual brew), the folks at Scotland’s BrewDog have come up with an astounding 41% ABV beer called: Sink the Bismarck!. Evidently, this beer is a the latest salvo in an ABV arms race between BrewDog and German Brewery Schorschbrau. Here’s BrewDog’s no-holds-barred video celebrating the escalation:

Sink the Bismarck! from BrewDog on Vimeo.

The lads at BrewDog not only have a ripping sense of humor, but apparently a libertarian streak as well. From the Beeb: “BrewDog was previously branded irresponsible for an 18.2% beer called Tokyo, which it then followed with a low alcohol beer called Nanny State, then Tactical Nuclear Penguin.” Since such strong brew is out of my price range and illegal here in Bama (13.9% ABV is the more-lenient limit that thankfully became law last year, but way shy of 41%), it may be awhile before I can sample such high-gravity delights.

(via Danner)

Why it’s hard to find a quiet bar these days. (via Andrew Sullivan) Not sure if I buy this, but it seems to make sense–if it’s difficult to talk with your friends or strangers, you’re more likely to pass the time drinking.

The remaining links courtesy of my good friend Jacob Grier, who is a fine writer, coffee guru, mixologist and magician.

During Prohibition the feds decided to “scare” people away from booze by poisoning otherwise drinkable industrial alcohol. The result? 10,000 dead. Read the whole tragic tale in Slate. As Alex Tabarrok notes, the poisoning policy is still in effect, but due to the availability of cheap legal alcohol, folks are not dying much from tainted liquor these days. Jacob draws the obvious parallel to today’s disastrous prohibition policies: “The wrong lesson to take from this is that we’re more enlightened now. Poisoning the alcohol supply was an egregious abuse, but it’s a small step from that to forcing terminally ill AIDS and cancer patients to give up the marijuana that suppresses their vomiting, to mention just one of the most tragic casualties in the War on Drugs. With prohibition of any kind, grotesque absolutism often leads the government to choose killing its citizens over letting them get high.”

Forbes now has a booze blog. They’ve recently highlighted my favorite Bourbon: Bulleit, which is as their post notes delicious and reasonably priced.

Oregon State economist Patrick Emerson discusses the “Beeronomics” of shatterproof pints and whether they will lead to a decline in fighting. Hint: probably not.

On the beer trail in Vietnam. I wish I had applied for the visa now. It seems the three-day wait would’ve been worth it.

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