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Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Craft Conquering Mississippi and the World

There was news out of Mississippi yesterday. You may recall an earlier discussion here focused on the nonsense of Mississippi's beer laws, which limit ABV to 5 percent. Mississippi was giving the Middle East a run for its money in the area of antiquated beer laws

Well, the Raise Your Pints movement finally succeeded in getting a bill through the Mississippi Leg increasing beer alcohol level to 8 percent. Congrats to them for that, because this wasn't a slam dunk by any means. They've got idiots all over the place down there, bent on keeping the state "safe" from good beer.

Enter Sen. Joey Fillingane (R-Hicksville). This fine gent has voted against increasing the beer alcohol limit for the entirety of his 13-odd years in the state senate. No surprise that he was one of 14 senators who opposed the recently passed bill. Impeachment must be tough down there.

Fortunately, Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant didn't see things Fillingane's way. The Gov. signed the bill into law. Don't get too excited yet, though, because the new law won't go into effect until July 1. Once it does, Mississippians will be able to enjoy craft beers that haven't previously been available in the state. The new law will also enable brewers in state to make something other than light beer. Good times.

World Domination
In a related (under the category of craft beer gains) story, The Brewers Association just announced that exports of American craft beer set a record (for the ninth straight year), reaching 110,000 barrels in 2011...worth an estimated $23.4 million. This represents an 86 percent increase by volume and a 97 percent increase in dollars over 2010.

Look, $23.4 million is pocket change next to the overall volume of US foreign trade. It wouldn't take that many cars from Japan or Germany to eat up what craft beer is bringing back to the US. So don't count on international sales of craft beer to reverse the trade deficit.

Nonetheless, craft beer exports are growing rapidly. The world is starting to figure out where it can get good beer! We actually are good at making something. Just not TVs or cars, apparently. World beer domination can't be far behind. If beer laws in the Middle East could be brought into line with Mississippi, we might have something.

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