Over the past few days there have been a couple items in the news of good tidings in the beer world. Though on the surface they are separate events, in the long run they will be tied together. The first announcement came on Monday when the Brewer's Association announced the numbers for craft beer growth for the past year.
Unsurprising to most, craft beer is still on a growth curve. Over the past year we saw a 15% rise in volume and a 17% rise in dollars. When you look at the big picture the beer industry as a whole is valued at 99 billion dollars. That's a quite a few cases of Bud (just sayin).
The other recent news comes to us from the state of Mississippi. After close to 100 years it is now legal to homebrew in the state of Mississippi again. After prohibition ended it fell on each state to control how alcohol is handled within their own boundaries. Home wine making became legal with the repeal but it wasn't until 1978 when President Jimmy Carter signed the law that legalized home brewing again.
The American Homebrewer's Association (an arm of the Brewer's Association) has been working since the 70s to make home brewing legal in every state. When Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant signed the bill into law, his state became the 49th to make homebrewing legal. Alabama is the last holdout.
Home brewers have been the driving force behind much of the growth in the craft beer industry. As it stands right now, we have close to a new brewery opening every day of the year. With the new market that will be opening in Mississippi, there is a good chance we will see a number of new breweries popping up in that state as well.
Time for a pint...