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Jimmy Carter's Unintentional Legacy: Beer Making

Jimmy Carter's Unintentional Legacy: Beer Making

Who knew we had Jimmy Carter to thank for honey-orange wheat ale? With an orange slice.

In 1978, Carter changed the post-Prohibition law that prohibited home beer brewing while permitting home wine making. The law instantly made it legal for each household to produce 200 gallons of tax-exempt beer each year. Oh. I thought it was each day. Anyway! Smart move, nonetheless, as the amendment effectively ended the pale-shaded, Schlitz-filled days of the '70s.

Though we can credit Carter for the wave of his pen, the born-again Christian had no interest (that I know of) in the legislation. A supplier of beer-making equipment in Rochester, NY, solicited his congressman to legalize home brewing. The bill passed through the House and Senate without fanfare and was signed by the president without remark. In fact, 24 years later, the New York congressman could not recall the bill when he was asked to discuss his role in jump-starting the "American beer renaissance."

Yet today more than 90 percent of small breweries are said to have roots in home brewing, proving how vital the bill was. So while Carter may have done little for the economy during the late '70s, he did wonders for the fruit, honey, and chocolate beers of today.


Join The Conversation
melizzle melizzle 8 years
Thanks Jimmy! Hey, Billy Beer was the answer to a trivia question a few weeks ago at a local bar... and I KNEW IT! :)
Grandpa Grandpa 8 years
:rotfl: Billy Beer, I had forgotten all about that. I think the consensus at the time was that it was a lousy beer taste wise. :rotfl:
fuzzles fuzzles 8 years
I wonder if Billy Beer is still around?
StolzeMama StolzeMama 8 years
:drinks: yay for beer
Grandpa Grandpa 8 years
All I can say is "Cheers"
starangel82 starangel82 8 years
Cheers to Jimmy Carter. (Even though I don't drink beer!)
organicsugr organicsugr 8 years
Haha, I saw this article in Reason the other day, and never in my wildest dreams did I think it would make it on to citizensugar. I'll drink some homebrew to that.
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