For some, it was the struggle of their generation. "I don't want to compare this to the civil-rights movement," an Alabama man told National Journal's Ben Terris earlier this year, "but there is a parallel there." And now, that arc of history has finally bent fully toward justice: After years of painful battles, home-brewing your own beer is legal in every state in America. Micro-Boozehounds, you have won.
Victory came when recently passed legislation that permits home-brewing in the last bastion of home sobriety, Mississippi, went into effect July 1—just three days before Independence Day. Coincidence? You decide. In Alabama, the other long-running holdout, home-brew legalization went into effect on May 9. Home-brewing was made legal at the federal level in 1978.
The American Homebrewers Association is, obviously, feeling quite celebratory. In a statement, the association's director, Gary Glass, said, "Homebrewers are deeply dedicated to their craft and the AHA is thrilled that homebrewers in all 50 states can now legally take part in that passion." But all is not yet won: As the AHA notes, Some state laws restrict the movement of home-brewed beer outside of the home. Says Glass, "We will continue to work to protect and advance the rights of homebrewers to share their unique creations."
But for now at least, home-brewers and beer lovers have a major success to savor. So on this July 4, take out your Declaration of Independence, read your Federalist Papers, and take a long sip of that musty, cherry-infused IPA you've been keeping around. You've earned it.
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