In Mississippi, it has long been legal to make wine at home, but not beer. Nope — illegal. Homebrewing was federally legalized once again in 1978, since it was made illegal from prohibition in 1919. Homebrewing is currently legal in 48 states. Oklahoma is the last state to have legalized homebrewing, passing legislation to legalize in 2010. The remaining states where homebrewing is not yet legal include Alabama and (yep) Mississippi, but that might be changing soon for the latter.
Enter Senate Bill No. 2183, which just landed on Governor Phil Bryant’s desk this week, passing the state House. Bill 2183 will amend Section 67-3-11 of the Mississippi Code (circa 1972) to give every person over 21 the right to make homemade beer for personal, family, domestic or household purposes (god bless America).
There are some stipulations. The beer must be made in a county or municipality in which the possession of light wine or beer is lawful. People who live alone can brew up to 100 gallons a year, and households that include two or more other adults can brew up to 200 gallons. The homemade beer should not be sold, and you can only transport that beer away from the premises for “bone fide” exhibition, contest or competition. Amen!
Big props to Raise Your Pints for helping push the legislation along. It’s a big win for beer in general, but especially craft beer lovers. The American Homebrewers Association estimates that at least 90 percent of professional brewers got started in brewing as homebrewers. Many, if not most, up-start breweries are founded by homebrewers (the top three craft breweries in the United States, Samuel Adams, Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. and New Belgium Brewing Co.,were all founded by homebrewers).
The big question on everyone’s mind: Will the governor pass the bill? No one’s sure. We look to the Associated Press:
Bryant’s spokesman did not immediately respond to a question about whether the Republican governor would sign the bill. House members voted 70-36 Wednesday to approve the final version of Senate Bill 2183. “We’re excited about it,” said Craig Hendry, of Jackson, president of the beer advocacy group Raise Your Pints. “ We’ve been working on it for five years, so it’s been a long hard road.”
CBB raises our pints in congratulations. Amazing job.
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