We applaud Raise Your Pints. We congratulate the American Homebrewers Association, and we say thanks to Mississippi legislators and Governor Phil Bryant. The governor has just signed a bill that will effectively legalize homebrewing throughout the state, making Mississippi the 49th state to permit brewing at home. Who’s left? Alabama. You could be next.
“From our founding fathers to our current president, this country has a long and storied tradition of homebrewing,” said Gary Glass, director of the American Homebrewers Association (AHA). “We appreciate the support of all of the homebrewers, the dedicated grassroots efforts of Raise Your Pints and the legislators who have worked so diligently to make homebrewing a reality in Mississippi. We are grateful to Senator John Hohrn, who introduced this bill, and to Governor Bryant for his quick action and support.”
A Senate version of Bill No. 2183 passed in early February, and it was then voted on by the State House of Representatives in March. The 21st Amendment predominantly leaves regulation of alcohol to the states. Therefore, even though homebrewing is federally legal, it is still up to individual states to legalize homebrewing in state codes. Prior to yesterday’s announcement, Mississippi and Alabama were the only two states that did not allow homebrewing. The AHA will continue working with homebrewers in Alabama to legalize homebrewing.
The hobby of homebrewing has seen exponential growth in recent years. The AHA estimates that more than 1 million Americans brew beer or make wine at home at least once a year. Mississippi is home to an estimated 2,200 homebrewers who may now enjoy brewing without the restrictions of a statewide ban.
There are some stipulations to the bill, which you can read here. Some of those restrictions include that 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 a “bona fide” exhibition, contest or competition.
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. We’ll keep you updated on the last of the 50 states.