A famous quotation often attributed to Ben Franklin holds, “Beer is proof God loves us and wants us to be happy.” The relationship between beer and politics has been an old, though not always honorable one. Throughout much of the early days of our country, when public sanitation was not a given, alcoholic beverages were significantly safer to drink than water. Often times, the beverage of one’s choice could be seen as a political statement. Thomas Jefferson was actually criticized for favoring French wines over domestically produced beer or whiskey.
During much of the nineteenth century, when the secret ballot was not universal, campaigns were not above plying potential supporters with free beer in exchange for their support at the polls. It was probably no accident that two of the greatest political reform movements of that era were women’s suffrage and temperance – the latter of which eventually resulted in the passage of the 18th Amendment to the Constitution that prohibited the production, importation, or sale of “intoxicating” beverages. Unfortunately, despite prior assurances to the contrary, beer was also outlawed, along with liquor and wine under Prohibition. Continue reading “McCauley: The President’s Politics of Beer”
PENSACOLA, Florida –For the 17th year in a row, the Emerald Coast Beer Festival brought together Gulf Coast beer enthusiasts with brewers, large and small, from around the country Friday.
Breweries like Abita, Avondale, Sweet Water, Terrapin, Bell’s, Highland, and several more set up tables in and around Seville Quarter, serving up samples while musical acts The Posi-Tones and The Hotheads performed for the crowd.
The breweries traveled from far away places like Hawaii, Michigan, Vermont, Pennsylvania, New York, Massachusetts, Tennessee and North Carolina.
A sweet, bready aroma fills the air, wafting through Kevin Czebiniak’s garage doors. With gloved hands, he pours freshly milled grain into a container, mixing it with 120-degree water to start a batch of brown ale.
“When I first made it, I took a sip and instantly knew I had it,” he said of his molasses- and honey-flavored brew.
Czebiniak, 23, is one of several young Central New Yorkers catching up to a fast-growing hobby: He is a home brewer.