Home Beer Brewers Seek Changes to Alcohol Laws

Written by Barbara Rodriguez for The Associated Press

Madison, Wis. (AP) — About the only thing Kevin Flynn enjoys more than drinking his home-brewed beer is sharing it with fellow beer club members at festivals and tasting competitions. So Flynn and his buddies were shocked to discover that Wisconsin law prohibits sharing homemade suds anywhere outside the brewer’s home.

The law could “pretty much be the end of competitions in Wisconsin,” he lamented. “At least legal ones.”

An explosion of interest in home brewing is forcing lawmakers across the country to review long-forgotten alcohol laws, some of which date back to Prohibition. Although the old rules have rarely been enforced, beer enthusiasts fear they could criminalize the rapidly growing hobby and kill scores of annual tasting events that bring tourists to small towns and cities.

In Wisconsin, Flynn and other home brewers may soon be off the hook. The state Legislature last week passed a bill to allow them to transport homemade beer and wine and to share it with other adults. Brewers will still not be permitted to sell anything they make, and they will remain exempt from permit requirements and taxes.

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Good Things Brewing at Birmingham’s Good People Brewing Company

Written by Dan Murphy for al.com and The Press Register


Dan Murphy
Editor’s Note: BW Beer Writer Dan Murphy and photographer Michael Dumas spent a weekend in early March touring all six of Alabama’s operating breweries. This is the first installment of a series of columns focusing on the state’s budding beer culture. 

BIRMINGHAM, Alabama – The first thing I notice when we pull up to the Good People breweryin downtown Birmingham is the noise.

To the south, a backhoe reduces walls of a vacant warehouse to rubble, creating a cacophony of destruction that heralds the impending arrival of Regions Field, the future home of the Birmingham Barons minor league baseball team.
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It’s No Joke: “a Light-Colored Beer That Tastes Dark”

Written by Greg Kitsock for Washingtonpost.com

Bea's Brew includes a special blend of coffee beans from Qualia in Petworth. (District Chophouse)
Two years ago,  Stone Brewing Co. made a video announcing a new product called BrewDog/Stone Luciferin Golden Imperial Stout, a strong golden ale brewed with coffee and cacao nibs to mimic the flavor of a much deeper-hued beer. Only 2,000 bottles were packaged, each with a blindfold attached so buyers could conduct their own “blind” tastings and surprise their friends.

A few news services might have picked up the item, but if they had checked the dateline, April Fool’s Day, they would have known they were being pranked. A golden stout? C’mon.

Except that Barrett Lauer, head brewer at the District ChopHouse & Brewery, has actually crafted a beer along those lines: “a light-colored beer that tastes dark,” as he phrases it.

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Munich’s OTHER Beer Festival

Written by Sarah LeTrent for cnn.com

Paulaner am Nockherherg is Munich's most famous watering hole for "strong beer festival" Starkbierzeit.
(CNN) — The scene is a familiar one: women and men decked out in traditional dirndls and lederhosen while they swig steins of beer to the toe-tapping tune of oompah bands.

Must be Oktoberfest, right? Ãœber wrong.

Starkbierzeit, loosely translated as Bavaria’s “strong beer festival” and literally translated as “strong beer time,” is the lesser known but notably stronger of the sud-soaked events for Müncheners. This year, Starkbierzeit began March 9 and runs until March 25.

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Beer Profile: Yazoo’s Fortuitous

Profiled by Ken Carman for professorgoodales.net

I really, really, really wished I had bought a second bottle for my beer tastings in the Adirondacks this summer. Black as all hell, full brownish head that fades, yet clings at the end as if it doesn’t want to give up. A bit pillow. There’s a barrel sense to this: bourbon barrel-ish. that lingers. Medium body that, with all that’s going on here, might fool some as “full.”

I have had many Yazoo beers. This is the best, and the most interesting, I have ever had. A damn shame it’s a one off. Nose a bit sweet, with malt background; somewhat roasted. Bourbon nose dominants, with a woody: almost oak, sense. Pours as if it is a lot heavier than it is.

Taste: bourbon, lactic, roast very much in the background. This is a very delicate, a tad sweet, and a beyond “pleasant” quaff. It’s not as much dark as it is multi-layered.
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Beer distributors hop into brewing

Craft beer’s popularity has kept beer distributors busy reorganizing shelves to accommodate what is a seemingly never-ending selection from microbrewers.

Now distributors have even more work to do but they’re not complaining.

Thanks to a recent change in the law, beer distributors across the state can stock shelves with hops, barley, pre-made kits, grain mills, how-to books, bottles and other beer-making apparatus.

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On St. Patrick’s Day, Beer Is Bipartisan

Written by Matthew Larotonda for abcnews.go.com

President Barack Obama and Rick Santorum have at least one thing they can agree on: Both men chose a stout Guinness to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day.

The president drew his beer at a local pub in Washington, wading his way through hundreds of green-clad revelers. Meanwhile, Santorum drank his with traditional corned beef at a Missouri Irish restaurant.

The imagery of the events could remind voters of a question that seems to pop up in every election: Which candidate would Americans rather share a drink with?
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