Is brewing beer legal in America?
You probably know that the answer to this question! Yes, brewing beer is legal in America. But, do you know that before 1979 it was illegal to homebrew in America? We all have former President Jimmy Carter to thank for changing that…
Homebrewing in the early 1900s
While the ingredients for homebrewing were easy to come by, the legal obstacles were too hard to overcome for most. However, there were some brewers who started brewing beer illegally, in their basement or garage on the down-low.
Homebrewing in the 1960s
By the 1960s, even though it was still illegal to homebrew beer, clubs began popping up around the country as homebrewers started to experiment and produce different types of beer from the American light lager that was common at the time. Word spread through newspaper articles and law enforcement grew concerned with what was happening.
Homebrewing in the 1970s
By 1976, homebrewing had become popular in California. A group of homebrewers, with the help of Senator Alan Cranston, tried to push for the legalisation of homebrewing.
After two years of failure, Alan Cranston finally incorporated the legalisation of homebrewing into a bill, which Jimmy Carter then signed on 14th October 1978. This exempted the taxation of beer brewed at home for personal or family use and it came into effect on 1st February 1979!
So, this year on the 14th October, raise a glass of your craft beer and toast former President Jimmy Carter. Some might consider him an American homebrew hero!