Friday, November 2, 2012

The Session No. 69: The Perfect Beer World

This month's Session* topic is hosted by Jorge at the Brew Beer and Drink It blog who raises the topic of The Perfect Beer World.  Jorge asks:
What is something you would like to see change… something that will take us closer to the Perfect Beer World? The topic is wide open… even if you think that what you want to change for the better is not important or ridiculous… share it!
By way of example, Jorge mentions wanting to see more breweries add gruit or "real ales" to their line ups.

My idea for the Perfect Beer World takes a different direction and popped into my head immediately upon reading the question. My Perfect Beer World would have one set of standardized beer laws which promote free choice in an open market. 

Is that too much to ask for?

It's not a ridiculous suggestion from a global perspective, but it's ridiculous to think it would happen.  For one, it's a highly charged topic filled with under and over-tones of religion, politics, morals, wealth, and massive turf wars.  For another, it's a decision left largely to each state, virtually eliminating any ability to standardize the laws.  That is a ridiculous combination of issues to tackle.  Still, it's my Perfect Beer World.

It's a beer world that would have plenty of shelf space and no shortage of tap handles. It would have easy distributor contracts and plenty of capacity to get any product to market.  In Montana, it would mean getting rid of the quota system for alcohol licensing which currently fosters turf wars and actually reduces access to craft beer, innovation and open markets.

Other states would get Montana's growler friendly regulations and self distribution rights. Alabama and Mississippi would get to homebrew.  Pennsylvanians could mix up a six pack and buy a whole case at the same store.  Everyone could get high gravity beers.

Yeah, that's my Perfect Beer World.  What's yours?

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*Today is the first Friday in November which means it's time to take part in The Session, a collective effort of beer bloggers around the world to write on a common topic once each month.

2 comments:

  1. Alan,

    This is certainly an issue for homebrewers - I can't believe it's STILL illegal in some states - but it's also a sad reality - but one to put up with. Here in NC we get all of Dogfish's brews except World Wide Stout, which is a few percentage points above our state limit ... which was just 6 percent ABV five years ago. Seems silly.

    I can only hope for the day when politicians who control this step into the 21st century to usher in Perfect Beer World. Or, at least, part of it.

    Cheers!

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  2. I agree fully! Montana raised it's limit to 14% back in 2009, but that means we still can't get Bourbon County Stout, Black Tuesday, etc., etc. Actually, even with an unlimited cap, we'd probably still not get them. Something about our low population seems to leave us in a dark spot when it comes to distribution. I guess I'll add that to my Perfect Beer World list!

    Alan.

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