Did you know that December 5th (today) is Repeal Day? I didn't know until I got my December CraftBeer.com newsletter last Thursday. CraftBeer.com has an informative article about today's holiday: Celebrate Repeal Day: December 5.
In case you are too lazy to follow the link and can't guess from the context, the 21st amendment was ratified and prohibition was repealed on December 5th, 1933. Seems like as good a reason as any to celebrate. Don't you think? I think I'll have a beer today to toast the occasion.
Strange ... today isn't a work holiday for me. Seems like it should be.
I am glad that I can legally drink alcohol. And, of course, without the 21st amendment, it would be illegal for me to brew beer. Home-brewing is the greatest hobby in the world.
Some of you may not know that the 21st amendment legalized home-wine-making, but mistakenly left out home-beer-making. It was not until October 14, 1978 that Jimmy Carter signed a bill legalizing home-brewing again. Thanks, Jimmy.
Sadly, there are still two states in which it is illegal to home-brew beer.
Alabama prohibits making beer and wine at home. Mississippi prohibits home-brewing of beer, but allows home-wine-making. I happen to know there are home-brewers in both Alabama and Mississippi. I would imagine that if I lived in one of those states, I probably would not have taken up the hobby, but there are some brave outlaws out there who won't let the oppressive government suppress their passion for making beer.
Every year, the American Homebrewers Association works to get legislation sponsored and passed in both states that would legalize those home-brewing fugitives in both states, but so far they have been unsuccessful. Since I've started home-brewing, I believe Utah and Oklahoma have legalized home-brewing, so the AHA is making strides. I do think it is only a matter of time before the AHA is able to get things corrected in Alabama and Mississippi.
I sort of get the impression that the law in Mississippi is a simple technicality. Some clerk probably just forgot to add the words "and beer" to some piece of paper and no one ever really took the time to correct the mistake. The Basic Brewing Radio podcast from 10/13/2011 took place at the "Outlaw Homebrew Competition" in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. No one in that podcast seemed particularly concerned that they might get busted.
Alabama is another story. In the June 12, 2011 episode of "The Session", The Brewing Network played some of the debate from this year's attempt to legalize home-brewing in Alabama. And, of course, the guys made fun of the idiotic nature of the debate. The podcast was seriously ROFLMAO funny. I probably looked strange while listening to it.
Download it here: http://thebrewingnetwork.com/shows/761 and skip ahead to around the 2 hour 40 minute mark of the podcast. Trust me, it is worth listening to. Funny stuff.
But, as hilarious as The Session guys made it, the ignorance of the Alabama State Legislature is frighteningly sad.
If I lived in Alabama, I would leave.
But, let's not dwell on that. Everyone celebrate Repeal Day instead.
Happy Repeal Day!