ED Kain reports that we have Jimmy Carter to thank for America’s booming beer industry:

To make a long story short, prohibition led to the dismantling of many small breweries around the nation. When prohibition was lifted, government tightly regulated the market, and small scale producers were essentially shut out of the beer market altogether. Regulations imposed at the time greatly benefited the large beer makers. In 1979, Carter deregulated the beer industry, opening back up to craft brewers.

I am personally positively bland in my beer tastes. My “favorite” beer is a Delosa-based outfit (“Wurzbock”) that’s something of a state institution. I put favorite in quotes because I’m not sure if I actually prefer it to Budweiser. Back when I was going to a lot of bars (for music shows) I made the switch to Budweiser simply because it was cheaper. Having moved away from Delosa, I now drink Wurzbock whenever I get back into town simply because it’s less available outside of the state. I say “less available” because according to Wikipedia it’s actually available in over 40 states. I would periodically see Wurzbock trucks when I was in Cascadia. I was tempted to follow one just to see what bar it was headed to. There was another local beer I sometimes drink instead that costs the same as Budweiser, isn’t as good, but is named after my home state. Home field advantage, I guess.

Most of the time, I am fine with Budweiser (or Miller or Coors)g. I’ll drink any non-lite beer. I have some friends that are beer snobs and try to push this really malty stuff on it. I would periodically order Guinness only because I hate it and therefore one glass would last me all night long. For the most part, I am the opposite of a beer snob. Mostly because I don’t really like beer all that much. I had to force myself to like it in the first place (that I would do so astonished many Delosians Deseretians). I did so by basically taking hot days and instead of drinking a coke like I wanted I would just drink a beer. Eventually my mind began associating beer with refreshment. But the effects have sort of worn off as in Arapaho and Cascadia there were never many really hot days. I used the same tactic with diet coke, though that always wears off almost instantly as soon as I drink a couple cans of the real thing.

So unfortunately President Carter’s contribution is more or less lost on me.


Category: Downtown, Market

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10 Responses to Beer Me

  1. Transplanted Lawyer says:

    I think your Delosian compatriots were just not as self-aware as you were of the process of teaching oneself to enjoy beer. Nearly all beer is bitter to some degree or another. Some people never get past the bitter taste elements or learn how to enjoy the bitterness.

    What I don’t like about Budweiser is that to the extent it has much taste at all, it’s not just bitter but sour, too. But if that’s what you like, more power to you.

  2. trumwill says:

    That was a goof on my part. I meant to say Deseretians. They don’t understand why someone would do that because beer is greatly looked down upon by the population there that believes that alcohol is sinful. Kind of ironic since where I worked in Deseret had a huge plant for one of the major brewing companies and exported quite a bit of vodka due to one of the main ingredients being grown there in abundance.

    Regarding Budweiser, I think it’s the relative tastelessness that I like. Or maybe it’s just the right amount of tastelessness, since I can’t stand Bud Light for tasting too watered down even for me.

  3. web says:

    There’s a saying about a blind pig finding an acorn every once in a while… I guess beer deregulation was Carter’s.

  4. Peter says:

    Some local breweries survived Prohibition, but the opening of modern highways in the 1950’s was the final nail in their coffins. Beer could be trucked in from distant breweries that were much larger and enjoyed economies of scale. Small local breweries couldn’t compete on price and most of them were gone by 1960 or so. For the next couple of decades, just a handful of giant brewing companies totally dominated the national market.

  5. web says:

    Peter – and that’s a darned shame, since I love going to various restaurants that either have a microbrewery on site, or buy some of their beer from a local micro, and tasting the differences in their brews.

    At some point it becomes about quality and variety, and that’s what a proliferation of microbreweries provide that the “mass brand” breweries absolutely don’t.

  6. Peter says:

    Right now I’m enjoying, well not exactly beer, but a malt beverage nonetheless – Four Loko watermelon flavor. Although the company legally has to call it an adult beverage, it’s aimed squarely at the underage-drinker market. It’s the sort of thing that a 14-year-old drinks before going into the junior high school dance. At 12% alcohol, the 24-ounce can I’m quaffing should be equivalent to downing a six-pack of light beer.

  7. Kirk says:

    Good Lord Peter, why are you drinking a watermelon-flavored beverage? Sounds awful. Anyway, I gave up on the microbrew scene back when I determined that they all taste so similar that it’s hard for me to tell one from the other. Also, I’ve never found a microbrew that’s significantly better than mass-produced beer. Some of it is, in fact, quite awful.

    Anyway, I’m a Foster’s man. Just had four earlier on this evening. burp…

  8. Peter says:

    Sometimes a beverage like Four Loko or Joose simply hits the spot. Can’t explain it any further. But I definitely have a buzz.

  9. Alexander D. Mitchell IV says:

    Unfortunately, Kain’s post is entirely inaccurate. Carter did nothing to deregulate commercial brewing, as implied in his post and all the people citing him. See http://beerinbaltimore.blogspot.com/2010/08/let-me-get-this-straight-jimmy-carter.html for a review of the reality.

  10. Mike Hunt says:

    Much like George Costanza, I prefer soft drinks to alcohol.

    I find it hard to believe that anyone actually ENJOYS beer. I think a lot of it is social conditioning. High school kids drink it for the rebellion factor and because it is cheap. They aren’t drinking the fancy micro-brews.

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