05 August 2010

Happy International Beer Day

Hey I didn't know today was international beer day!  Cool.  Sadly, I will be abstinent since I am heading to work in a few hours and will be there past midnight, but I did consume a beer last night just after midnight when I got home, so I have honored the spirit of the sacred hop.

Also, how's this for a tidbit you probably didn't know:

If you’re a fan of craft beer and microbreweries as opposed to say Bud Light or Coors, you should say a little thank you to Jimmy Carter. Carter could very well be the hero of International Beer Day.

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. As the chart below illustrates, this had a really amazing effect on the beer industry:

 

US_Brewery_Count_Biodesic-thumb-400x339

 

That’s the number of large and small-scale breweries in the US. You can see how the large brewers continued to consolidate and grow and absorb more and more market share right up to the point where Carter deregulated the industry.

Well, Jimmy Carter, hero of deregulation!  Who'd have thunk it? (Note of course that the graph simply shows the number of brewers, not, sadly, the amount of beer brewed or the market share. That graph would look rather different.)



3 comments:

dr. nic said...

Reminds me of the other day at work. I'm in a children's hospital and we routinely sedate/anesthetize children for MRI scans. We allow the parents into the scanner for induction. So my patient's father's coming in and we tell him to empty his pockets of any metal.

Imagine the surprise on the faces of the MRI techs (and hopefully not mine) when he places his service weapon on the table (along with his badge).

Meghan said...

Have you seen the movie Beer Wars? They talk a lot about this. It was a really good movie!

Anonymous said...

Wait, Carter actually did something useful?

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