Saturday, August 7, 2010

And the Winner of the 2010 Joseph R. Schmoe World Peace Lifetime Achievement Awaed is...

 President James Earl Carter!!!

Stay with me folks. I am sure that many of you might be wondering why I am bestowing this prestigious award on President Carter, who is generally considered to be one of our more lackluster presidents.

The answer is quite simple. Although I didn't know about it at the time, in 1978, President Carter signed into law a Senate Amendment which benefited me greatly and which cost me,or anyone else for that matter, nothing. I can't say that about many politicians.

Senate Amendment 3534 essentially allows individuals to brew up to 200 gallons of beer per year without paying taxes on the beverage. It also eliminated several regulations which inhibited people from brewing their own beer, experimenting with different recipes and crafting many unique brews.

As a result, people began to get creative with their brews and began producing exotic craft beers, some of which began to be produced and sold as commercial ventures. The age of the craft beer was born.

The chart below shows the declining number of breweries in the U.S. from a post-prohibition high of over700 breweries in 1936 to a low of less than 100 in 1979. After President Carter signed Senate Amendment 3534 into law, the number of breweries has skyrocketed to over 1500, the majority being craft brewers.

It is estimated that 90% of commercially produced craft beers were first brewed at home. The ability for brewers to master their craft, their brews and their taste while at home has allowed the craft beer industry to flourish since 1979. As one who enjoys many types of craft beers, I appreciate the growth in the industry and the products that they produce.

So tonight when I poured myself a class of Widmer Brothers Drifter Pale Ale, I lifted it skyward in salute to President Jimmy Carter. Without whom it might not have been possible.

Slightly off topic I know, but I feel it's important to write something positive about politicians when I can find something. You don't have to worry about it happening too often.

Thanks for reading,
A peaceful Schmoe


  1. Hee! Awesome...

    alas most american beer still tastes like water-down horse piss... Sorry but Canada has you beat on that :P!!


  2. President Carter also deserves props for his work with Habitat for Hummanity. I wasn't aware of the beer thing but I have benefited from that too!