Ordinarily, I don't much care for John Kerry--his Mister Howell style rich-man's voice, his dumb expensive haircut, his wooden manner and his complete ability to lose one of the most winnable presidential races in history--but I have to admit he's doing the right thing here. He's sponsoring a bill to reduce the per-barrel tax rate on small brewers, which is music to my ears since I'm not only a microbrew enthusiast (read: sophisticated drunk!) but see this as a good source of job creation in a lot of parts of the country that are hurting. I also like that senators from Maine and Oregon--two states with strong microbrew presence--are behind this.
It wasn't long ago that American beermaking was basically the mass production of light and largely flavorless pilseners, and those who wanted something more varied and refined would have to stick with imports (which were not just more expensive, but harder to find in stores). Now, America has such a large number of small breweries that it's becoming one of the world's leaders in beer variety. This competition has even led the big breweries like Bud and Michelob to produce it's own "craft" beers (admittedly, I haven't tried them, but whether they're any good or not, it's a sign that they recognize a growing market for variety). And at a time when it seems almost everything that the U.S. used to produce for itself seems to now come from overseas, it's great to see an industry that is still going strong here.