Tuesday, June 12, 2012

First, They Came for the Homebrewers....

You know what really knits my yarn?  Homebrew festivals that aren't allowed to actually serve home brewed beer.  As far as I can tell this would be the equivalent of a music festival where the musicians aren't allowed to actually play music.  While this would undoubtedly be an improvement for festivals like Lilith Fair, I would be pretty pissed if I paid good money to attend a fair based around a single purpose and then was denied that very purpose. 

And what in hell does anyone want with a homebrew festival where you can't even try the beer?  How much of a beer nerd do you have to be to stand around, talk to home brewers, look at photos of the beer they make and sniff some hops samples, all to just go home completely sober?

The issue here of course is that the state (in this case, Missouri, also known as the Busch State) will not allow unlicensed brewers to provide the beer at a festival that people pay to get into.  Why, that would be a loophole in the draconian scheme of alchohol licensing!  Egads! 

Now, I'm sure some defender of strict booze licensing regimes would say something about "controlling inebriation" and "protecting the interests of established brewers" and "learning to have fun without getting trashed."  But somehow their words all sound like "dictatorship of the proletariat" and "control the means of production" and "we must trade our freedoms for greater security" and "this Five Year Plan will be a Great Leap Forward" and other commie pinko junk.  Sorry pal, even the Russians prefer their current kleptocracy over Leninism, and the Chinese only use the word "Communist" ironically these days. 

There's nothing wrong with some alchohol regulation--obviously, we should have a drinking age (I think 10 years of age is appropriate) and the inebriated should be prohibited from driving, operating surgical equipment, and hunting unless they really, really will never get that close to an elk again.  And producers of alchohol should be inspected regularly to make sure they're not producing poison or Pabst Blue Ribbon.  But the current state of affairs is a little too Nanny-State for my taste, and it makes no sense for a state like Missouri that is one of the biggest beer producers in the world to not grant a provisional license to home brewers to serve beer at their own festival.

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