Mississippians will soon be able to sip on some of the best beers in the world. MPB's Daniel Cherry reports how a new law opens up hundreds of possibilities for beer enthusiasts.

" /> Mississippi Beer Enthusiasts Applaud New, Looser Beer Restrictions | News | Mississippi Public Broadcasting
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Mississippi Beer Enthusiasts Applaud New, Looser Beer Restrictions

By Daniel Cherry | Published 09 Apr 2012 06:36pm | comments

Mississippians will soon be able to sip on some of the best beers in the world. MPB's Daniel Cherry reports how a new law opens up hundreds of possibilities for beer enthusiasts.

After years in the making, Governor Phil Bryant signed a bill into law upping the allowable alcohol content in beer from five percent by weight to 8 percent. John Hime is bartending at the Bulldog, a bar in Jackson that carries almost every available beer currently allowed in Mississippi.

"People come in here from out of town with the hotel right behind us and everything, and they ask us for these beers and we simply just don't have them because of the alcohol level or just the distribution."

But for the most part, that won't be the case anymore when the law goes into effect July 1st. Raise Your Pints, a grassroots beer enthusiast organization advocated the new law. Butch Bailey is president of the group.

"We feel good about this because we were able to lay out the facts and demonstrate that this is just a good bill for Mississippi. We're not asking for anything radical. This is something that's been done in, literally, every other state."

Bailey says currently Mississippians have access to very few of the highest rated gourmet beers. Soon about 70 percent of those will be legal for sale in the state. Gourmet beers typically cost 2 to 3 times as much as a regular brew, but enthusiasts like Tony Templeton from Florence say it's worth it. He says he's tried just about every beer available in Mississippi and he's waited on this day for years.

"It's going to be a while before I can catch back up again with the different beers and the different styles that are going to be available. So it's the variety and stimulating my taste buds again without having to go somewhere else to do it."

Supporters say the looser restrictions will bring in business, and will allow local breweries to pop up and start crafting Mississippi made beer.

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