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Mississippi Beer Lovers Hail New Beer Law

By Jeffrey Hess | Published 06 Jul 2012 02:07am | comments
Beer law.

A new law allowing beers with higher alcohol content appears to be well received among beer drinkers in Mississippi. MPB's Jeffrey Hess reports that the beer law is one of three alcohol related laws approved during the most recent legislative session.

Tracy Miles points out some of the new beers now available at her Madison beer and cigar shop called Hops and Habanas.

Starting this week, retailers can sell beer with an alcohol content up to 8-percent alcohol by weight...an increase over the previous 5-percent limit.

Miles says beer distributors had to limit how much beer she could buy because demand is high throughout Mississippi.

"It has been absolutely crazy. We have not stopped since about 10 O'clock Sunday morning. it has been a non-stop flux of people. New products coming in. Having to replenish products. It has been awesome," Miles said.

Miles expects a wider selection as distributors catch up to demand over the coming weeks.

The state’s only brewery, Lazy Magnolia in Kiln, says they have already sold out of their first batch of higher gravity beer.

The beer limit change has self described beer-aficionado Shane Crow pleased...He says he used to travel out of state to pick up some of his favorite brews.

"I usually bring back beer from Louisiana because I make business trips to New Orleans a lot and I come back with a lot of Chimay. It is a lot more convenient that is for sure and a lot of money stays in the state. I like to sit back and enjoy the flavor. I am not a guy who is going to down a six pack or two in a week. It is kind of like a fine wine. You want to have a good beer with a good meal," Crow said.

The change brings Mississippi in line with 48 other states and was one of three alcohol related laws passed during the 20-12 legislative session.

Beer brewers can now offer samples on site.

And communities of 5-thousand or more can vote to come out from under their county's dry laws.

Butch Bailey with Raise Your Pints, an advocacy group that pushed for the change, says he would like to laws relaxed to allow home brewing.

"This is legal in 48 out of 50 states. It is perfectly legal on the federal level and has been since the 1970's. It is a hobby that our Founding Fathers of America almost all engaged in. If it is good enough for George Washington, it is good enough for me," Bailey said.

Opponents of the higher limit have raised concerns about the potential for more drunk driving and high rates of alcoholism.

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