The new law will permit beer with eight percent alcohol by weight, or 10 percent by volume, to be sold in Mississippi. Though drinkers are thrilled, the fight was a long one, coming only after three years of lobbying.
Several manufacturers of the higher-alcohol beer were poised and ready to bring the goods into the state. Brewers including Louisiana’s Abita Brewing Co., Tennessee’s Yazoo Brewing Co. and Mississippi’s Lazy Magnolia Brewing Co. had plans ready to deliver kegs and bottles to select bars and stores the very first day such beer was allowed to be sold.
The Mississippi brewer is thrilled with the passage, hosting a party and inviting people to come watch as they start brewing their higher alcohol beer. It has double the reason to celebrate as another law passed earlier this year allows breweries to serve samples to visitors on the premises. “Now we’re going to have the ability to really promote our brand, to give people exposure to all of the wonderful flavors,” said Lazy Magnolia owner Mark Henderson. As a result of the new law the brewery plans to triple its capacity and add 21 employees by 2016, all thanks to the ability to brew more kinds of beers.
Mississippi has moved in the direction of other states but not nearly as far as some states which do not limit the alcohol content of beer at all. Of the states with limits in place, at least 10 have raised them in the last decade. Besides Mississippi, these include Alabama, Georgia, Iowa, Montana, North Carolina, Ohio, South Carolina, Vermont and West Virginia.
The passage of the law also means the state will see a rush of new beer varieties. Kathy Waterbury, a spokeswoman for the state Revenue Department, said 124 new varieties have been approved since Governor Phil Bryant signed the law.
With all the excitement surrounding the introduction of higher alcohol beer, it’s important to remember to be safe. Drunk driving is no laughing matter and Mississippians should understand these new, more powerful beers might lead to intoxication faster than their weaker counterparts. If you’ve been involved in something that requires the skill of an experienced Mississippi criminal defense lawyer, please call Stroud, Flechas & Dalton.
Source: “Mississippi to celebrate new law allowing higher-alcohol beer,” [no longer available from source] by Jeff Amy, published at NOLA.com.