Underground brewing in the U.S. south

Here’s a piece from CNNRadio about how there are STILL hold-out states (Alabama and Mississippi) that still outlaw homebrewing. Listen to how activists (hoptivists? revo-brew-tionaries?) are trying to drag these states into reality.

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CNN Radio News

By Tommy Andres, CNN

Editor’s Note: Listen to the full story in our player above, and join the conversation in our comments section below.

Montgomery, Alabama (CNN) — Despite the fact that it has been federally legal since 1979, there are still two U.S. states that don’t allow residents to make beer in their own homes: Alabama and Mississippi.

The issue is expected to be one of the first to surface in Alabama’s state legislature as lawmakers there head back to session this week, and a colorful standoff is likely.

Homebrew laws have failed to materialize for the past five years, with religion and morality arguments narrowly beating out the estimated 5,000 underground homebrewers in the state who say their civil liberties are on the line.

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Competition by the bottle

Competitors and judges gather at a homebrew competition at Backstage in Torrington, Conn. Photo by Tony Leone

Homebrewers do three things very well: brew, drink, and enter brew competitions.

Brewers descended upon Backstage in Torrington on August 9 for the second of three rounds of a Backstage/Sierra Nevada Brewing competition.

The final round is scheduled for Thursday, Oct. 25, also at Backstage.

The first round drew 35 entries, and round 2 competitors were made up of nine from the top 12 from round 1 and three from an “open” category, explained Stephen Raimondi, a certified beer judge and one of the judges for the compeititions. Brewers submitted 12-ounce bottles for judgement.

Continue reading “Competition by the bottle”

The Purist

Paul Zocco

The following column was published in the Waterbury (CT) Republican-American on April 11, 2012.

By Will Siss

In the cramped back room of his small home brew store in Willimantic, Paul T. Zocco and seven customers sipped beers and talked about mistakes.

Newbies like the customers love to talk about the time the airlock on their primary fermenter blew up to create a telltale brown splotch on the ceiling. Or the time they forgot to clean their bottle necks and wound up with beer that tasted like socks, not that it didn’t grow on them eventually. Continue reading “The Purist”