Have you heard of Free the Hops, which successfully lobbied to change an Alabama law that restricted breweries from selling to the public via brew pubs? How about Raise Your Pints, an organization working to revamp restrictive beer laws in Mississippi?
Did you know several Texas bloggers recently created a new organization called Open the Taps hopes to change Texas laws to make them more friendly to craft brewers? This panel will discuss how you as a blogger can write about and even change your state’s restrictive beer laws. We have three very knowledgeable panelists including:
Cathy Clark Rascoe (aka @cathywonderful on Twitter) is an attorney in Texas who writes for her personal blog, Brewtiful. She is also the founder of Houston Beer Week, Dallas Beer Week, the Monsters Of Beer Charity Festival and the Dallas Beer Festival. Rascoe recently won a 2011 Houston Press Web Award for her blog post distilling craft beer-related bills that were then pending in the Texas State Legislature. She is an avid supporter of craft beer in Texas and has recently co-founded a grassroots organization in Texas called Open The Taps dedicated to changing the antiquated and often bizarre beer laws in Texas. Her favorite beer is Stout.
Michelle Minton is an analyst at The Competitive Enterprise Institute, a free-market defending think tank in Washington, D.C. At CEI Minton sparks intelligent public debate in popular media and among activists about subjects that are often taboo or overlooked. She defends the right of those involved in what she calls, “The Sindustry”, by providing intellectual support for their right to engage in consensual behavior. In addition to her public policy work on alcohol-related issues, Minton is an avid fan of craft beer. Her writing on craft brew and twitter feed (where she goes by the name “Biergirl”) have gained increasing recognition and have become a respected source for industry news and opinion. Her favorite style of beer is Saison.
Craig Hendry is the Co-founder and Vice-President of Operations & Communications at Raise Your Pints, a non-profit, grassroots organization working since 2007 to reform Mississippi’s beer laws (all beer brewed and sold is capped at 6.25 ABV and homebrewing is illegal). Co-founder of Mississippi Craft Beer Week and author of the 2010 and 2011 “Mississippi Craft Beer Week” Proclamations signed by Governor Haley Barbour. Hendry writes for his personal blog Mississippi Brew Blog (2007) and can be found @craighendry on Twitter. He has also been a homebrewer for 10 years. His favorite beer is, well, whatever he’s brewed last.
Doug Brumley says
Tennessee has a story similar to Gerard’s. In May, beer bloggers had a major impact in alerting the community to a proposed, ill-conceived change to state alcohol legislation. Representatives were flooded with emails and calls, and the bill was amended to remove the restrictive language and ultimately make the bill a beneficial one. It passed and was signed into law. http://hops.me/6w3
Gerard Walen says
Beer bloggers can make a difference on the hyper-local level too. Some members of the Tampa City Council tried last year to shut down the Cigar City Brewing Tasting Room. A massive letter and email campaign spearheaded by bloggers both local and across the country – and around the world – helped sway the decision of the councilman with the swing vote and the tasting room remains open. Here’s my take on it: http://hops.me/6vi