Sunday, February 21, 2010

Bid to allow stronger beer on tap to pass this session

Iowa is about to move (some of) its beer laws into the 21st century!

The discrimination, they say, centers on longtime Iowa laws that prohibit breweries in the state from making and selling beer that has more than 5 percent alcohol content.

Out-of-state breweries have sold higher-alcohol beer to Iowans for years.

"As far as we're concerned, it is a matter of equality," said Dave Coy, president of the Iowa Brewers Guild and brewmaster for Raccoon River Brewery in Des Moines.

Iowa's 20 or so breweries could produce beer with up to 12 percent alcohol content under a section of Senate File 2088, a government reorganization bill that could receive final approval from the Senate by Monday.

So far, so good.

(Rep. Mark Smith, D-Marshalltown) is concerned that the change could lead to more substance abuse and drunken driving.

"When you increase the availability of alcohol or any other drug, you increase the social problems that are associated with use," Smith said. "While we have major concerns with other drugs, consistently, the drug that has been most related to crime has been alcohol."

This is typical neo-prohibitionist bullshit. Wine is higher in alcohol than beer, and is universally available. (And is exempt from the current restrictive law, by the way.) Distilled spirits are much higher in alcohol than beer, and are universally available. I was going to say that Smith's position on beer requires a fantastic leap of logic, but the fact is, there's no logic involved at all.

Read the whole story at the Des Moines Register.

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