First casinos, now beer … what in the world is next for Mississippi?

April 20, 2012

EDUCATION - Market Sector

Nancy Anderson, columnist

I’m shocked!
The governor just signed a bill to allow beer in Mississippi to increase its alcohol content from 5 percent to 8 percent. Where were all the good Baptists when this was going through the legislature? Were all the temperance women otherwise occupied when the vote was taken? Did the citizens of the dry counties drop the civic duty ball?
My, times have changed. I grew up in a teetotaling household. I heard things like, “One drink can turn you into an alcoholic,” and “Lips that touch wine would never touch mine.” On occasion, my father would find an empty beer can in the yard on Sunday morning (not mine, I assure you!). He would carefully bury it at the bottom of the trash can, lest the sanitation workers think he had strayed.
As for myself, I can’t stand beer. Two and a half cans consumed when I was 16 were enough to do in my taste for the barley brew. These days, an occasional glass of wine at dinner is enough for me. In fact, up until a couple years ago, I carefully tucked away all the bottles when my parents came to visit.
So, how did the Raise Your Pints crew get the legislators to go on the record for this controversial new law?  Was it by promoting this as an economic issue — more breweries, more tourists, more hipsters drinking the crafty stuff? Was it by pointing out that the higher alcohol content beers cost more, so the college students wouldn’t be in the market for them? Or did they simply send over a few cases and let nature take its course?
First casinos, now beer. What is this state coming to? Next thing you know, there’ll be a winery in the Delta. Oh, wait, there already is!
Well, if you can’t lick ‘em … Cheers!

Nancy Lottridge Anderson, Ph.D., CFA, is president of New Perspectives Inc. in Ridgeland — (601) 991-3158.  She is also an assistant professor of finance at Mississippi College. Her e-mail address is nanderson@newper.com, and her website is www.newper.com.

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5 Responses to “First casinos, now beer … what in the world is next for Mississippi?”

  1. Shane Says:

    Great news! The new bear that is on the way will be much, much better than anything you could have tried when you were 16 (or today for that matter).

  2. Steven Says:

    It’s about time Mississippi begins to shed it’s ultra conservative roots. Hopefully soon, medical Marijuana will come to our state. And maybe one day, some of the churchs will be replaced with buildings that serve a purpose other than enslaving minds to a fairy tale. One can only hope.

  3. Magical Says:

    Go Gov.

  4. Shannon Says:

    Hi, Nancy,

    Thanks for your article about Raise Your Pints’ success! We are very happy our bill has now become a law effective July 1.

    I will assure you, raising the ABW limit was an easy sell to the citizens on the Mississippi Coast. The citizens north of us were a little more difficult to woo. (We’re still working on some.) I, personally, believe that this is a great leap ahead for the state of Mississippi.

    You mentioned economics. This is a monumental point. We missed out on bringing a Sierra Nevada plant to Mississippi because of our archaic laws. We now have an opportunity to operate on a level playing field with our fellow Southerners in Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina and, yes, even the heathens in Louisiana.

    I want nothing more than our home team–Lazy Magnolia–to employ hundreds and compete with nationally and internationally known brewing companies. This law was the first step in that direction.

    We also want to spend our tax dollars within the state. Outlawing our preferred beers hasn’t kept us from drinking them. We just cross a state line to buy them, frequently stopping at a restaurant while we’re there, spending money on food and another beer on tap.

    You also mentioned your occasional enjoyment of a glass of wine. Yes, indeed! This is an analogy we often use to illustrate our argument: We just want the same choices that wine-lovers have. Mississippi hasn’t outlawed some wines and not others. Wine is wine.

    The argument against drunk driving has frequently popped up. Let me assure you there is no evidence to suggest that drinking and driving numbers are affected at all following passage of legislation like ours. The people who drink and drive are drinking what’s available now: cheap and plentiful. We drink because we appreciate the complexity of the flavors and the craft of the brewing.

    And I know you said you didn’t like beer, but I can guarantee you just haven’t found the right ones yet. Saying you don’t like beer after drinking a Bud Light is like saying you don’t like soda after having a Pepsi. Everyone in the South knows Pepsi is nasty! But just try to keep us away from a Coca-Cola!

    I look forward to seeing you at a Lazy Magnolia tasting soon. I have a feeling you’ll quickly come over to our side of things. =)
    Cheers,
    Shannon

  5. Butch Says:

    “Was it by promoting this as an economic issue — more breweries, more tourists, more hipsters drinking the crafty stuff? Was it by pointing out that the higher alcohol content beers cost more, so the college students wouldn’t be in the market for them? Or did they simply send over a few cases and let nature take its course?”

    Yes.

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