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It’s Official: February Declared California Beer Month

It’s been rumored for weeks, maybe longer, but I got the word a few days ago that the California Senate would vote this morning between 9 and 10 o’clock on SCR 66, introduced by Senate majority leader Ellen Corbett, a resolution to declare February California Beer Month. Rick Sellers, who writes at Pacific Brew News and lives in Sacramento, was on hand and a few minutes ago tweeted that the senate passed the resolution 36-0!

Here’s the text of the resolution:

SCR 66, as introduced, Corbett. California Craft Brewery Month. This measure would proclaim the month of February 2012 as California Craft Brewery Month.

WHEREAS, California is the birthplace of the craft brewing movement, when Fritz Maytag acquired the Anchor Brewing Company in 1965 and began brewing authentic, handcrafted beers;

WHEREAS, California is the home of the first microbrewery, beginning with Jack McAuliffe who built a small brewery in Sonoma from scratch, and began selling New Albion ales in 1977;

WHEREAS, The second largest craft brewer in the country, Sierra Nevada Brewing Company, was founded in Chico, California, in 1979, and spurred the craft brewery movement around the country; and

WHEREAS, In 1977, Governor Jerry Brown signed Assembly Bill 3610 to amend the state’s tied-house laws to remove the restriction on on-premises sales of craft beer. Following this change in law, California became home to three of the first five brewpubs in America; and

WHEREAS, The second brewpub in America was opened by the Mendocino Brewery in Hopland, California; the third brewpub, opened in September 1984, was Buffalo Bill’s in Hayward, California; and the fifth, opened by John Martin in March 1986, was Triple Rock Brewery in Berkeley, California; and

WHEREAS, The California craft brewery industry has an annual impact of $500 million on the state’s economy in direct wages and benefits; and

WHEREAS, The California craft brewery industry creates more than 17,000 jobs, which in turn creates billions of dollars in positive economic impact; and

WHEREAS, The California craft brewery industry creates more revenue for the state and federal governments than many other industries, generating more than $36 million in taxes in 2010; and

WHEREAS, California now has more breweries than any other state in the country, including over 280 small, independently owned craft breweries; and

WHEREAS, California is now known and recognized internationally for the quality of its craft breweries. Year after year, Californian breweries win more medals at the World Beer Cup, the largest international beer competition in the world, and the Great American Beer Festival, the largest beer competition in the United States, than breweries found in other states; and

WHEREAS, Brewery tourism is increasingly popular and contributes to the economic impact of the state’s tourism industry; and

WHEREAS, The California craft brewery industry is a leader in the stewardship of natural resources and the environment, and has made a major commitment to implement sustainable practices that are environmentally sound, including some of the largest solar arrays in the private sector, and the use of fuel cells and other innovative conservation techniques and processes; and

WHEREAS, Despite the challenges of intense global competition, the state’s craft brewery industry is strong and growing, and is a major contributor to the economic vitality of California; now, therefore, be it Resolved by the Senate of the State of California, the Assembly thereof concurring, That the Legislature hereby proclaims the month of February 2012 as California Craft Brewery Month; and be it further Resolved, That the Secretary of the Senate transmit copies of this resolution to the author for appropriate distribution.

And not a moment too soon, only 23 days into the month. Now that’s political efficiency. I’ll post more details as they become available. At least this year there’s an extra day in the month to celebrate. Happy California Beer Month everybody.

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