Central Florida Brewers Raise Toast to Jimmy Carter as Former Pres. Moves into Hospice Care

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President Jimmy Carter signed a federal law making homebrewing legal in 1978 tucked into a transportation bill to “avoid scrutiny,” according to the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History. Now brewers and local business owners are raising their glasses in a toast to the man who made it all possible as the former President transitions into hospice.

“The signing of that bill I think brought us back to where we were pre-Prohibition when we had neighborhood breweries. It’s coming back to that,” said John Laconca, president of the Central Florida Home Brewers Association. “Allowing home brewers to come out and do it legally and not have to be in fear has opened up such a different variety of things.”

Although many craft breweries took off over the last decade, John Cheek, founder of Orlando Brewing as well as the Central Florida Home Brewers club, said that the President’s law laid the framework for the boom years ago.

In Florida, there were 45 in 2011, but in 2021 there were 374, according to the national Brewers Association. Carter’s native Georgia had 155 in 2021, up from 21 in 2011.

Carter served as President from 1976 to 1980.

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