Raise Your Pints (RYP) is a grassroots, non-profit organization whose mission is to help bring the highest quality beers in the world to Mississippi. We are motivated by a desire to have the same variety of choice when purchasing beer that Mississippi citizens already enjoy when purchasing wine.
Our vision is a Mississippi with a world class beer culture. Our mission; to promote and enhance craft beer culture in Mississippi by working to lift the ban on high gravity beer (Done!); clarify the status of homebrewing as a legal, fun, and wholesome hobby (Done!); promote Mississippi’s beer, brewpub, and brewing industries and small businesses; and work to broaden the appreciation of craft beer for all Mississippians.
History of Raise Your Pints
In 2007, a small group of people met in Jackson, MS to discuss the archaic beer laws in MS. This small group of people would eventually become a slightly less small group called Mississippians for Economic & Beverage Advancement. Possessing next to no knowledge of the legislative process but plenty of passion, these people set about trying to increase awareness of the issue, recruit supporters and try and make headway against what would turn out to be some pretty substantial opposition, mostly from certain businesses and business interests, to this common sense change that would be a win-win for everyone in our state.
Without a well staffed organization, the only shot we had was a low-key, friendly campaign that relied on informing the principles and grass-roots supporters while - and this is the catch - not giving too much away to the business interests opposing us. Many hundreds of man-hours went into the fight for that bill and we were disappointed when it failed. For some of us, a better word would be furious.
This was the catalyst that initiated the restructuring of MEBA into the group that will make this change a reality:
Raise Your Pints Inc.
In July of 2012, after five years and thousands of t-shirts, glassware, donated dollars and man-hours, Senate Bill 2878 became law, raising the permissible alcohol content in beer from 5% by weight (6.25%ABV) to 8% by weight (10.1% ABV). Passing this bill had an impact on Mississippi’s beer culture that is still being felt – by legalizing at least one example of every style of beer, Mississippians were finally given many of the same choices and freedoms as beer lovers in other states. Over the course of that first year, beer selection in Mississippi exploded, beer distributors reported huge increases in sales of craft beer, and (perhaps most importantly) the number of breweries in Mississippi increased by 500%, adding jobs and giving Mississippi’s economy a much-needed boost.
While we were enjoying all the new beers and breweries, we set to work on our next goal: legalizing homebrewing in Mississippi. When Governor Bryant signed our homebrew bill into law in 2013, Mississippians gained the right to explore the fascinating and intricate process of making beer at home. For the first time since Prohibition, it is legal to brew beer in all fifty states, and we have the supporters and contributors of Raise Your Pints to thank for that.
Our mission is far from complete, however. Mississippi’s legislators, beer distributors, and retailers still need direction on how to serve craft beer lovers in our state, and there are still legislative and regulative changes that need to be made. We need your help to do this. We can’t do this with a handful of people, and we can’t do this with a few hundred people. Growing Mississippi’s beer culture is going to take thousands of us. Please consider signing up as a member. Recruit your friends who love craft beer or oppose government intrusions into our liberty. Participate in RYP fundraisers around the state. It’s our time. This is our chance to take pride in our state and create a Mississippi with a world class beer culture!