Editorial and Commercial Photographer Alex Boerner is the Edge of Humanity Magazine contributor of this documentary photography. These images are from his project ‘Beer‘. To see Alex’s body of work click on any image.
Prohibition was repealed in the United States in 1933. North Carolina, however, kept its own 1908 prohibition law on the books until 1937 when it created and passed the Alcoholic Beverage Control bill. The ABC bill established the State Board of Control known as the NC Alcoholic Beverage Control Commission, more commonly referred to as ABC, through which alcohol sales would be permitted. Alcohol would now be available in the state, but heavily regulated. Regulation on brewing included a 6% ABV (alcohol by volume) cap on beer brewed and sold within the state, and banned selling beer on the premises where it was brewed, making brewpubs illegal. In 1985 the NC state legislature passed an amendment to the ABC law permitting brewpubs to be established in the state, but the 6% ABV limit on beer still existed, limiting the scope of the types of beers that could be produced.
2003 marked the beginning of what would be a two-year push by NC brewers and beer enthusiasts to convince the NC state legislature to raise the ABV on beer brewed within the state. In 2005 their efforts were rewarded when NC Governor Mike Easley signed into law House Bill 392 which lifted the 6% ABV cap to 15%. Known as “Pop The Cap,” the legislation kick-started what would become a craft beer boom in the state creating an estimated 10,000 new jobs in the industry and making North Carolina a destination for those interested in craft beer.
These photos document the results of that legislation in the area surrounding Durham, North Carolina.
Reference: “Beer in North Carolina,” by Bryan LeClaire, 2010. www.ncpedia.org/culture/food/beer
By Alex Boerner