Hoosier Homebrewers

The American Brewer   Feb. 1935

Homebrewers Made 142,759 Barrels In Indiana

Perhaps the stein of amber fluid served across the bar was not large enough for the Hoosier dime. Perhaps Hoosiers believe home brew a cheaper drink and a fair substitute. Whatever the reason, Indiana brewers learned despite the fact that 865,902 barrels of beer were consumed in the State during 1934, home brew took its share of the profits to the tune of 142,759 barrels. These figures were compiled from monthly reports from the State Excise Department. Home brew consumption was determined by assuming the majority of malt sold went into brew manufacture and by allowing three pounds to the ordinary five-gallon “batch” and thirty-one gallons to the barrel.

Although the ten-ounce stein or twelve-ounce bottle is the usual retail return for ten cents in most parts of Indianapolis and the State, in some places in that city dispensers advertise a seventeen to twenty-ounce or “jumbo” stein for a dime. However, these establishments are slightly off the beaten path and patronized mostly by those who prefer the local or Sate product. More than twenty distributors in Indianapolis alone see that the thirsty citizen has no trouble in obtaining his favorite brand.

During the height of the last beer season, June, July, and August, home brewers consumed only 54,503 barrels of their product as compared to the legitimate sale of 304,570 barrels of beer. At no time during the year did the consumption of homebrew equal as much as one-third that of beer. The closing two months of the year showed beer the decided favorite with a monthly average of 63,706 against 3,827 barrels of brew.

Considering the present popularity of home brew as indicated by the foregoing figures, Indiana brewers realize the greater potentiality of their market and are anxious to see a lower State tax agreed upon. The excise on beer is now five cents a gallon or $1.55 a barrel while the State collects only two cents a pound on malt. With the Indiana Legislature now in session, a belief is prevalent that the beer tax will be reduced to $1.24 a barrel or four cents a gallon. The Indiana Brewers Association is behind a movement to reduce the federal tax of five dollars a barrel. It is also energetic in a measure to establish separate licenses for the sale of beer and hard liquor. The association contends that the two alcoholic beverages are not of comparable content and favors a double licensing system thereby enabling the retailer to sell one or both. It is very likely with the framing of a hard liquor bill in the near future with provisions in regard to beer that legislature will approve of the system.

A change of product name has meant a change in the output of beer by the Indiana Brewers Incorporated. Recently this concern decided to brand their beverage “Circle City” instead of “Mausner.” Since that time an increase in local consumption has been noted and it is believed this brand change has been greatly responsible.

The Lieber Brewing Corporation plans to have its product on the market by Spring. Work is now in progress as the brewery for the installation of new equipment.

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