Carter, James Earl, Jr (b. 1924) was the 39th President of the United States, serving from 1977 to 1981. A graduate of the United States Naval Academy, he is also a recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize. Beer enthusiasts remain grateful to him for making homebrewing legal in the United States, a development that spurred the modern American craft brewing movement. On October 14, 1978, President Carter signed federal transportation bill H.R 1337 into law. It included Amendment Number 3534, proposed by Senator Alan Cranston of California, authorizing the home production of wine and beer. The practice had grown in popularity in the early 1970s, but a homebrew legalization bill failed to pass the House the year before. With regards to beer, the straightforward language reads as follows:

“(c) BEER FOR PERSONAL OR FAMILY USE.—Subject to regulations prescribed by the Secretary, any adult may, without payment or tax, produce beer for personal or family use and not for sale. The aggregate amount of beer exempt from tax under this subsection with respect to any household shall not exceed—

1. 200 gallons per calendar year if there are 2 or more adults in such household, or

2. 100 gallons per calendar year if there is only one adult in such household.

For purposes of this subsection, the term ‘adult’ means an individual who has attained 18 years of age.”

Reporting on the news in their journal Zymurgy, the American Homebrewers Association noted that H.R. 1337 clarified the definition of the term “brewer” to exclude individuals producing small amounts of beer for personal use. The homebrewing portion of the bill signed by President Carter took effect on February 1, 1979.