How Jimmy Carter Saved American Beer

Thursday was International Beer Day! Did you raise a glass of beer to former president Jimmy Carter? You should have: Carter's actions as president helped start the brewing renaissance that helps keep your local stocked with delicious craft beers.

Until prohibition, which (obviously) killed off craft brewing in the U.S., America was home to great many "microbreweries" (they would have just been called "breweries" back then, as the prefix "micro-" hadn't been invented). After prohibition's repeal, the government regulation of the industry favored large brewers like Anheuser-Busch. With the deregulation of the business in 1979, microbreweries and craft brewers finally had a shot—and ended up thriving. Check it out:

How Jimmy Carter Saved American Beer

So next time your uncle tries to tell you that Jimmy Carter was the worst president of all time, point him toward that chart. That's President Carter's brother Billy, a well-known beer enthusiast in his own right, in the photo.

[Balloon Juice; pic via AP]