When you think about the growth of North Carolina craft beer in the last ten years, you might remember that there used to be a limit on what you can expect to find: due to an old law from the Prohibition era, beers brewed and sold in the state could not exceed a 6% ABV. For craft beer makers, that translated into less diversity in brews: there could be no dopplebocks, hoppy IPAs, strong imperial stouts, or any of Lonerider’s seasonals like Mad Doc, The Preacher, or the Red Spur.

But as a recent article over at The News and Observer remind us, the grassroots work of a group of craft brewers and beer enthusiasts pushed new legislation to change the statute to 15% ABV in 2005. The result of the Pop the Cap Campaign? A thriving craft beer industry that brings in close to 10,000 jobs and $790 million a year, while placing North Carolina as a destination state for craft beers in the United States.

Today, Raleigh has 18 local craft breweries in the city, composing a fraction of the 132 craft breweries in the entire state. But with neighboring Triangle friends, there’s a lot of great beer potential for residents in and around Raleigh. And it’s only growing from here!

To learn more about the grassroots movement that helped make North Carolina a leading craft beer industry in the South, read Kathleen Purvis’s gripping article in full at the News and Observer.