President of Beers: #19

Ad Astra Ale: Free State Brewing, Lawrence, Kansas

We're drinking the flagship craft beer from every state in the Union, counting down from 50-1, to find which is home to the President of Beers.

#19 Ad Astra Ale: Free State Brewing, Lawrence, Kansas

State: Ah, Kansas. The first state to outlaw alcohol, the state where it took a US Supreme Court ruling to outlaw segregation in public schools, where 80 years after the Scopes Monkey Trial they still tried to outlaw evolution, and, if it were up to that “church” headquartered in Topeka, they’d follow God’s lead and outlaw fags, yet its very creation in 1861 was as a result of “Free Staters” intent on outlawing slavery. Tellingly, not only is it the geographic center of America, but when things appear less than American, we tend to state, “We’re not in Kansas anymore.”

Brewery: Chuck Magerl opened Free State Brewing in Lawrence in 1989, in time for his own grandfather who'd served time in Leavenworth for violating Prohibition to taste his beer. It helped that Magerl walked the halls of the Capital to change state laws to allow a brewery in the first place. Built on the success of the brewpub, Free State now has a production and bottling facility as well.

Beer: Ad Astra Ale, named after the state motto Ad Astra per Aspera, "To the Stars through Difficulties;" is one of the less difficult amber ales to like thanks to a noticeable hop presence. That's precisely why it fared as well as it did next to those other caramelized ambers.

Difficulty of Obtaining in Oregon: Extremely difficult. They do not distribute out here and good luck finding a place that will ship it out here.

Rating: 67

What’s the Matter with Kansas?

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