Well Crafted NC

Pop the Cap!

Pop The Cap: North Carolinians for Specialty Beer was a movement begun in 2003 by 35 people with the expressed goal of getting a bill on the 2005 NCGA legislative calendar that would raise the alcohol by volume (ABV) cap in North Carolina from 6%. This percentage had been in place since the end of Prohibition in 1935 when mill owners lobbied the legislature, fearing their employees wouldn’t show up for work on Mondays.

Co-led by Sean Lilly Wilson, founder and "chief optimist" at Fullsteam Brewery in Durham, Pop The Cap was a true, coordinated grassroots effort. In order to raise awareness of the movement and educate people on the issues at hand, fundraisers and beer tastings were held across the state where people could join the movement, purchase merchandise such as t-shirts and posters, and learn how they could best help move the effort forward and contact their legislators.

Eventually, Pop The Cap connected with lobbyist Theresa Kostrzewa, who agreed to represent the group and even held beer tastings for members of the General Assembly. On August 13, 2005 Governor Mike Easley signed the bill into law, and the ABV cap was increased from 6 to 15 percent.

Sean Lilly Wilson was kind enough to provide the UNCG University Libraries with scans of a Pop The Cap brochure and sample fundraising letter. These are an integral part of the historical aspect of our Well Crafted NC project and now form the small and hopefully growing Pop The Cap Archives.

Pop The Cap Archives