There nothing quite like the harmonious coupling of alcohol and philosophy. Since time immemorial, friends have been gathering to share a cold one and discuss the depths of human understanding, their libations serving to lubricate conversation and open minds to new possibilities. A couple of weeks ago at the Freedomfest conference in Las Vegas, I had the good fortune to make the acquaintance of someone who understands the power of a refreshing beverage to win hearts and minds: Alexander Meyer, founder of the New Agorist Cryptobrewery in Southern California, producing craft beer that evangelizes for the cause of liberty as it refreshes.
Mr. Meyer, a libertarian as well as brewer, shared with me his ambitious plans for a tasting room/salon space called The Agora, where beer lovers would be free to discuss politics, ideology, art, and entrepreneurship, and all transactions would be made via Bitcoin. And having seen Matt Kibbe’s “Beer Is Freedom” video and knowing what connoisseurs we were, he was gracious enough to let us sample some of his wares. In addition to tasting excellent, even by the high standards of Mr. Kibbe and myself, the beer offered a new and interesting way of promoting freedom to a new audience.
“Our vision for the brewery is to provide amazingly creative craft beer to the entire west coast and to promote open conversation of philosophical, economic and social issues via label art with thought-provoking quotes and interactive marketing,” said Meyer. He talked about his unique take on packaging, which includes labels featuring quotations from economic and philosophical thinkers, as well as from well-known authors such as J.R.R. Tolkien. “Each style of beer is named after a classical Roman virtue and each six or twelve pack would have six or twelve different labels, each with a quote related to that virtue designed to spark conversation.”
For the uninitiated, the term “agorism” refers to the practice of living a free life through individual action and entrepreneurship, as opposed to seeking societal change through politics as many libertarians do. Said Meyer, “The name eludes to both the classical agora and modern agorism. In other words, promoting alternative economic and business practices through an enthusiastic craft beer community and an inclusive cultural setting.”
Unsurprisingly, New Agorist Brewing faces governmental obstacles to success. “Licensing is difficult,” said Meyer, “because in order to be granted the right to sell beer you must first have a fully functional commercial brewery built to local government and health department specs. Only then can you ask permission. And that takes a lot of money.”
Their status as an unlicensed brewer means that New Agorist is not currently permitted to sell their beer, despite the fact that the demand clearly exists. So instead, they’ve been giving it away, relying on donations for the funding they need to cut through the red tape.
Meyer, who like myself discovered many libertarian ideas including the Austrian school of economics after the 2008 housing crisis, says that the idea for the brewery was born out of a desire to blend the two things he cared most deeply about: beer and freedom. “I have been passionate about both beer, economics and philosophy for a long time. I have been an Art Director level designer for the past 6 years, but ultimately found it neither creatively nor financially satisfying. I felt I needed to do something that would positively affect the world, but also needed to be economically viable.”
New Agorist currently brews a variety of interesting beers, including a juniper IPA, a whiskey-raisin oatmeal stout and a seasonal beer brewed with Campari. Plans are in the works to expand their offering in the near future. “We only make strong complex beers, each with a subtle but unique twist,” said Meyer.
For now, those interested in learning more or in supporting the New Agorist Cryptobrewery with a donation can find them at their official website, as well as on Facebook and Twitter. With any luck, we’ll all soon be able to enjoy a cold one together and toast the cause of liberty.
This article originally appeared on Conservative Review.