Beer FlightsThe Vermont Brewers Festival was sold out this year; the state's status as a bastion of beer tasting continues to rear its frothy head with pride. The state's governor, Peter Shumlin, was even present at this year's festival, and he toasted the event on a recent Thursday in a beer garden operated by Burlington's Farmhouse Tap & Grill. There, surrounded by beer lovers, the governor reviewed a new beer-friendly law that was passed by the state's legislature.

Beer Flights Used to Be Grounded in Vermont

Previously, Vermont state law prohibited bars from serving beer sampler flights. For those who do not already know, a flight of beer is a sampler of small gulp-size beer servings, which are served to the customer side-by-side for taste comparison purposes. The problem was, bars and restaurants were not allowed to serve them -- only breweries were.

According to one beer lover and bar owner -- who was fined $200 for unknowingly breaking this law -- the ordinance was not in the least bit in order at all. The owner of Farmhouse Tap & Grill concurs. He said that his beers need to be served side-by-side in order for patrons to fully appreciate them. He said that doing away with the draconian ordinance was "a good thing."

Vermont Is Proud to Be a World Beer Brewing Leader

Gov. Shumlin noted that Vermont -- the state of milk, ice cream and maple syrup -- has a new banner to wave. It's a beer banner no doubt. According to the governor, Vermont's eagerness to change its beer laws is a sign of the future success of the state's increasing number of world-famous breweries. Right now, Vermont boasts 34 breweries -- nine of which just opened this year. One of the breweries, located in Greensboro, was rated as the world's best brewery last year by the website "RateBeer."

It is always interesting to see how laws are changed and adjusted to accommodate the needs of the public and business interests. While the change of this beer law in Vermont may not be extremely significant in the grand scheme of the nation, it is certainly encouraging -- and sobering -- to know that no laws are ever entirely permanent.