San Diego's Modern Times Beer Makes Statement With "Medicare For All, Yesterday" Beer Release

April 10, 2020

San Diego-based Modern Times Beer has released a new special release brew named "Extraordinary Times - Medicare for All, Yesterday," a barrel-aged stout that spotlights the fact that the United States is the only developed country in the world without universal health coverage.

"We've publicly & privately supported single payer health care for quite some time now," wrote Modern Times Beer Founder Jacob McKean. "As a growing business, we've had to deal with privatized health care every step of the way. As an entrepreneur, I had to take the terrifying step of giving up my health insurance when I left my last job in order to start MT. When we opened, I had to navigate the immense difficulty and expense of buying health insurance for a small company. And as we've grown, we've had to cope with the absurd costs and complexities of providing health insurance to hundreds of people across multiple states. It doesn't have to be this way."

The team at San Diego's Modern Times Beer has been a most busy bunch since founder Jacob McKean started the company in Point Loma in 2013. In addition to being California's first employee-owned brewery, the craft brewery has expanded greatly in its short 7 year tenure, including opening a North Park tasting room dubbed the Flavordome, a downtown Los Angeles restaurant and tasting room named The Dankness Dojo, a tasting room and restaurant in Encinitas named 'The Far West Lounge', a full brewery operation in Portland, Oregon - 'The Belmont Fermentorium', and the Invigatorium coffee shop in San Diego's East Village in partnership with Consortium Holdings. Modern Times is also in the process of developing a gigantic beer playground in downtown Anaheim called 'Leisuretown' and  Modern Times also recently opened up ownership to outside investors via the Wefunder platform. All of this is in addition to operating the company's original brewery and coffee shop in Point Loma, which was in the process of being expanded into neighboring buildings to add a brewery restaurant before COVID-19 took the world by storm.

"It's long been clear to me - as both the CEO of this company and as a human being who needs health care - that privatized health insurance is an on-going disaster for people, for businesses, and for our country," continued McKean. "I have not been shy about this stance. A little over a year ago, we hosted a workshop for small business owners to learn about Medicare for All and why they should support it. We have lobbied our elected representatives in meetings, letters, and phone calls. We have joined two different business alliances for Medicare for All and worked in a variety of ways to support their efforts. I have written op-eds and contributed money. But our advocacy does no, and will not, stop there. In the weeks before the COVID-19 crisis hit, I had set-up a collaboration with a legendary brewery that also strongly supports Medicare for All. It was going to be a benefit for Businesses for Medicare for All, one of the groups we both support. Now, in the throes of this crisis, that plan is obviously on hold: we can't travel, of course, but more importantly, Modern Times is now in a fight for its life. That fight - obscenely, bizarrely, and unnecessarily - is also a fight to prevent our employees from being kicked off their health care in the middle of pandemic."

The United States of America is the only industrialized nation without universal health coverage, yet we have the highest health-care spending in the world. Single-payer health-care (in which the government pays for universal coverage, typically through taxes) would keep costs down because the government can regulate and negotiate the price of drugs and medical services with providers, as well as eliminate the need for private health-insurance bureaucracy. Currently, the USA spends two to three times as much on health care as most industrialized countries.

"Our support for Medicare for All has not changed, and in fact, reality has now loudly endorsed our position," concluded McKean. "Since we can't release the collaboration beer as we'd originally planned, I decided to name this non-collaborative barrel-aged special release "Medicare for All, Yesterday," since that is very clearly when we needed it. It is not a benefit beer; frankly, we can't afford it to be. The quantity is also very limited, which makes it suboptimal as an awareness raising thing, but it's the best we could do under the circumstances. So whether you're able to snag a bottle of this beer or not, we hope you'll consider joining us in the fight for a dignified, coherent, and just health care system. Our lives, and yours, depend on it."

Modern Times Beer & Coffee is now shipping throughout California. For more information, visit