Regulation of the Day, beer edition

“Regulation of the Day” is actually Ryan’s bag, but alcohol is mine so I’m stealing his title just this once. This regulation is from Alabama, where brewpubs (restaurants that serve beer they make themselves) face many onerous requirements, including these:

Alabama law allows for this special class of breweries, but the legal restrictions on opening and operating these businesses are enormous. This is a large reason why Alabama has only two operating brewpubs while the states surrounding us have dozens.

Let’s take a look at the restrictions on brewpubs in Alabama:

1. Must be located in an historic building
2. Must be located in a wet county that had a brewery prior to 1919
3. You can ONLY sell the beer you brew in the brewpub. You can’t sell to wholesalers or stores
4. Must have a restaurant which seats at least 80
5. Must not brew more than 10,000 barrels of beer annually

There’s no sensible justification for limiting brewpubs to historic buildings in the counties that happened to have breweries operating in 1919. It’s just a very strange law in a state that has a decidedly mixed view of alcohol.

Fortunately Free the Hops, recently successful in bringing higher alcohol beers to Alabama, is on the case pushing the Brewery Modernization Act to improve the state’s beer culture. Read all about it here.

[Via Tom Pearson, aka the Pint Pundit, who will hopefully resume blogging more after getting an enormous flood of two or three new readers from this link back.]

Comments

  1. Jeff says:

    Alabama is also one of four states to technically outlaw homebrewing (KY, MS, and OK are the others – UT legalized in ’09 after having it de facto legal for years).

  2. Jacob Grier says:

    @Jeff: Free the Hops is working on that too. I think legalization of home brewing is in at least one of the bills before the legislature.

  3. TP says:

    ‘Preciate the link Jacob! Blogging has resumed in full force, or at least as full as it will probably get:) 2 or three more readers would represent a doubling of my current readership, so that is awesome.

    Though the homebrewing legislation isn’t specifically a FTH initiative, they are in full support of the bill. Both bills have a good chance of passage this year, so you may need to come out to Bama for a visit sometime soon. I know you’re a cocktails man, but we’ve got some classy places here that make drinks the precise and therefore correct way:)

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  1. [...] Grier has a Regulation of the Day of his own about some bizarre beer laws in Alabama. Take a [...]

  2. [...] them with violations of federal law.Alabama: A silly law that requires brewpubs in Alabama to operate within an historic building might be overturned. The House of Representatives passed legislation removing that requirement for [...]

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