Prohibition lives on in Alabama

A few weeks ago I wrote about the remaining legal hurdles to homebrewing in the United States. Demonstrating that these laws are still doing harm, agents from the Alabama Alcoholic Beverage Control Board raided a Birmingham store to seize homebrewing equipment:

The owner of a small beer, wine, and homebrewing supply chain says three agents from the Alabama Alcoholic Beverage Control Board raided his unopened store late Thursday afternoon and took $7,000 worth of home beer brewing supplies, including boxes of beer brewing kits, carboys, immersion chillers, and books about brewing.


The agents took the equipment used to brew beer, but Torres said they left the ingredients used in beer brewing — grain, hops, and yeast — in the store.

“They said they’ll be back at 10 o’clock tomorrow morning and everything had to be — everything, every pellet of hops, every kernel of grain — had to be out of the store before they’d be willing to consider our license,” Torres said. He said he now plans to get those ingredients out of his unopened store, which is located on 2nd Avenue South near Pepper Place, and take them back to his other location in Atlanta Thursday night.

An attorney for the ABC praises the agents’ discretion:

“The agents used their discretion, and instead of taking all of the items — which they had the authority to do — they only took a portion of the items with the assurance that the rest of the items would be out of the state by today (Friday),” Peacock said. The agents also showed discretion by choosing not to arrest the general manager of Hop City, he said.

[Hat tip to Alabama beer lover Tom.]