Membership has its benefits…

Join Free The Hops and you’ll get a t-shirt, a free copy of All About Beer magazine (while supplies last) with a card for a discounted subscription, and the privilege of attending FTH functions.

A taste of what you’re missing…

A cross between a Scotch Ale, an IPA, and an American Pale, Dogfish Head’s Indian Brown Ale is well-hopped and malty at the same time. Chocolate and caramel notes compliment a light nutty flavor balanced by a nice addition of spicy hops. An excellent brew for those who like sweeter (but not sticky sweet) brown ales with a punch.

Food pairing reccomendations: Balsamic vinaigrette salads, smoked meats, duck confit, braised ribs, venison, proscuitto, and stews.

A message from the President…

I have some exciting news: we may soon be halfway to our goal.  But it’s not yet a done deal.

FTH has two separate laws we want to change.  One limits beer to 6% ABV, the other limits beer to containers no larger than 16 ounces.  The latter may soon be struck down with very little effort on our part.  Harry Kampakis, owner of Birmingham Beverage, has informed me that the Alabama Wholesale Beer Association, after fifteen years of voting “no,” has at last voted “yes” on supporting the lifting of the 16 ounce limit.  We can’t see into the minds of all the members of the Wholesale Association and determine precisely why they voted to support this change, but it seems a strange coincidence that it happened at the same time Free The Hops has started to make some noise on this issue, wouldn’t you agree?

We had anticipated having to work against the forces of the Wholesale Association.  Now it appears they may actually work in our favor.  Stay tuned for more details as they become available.  Assuming all goes well on that, we are left with the 6% issue.  Which means we will have reached the starting line that Georgia and North Carolina began their campaigns from.  We had twice the laws to change and we mayeffectively be halfway through them.  There is still plenty left to do.

With that in mind, I would like to invite you to our next big fundraiser, a special screening of American Beer: a bockumentary.  There are nearly 1400 breweries in the United States today, yet the makers of three brands control eighty percent of the American beer market. American Beer follows director Paul Kermizian and his crew of four as they set out across the United States to drink local craft beer and visit 38 breweries in 40 days.  The screening will take place Wednesday, August 31st at WorkPlay at 8:00pm.  All the proceeds from ticket sales will go to benefit Free The Hops, and the bar receipts will go to WorkPlay, who are giving us a great deal on renting their theatre.  We really appreciate their support, so I hope you’ll all buy lots of good beer when you go see the movie!  Tickets will be available on WorkPlay’s website soon.

And I would like to repeat an invitation made in last month’s newsletter.  There will be a birthday bash at Sloss Furnaces Saturday, July 9th at 6:30pm.  There will be lots of good, free beer there, along with live music provided by Dressy Bessy.  All Free The Hops supporters are invited; all that we ask is that you bring a donation for the band.  Free The Hops will have a table set up selling memberships.  If you’ve been on the fence about joining, here’s your chance to meet us in person before forking over a modest $25 to support the cause.

On the subject of increasing membership, please note that at our last membership meeting we decided on a new logo from among several designs offered by local graphic artist Lilla Hood.  Now that we have a professionally designed, permanent logo, we are going to be coming out with new t-shirts and various types of promotional material.  The first of these is our new flyer, which packs a much harder punch than the original flyer many of you have seen next to the register at Vulcan Beverage.  It really exposes just how horribly desperate our plight is in this state with regards to beer.  99 of the Top 100 beers in the world are not sold in this state.  Over 90% of all beers sold in the U.S. are not available anywhere in this state.  So please, download the flyer and distribute it anywhere and everywhere you can, especially focusing on beer retailers and bars.

Finally, I hope you’ll check out the latest addition to our website, the Free The Hops Blog.  Powered by, the new blog will be a venue for me to provide updates on what’s happening without constantly barraging your inboxes with newsletters.  If you love great beer and want to keep as up-to-date as possible on what’s being done to bring Chimay, Celebrator Doppelbock, and Stone Imperial Russian Stout to your local beer retailer, bookmark the FTH Blog and check it often.  It also allows anyone to post a comment, which will provide a forum for discussion of hot topics.

Thanks for wading through this packed newsletter.  There’s a lot going on and I want everyone to know what’s happening.  And thanks for your support.

Free Beer!