HB195 did not make the floor for a vote today. An odd little corner of our constitution known as the Budget Isolation Resolution (BIR) kept our bill off the floor. More on that later, but in a nutshell, our state constitution mandates that at any point before the legislature has passed a state budget, every bill must first pass a BIR vote before it goes for a “real” vote. And while a bill can pass a “real” vote with a simple majority, it must pass a BIR vote with a 3/5 majority. In other words, you need MORE votes to pass a BIR than you need to pass the floor. Therefore, even though we had a solid majority of votes today, it was not sufficient to pass the BIR, and thus we never made the House floor.

Especially surprising and troubling was that certain Representatives who told their constituents they would support HB195 voted “No” on the BIR today. They voted against us. They lied to their constituents. This is a deep matter I will explore in depth, and tirelessly so. I will not rest until the truth is exposed. The fact that AL Representatives lied to their constituents about how they would vote on a particular bill is a matter far bigger than the Gourmet Beer Bill.

Realize that our House bill was not killed. It can still be put back on the calendar and we can get another shot. If we can convince a handful of today’s “NO” votes to abstain or vote yes, this is worthwhile. We are FAR from finished this year.

There are a LOT of questions floating around. A lot of emotions. A lot of comments. A lot of fact-based thoughts. A lot of everything for those of us who started this day thinking we’d see HB195 pass the House. I simply don’t have time to answer every question and address every comment. There is too much to be done.

But know this: I am more energetic and more committed than I have ever been to seeing the 6% limit raised.

Our House bill was not killed today; it simply did not make the floor for a vote. Our Senate bill is still very alive. Our local bills are still very alive. We just have a lot of work to do, me especially. And the result will be over 6% beer hitting the shelves somewhere in Alabama in 2007. We are FAR from finished this year.

Mark my words. We will see some level of success this year, and by that I mean Alabama citizens will have access to high gravity beer somewhere in this state. I have a LOT of conversations to have in the coming days. It’s mind boggling. You don’t even want to think about how much time I’m going to be spending on this. My apologies in advance to my family.

Just know that I will be covered up with my day job + working my butt off to bring better beer to Alabama with every free second I have. I won’t have time to address many individual questions or concerns. But you’ll appreciate the end result.

Free the hops, indeed.