Birmingham News: Alabama beer brewing laws near change, but some say not far enough

A pretty good overview of the bill’s current status, including the fact that the compromise  is a little controversial. However, I want to point out a few points that I think aren’t quite accurate. This isn’t an indictment of the author – it’s all quite complicated and he gets it mostly right.

Most objectionable to opponents, the compromise bill would allow brewpubs to sell their beer to wholesalers but would not allow brewpub customers to buy beer to take home with them.

This was never in the original form of SB192, so it shouldn’t make the “compromise bill” objectionable. The potential implications on the three tier system were expected to be too controversial. Despite what our opponents claim, we actually don’t write legislation in an attempt to bust up the three tier system. This is a good transition to the next point:

“At Free the Hops, we really don’t care about the three-tier system,” Roberts said. “But I can see why the distributors would want to protect it.”

[…] Roberts said the distributors have influence in the Legislature and getting a bill that abolishes the three-tier system is not likely — at least not now.

When I say we don’t care about the three tier system, I mean we don’t care one way or the other. It’s simply not a part of our agenda – we’re not out to protect it or bust it up. It just is. Personally, my only problem with the three tier system is that our opponents use it as a war cry to prevent common-sense legislation. I’m not sure in what context I said that, “a bill that abolishes the three-tier system is not likely — at least not now,” but Free the Hops has never considered anything like that.