The Free The Hops Board of Directors, Officers, and active members are currently in the process of discussing the official 2013 agenda for our organization. Yes, even though we’ve accomplished the two core reforms the group was founded to address (and a third we added along the way), Free The Hops is sticking around to continue working to improve Alabama craft beer culture and hopefully reform another beer law or two or more.
We’ve been soliciting feedback from our supporters and it is clear there is widespread enthusiasm among almost everyone involved in FTH at every level for legalizing homebrewing in our state. And if we were the only group in the state interested in changing that law, we’d likely be tackling that next.
However, we are not the only group interested in changing that law. There is a dedicated group of homebrewing enthusiasts that formed an organization called Right to Brew a few years ago (http://www.alahomebrewing.org/), and they have been passionately dedicating countless hours to the effort to legalize homebrewing. We discussed with them the possibility of FTH taking over that campaign but they understandably want to see their own efforts through to completion.
We respect the members of Right to Brew and their decision to continue in their fight. So in our discussions about what’s next for Free the Hops, we’ve taken homebrewing off the table as a possibility.
But make no mistake: FTH fully supports the efforts of Right to Brew in every way, and we will do everything possible to lend a hand during the 2013 session. We will update our supporters on their progress next year, and ask you to make calls to your legislators in support of their bill in addition to ours. Almost every professional craft brewer starts out as a homebrewer, so even if you don’t participate in the hobby, your support of Right to Brew’s efforts will help lead to more start-up breweries in Alabama. More brewers means more local beer for Alabamians.