When I saw the headline yesterday from Dan Roberts with the Alabama Brewers Guild saying that SB211 “Growler” bill had passed the state’s Senate, I said to myself, “I never thought I would see this day a few years back”. The Senate passed the bill 23 to 4 yesterday afternoon with the House passing HB176 68 to 17 a few weeks back. This is a crazy time in which we have finally come into some sort of modern timezone for beer laws in this state. With the Governors signature this bill could come into affect on June 1st. On June 1st you will be able to purchase up to 288 oz per day, per person from each of our states breweries taproom. This will include growlers and package to take home. The bill also removes the restriction of brewpub restrictions that require breweries to be located in historic buildings or economically distressed areas and counties that were wet prior to federal Prohibition.
This time around the debate was of little fanfare, no filibusters, no “what’s wrong with the beer we got?” lines, no boycotts, just a simple announcement and vote. This was due to the fact that both bills had a large number of co-sponsors and complete bi-partisan support in both the House and Senate. It comes after the Alcohol Beverage Study Commission was formed in 2015 to help build recommendations on what alcohol laws needed to be changed.
For more thoughts about the subject I would like to point everyone to Free the Hops founder Danner Kline’s article. He has some great thoughts and memories looking back over the years from where he started and what has transpired since 2007.