Free the Hops Timeline

2019
December 17

Free the Hops merges with the Alabama Brewers Guild

After more than a year of discussion, Free the Hops officially joins forces with the Alabama Brewers Guild. The organization will continue to be semi-autonomous and run by a Governing Committee of consumer volunteers.

June 10

Brewery Participation in Entertainment Districts

Governor Ivey signs legislation that allows brewery tasting rooms to fully participate in Alabama’s entertainment districts. Previous law appeared to exclude these businesses from these areas that allow patrons to carry alcohol from a licensed premises throughout the district in to-go cups.

June 6

Satellite Brewpubs Legalized

Governor Ivey signs legislation to allow breweries to own satellite brewpub locations. Unlike the traditional brewery license, a brewpub is authorized to have a full bar with beer, wine, and spirits purchased from licensed wholesalers and the ABC Board.

2018
April 4

Taproom Hours of Operation Clarified

Governor Ivey signs legislation to clarify that breweries, distilleries, and wineries can operate their tasting rooms between 9 PM Saturday and 2 AM the following Monday. Existing law appeared to prohibit sales during these times.

March 27

Distillery Bottle Allowance Increased

Governor Ivey signs legislation to allow distilleries to sell up to 3 bottles of spirits from the distillery per person per day. The previous law, created in 2016, limited sales to a single bottle.

2017
May 26

Consumer Privacy Bill Enacted

Governor Ivey signs legislation backed by Free the Hops to protect consumer privacy. Sponsored by Senator Bill Holtzclaw, the bill prohibits the ABC requiring breweries, distilleries, and wineries from maintaining the name, address, or other personal demographic information from their customers.

2016
October 13

ABC Drops Consumer Tracking Regulation

The ABC adopted a new regulation for record-keeping requirements without the invasive consumer tracking provision. Free the Hops considered this a victory for consumer privacy.

July 19

ABC Proposes Consumer Tracking Regulation

The Alabama Alcoholic Beverage Control Board proposes a rule that would require breweries to track the name, address, telephone number, date of birth, and amount of purchase for brewery, distillery, and winery customers. Free the Hops strongly opposed this proposal as an unnecessary invasion of privacy.

April 11

Distillery Bottle Bill Passes

Governor Bentley signs the Distillery Bottle Bill. This legislation authorizes distilleries to sell 750 mL of spirits per person per day for off-premise consumption.

March 24

Growler Bill Passes

Governor Bentley signs the Growler Bill. This legislation removed all state location restrictions on brewpubs except that it must be located in a wet county or municipality, allowed small breweries to sell up to 288 oz per person per day for off-premise consumption, and allowed brewery donations to charitable events.

2015
May 5

Alcoholic Beverage Study Commission created

HJR154 is created to form the Alcoholic Beverage Study Commission. This 9-member panel was created to consider and develop legislation for better laws regarding craft beverage manufacturers like breweries, distilleries, and wineries.

2013
May 10

Homebrew Legalization Signed Into Law

Homebrew legalization was signed into law by Governor Robert Bentley!

2012
May 16

Gourmet Bottle Bill Signed Into Law

The Gourmet Bottle is signed into law by Governor Robert Bentley!

April 26

Homebrew Legalization Passes House

Homebrew legalization passes the Alabama House of Representatives by a vote of 44-33, but it dies at the end of the year after the State Senate failed to consider it.

February 9

Gourmet Bottle Bill First Introduced

The Gourmet Bottle Bill was first introduced in the House of Representatives by Representative Jim Barton and Senator Paul Sanford. One of the primary drivers of the formation of Free the Hops, the Gourmet Bottle Bill would raise the permissible container size of beer bottles from 16 fl. oz. to 25.4 fl. oz.

2011
June 9

Brewery Modernization Act Signed Into Law

Governor Robert Bentley signs the Brewery Modernization Act into law, legalizing brewery tasting rooms in Alabama.

April 26

Homebrew Legalization Fails House Vote

Legislation to legalize homebrewing in Alabama, now sponsored by Representative Mac McCutcheon, fails to pass the Alabama House of Representatives on a vote of 28-45.

2010
April 6

Brewery Modernization Act Passes Senate

The Brewery Modernization Act passes the State Senate with a 13-7 vote,  but it dies at the end of the year after the Alabama House of Representatives failed to consider it.

February 23

Homebrew Legalization Passes State Senate

Legislation to legalize homebrewing in Alabama passes the State Senate by a 13-6 vote. It later dies after the Alabama House of Representatives failed to consider the bill.

February 2

Brewery Modernization Act First Introduced

The Brewery Modernization Act is first introduced in the State Senate by Senator Bill Holtzclaw. This bill sought to legalize brewery tasting rooms in Alabama.