Gov. Robert Bentley has had a rough go of it lately. Not only does the man have to run the state government of Alabama, but now he has to field those awkward questions about his sexually charged conversations with his top aide (who just resigned) and his eerie resemblance to Montgomery Burns. Luckily, Bentley does have something going for him. On March 24, he signed into law a bill that will allow small breweries in Alabama to sell their beer directly to customers for off-site consumption. All dumbness forgiven (well, probably not).
Starting in June, Alabama craft beer makers can let patrons fill up and take home growlers or sell up to a case of canned or bottled beer. According to this article on AL.com, the new law will:
- Allow breweries that make less than 60,000 barrels per year to directly sell up to 288 ounces of its beer per customer per day for off-premise consumption.
- Allow breweries to deliver up to two donated kegs of its beer to a licensed charity event.
- No longer require brewpubs to open only in historic buildings, historic districts or economically distressed areas.
Particularly notable is that Alabama lawmakers managed to bring together representatives from all three tiers to propose the changes, and the state’s example is one that we hope will serve as a lead for the rest of the South (pay attention Georgia and Mississippi). A report from Jacksonville State University estimates the change will create more than 650 new jobs and more than $100 million in revenue within five years. The law will go into effect June 1. From the AL.com article:
Sen. Bill Holtzclaw, R-Madison, helped push the new bill through the Legislature. He said it will be a “game changer” for Alabama breweries, tourism and economic development.
“There have been more nationally-based craft breweries that have considered Alabama as an expansion point, and they’ve kind of overlooked us because of some of our archaic laws, our restrictive laws,” he said. “At the end of the day, I’m always going to be in support of less restriction and smaller government when it comes to things such as this and the free market.”
Holtzclaw for governor?