Okay, so it’s not really that kind of “alcohol study.”
On Thursday, April 30, the Alabama legislature gave final approval to House Joint Resolution 154, to create an Alabama Alcoholic Beverage Study Commission. This will be a panel of 8 legislators and 1 representative of the Alabama Alcoholic Beverage Control Board. From the resolution:
The goal of the commission is to examine and determine if Alabama’s alcoholic beverage control laws related to the manufacture, distribution, and sale of alcoholic beverages are congruent, competitive, and consistent with the alcoholic beverage industry related laws from across the United States.
The commission will hold three public hearings in Huntsville, Birmingham, and Mobile to receive input from the general public and industry. In addition, it will visit two states deemed to have the most “responsible and progressive” alcoholic beverage laws in the United States and interview officials in those states.
Proposals to privatize ABC retail operations are excluded from consideration by the committee.
Will the Alabama Brewers Guild participate in the commission’s activity?
Of course. We look forward to participating and providing assistance to the commission.
How does this affect ABG proposed legislation in the 2015 session?
We will continue to push for legislation to allow growlers from breweries and brewpubs in 2015. When it comes to this particular issue, our position is that the verdict is clear. 48 states allow their breweries or brewpubs some form of this privilege. Even in Alabama, wineries are allowed to sell bottles to their visitors.
Our plan is to advocate for legislation to allow limited growler sales from small breweries and brewpubs this year. We urge the legislature to allow these small businesses a token – limited growler sales – while the commission and legislature spends the next year studying and proposing a permanent proposal.
Please do not hesitate to contact me if I can be of assistance to the Commission.
Lecturer in Economics
University of Alabama in Huntsville