[pullquote]The goal of the commission is to examine and determine if Alabama’s alcoholic beverage laws… are congruent, competitive, and consistent with the alcoholic beverage industry related laws from across the United States
-Act No. 2015-144[/pullquote]
The Alabama Alcoholic Beverage Study Commission was created in May with a goal to “provide recommendations for updating the Alabama Code relative to creating fair, consistent, and best practices legislation for Alabama’s alcohol industry.” This will begin with public hearings scheduled later this month.
To assist the commission, the Alabama Brewers Guild has developed a list of proposals designed to update Alabama’s alcoholic beverage laws. Our four primary proposals are as follows:
1. Create a single craft brewer license
Create a new manufacturer-class license for brewpubs and limited-production breweries based in Alabama. Ideally, this new license would replace the current brewpub license.
2. Allow on-premise and off-premise direct sales
Allow Alabama craft brewers to conduct direct-to-consumer sales of beer produced at their breweries for consumption on or off the licensed premises.
3. Allow self-distribution
Allow Alabama craft brewers the option to sell beer to retail licensees without being required to go through a beer wholesaler.
4. Allow retail sales
Allow Alabama craft breweries to purchase alcohol from the ABC Board or distributors for resale to the public at the licensed premises. Some form of this is necessary for brewpubs to operate under a single craft brewer license.
The proposals as written are very general in nature. We didn’t recommend limitations or restrictions, for example, although we believe some limits may be appropriate. We respect the commission and their decision-making process, so we wanted to start off with some suggested approaches without going into the details.
An explanation and justification of these proposals are found in the proposal document.