Legislative and Regulatory Accomplishments
The Guild is actively and continuously engaged in legislative and regulatory policy issues at the federal, state, and local level. This page outlines major accomplishments of primary objectives, but it is only a brief overview of our work.
Clarification for Tasting Room Hours
HB303 by Representative Anthony Daniels
RELATING TO ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES
- Existing law prohibited alcohol manufacturers from selling alcohol between the hours of 9 PM Saturday and 2 AM the following Monday. This bill clarified that brewery, distillery, and winery tasting rooms are exempt from this restriction. This bill was developed after Alabama ABC suggested the law needed to be more clear to prevent the sales restriction from being interpreting as requiring tasting rooms to close during these times.
Assigned Act No. 2018-513 on April 4, 2018
Nonprofit Event License
HB414 by Representative Craig Ford
TO AMEND SECTION RELATING TO THE SALE OF ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES
- This bill created a simplified special event license for qualified nonprofit organizations. The new license makes it easier for nonprofits to host licensed fundraising events and reduces the enforcement burden on Alabama ABC. This legislation was championed by the Etowah Chamber and a coalition of nonprofit organizations.
Assigned Act No. 2018-447 on March 29, 2018
Consumer Privacy at Tasting Rooms
SB234 by Senator Bill Holtzclaw
RELATING TO ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES; THAT MANUFACTURERS AND BREWPUBS ARE NOT REQUIRED TO MAINTAIN NAMES
- In response to an Alabama ABC position that existing law required manufacturers to record the name and address of consumers who purchase beer at their tasting rooms, this bill clarified that licensees are not required to maintain personal demographic information of their customers.
Assigned Act No. 2017-404 on May 26, 2017
Craft Beverage Modernization And Tax Reform Act (U.S. Congress)
Included in HR1 by US Representative Kevin Brady (R-TX)
- Included as part of the 2017 tax reform package, provisions of H.R. 747 by US Representative Erik Paulsen (R-MN) and S.236 by US Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) reduced the federal excise tax on beer for small producers to $3.50 per barrel. The Alabama Brewers Guild advocated for this legislation with other states under the leadership of the Brewers Association. At the time of passage, co-sponsors from Alabama included Senator Luther Strange and Representatives Bradley Byrne, Martha Roby, Mike Rogers, and Mo Brooks.
Became Public Law No. 115-97 on December 22, 2017
Manufacturer Participation at Beer Tastings
Amended 20-X-6-.18 ABC Rules and Regulations
- The Alabama ABC, as part of a thorough review of its internal regulations, clarified its regulations on beer tastings to clarify that manufacturer licensees can participate at retail beer tastings.
Amendment effective August 5, 2017
HB176 by Representative Anthony Daniels
RELATING TO ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES; TO AMEND SECTIONS 283-1,28-3A-6 & 28-4A-3
- Based on the proposals of the Alcoholic Beverage Study Commission, this bill allowed small breweries and brewpubs to sell up to 288 oz of beer on-site for off-premise consumption. It also removed restrictions on brewpub locations and provided for donations of beer for charitable events.
Assigned Act No. 2016-97 on March 24, 2016
Alcoholic Beverage Study Commission
HJR 154 by Representative Alan Harper
ESTABLISHING AN AL ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGE STUDY COMMISSION
- This resolution created the Alcoholic Beverage Study Commission, a group of lawmakers and ABC officials, to consider proposals for reforms to licensing and the three-tier system. Its proposals were later adopted by legislation in 2016.
Assigned Act No. 2015-144 on May 11, 2015
HB9 by Representative Mac McCutcheon
TO PERMIT PERSONS 21 YEARS OF AGE OR OLDER TO PRODUCE A LIMITED AMOUNT OF HOME BREWED BEER
- Although supported by the Guild, this bill passed due to the hard work and advocacy of a grassroots group of Alabama homebrewers and the bill’s sponsor, Mac McCutcheon.
Assigned Act No. 2013-204 on May 10, 2013
Gourmet Bottle Bill
SB294 by Senator Paul Sanford
AMEND SEC 28-3A-23 RELATING TO THE SIZE OF CONTAINERS OF BEER SOLD AT RETAIL
- Part of the original mission of Free the Hops, this bill authorized beer to be sold in bottles and cans up to 25.4 oz. The previous limit was 16 oz. This restriction does not apply to growlers or crowlers.
Assigned Act No. 2012-468 on May 16, 2012
Refillable Glass Growlers
ABC Practices and Policy
- Based on inquiries and advocacy by private citizen Brian Allen, the Guild worked with Alabama ABC and the Department of Public Health to allow and properly regulate refillable glass growlers for beer.
Brewery Modernization Act
SB192 by Senator Bill Holtzclaw
TO AMEND THE ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES LIC.PROVISIONS FOR MANUFACTURERS
- Championed by Free the Hops during the time the Alabama Brewers Guild was just getting up and running, this is the bill that legalized tap rooms in Alabama.
Assigned Act No. 2011-630 on June 9, 2011
Gourmet Beer Bill
HB373 by Representative Thomas Jackson
FURTHER DEFINE THE TERM BEER FOR ABC LICENSING PURPOSES TO INCLUDE MALT BEVERAGE WITH HIGHER ALCOHOL
- Championed by Free the Hops before the Alabama Brewers Guild formally existed, this is the bill that really started the craft beer movement in Alabama by legalizing beer up to 13.9% ABV. Previously, beer in Alabama had a 6% ABV limit. This legislation was a true grassroots movement championed by volunteers that took five years to accomplish.
Assigned Act No. 2009-771 on May 22, 2009