Here is your update for Friday. Last night I had an informal video virtual beer with a few other state Guild leaders. It was surprisingly therapeutic. Would you guys be interested in something similar?
COVID-19 Information and Resources updates
I am updating the Guild’s COVID-19 information and resources page daily as new information comes in. All the recent changes are reflected below.
Alabama bans on-premise, Jefferson County tightens
The State Health Officer implemented a statewide ban on much activity, including on-premise food and drink until at least April 6. View the order here.
Please note: The State Health Officer slightly misspoke in his press conference, and some media outlets incorrectly reported that bars and breweries without food must shut down completely. This is not the case. The al.com article has been updated. You can do takeout of food and drinks.
Jefferson County tightened restrictions even more, but takeout is still an option for food and drinks. View the order here.
DSPs producing hand sanitizer
The TTB recently waived some requirements to allow DSPs to manufacture hand sanitizer. See TTB G 2020-01. According to the ABC, they do not regulate non-beverage product. You should, however, keep good records of alcohol that is used for this process.
It is also recommended that you consult with an attorney and/or insurance professional regarding liability.
Review your listing on the FTH COVID-19 page
This resource was pushed out to the 5300 newsletter subscribers yesterday before I got wind that the state was going to shut down on-premise everywhere. For now, I’ve held off on pushing it via social media. In light of the expansion of the shutdown, we’re going to convert this into a format that is easier to maintain and view.
Email me and Rich Partain at firstname.lastname@example.org with your hours, call-in numbers, emails, or website ordering URL.
Our Ask to the State
Yesterday I contacted the Governor, the Secretary of Commerce, the Commissioner or Revenue, and the ABC Administrator and asked them to take a few immediate actions. See the letter here.
The response hasn’t been great, but I am continuing to work it. I ask that you circulate this letter to your state legislators and local elected officials. Also, and this is very important, circulate it to your local restaurants and other local retailers. The ABC is hamstringing them while letting Wal-Mart run wild, and I want them to know it.
The ABC released guidance on the emergency rule on curbside sales. One small victory – they did agree to allow restaurants to sell growlers. Originally they were saying only breweries could do so.
We are still waiting for the state to be officially designated as eligible for the SBA disaster loans. However, the counties that border Georgia and Florida have already been so designated because those states have been so designated. These include:
- Bordering Florida: Baldwin, Covington, Escambia, Geneva, Houston
- Bordering Georgia: Barbour, Chambers, Cherokee, Cleburne, De Kalb, Henry, Houston, Jackson, Lee, Randolph, Russell
Thanks to Harry Grier for sharing that information. He recommends folks start the application process as early as possible because the SBA will soon be overwhelmed with applications.
Destruction of Product
If you need to destroy product, you must contact the ABC. They do not expect excessive delays during this situation, and they usually respond within 48 hours. Photo and video evidence has never been allowed – you must reach out to the state for them to come in to witness the destruction (or however they want to handle it). You can reach out to the ABC Tax and Trade Practices Division at ABCBoard–Audit@abc.alabama.gov. The ABC is also implementing heightened safety protocols and issued the following:
For the time being, once a licensee has scheduled a destruction, the licensee will be required to complete the appropriate destruction form affidavit “in advance by size and email to the licensee’s contact”. ABC employees will print the document prior to arriving on licensee’s location, verify the count, witness the destruction of the beer, sign and email the verified document to the licensee and to ABCBoard- -Audit@abc.alabama.gov.
Emergency Families First Coronavirus Response Act
The President signed the first of what I expect to be many federal relief bills. I have been flooded with emails from companies trying to explain it to me, but I am looking for a reputable association or government source to provide a webpage. If you find something, let me know. I’ll share something when I find a really good source.