Correction: I updated the email below (and the resources page) to state that sales tax penalties are being waived for retailers that averaged less than $62,500 per month in the previous year. Because of that, I also plan on asking the Governor the extend the sales tax deferment to all Priority Category 3 food establishments. Sorry, guys. My life is hectic right now too.



I took several calls yesterday from folks who have not read these emails, essentially asking me things that have been covered here. I don’t mind that, but please let each other know to check these updates. I’m really trying hard to keep it down to useful and actionable information.

I also heard from several folks who wanted to thank me for these updates. It was nice to hear. Please continue reaching out with questions, inputs, and feedback.

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.

Mobile County bans on-premise food/drink

The Mobile County Health Officer has banned on-premise service at food and drink establishments for one week.

Today’s webinar canceled

I probably should have made the call earlier this week, but the COVID-19 situation is basically going to make the legislative session unrecognizable when they come back into session. We may do a webinar based around COVID-19 in a week or two once things settle down a bit.

TTB makes it easier for DSPs to produce hand sanitizer

The TTB is waiving requirements for DSPs to obtain additional permits and authorizations to produce hand sanitizer. These products are not taxed by the TTB, provided they are made with denatured spirits. Guidance can be found via TTB G 2020-01.

If you are a member of the American Craft Spirits Association, they released an email yesterday providing some guidance for craft distilleries that are interested in doing this.

If there is interest in pursuing this from you, I will be more than happy to reach out to the ABC to make sure there are no hurdles on the state side. Just shoot me an email.

Review your listing on the FTH COVID-19 page

This resource will be pushed out tomorrow to FTH’s 5300 newsletter subscribers and social media followers. Please remember that this is only for businesses that are limited to only to-go sales, either by government mandate or by choice. Email me and Rich Partain at craft brewery sales support form

The Brewers Association is creating a nationwide system similar to the Free the Hops page. To be listed, submit this form.

Curbside pickup emergency rule update

We published this post to the Free the Hops blog regarding the unnecessary restrictions in the emergency rule on curbside pickup. Stuart Carter is in the byline but it was a community effort with the Guild and the FTH Governing Committee.

Take ActionContact the Governor and ask her to direct the ABC to amend the rule. The only rules need to be (1) sealed containers (2) of any alcohol they can legally sell (3) to any persons they can legally sell to.

Reach out to your state legislators and local (city and county) officials. Get your local retailers to do the same.

The ABC also released guidance yesterday on curbside growlers: only breweries are able to sell growlers/crowlers for curbside pickup. Retail can only sell beer that is in original containers. SHM.

The blog post will be included in the FTH newsletter this afternoon.

Tax relief updates

The IRS on Tuesday delayed the tax deadline by 90 days for individuals owing less than $1 million and corporations owing less than $10 million.

The Alabama Department of Revenue yesterday issued an executive order to temporarily waive late penalties on sales tax payments for businesses that averaged less than $62,500 in average monthly retail sales in the previous year.

Disaster loans

The latest word I have is that disaster loans should be available “within days.” Unfortunately, that’s the best information I have right now. Many people are lobbying the Governor on this. It’ll happen when it happens.

Brewers Association Letter to Congress sent

Bob Pease with the Brewers Association transmitted the BA’s letter to Congressional leadership yesterday to ask for relief on behalf of the craft brewing industry of the United States.

Guild letters to Governor and Congress coming soon

My goal is to have the letter to the Governor finished today, and the letter to Alabama’s Congressional delegation to be sent early next week. The letter to Congress will follow the BA’s lead.

For the Governor, we are advocating for the following short-term actions at this time:

  1. Direct the ABC to remove all unnecessary restrictions on curbside sales from the emergency rule
  2. Suspend or defer all state excise taxes on beer, wine, and liquor for 90 days
  3. Direct the Alabama Department of Revenue to expand the order deferring sales taxes to all Priority Category 3 food establishments
  4. Allow all on- and off-premise licensees to deliver beer and wine to customer

Please feel free to suggest additional asks. It never hurts to try, but I do want to keep it to things that are reasonable given the circumstances.