According to the grassroots non-profit Alabamans for Specialty Beer (ASB), Alabama is one of only three states in the country to restrict beer according to it’s percentage of alcohol by volume – they cap it at a mere six percent. They also limits beer containers to a size of no more than one pint (16 American ounces).
These restrictions were created as a compromise intended to ease the repeal of Prohibition. But the rest of the country has long since progressed beyond these short term transition measures, and thus Alabama is living in a state of beer anachronism. According to ASB’s website, Free the Hops, these restrictions:
. . . limit consumer choice; stifle the state’s beer, retail and restaurant businesses; and limit state tax revenue as thousands of Alabamians purchase their specialty beer in neighboring states.
The One Pint Law
They claim Alabama is the only state to restrict the serving size of beer and that this law should simply be eliminated. Here is the law verbatim (from their website):
“All beer, except draft or keg beer, sold by retailers must be sold or dispensed in bottles, cans or other containers not to exceed one pint or 16 ounces.”
The Six Percent Law
Here’s the law restricting beer to six percent ABV:
“BEER, or MALT OR BREWED BEVERAGES. Any beer, lager beer, ale, porter, malt or brewed beverage, or similar fermented malt liquor containing one-half of one percent or more of alcohol by volume and not in excess of five percent alcohol by weight and six percent by volume, by whatever name the same may be called.”
These Alabamans propose simply changing the limit to the same that exists for wine, which is fourteen and nine-tenths percent by volume.
Thus, their rally cry: “Let’s join the rest of the country and Free The Hops.” To which I reply, “Right on brother. Pass the World Wide Stout.”
Um, wait a minute. At 18% ABV, Dogfish Head’s alcohol bomb still wouldn’t pass muster. I guess Alabama would be no “Utopia” even with the proposed legal change.