On Tuesday, the state House passed HB196, the Gourmet Beer Bill, which would raise Alabama's allowable Alcohol-by-Volume (ABV) in a beer from 6.0 percent to 13.9 percent.
For more than a year, a grassroots organization of craft-beer enthusiasts known as Free the Hops has been lobbying to change Alabama's current ABV limit. Under the current law, beer distributors in Alabama cannot sell 98 of the world's top 100 beers (as rated by BeerAdvocate.com) due to the ABV restrictions.
There has been some resistance to the bill from large-scale beer distributors who fear reduced market share if Alabama's antiquated laws are changed, but recently many Birmingham-area distributors have agreed to support craft beer in Alabama.
The bill goes to the state Senate, where it must be brought to the Senate floor by the Tourism & Marketing Committee. If the bill passes in the Senate, Governor Riley can then sign it into law.
— Madison Underwood