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Brews & Views Bulletin Board Service * Brews and Views Archive 2011 * Archive through July 05, 2011 * Alabama Homebrew Legalization - 2011 Session Underway < Previous Next >

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Tom Meier
Advanced Member
Username: Brewdawg96

Post Number: 994
Registered: 03-2003
Posted From: 24.96.151.111
Posted on Wednesday, March 16, 2011 - 01:52 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

This was mentioned briefly in another post but it deserves its own thread.

Here is the go-to link.

http://www.alahomebrewing.org/

IF YOU KNOW ANYONE WHO LIVES IN ALABAMA who supports homebrewing, please ask them to click on this link, then click the write a letter button, and start typing something, anything at all, about their support for legalizing homebrewing.

I can give you all the juicy behind the scenes details about the legalization, but we've got all that covered and set in motion.. Its not important.

Once the bill gets dropped in the hopper its off to the races. It is going to be very dicey again this year (4th year trying). Alot of new republicans, who control both senate and house for the first time since reconstruction.

Freshman republicans may not want to risk voting for something that is "pro-alcohol" even though this bill is about personal rights, not alcohol, and it is republican sponsored.

That is why it is absolutely critical to have letters from far flung places in the state. In rural areas where people never write their legislators, a single letter can turn a nay into a yea.

All the major metro areas have legislators who are almost universally on-board with the legislation.
 

Tom Meier
Advanced Member
Username: Brewdawg96

Post Number: 995
Registered: 03-2003
Posted From: 75.76.105.94
Posted on Saturday, March 26, 2011 - 01:29 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Link to the bill status:
http://alisondb.legislature.state.al.us/acas/ViewBillsStatusACASLogin.asp?BillNu mber=HB266

It is currently pending Committee Action in the House of Origin.

I'll be attending the public Committee hearing for this bill next Wednesday, even though I still don't think we've got a snowball's chance this year.. (the 4th year). We won't let up regardless of the chances.

I think I am the only person from Alabama who reads this board.. but if there are others, you should consider driving down for the hearing.

(Message edited by brewdawg96 on March 26, 2011)
 

Denny Conn
Senior Member
Username: Denny

Post Number: 7548
Registered: 01-2001
Posted From: 208.85.238.144
Posted on Saturday, March 26, 2011 - 05:34 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Good luck, Tom. I wish there was more I could do to help.
 

Steve Ruch
Member
Username: Rookie

Post Number: 237
Registered: 03-2003
Posted From: 209.240.206.192
Posted on Sunday, March 27, 2011 - 02:53 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I sure hope they get it right.
There has got to be a bunch of Alabama folks that homebrew no matter what the law is. If they all write to their rep the bill would probably pass.

If home brewing is outlawed only outlaws will home brew.
Home brew outlaw has a nice ring to it. :-)
 

Tom Meier
Advanced Member
Username: Brewdawg96

Post Number: 996
Registered: 03-2003
Posted From: 75.76.105.94
Posted on Thursday, March 31, 2011 - 03:54 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hearing didn't happen.. A powerful force of opposition (to remain unnamed) wants to include a yearly state production limit that is significantly lower than federal limits. Final volume not settled yet.

My theory is someone really just wants to delay the bill again this year so it dies without coming up for a vote.. But I have no proof, and it is hard to tell.

Our little bill doesn't stand much chance because we have no grease and the opposition has a storeroom full of Dapper Dan cans.

We did all the right things this year. Got buy in from powerful opposition lobbyist X, and got buy in from the State legal reviewer for ABC, etc. but it didn't matter. They had 3 years to review this legislation and the day before it comes up for a vote last year suddenly had a minor problem and requested an edit that would have sent it back to the Senate, then never bothered to send us the edit.. And our sponsor wouldn't work the bill without their approval.

Now the same thing happens this year. Everyone buys in says they support it, then whoops, they delay the bill 2 or 3 weeks reviewing it. Then they say the bill is ok, the bill gets dropped in the hopper, off to the races. Then again the day before a committee vote, whoops we need to put in a limit that we have never previously considered or discussed with you..

4 years they've had to comment.. I am about to either give up hope or turn into one of those sign wielding nut job activists and go on all-out scorched earth political corruption expose' bender.
 

Steve Haun
Intermediate Member
Username: Stevehaun

Post Number: 403
Registered: 02-2003
Posted From: 64.244.197.15
Posted on Thursday, March 31, 2011 - 04:06 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

You need to go undercover and film interviews like those dudes that busted ACORN.
 

Tom Meier
Advanced Member
Username: Brewdawg96

Post Number: 997
Registered: 03-2003
Posted From: 75.76.105.94
Posted on Thursday, March 31, 2011 - 05:15 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Steve, you could never pin these people on anything, and if you did it wouldn't matter as they are all powerful..

One thing I've realized is that if a bill never comes up for a vote, it is the perfect "crime" since it is untraceable.
That is why the lobbyist heavily funds committee chairs and rules committee chairs, since they get to decide which bills comes up for a vote, if ever. The rules chairs can single handedly kill any bill and are more powerful than even the governor.

They all receive well into 6 figures from this lobbyist that is /documented/ through traceable PACs (AL allows PAC to PAC so we know there is alot more coming than just that). In addition they can receive unlimited amount of gifts, AND are allowed to accept $300 cash per day per lobbyist 365 days per year.

It is such an ugly ugly process. Making laws are like making sausages. You might enjoy the end product, but you do NOT want to see it made.
 

Paul Edwards
Senior Member
Username: Pedwards

Post Number: 2081
Registered: 03-2003
Posted From: 76.252.15.142
Posted on Thursday, March 31, 2011 - 12:23 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Yeah, Tom, I understand your pain.

In Indiana, after testifying before a committee hearing back in 1999, I was introduced to a paid lobbyist for Miller Brewing by another lobbyist. The Miller rep was afraid that we would "eat into their market share". When I told him that we were homebrewers and weren't looking to sell our beer. We just wanted to be able to take our beer off our property for a competition or educational tasting or personal use, he looked still somewhat perplexed. When I told him that even if we did want to sell our homebrew, Miller likely lost more beer leaking from valves or from broken bottles in a day than all the homebrewers in the state made in a year, I finally got thru to him and he said he'd support our efforts. I also told him that I made 10 gallons at a time, and if I was interested in selling my homebrew, I'd have to charge 100 bucks a gallon or more to cover my time. That was our third session of trying, and the law did get thru that year.

In Indiana, tho, the limits on gift giving and money that a lobbyist can give to an elected member of the legislative body is much more severely restricted.

Indeed, lawmaking is an ugly process. I've been to the Indiana Sausage Factory (aka the Statehouse) many time over the years. It never ceases to amaze me what I see and hear.
 

Tom Meier
Advanced Member
Username: Brewdawg96

Post Number: 998
Registered: 03-2003
Posted From: 75.76.105.94
Posted on Thursday, April 07, 2011 - 03:38 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Just wow. ABC amended the bill in committee. No one got a chance to review it before the amendment was on the books.

It authorizes brewing 100 gallons at home. It also authorizes transporting outside the home to homebrew events/tastings (like club meetings), but there just a SMALL GLITCH...

It says the events/tastings must not take place on the premises of a licensee (any business that sells alcohol). The real kicker is the meetings must be licensed by the State, which reads like this:


===============================================
Section 28 -3A- 20
Special events retail license.

Upon applicant's compliance with this chapter and the regulations made thereunder, and upon application made on a form provided by the board at least 25 days in advance of the event for which a license is granted, the board shall issue a special events license for a valid, responsible organization of good reputation, for a period not to exceed seven days, and upon such terms and conditions as the board may prescribe. The license shall authorize the licensee to purchase, where the retail sale thereof is authorized by the board, liquor and wine from the board or as authorized by the board and table wine and beer from any wholesale licensee of the board and to sell at retail and dispense such alcoholic beverages as are authorized by the board to the patrons, guests, or members of the organization at such locations or areas as shall be authorized by the board upon such terms and conditions as prescribed by the board. No sale of alcoholic beverages shall be permitted on any Sunday after the hour of 2:00 A.M.

================================================

Here is what you'll need to fill out prior to meetings at your house. Note that this is a pre-application, not the application itself.

http://abc.alabama.gov/files/Pre-Applic ... Packet.pdf (intro material and page 8 are most relevant to the special events license)

Once you've submitted the pre-application ($50 fee), at least 25 days before your event, they will mail you the actual application (which requires submitting a $150).

Since the Special Events License can't be issued for more than 7 days at a time, this process will need to be repeated each month (in the case of monthly tastings).

It isn't clear whether the FBI ($18) and ABI ($25) background checks must be performed on the applicant prior to each meeting, or whether a single background check would be valid for a more extended period of time.

http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/backgr ... und_checks

http://dps.alabama.gov/ABI/forms/ABI-46.pdf

Not sure about ABI, but just from searching web, people report FBI background checks can take between 1 and 4 months to process.

Concerning the "Certificate of Liquor Liability insurance with at least $100,000 worth of coverage" I've never received a quote myself because you typically have to provide specific information about the premises to be licensed, but I have heard that it is roughly $1000 per year minimum.

Not sure how long the "Letter of Approval from the governing municipality (City or County)" will take.

(Message edited by brewdawg96 on April 07, 2011)
 

Tom Meier
Senior Member
Username: Brewdawg96

Post Number: 1003
Registered: 03-2003
Posted From: 75.76.105.94
Posted on Wednesday, April 27, 2011 - 01:28 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Even the gutted version of the bill failed the house..

Official tally 27 for and 47 against legalization..

Just wait until you hear the audio file of the floor debate.. It is beyond embarassing that these are our elected officials in the year 2011.
 

Tom Meier
Senior Member
Username: Brewdawg96

Post Number: 1004
Registered: 03-2003
Posted From: 75.76.105.94
Posted on Wednesday, April 27, 2011 - 01:36 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

BTW this year's effort is deader than dead. Probably won't even be able to get a sponsor next year.

No one wants to touch this with a 10 ft pole.. Somebody may have jacked us behind the scenes. At least I hope that is what happened. The bill's sponsor says he had the votes lined up to pass then all of a sudden the bottom falls out. Wonder who has that kind of power to suddenly swing votes like that?.. hmm.

If it was an external influence or if it was just the reps voting their conscience doesn't matter. This really sent a message and wasn't even close.
 

Bob G.
Advanced Member
Username: Brewerbob

Post Number: 741
Registered: 06-2002
Posted From: 76.113.44.203
Posted on Wednesday, April 27, 2011 - 09:17 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

That's sooo wrong! I guess the question would be was who stands to gain the most by not allowing people to homebrew in the state. Maybe there is a fear if people start making their own beer that commercial sales and tax revenue will drop. Does the state allow home wine making?
 

Chumley
Senior Member
Username: Chumley

Post Number: 6293
Registered: 02-2003
Posted From: 63.118.227.254
Posted on Friday, April 29, 2011 - 04:47 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

See the old folks
Tied in white ropes
Hear the banjo
Don't it take you down home?

....and I thought my legislators were loony wingnuts...40 years ago, ole Neil got her right.
 

Bill Pierce
Moderator
Username: Billpierce

Post Number: 12875
Registered: 01-2002
Posted From: 24.150.49.181
Posted on Friday, April 29, 2011 - 06:11 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

"Alabama, you got the rest of the union to help you along. What's going wrong?"

Sorry to pile on, but Neil got it right.
 

Bob G.
Advanced Member
Username: Brewerbob

Post Number: 746
Registered: 06-2002
Posted From: 192.77.86.2
Posted on Friday, April 29, 2011 - 09:44 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

"Your Cadillac....has got a wheel in the ditch and a wheel on the track"

Couldn't help myself