Author Topic: Homebrew Store in Alabama Raided  (Read 8192 times)

Offline hopfenundmalz

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 4530
  • Milford, MI
    • View Profile
Homebrew Store in Alabama Raided
« on: September 21, 2012, 05:40:42 AM »
This was a surprise as I surf the net this morning -or maybe not.

http://blog.al.com/spotnews/2012/09/abc_agents_raid_birmingham_bee.html
« Last Edit: September 21, 2012, 05:44:24 AM by hopfenundmalz »
Jeff Rankert
Ann Arbor Brewers Guild, AHA Member, BJCP Certified
Home-brewing, not just a hobby, it is a lifestyle!

Offline timewasted

  • 1st Kit
  • *
  • Posts: 1
    • View Profile
Re: Homebrew Store in Alabama Raided
« Reply #1 on: September 21, 2012, 05:51:19 AM »
No one expected it, but it isnt a huge surprise.  We have other homebrew stores in the state, but this is the  only one that is sells beer and wine and is subject to review by the state.   They were pending approval of their state license.

Online mtnrockhopper

  • I spend way too much time on the AHA forum
  • ********
  • Posts: 2876
  • Delaware
    • View Profile
Re: Homebrew Store in Alabama Raided
« Reply #2 on: September 21, 2012, 05:56:51 AM »
Maybe this will spur action by the legislators. Status quo is easy if nobody is being bothered by it. We can hope anyway.
Jimmy K

Delmarva United Homebrewers - President by inverse coup when the old president ousted himself.
AHA Member since 2006
BJCP: B0958

Offline theDarkSide

  • Brewmaster General
  • *******
  • Posts: 2073
  • Derry, NH
    • View Profile
Re: Homebrew Store in Alabama Raided
« Reply #3 on: September 21, 2012, 05:59:32 AM »
Amazing!!  Are they going to raid the kitchen supply stores too because they sell pots big enough to brew beer?

I do enjoy the soundbites from the legislature but would gladly give them up if they would just legalize homebrewing in Alabama and free our "criminal" brothers and sisters.
Sergeant - BNArmy Member
AHA Member
Seacoast Homebrew Club Member
https://www.facebook.com/SeacoastHomebrewClub
Stephen M.
------------------------------------------------

Offline phillamb168

  • Brewmaster General
  • *******
  • Posts: 2334
  • Lardy, France
    • View Profile
    • My Job
Re: Homebrew Store in Alabama Raided
« Reply #4 on: September 21, 2012, 06:48:28 AM »
Did they take the Chivas Regal, too?
I'm on twitter: phillamb168
----
morticaixavier for governing committee!

Offline Slowbrew

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1656
  • The Slowly Losing IT Brewery in Urbandale, IA
    • View Profile
Re: Homebrew Store in Alabama Raided
« Reply #5 on: September 21, 2012, 07:03:33 AM »
Sounds like the opposition to passing home brewing legislation is trying to build support.  I don't live in AL so this is just me talking but it wouldn't surprise me to hear this used as reason to block passage of the bill that almost made through the next time it comes up. 

Paul

Where the heck are we going?  And what's with this hand basket?

Offline euge

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 7216
  • Estilo Casero
    • View Profile
Re: Homebrew Store in Alabama Raided
« Reply #6 on: September 21, 2012, 08:33:24 AM »
Just reading the comments and it looks like this stirred up a hornet's nest. May be a catalyst to change things.
The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool. -Richard P. Feynman

Offline majorvices

  • Global Moderator
  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *****
  • Posts: 6306
  • Polka. If its too loud you're too young.
    • View Profile
    • Yellowhammer Brewing Company
Re: Homebrew Store in Alabama Raided
« Reply #7 on: September 21, 2012, 08:55:55 PM »
A couple years after I started brewing (somewhere between 96 and 98) there were two homebrew shops in Huntsville that were both raided. I don't remember how it panned out exactly but the one is still open today (acually, it's more of a healthfood store with a Homebrew shop in the back).
Keith Y.
Self appointed "All Grain" section pruner

Offline drummerboyseth

  • 1st Kit
  • *
  • Posts: 14
    • View Profile
Re: Homebrew Store in Alabama Raided
« Reply #8 on: September 22, 2012, 03:27:33 AM »
Amazing!!  Are they going to raid the kitchen supply stores too because they sell pots big enough to brew beer?

I do enjoy the soundbites from the legislature but would gladly give them up if they would just legalize homebrewing in Alabama and free our "criminal" brothers and sisters.

Then you might as well raid Wal-Mart too.  I bought a large colander/mesh strainer there that I use to filter wort as I pour it into primary.  We can't be selling that kind of stuff, after all. 

Does anyone else think it is at least slightly strange that it is apparently perfectly OK to purchase beer and wine "pre-homebrewed" at a large brewery/factory but it is not OK to brew at home.   That is like saying it is OK to buy a hamburger at McDonalds, but if you fire up your grill at home, we are going to come confiscate your ground sirloin.   It makes absolutely no sense at all.
Give a man a beer and he will waste an hour.  Teach a man to brew and he will waste a lifetime.  (Bill Owen)

Offline udubdawg

  • Brewmaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 544
    • View Profile
Re: Homebrew Store in Alabama Raided
« Reply #9 on: September 22, 2012, 05:41:01 AM »
Amazing!!  Are they going to raid the kitchen supply stores too because they sell pots big enough to brew beer?

I do enjoy the soundbites from the legislature but would gladly give them up if they would just legalize homebrewing in Alabama and free our "criminal" brothers and sisters.

Then you might as well raid Wal-Mart too.  I bought a large colander/mesh strainer there that I use to filter wort as I pour it into primary.  We can't be selling that kind of stuff, after all. 

Does anyone else think it is at least slightly strange that it is apparently perfectly OK to purchase beer and wine "pre-homebrewed" at a large brewery/factory but it is not OK to brew at home.   That is like saying it is OK to buy a hamburger at McDonalds, but if you fire up your grill at home, we are going to come confiscate your ground sirloin.   It makes absolutely no sense at all.

you're looking at it from the standpoint of an informed brewer, not someone who doesn't understand what we do.
Just listen to some of the comments among their legislature as they've debated this in the past. 
"This bill allows, I believe, to any individual, to make up to A HUNDRED GALLONS per year...without any licensure, without any oversight by any government entity...they can transport it, supposedly to wine tasting events, to festivals...who's going to monitor that?  You know we have people that live on the street, that go into your local general store, and buy SHAVING LOTION, for a high.  Anything they can get, if it's cheap enough, they'll buy."

that's from Representative Richard Laird in 2011, and is far from the worst-informed opinion out there.  He mentions moonshine later on and is clearlyt thinking about it and drawing parallels to bootleggers with his comments.  He talks about the possibility of a guy he knows creating an event where he invites the neighborhood to come over and drink his beer, wine, cider, mead -"whatever that is."  A beer tasting/party at your house - The horror!  He says individual instead of adult, doesn't get the amount right, doesn't understand a thing about how expensive homebrewing is, draws parallels to the homeless, the tone of his voice shows he is aghast that there is no oversight, and at the amounts of alcohol a person could make, either ignores or doesn't know that it is legal in 48 other states (a "we don't need to be like the rest of the country" mentality seems to be pretty common too).

Remember when either Alabama or Mississippi was talking about raising the alcohol limit and we had the same type of legislators horrified that they were going to have "90% alcohol beer!" - clearly showing a lack of knowledge.  When legislators have these kinds of strong opinions about an issue they know little or nothing about (or are doing a damn fine job acting dumb to make the bill look worse...) you can see what an uphill battle it is.  The bill in question includes mead but more than one of them didn't know what mead is - how about figuring that out before you denounce it? 
"What going to stop people from making moonshine in their house?" is a common base argument too.

I feel for the homebrewers in those two states.  Hopefully they get this silliness fixed before too much longer...

cheers--
--Michael

Offline mwhammer99

  • 1st Kit
  • *
  • Posts: 16
  • Stop! ...wait for it... Hammertime!
    • View Profile
Re: Homebrew Store in Alabama Raided
« Reply #10 on: September 22, 2012, 06:14:06 AM »
To my friends in Alabama...I will raise a toast in your honor. 

I guess I need to read up more on the history of homebrew legislation.  Seems to me that in states where it is restricted (or illegal), it's nothing more than modified prohibition.  Granted, the organized crime scene isn't going to create a need to repeal the laws, but still... 

I also think that if the legislators pushing this actually had a few beers every once in a while, they'd be more cool.   8)
"Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy." - Benjamin Franklin

Offline mabrungard

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1096
    • View Profile
    • Bru'n Water
Re: Homebrew Store in Alabama Raided
« Reply #11 on: September 22, 2012, 06:43:56 AM »
Unless those folks are going to shut down the border and prevent the import of that equipment and the associated supplies, they are wasting time.  In fact what they did was damage the livelihood of someone that 'built that' business.  Alabamans need to use this to get this law updated. 
Martin B
Carmel, IN

BJCP National
Foam Blowers of Indiana (FBI)

Brewing Water Information at:
https://sites.google.com/site/brunwater/

Like Bru'n Water on Facebook for occasional discussions on brewing water and Bru'n Water

Offline dcdwort

  • Cellarman
  • **
  • Posts: 43
  • Colorado Springs
    • View Profile
Re: Homebrew Store in Alabama Raided
« Reply #12 on: September 22, 2012, 09:36:27 AM »
I am simply amazed at liquor laws in some states.  Years ago when I lived in OK it was still illegal to sale liquor by the drink,  but the restaurants just blatantly violated the law across the state.  Finally that law bit the dust, now they have homebrewing and microbrews but you can't brew beer and sell it in an attached restaurant!  You have to sell the beer to a wholesaler that sells to a distributor that sells it back to your restaurant!  Really??!!  I do sympathise with everyone in states that are this restrictive.  Come on out to Colorado.  In Colorado Springs alone we have more breweries than the entire state of OK.   Now who is carrying the torch to get distillation legalized?  Canada, New Zealand, Australia and Great Britian can distill.  Why not us?
Don
Bottled:  Nightime Porter, Pumpkin Eater Ale, Big Lass Double IPA, Sholto Scottish Ale, Neville Court ESB, Lowlands Scottish ale 80/, Morining Oatmeal stout, NB 1554 clone, NB SnowDay clone
Planning:
Fermenting:

Offline majorvices

  • Global Moderator
  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *****
  • Posts: 6306
  • Polka. If its too loud you're too young.
    • View Profile
    • Yellowhammer Brewing Company
Homebrew Store in Alabama Raided
« Reply #13 on: September 22, 2012, 04:30:19 PM »
Unless those folks are going to shut down the border and prevent the import of that equipment and the associated supplies, they are wasting time.  In fact what they did was damage the livelihood of someone that 'built that' business.  Alabamans need to use this to get this law updated.

We're tryin', man. Almost happened this year.
Keith Y.
Self appointed "All Grain" section pruner

Offline dee

  • Cellarman
  • **
  • Posts: 65
    • View Profile
Re: Homebrew Store in Alabama Raided
« Reply #14 on: September 27, 2012, 08:25:53 AM »
The issue that many are missing is that this was a licensed beer/wine retailer that would come under the jurisdiction of the ABC that CHOSE to flaunt the law and really gave the ABC no choice but to intervene.  Yes, there are homebrew stores in Alabama and individuals can purchase homebrew ingredients and equipment but those establishments are not licensed alcohol retailers and do not come under direct supervision from the ABC.  The ABC essentially looks the other way when it comes to precursor materials because banning the sale and importation of grain or yeast or 10 gallon pots is impractical.  The people opening the store knew or should have known that the ABC isn't going to allow you to challenge their enforcement authority when you come under their direct supervision.  This was a stupid move and could jeopardize their ability to get ANY license.  Yes, the law needs to be updated and homebrewing should be legal but giving the middle finger to the Alabama Department of Revenue when they issue your license is a dumb idea.