HB 9 passes Senate; area brewers excited

AVONDALE, Ala. (WIAT) – The Alabama Senate gave final passage of a home brewing bill late Tuesday night with a 17-8 vote.

The bill now awaits the governor’s signature.

Craft beer enthusiasts are excited to see, their hobby may soon be legal.

Craig Shaw, Brew Master at Avondale Brewing Company says he got his start by home brewing.

“We had to take all of our equipment and go to Georgia to home brew our beer and then come back here.”

That’s because Alabama is the last state where it’s illegal to home brew. Shaw says the American Home Brewers Association estimates there are about 5,000 home brewers in Alabama.

That takes 5,000 people and it turns them into criminals when they shouldn’t be, said Shaw.

Avondale Brewing Company has been vocal in efforts by grass roots organizations to get a law passed.

Many credit home brewing for launching Alabama’s craft beer scene, which has been booming for about 2 and a half years. Breweries in Birmingham and Avondale have become local hot spots and as the businesses grow so does the demand for local craft beer. Alabev, a subsidiary of Birmingham Beverage has backed efforts for such legislation.

“For us, as a craft distributor in Alabama, we’re just excited as I said about the awareness to let people know what exactly is going in to these products that everyone’s talking about, said Matt Kilpatrick, Craft and Imports Manager.

If signed the bill would only allow home brewing for personal use. It allow anyone 21 and older to make up to 15 gallons of beer, wine, mead or cider every three months for personal use.

Home brewing would not be legal in dry counties or dry cities.

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