For the first time since the end of Prohibition it will soon be legal to homebrew in every state in the nation.
The Alabama Senate gave final approval to a bill that will allow residents to homebrew limited amounts of beer, wine, mead or cider. Gov. Robert Bentley’s office is reviewing the bill, but is expected to sign it relatively quickly.
That means Alabama likely won’t be the last state to “officially” legalize homebrew. Alabama’s law becomes effective as soon as Bentley signs it. The homebrew bill passed earlier this year in Mississippi goes into effect 90 days after Gov. Phil Bryant signed the bill. So the Mississippi law isn’t official until July 1.
Although thousands of people in Alabama already homebrew, they’ve been breaking the law, in fact committing what legally a felony.
The soon-to-be Alabama law is more restrictive than many. It limits production to 60 gallons of beer, wine, cider or mead in a calendar year, compared to 200 gallons in some states. Those who live in dry counties or cities cannot homebrew at all. Small amounts (10 gallons or less) of homebrewed wine and beer may be transported to sanctioned competitions and craft beer shows.
“Homebrewing has been an integral part of the history of America, so it’s thrilling to know that soon all 50 states will support this growing hobby and long-standing tradition,” said Gary Glass, director, American Homebrewers Association. “We appreciate the backing of all of the homebrewers, the dedicated grassroots efforts of Right to Brew and the legislators who have worked so diligently to make homebrewing a reality in Alabama. We are especially grateful to Representative Mac McCutcheon who introduced this bill and has fought long and hard for its passage, along with Senator Bill Holtzclaw.”