About Us

History of Free The Hops

Free The Hops | Alabamians For Specialty Beer (FTH) is a grassroots, non-profit organization whose mission is to help bring the highest quality beers in the world to Alabama. We are motivated by a desire to have the same variety of choice when purchasing beer that Alabama citizens already enjoy when purchasing wine.

Started in 2004 by Alabamians with no ties to any alcoholic beverage business, FTH was incorporated later that year and registered as an official 501(c)(6) non-profit in 2007. (Membership fees and donations given to Free the Hops are not tax deductible.) None of our members make any money off the grassroots effort.

About us

We are an Alabama incorporated nonprofit comprised solely of volunteers who, like you, enjoy the world's wide selection of beer styles. We are a diverse group composed of writers, architects, IT professionals, and many others.

As of May 10, 2011, we have 89 business sponsors including microbreweries, restaurants, and other small businesses. Most of our sponsors are located in Alabama, and we proudly list them all on our website at www.freethehops.org/sponsors/.

We have over 596 paid and active members and over 4600 subscribers to our newsletter, plus over 8200 people following our Twitter feed.

The people listed below are the current, official representative of Free The Hops. Please note that other members may also have a freethehops.org email address; this is a privilege we extend to certain supporting members or previous officers. Communications from people other than officers are to be regarded as personal opinions rather than representing Free The Hops as an organization.


President: Carie Partain carie@freethehops.org
Secretary: Andy Gwaltney andyg@freethehops.org
Treasurer: Dale Collum dale@freethehops.org
VP Jay Bennett jay@freethehops.org

Board of Directors

Stuart Carter stuart@freethehops.org Former President (2007-2010)
Damon Eubanks damon@freethehops.org  
Gabe Harris gabe@freethehops.org Former President (2010-2014)
Danner Kline danner@freethehops.org Founder & former President (2004-2007)
Don Milligan don@yellowhammerbrewery.com Appointed representative of the Alabama Brewers Guild
Jim Trolinger jim@freethehops.org Former Huntsville Chapter Head
Lee Winnige lee@freethehops.org Founding Member

Chapter Heads

Birmingham Chapter: Dustin Rinehart dustin@freethehops.org
Cullman Chapter: (currently vacant)  
Decatur Chapter: Justin Klinkenberg justin@freethethehops.org
Huntsville Chapter: Steve Vacula, Jr stevev@freethehops.org
Mobile/Baldwin Chapter: (currently vacant)  
Montgomery Chapter: Mark Warren mark@freethehops.org
Tuscaloosa Chapter: Bo Hicks bo@freethehops.org