The Alabama Alcohol Beverage Control Board is proposing a change to how they regulate beer sales at local breweries and brewpubs that would significantly infringe on the privacy of craft beer consumers. The proposed rule in question pertains to Alabama Administrative Code 20-X-9-.04, (1) (b) (3). It would mandate that all breweries and brewpubs who sell beer for off premise consumption (i.e., growlers, bottled or canned beer) keep record of the purchaser’s information including name, address, telephone number, date of birth, and drivers license number for every sales transaction. Even more concerning is that the ABC Board states that this information will be subject to their verification.
The implications of this should be highly concerning, not only to craft beer consumers, but to all people throughout the state. As nonsensical as it might seem, this rule would essentially empower the ABC Board to come to an individual’s house to confirm his or her purchase of a six pack of beer. One can’t help but ask, why? The members of Free the Hops fully oppose this proposed rule. It represents an unprecedented, unnecessary, and overreaching invasion of privacy. It is something that unfairly targets beer consumers, but also, frankly, has frightening implications for everyone.
There is a way to help stop this new proposal, you can mail a letter or send an email to the ABC Board Administrative Procedures Secretary. The email is firstname.lastname@example.org with the mailing address of
Alabama ABC Board
2715 Gunter Park Drive West
Montgomery, Alabama 36109
Any comment on the proposal must be made between now and September 7th 2016. We encourage our membership, and the public to reach out to the ABC Administrative Board and voice their opinion that under no means shall your personal information be needed to purchase a Growler, Bottle or 6 Pack from a local Brewery, other than normal means of checking for your date of birth.
Free the Hops is an all-volunteer, grassroots organization whose mission is to help bring the highest quality beers in the world to Alabama. Founded in 2004 by Alabama consumers with no ties to the alcohol industry, Free the Hops was successful in passing the Gourmet Beer Bill in 2009, the Brewery Modernization Act in 2011, and the Gourmet Bottle Bill in 2013.
edit: Looking at early drafts of the rule change it included taking down the drivers license number of everyone who purchased beer to go from Breweries. Looks like that language has been removed, so we have amended our statement.