I had a 4,000-word post ready to go about this story, but you know what? I’m not even going to bother.
You win, Alabama. I give up. Just continue to embarrass yourself day in and day out. It’s not like you can fall any further in the national rankings in every relevant metric.
*Except for obesity and religiosity…that’s where we’re Vikings!
I’m not even particularly angry about this story. Just resigned to the fact that this is standard operating procedure in a state that seems to have been designed from the ground up to fail its citizens.
So congrats, Alabama. You’ve officially converted one more citizen into a person looking for the first possible chance to get the hell outta Dodge.
8 thoughts on “WOW”
I think we all pretty much know that in the end, things are transitioning in a positive direction in Alabama, though. How many more legislative seasons do you think it will be before homebrewing is legalized? Or will it take the assassination of Alvin Holmes to achieve?
Unlike Illinois. I subscribed to read about beer. Since this isn’t it, bye.
I’m sorry if the tone of the post irked you, Brian. But you have to understand how long I’ve been waiting for Hop City to open in Birmingham. The red tape Kraig Torres has had to cut through has been insane. And then, on the eve of his soft opening, the ABC Board sends armed agents to confiscate his wares and threaten his employees. It’s ridiculous and frankly, infuriating.
Obviously the Methlab lobby is much stronger than the Homebrew lobby in the state legislature.
Both Free the Hops (their statement: http://www.freethehops.org/blog/2012/09/a-statement-from-the-board-of-directors-of-free-the-hops-2/) and Right to Brew (shameless plug: http://www.alahomebrewing.org/) seem pretty optimistic that 2013 will be the year, for what it’s worth.
I certainly empathize with the “fuck it, I can’t take it anymore” mindset. In many ways, I’m a fish out of water in Alabama. But we’ve come so far, and I know we will continue to make progress. Although I think I’d fit in better in Portland or San Diego, I am staying in the trenches in Birmingham and will fix Alabama’s beer laws even if it kills me. I don’t have a lot of hope for other problems, but the beer stuff, we can fix.
Oh, I have no doubt you’ll be able to get the homebrewing bill passed sooner rather than later, Danner. Honestly, my frustration with the Hop City situation isn’t even related to the law itself. Hell, Alabama has tons of ridiculous laws on the books. Sex toys are illegal here. Interracial marriage was illegal until about 20 minutes ago (more or less).
It’s just another one of those systemic “only in Alabama” situations that makes me wonder why I stay here. The conservative voters that dominate Alabama decry big government and pay lip service to helping spur the growth of small business. And yet, when a successful businessman from Georgia attempts to open the same store in Alabama, he’s treated like a criminal, his employees are threatened with arrest, and ABC agents burst in his front door with guns blazin’. Yes, homebrewing is illegal. Yes, the ABC technically has the right to confiscate homebrewing equipment. But…I mean…REALLY? Is this really the message we want to send to people trying to create jobs and tax revenue in our state? Alabrew hasn’t had any ABC run-ins that I’m aware of and they sell the exact same gear as Hop City. It’s glass jugs, plastic tubes and some vegetation. Should we ban apples from grocery stores because you can make cider from them? Should we ban pots and pans from department stores because you can cook wort? Should we eliminate all fruits and vegetables from Alabama fields that might have wild yeasts coating them? A stupid law on the books is one thing. Enforcing those stupid laws through hyper-aggressive means is another thing entirely.
I love the people of Alabama…some of the nicest, most decent people I’ve ever known. But sometimes I hate this place.
If someone can manufacture a gun that also brews beer, you’ll have no worries about anyone in Alabama attempting to confiscate your equipment.