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Beer battle brewing in Alabama
LA Times ^ | March 10, 2008 | Stephanie Simon

Posted on 03/10/2008 9:50:29 AM PDT by vietvet67

HARVEST, ALA. -- Two dozen guys are crowded into a basement, talking loudly over Triscuits, when Scott Oberman breaks the law.

In defiance of Alabama Criminal Code 28-4-20, he pours his buddy a beer.

"John Tipton's Chocolate Porter," he announces. It's a dark brown beer, almost black, with a taste that starts out astringent, like cheap red wine, then mellows into a silky chocolate flavor, with fleeting notes of coffee and cinnamon.

Tipton, a big-bellied mechanical engineer, brewed it at home, for fun. That's illegal in Alabama. He estimates the beer is about 8% alcohol by volume. That's illegal, too.

But it won't be for long, if the guys in the basement get their way.

Seventy-five years after Prohibition, beer aficionados in Alabama are fighting for the right to brew and chug as they please. That's raised the ire of Southern Baptists, who frown on alcohol in any form. As they jockey for advantage in the Legislature, one side quotes Scripture. The other cites BeerAdvocate.com. One talks morality. The other, malt.

Though this may seem like an only-in-the-Bible-Belt brawl, booze-related debates have flared recently in a number of states.

In Virginia, for instance, sangria was the talk of the statehouse after a Spanish restaurant was cited for illegally mixing brandy with wine, in violation of a 1930s-era statute. Idaho lawmakers may soon amend the criminal code to permit vodka sales on election days. And in Colorado, lawmakers have considered rescinding a law that bans supermarkets (but not liquor stores) from selling wine with more than 3.2% alcohol content.

Here in Alabama, home-brewing beer has long been a Class A misdemeanor, with a penalty of up to a year in jail and a $2,000 fine.

(Excerpt) Read more at latimes.com ...


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Extended News; News/Current Events; US: Alabama
KEYWORDS: beer; homebrewing
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1 posted on 03/10/2008 9:50:30 AM PDT by vietvet67
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To: beer

2 posted on 03/10/2008 9:54:09 AM PDT by evets (beer)
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To: knews_hound
Hard to believe there are still places that ban home brewing.

Savages....

L

3 posted on 03/10/2008 9:55:46 AM PDT by Lurker (Pimping my blog: http://lurkerslair-lurker.blogspot.com/)
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To: vietvet67

That’s big government for you.


4 posted on 03/10/2008 9:56:14 AM PDT by Perdogg (Reagan would have never said "She's my girl")
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To: vietvet67
"John Tipton's Chocolate Porter," he announces. It's a dark brown beer, almost black, with a taste that starts out astringent, like cheap red wine, then mellows into a silky chocolate flavor, with fleeting notes of coffee and cinnamon.

The flavor notes begin to mellow after the second pitcher.

5 posted on 03/10/2008 9:59:16 AM PDT by Yo-Yo (USAF, TAC, 12th AF, 366 TFW, 366 MG, 366 CRS, Mtn Home AFB, 1978-81)
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To: vietvet67
How do you tell a Baptist from a Lutheran?

The Lutheran will speak to you in the Liquor Store.

6 posted on 03/10/2008 10:04:03 AM PDT by orlop9
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To: vietvet67

Vote for statists, get statism. I have no sympathy for those who want freedom to produce and consume their drug of choice but still want to toss people in jail for having a pot plant. And no, I don’t smoke pot. And yes, I do drink beer.


7 posted on 03/10/2008 10:04:12 AM PDT by mysterio
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To: vietvet67

Re-vah-NOOOERS!


8 posted on 03/10/2008 10:05:16 AM PDT by Clemenza (I Live in New Jersey for the Same Reason People Slow Down to Look at Car Crashes)
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To: Yo-Yo

My chocolate porter starts smooth as silk, and finishes smooth as silk. The secrets? 1/2 lb of oatmeal in the mash and 3/4 lb Van Houten Cocoa Powder in the fermenter 1/2 lb of lactose when you bottle.


9 posted on 03/10/2008 10:06:55 AM PDT by LesbianThespianGymnasticMidget (Si Hoc Legere Scis Nimium Eruditionis Habes)
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To: vietvet67
leave me beer alone.
10 posted on 03/10/2008 10:07:02 AM PDT by Jersey Republican Biker Chick (RIP Eric Medlen. You will be missed.../ Get well Soon John Force!!!)
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To: vietvet67; quantim; spinestein; 5Madman2; DTogo; Horatio Gates; Ribeye; decal; B Knotts; doodad; ...
Thanks for the ping L, I was just getting ready to ping you !

Homebrewing is ILLEGAL in Alabama?

WTF?

Any of you guys from 'Bama?  



On or off the Homebrewers Ping List, let me know.

Cheers,

knewshound

Homebrewing 1A (Homebrewing for beginners)

Homebrewing 101 (for experianced Homebrewers)
11 posted on 03/10/2008 10:07:45 AM PDT by knews_hound (I drive a Hybrid. It burns both gas AND rubber.)
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To: Perdogg
"That's raised the ire of Southern Baptists, who frown on alcohol in any form. As they jockey for advantage in the Legislature, one side quotes Scripture...."


Sounds like the So-cons and brainless fundamentalist theocrats to me.

How do these idiots who misunderstand the Establishment Clause differ from the Taliban?
12 posted on 03/10/2008 10:12:14 AM PDT by Emperor Palpatine ("There is no civility, only politics.")
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To: vietvet67

http://www.joecartoon.com/cartoons/403-jim_bob_outdoors


13 posted on 03/10/2008 10:13:46 AM PDT by Cicero (Marcus Tullius)
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To: knews_hound

That’s OK. Most homebrew tastes like crap. Still should be legal though.


14 posted on 03/10/2008 10:15:29 AM PDT by pissant (THE Conservative party: www.falconparty.com)
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To: vietvet67

from Bama McCall

West bound and down, eighteen wheels are rollin’ ,
we’re gonna do what they say can’t be done.
We’ve got a long way to go and a short time to get there.
I’m west bound, just watch ol’ “Bandit” run.

Keep your foot hard on the pedal. Son, never mind them brakes.
Let it all hang out ‘cause we got a run to make.
The boys are thirsty in Atlanta and there’s beer in Texarcana.
And we’ll bring it back no matter what it takes.


15 posted on 03/10/2008 10:16:14 AM PDT by Vaquero (" an armed society is a polite society" Heinlein "MOLON LABE!" Leonidas of Sparta)
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To: pissant

My homebrews certainly don’t taste like crap. Better than just about anything short of Samuel Smith’s


16 posted on 03/10/2008 10:17:20 AM PDT by LesbianThespianGymnasticMidget (Si Hoc Legere Scis Nimium Eruditionis Habes)
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To: vietvet67

“That’s raised the ire of Southern Baptists, who frown on alcohol in any form. As they jockey for advantage in the Legislature, one side quotes Scripture.”

Ah, the Righteous Right, willingly using the same government force as the looney left. Just pushing different morals. The reasons for McCain are becoming clearer every day!


17 posted on 03/10/2008 10:17:40 AM PDT by CSM (Kakistocracy: Government by the least qualified or most unprincipled citizens.)
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To: vietvet67; All
Whether you agree with the Alabama laws on home brew, let me ask those on this thread who are waxing about "big government" and so forth.

Would you prefer there be a federal law that overrides this state law?

18 posted on 03/10/2008 10:18:42 AM PDT by MEGoody (Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.)
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To: vietvet67

Bama ping.

Ya know, this fight has been going on for years. It looks like it is getting closer this time. The “Free the Hops” crowd has it right, these brews do not appeal to yoots or to those who simply drink to get drunk.

Expanding the market is always a good thing, particularly for a legal product.


19 posted on 03/10/2008 10:19:19 AM PDT by Southern Partisan ("Do your duty in all things. You cannot do more. You should never wish to do less." ----R. E. Lee)
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To: vietvet67
And in Colorado, lawmakers have considered rescinding a law that bans supermarkets (but not liquor stores) from selling wine with more than 3.2% alcohol content.

What kind of wine would only have a 3.2% alcohol content?

20 posted on 03/10/2008 10:22:21 AM PDT by Dog Gone
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To: LesbianThespianGymnasticMidget

For every good homebrewer there are 100 hacks.


21 posted on 03/10/2008 10:22:57 AM PDT by pissant (THE Conservative party: www.falconparty.com)
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To: pissant

Most homebrewers don’t wait till their beer is ready.


22 posted on 03/10/2008 10:24:42 AM PDT by LesbianThespianGymnasticMidget (Si Hoc Legere Scis Nimium Eruditionis Habes)
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To: Southern Partisan

I’ll tell you what, if the anti alcohol crowd had any brains whatsoever, they’d ban all alcohol EXCEPT homemade beer and wine. THen you’d really see a reduction of consumed alcohol.


23 posted on 03/10/2008 10:24:51 AM PDT by mamelukesabre (Quantum materiae materietur marmota monax si marmota monax materiam possit materiari?)
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To: pissant
For every good homebrewer there are 100 hacks.

Can just about say this regarding commercial brewers too.

24 posted on 03/10/2008 10:28:44 AM PDT by Prokopton
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Sensitive Beer: “a taste that starts out astringent, like cheap red wine, then mellows into a silky chocolate flavor, with fleeting notes of coffee and cinnamon”. Wait, what!?

Beer is beer, the cheap, yellow-gold beverage of choice of many men. Go sing your silky, fleeting, bleating notes in San Francisco, or Paris-and-Milan, you transplanted w(h)ine snobs.


25 posted on 03/10/2008 10:28:55 AM PDT by flowerplough ( Hillary: "The harder she works, the worse it gets for the Dems." R. Cohen, WaPost (paraphrase)
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To: MEGoody

I certainly wouldn’t but I also don’t like the Feds forcing states to comply with national drinking ages or speed limits either.


26 posted on 03/10/2008 10:29:10 AM PDT by normy (Don't take it personally, just take it seriously.)
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To: Prokopton

Yep. Except they purposely make them the way they “like” them, generally. Or the way they think they will sell.


27 posted on 03/10/2008 10:30:18 AM PDT by pissant (THE Conservative party: www.falconparty.com)
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To: vietvet67

They sell lightning in quart jars in the ABC stores in Alabama.


28 posted on 03/10/2008 10:30:47 AM PDT by DaveArk
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To: Cicero

LOL!


29 posted on 03/10/2008 10:36:00 AM PDT by vietvet67
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To: mamelukesabre

Hah! The Great State of North Carolina owns all the ABC stores (the only liquor stores in the whole state!). How’s THAT for state control?


30 posted on 03/10/2008 10:55:11 AM PDT by Bat_Chemist (The devil has already outsmarted every "Bright".)
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To: pissant
Most homebrew tastes like crap

Excuse me? Who's homebrew have you been sampling? Surely not mine! :-)

I brewed yesterday...in part because I cannot bring myself to purchase (or drink) supermarket beer.

OK...I cheated a bit, and added 3 lbs. of DME because my mash effiency was atrocious.

But my starting gravity is north of 1.070, and it's gonna be good! ;-)

31 posted on 03/10/2008 11:08:54 AM PDT by B Knotts (Calvin Coolidge Republican)
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To: Dog Gone
What kind of wine would only have a 3.2% alcohol content?

LOL...that's what I was wondering! I think that's called "grape juice."

32 posted on 03/10/2008 11:12:13 AM PDT by B Knotts (Calvin Coolidge Republican)
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To: B Knotts

I’ve tasted more banana and butterscotch and yeasty home brews than I care to mention. I know 2 people, out of about 30 who brew, that make a “good” beer. Then again, I’m one picky SOB.


33 posted on 03/10/2008 11:12:51 AM PDT by pissant (THE Conservative party: www.falconparty.com)
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To: LesbianThespianGymnasticMidget

I dunno. It’s pretty easy to make fairly decent beer. And it’s not terribly hard to make really good beer.

Homebrewers don’t generally add rice and corn to their beer. So beating the quality of the big brewers is not much of a challenge.


34 posted on 03/10/2008 11:14:40 AM PDT by B Knotts (Calvin Coolidge Republican)
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To: pissant

In their defense, I can only say that some people like fruity-yeasty beers. That’s how Euro-style Hefeweisen is supposed to be. But, yeah...I don’t care for that myself, and I use fairly neutral-tasting yeasts, and am careful about fermentation temperatures (where I suspect some homebrewers have problems; nothing short of bacterial issues will add funky flavors more than fermenting at 80+ degrees).

I homebrew because I enjoy homebrewing; you learn a lot in the process. Well, that and I like to drink homebrew.


35 posted on 03/10/2008 11:18:35 AM PDT by B Knotts (Calvin Coolidge Republican)
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To: flowerplough

WELL SAID!!!!

I detest beer snobs as much as I detest wine snobs.


36 posted on 03/10/2008 11:19:16 AM PDT by alarm rider ("The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants." -)
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To: B Knotts
But my starting gravity is north of 1.070

That's porridge, man! Get that down to a FG of 1.015 and you're going to have one kick-ass beer.

37 posted on 03/10/2008 11:19:23 AM PDT by Hemingway's Ghost (Spirit of '75)
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To: vietvet67

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homebrewing

In November 1978, Congress passed a bill repealing Federal restrictions on the homebrewing of small amounts of beer. Jimmy Carter, 39th President of the United States, signed the bill into law in February 1979, and many states soon followed suit. However, this bill left individual states free to pass their own laws limiting production. For example, homebrewing is still illegal in the state of Alabama.

http://www.beertown.org/statutes/alabama.htm

Legal Status of Homebrewing in Alabama

Updated: 9/95
State: Alabama
Status: Not Statutorily Recognized

Statute:
Alabama state statue § 28-1-1 prohibits the possession of illegally manufactured alcoholic beverages.

Discussion:
The state of Alabama has both Wet and Dry counties and municipalities. The state maintains a tight control on all alcoholic beverage sale, manufacture, possession, etc. No statutory exception to § 28-1-1 exists for the home production of beer. Furthermore, no statutory exception to § 28-1-1 exists for the home production of wine and/or cider.

Alabama case law illustrates a historical trend in which the court has held homebrew to be a prohibited liquor. Up until the 1950s certain individuals have been convicted for the unlawful possession of prohibited liquor. (see enclosed cases for examples)

Alabama has recently passed the ALABAMA BREWPUB ACT which authorizes limited operation of brewpubs in the state.

Special Provisions:
N/A

State Alcohol Beverage Control Agency:
Alabama Alcoholic Beverage Control Board
P.O. Box 1151
Montgomery, AL 36101
(334) 271-3840
FAX: (334) 244-1815

Note: The information presented here is to the best of our knowledge and should not be used as a substitute for legal advice specific to the laws of your state.


38 posted on 03/10/2008 12:02:46 PM PDT by Rick.Donaldson (http://www.transasianaxis.com - Please visit for lastest on DPRK/Russia/China/et al.)
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To: LesbianThespianGymnasticMidget

Wow. Sounds similar to my wife’s recipe (we do only extract brews right now... not enough space, or equipment to do all grain yet) - Cept, no oatmeal (different grains) and she uses actual baking chocolate and we use almost a full pound of lactose.


39 posted on 03/10/2008 12:15:40 PM PDT by Rick.Donaldson (http://www.transasianaxis.com - Please visit for lastest on DPRK/Russia/China/et al.)
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To: pissant

You haven’t tried most homebrew to be making those allegations. So... there... take that. LOL


40 posted on 03/10/2008 12:16:35 PM PDT by Rick.Donaldson (http://www.transasianaxis.com - Please visit for lastest on DPRK/Russia/China/et al.)
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To: Hemingway's Ghost
That's porridge, man! Get that down to a FG of 1.015 and you're going to have one kick-ass beer.

That's the plan! ;-)

41 posted on 03/10/2008 12:17:53 PM PDT by B Knotts (Calvin Coolidge Republican)
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To: MEGoody
Would you prefer there be a federal law that overrides this state law?

Jimmah Carter signed the laws to remove the Federal laws on this... And for everything else the man ever did --- well, that doesn't make up for it... but I give him credit for that one thing.
42 posted on 03/10/2008 12:18:24 PM PDT by Rick.Donaldson (http://www.transasianaxis.com - Please visit for lastest on DPRK/Russia/China/et al.)
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To: Southern Partisan
Expanding the market is always a good thing, particularly for a legal product.

It's not legal to sell HOMEBREW. Brewpubs though, would be an exception to "expanding the market" though - so I assume that's what you mean?
43 posted on 03/10/2008 12:21:47 PM PDT by Rick.Donaldson (http://www.transasianaxis.com - Please visit for lastest on DPRK/Russia/China/et al.)
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To: Bat_Chemist

That’s just lovely.


44 posted on 03/10/2008 4:38:11 PM PDT by mamelukesabre (Quantum materiae materietur marmota monax si marmota monax materiam possit materiari?)
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To: vietvet67
Idaho lawmakers may soon amend the criminal code to permit vodka sales on election days

They better get it done before November, 2008! I can see we're ALL going to need to drink heavily election day evening!

Mark

45 posted on 03/10/2008 5:31:13 PM PDT by MarkL
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To: vietvet67

I am a member of a Southern Baptist church, and alcohol is one of my few problems with their doctrine. They completely ignore that not only did Jesus serve wine, and lots of it to a wedding party, but it was one of His first miracles. He also drank wine frequently and states in the gospel of Luke that He was even accused of being a drunkard by the pharisees.

I am moving to a small town in Alabama soon, and I’m sure this controversy is going to come up since I still indulge in moderation.


46 posted on 03/10/2008 6:46:53 PM PDT by EricT. (The tree of liberty needs to be watered...)
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To: LesbianThespianGymnasticMidget

“My chocolate porter starts smooth as silk, and finishes smooth as silk. The secrets? 1/2 lb of oatmeal in the mash and 3/4 lb Van Houten Cocoa Powder in the fermenter 1/2 lb of lactose when you bottle.”

You’re making me thirsty. With beer prices here in Northern Colorado breaking $8 for a six-pack I’m going to start brewing my own again. I love Stout and Porter.


47 posted on 03/10/2008 6:53:17 PM PDT by dljordan
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To: flowerplough

“Beer is beer, the cheap, yellow-gold beverage of choice of many men. Go sing your silky, fleeting, bleating notes in San Francisco, or Paris-and-Milan, you transplanted w(h)ine snobs.”

Stouts, Porters and Ales are the beers of men not that yellow-gold yeast-p*ss you’re calling beer, which is made mostly from rice.


48 posted on 03/10/2008 6:56:25 PM PDT by dljordan
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To: Hemingway's Ghost

heheheheheh the stuff in one fermenter started out with an OG of 1.095..... its down to 1.018... but not clarifying well yet. I sampled and there is nothing bad about it. It is smoooooooth. Isenglass and gelatin before I bottle, I think, and it should be ready by fall. 10 or 11% ish brew.


49 posted on 03/10/2008 7:16:30 PM PDT by LesbianThespianGymnasticMidget (Si Hoc Legere Scis Nimium Eruditionis Habes)
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To: Hemingway's Ghost

Oh, and conical fermenters rock. Screw racking to secondary. Sanitize, throw a valve, dump the trub, and draw a sample.


50 posted on 03/10/2008 7:19:43 PM PDT by LesbianThespianGymnasticMidget (Si Hoc Legere Scis Nimium Eruditionis Habes)
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