Skip to comments.Beer battle brewing in Alabama
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 ...
That’s big government for you.
The flavor notes begin to mellow after the second pitcher.
The Lutheran will speak to you in the Liquor Store.
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.
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.
That’s OK. Most homebrew tastes like crap. Still should be legal though.
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.
My homebrews certainly don’t taste like crap. Better than just about anything short of Samuel Smith’s
“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!
Would you prefer there be a federal law that overrides this state law?
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.
What kind of wine would only have a 3.2% alcohol content?
For every good homebrewer there are 100 hacks.
Most homebrewers don’t wait till their beer is ready.
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.
Can just about say this regarding commercial brewers too.
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.
I certainly wouldn’t but I also don’t like the Feds forcing states to comply with national drinking ages or speed limits either.
Yep. Except they purposely make them the way they “like” them, generally. Or the way they think they will sell.
They sell lightning in quart jars in the ABC stores in Alabama.
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?
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! ;-)
LOL...that's what I was wondering! I think that's called "grape juice."
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.
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.
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.
I detest beer snobs as much as I detest wine snobs.
That's porridge, man! Get that down to a FG of 1.015 and you're going to have one kick-ass beer.
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.
Legal Status of Homebrewing in Alabama
Status: Not Statutorily Recognized
Alabama state statue § 28-1-1 prohibits the possession of illegally manufactured alcoholic beverages.
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.
State Alcohol Beverage Control Agency:
Alabama Alcoholic Beverage Control Board
P.O. Box 1151
Montgomery, AL 36101
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.
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.
You haven’t tried most homebrew to be making those allegations. So... there... take that. LOL
That's the plan! ;-)
That’s just lovely.
They better get it done before November, 2008! I can see we're ALL going to need to drink heavily election day evening!
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.
“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.
“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.
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.
Oh, and conical fermenters rock. Screw racking to secondary. Sanitize, throw a valve, dump the trub, and draw a sample.