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ABC confiscates homebrew equipment from Birmingham Hopcity!

Discussion in 'Beer News' started by slatetupelo, Sep 21, 2012.

  1. http://blog.al.com/spotnews/2012/09/abc_agents_raid_birmingham_bee.html

    Yes, this is still happening in the year 2012. They even confiscated BOOKS related to homebrewing!
  2. robinsmv

    robinsmv Initiate (0) Florida Jun 24, 2010

    I bet you can still buy plenty of glass pipes "for tobacco use only" in alabama. That carboy is used for storing water and the immersion chiller helps quickly cool sweet tea without watering it down :rolleyes:
  3. mychalg9

    mychalg9 Advocate (710) Illinois Apr 8, 2010

    I would not picket for war or work, but I would certainly protest this if i lived there. ​
  4. afrokaze

    afrokaze Advocate (620) California Jun 12, 2009

    Great to know what my tax dollars are being wasted on.
    Mavajo and johnnybgood1999 like this.
  5. cavedave

    cavedave Champion (930) New York Mar 12, 2009

    Will someone please convince the powers that be in Alabama that Prohibition has ended, horses aren't used as the most modern mode of transportation, and the Sun doesn't circle the Earth. We really need all the states of the Union to get on board with these news items.
  6. LMT

    LMT Savant (305) Virginia Oct 15, 2009

    ...and that the civil war is over (I don't know if they should be told they lost, though...they might not be able to handle it).
    csano, ThatOneDude, jp7161 and 4 others like this.
  7. Lutter

    Lutter Advocate (650) Texas Jun 30, 2010

    Homebrewing is illegal in Alabama... this dude was selling illegal products. End of story. Unfortunately, while they recently got their ABV laws changed, the ability to make homebrew did not and fell through in their legislature.

    The government is not in the wrong here. Their alcohol board is merely following state law and doing their job, no matter how silly we might find it.

    And yes, I support homebrew. Luckily it's LEGAL here in Texas! ;) Laws like this should be challenged, not outright ignored... especially by a store that requires state licensing to sell product!
  8. Well, I plan to drive over from Mississippi next weekend and offset some of his losses with a purchase.
    jp7161, 66jzmstr, YogiBeer and 4 others like this.
  9. How is the law written in Alabama? Does it specifically say that you cannot sell homebrewing equipment? I have heard of other stores in Alabama that do sell homebrew supplies so curious as to why Kraig has been singled out. As others have mentioned, the act of homebrewing might be illegal but not so sure about selling supplies.
  10. Hanzo

    Hanzo Champion (955) Virginia Feb 27, 2012

    My guess is because it is a new store.

    They were probably checking the store out prior to issuing the license, saw the equipment and called it in. While I agree it is pretty ridiculous, I think more effort should be put into getting the laws changed rather than just complaining about it. (if ABC regulations clearly state homebrewing equipment cannot be sold)
    beerFool28607 likes this.
  11. Could indeed be the case. I find it interesting that the following homebrew stores are allowed to operate but Alabama decided to take a stand with hop city, which doesn't even exclusively sell homebrew supplies.
    http://www.alabrew.com/
    http://www.thewinesmith.biz/
    http://www.deepsouthbrew.com/
    http://www.fairviewhomebrew.com/
  12. Brunite

    Brunite Savant (420) Illinois Sep 21, 2009

    If only Jimmy Carter had been from Alabama.......!
    newriverbrewer likes this.
  13. Lantern

    Lantern Initiate (0) Feb 27, 2011

    Just tell 'em it's for err... ummm... making...tea. Yeah, tea.
  14. Wording of current Alabama law:

    "In all counties of the state it shall be unlawful for any person, firm or corporation to have in his or its possession any still or apparatus to be used for the manufacture of any alcoholic beverage of any kind or any alcoholic beverage of any kind illegally manufactured or transported within the state or imported into the state from any other place without authority of the alcoholic control board of the state, and any person, firm or corporation violating this provision or who transports any illegally manufactured alcoholic beverages or who manufactures illegally any alcoholic beverages shall, upon conviction, be punished as provided by law." §28-1-1

    I guess "apparatus to be used for the manufacture of any alcoholic beverage of any kind" would cover homebrewing supplies. Still surprised that this happened despite the current law. My impression was no one really bothered enforcing that law, as there are multiple other homebrew stores in AL. Hopefully AL can get this law taken care of, several bills have been introduced previously but all have died unfortunately.
  15. Having spoken with Kraig on quite a few occasions in his Atlanta store, I would be extremely surprised if he did not do the due diligence to ensure he was complying with all state laws. He seems quite intelligent, is extremely professional, and his store is very well run. Having said that, I personally do not know the wording or enforcement of this law in Alabama (and I assume neither do you).

    EDIT: beat out by Daryk77
  16. The other state where homebrewing is not legal.
  17. Hanzo

    Hanzo Champion (955) Virginia Feb 27, 2012

    Did you read daryk77's post?

    beerFool28607 likes this.
  18. billandsuz

    billandsuz Savant (390) New York Sep 1, 2004

    this is about States Rights and all that. not surprising.

    so long as i don't have to hear from some Alabama Senator about everything that is wrong with New York, this nonsense does not effect me in the least. must suck to be a thinking citizen of Alabama who just wants to brew some beer.
  19. JimKal

    JimKal Savant (300) North Carolina Jul 31, 2011

    While I understand the frustration with this antiquated law, the only taxes being wasted are those of the residents of Alabama. No Federal agents were involved, no federal taxes were spent. Maybe the Alabama BAs can start a letter writing campaign to state legislators.
    Providence likes this.
  20. jrnyc

    jrnyc Advocate (630) New York Mar 21, 2010

    Or as some traders would say at their local delivery store: "sauces".
    Azzy, Lantern and robinsmv like this.
  21. Blazer06

    Blazer06 Aficionado (200) Florida Jun 30, 2008

    So they should still be able to sell the ingredients unless there is more written in the law.
  22. xnicknj

    xnicknj Advocate (730) Pennsylvania May 25, 2009

    comical - it's like a shoddily-written episode of Boardwalk Empire. i'm sure there aren't any other more pressing issues that the government could be dealing with in Alabama.
  23. If you want to laugh and cry at the same time, listen to these audio excerpts highlights from last year's AL legislature debate over legalizing homebrewing.
  24. robinsmv

    robinsmv Initiate (0) Florida Jun 24, 2010

    How were they able to confiscate the books? They are not an apparatus used for making alcohol and are covered by the first ammendment. i dont live in alabama, but i bet you can fins books on alcohol production in the library.
    beerFool28607 likes this.
  25. There is a larger issue of which this is just a small example. Government bureaucrats all over the 50 states have become quite overbearing in their desire to show the citizens just who is boss. These stories seem to pop up almost daily:
    kids' lemonade stands being shut down;
    the Gibson guitar company's stock confiscated;
    a hardware store told they can't give free donuts and coffee;
    food kitchens not allowed to supply free food to hungry people;
    Governing officials have lost the concept that they serve us and increasingly act as if it's the other way around: that we exist to show obedience to them.
  26. kmello69

    kmello69 Advocate (505) Texas Nov 27, 2011

    Good question. Are you sure they have libraries? :p
    afrokaze and robinsmv like this.
  27. klaybie

    klaybie Savant (275) Illinois Nov 15, 2009

    This is probably just the Criminal Justice major in me speaking, but the agents were just doing their jobs as mentioned above. While I think everyone should challenge laws vocally (or in writing, or both) people should NOT violate laws they feel are unjust just for the sake of protest, they will be charged. On that note, I cannot believe Alabama does not allow homebrewing, its 2012.

    On the issue of the ingredients, I would guess that while the "apparatus" to make beer is illegal the ingredients must fall under that. Even if they don't and an ABCB agent told me to get rid of them, I would. Better safe than sorry, challenge it in court later.
    JimKal likes this.
  28. robinsmv

    robinsmv Initiate (0) Florida Jun 24, 2010

    Where else would they go to eat paste? :D
    klaybie likes this.
  29. The American Homebrewers Association has been working to get homebrewing legal in Alabama and Mississippi. They have gotten closer but still not there.

    http://www.homebrewersassociation.org/pages/government-affairs
  30. Idiocracy thy name is Alabama...
    klaybie likes this.
  31. klaybie

    klaybie Savant (275) Illinois Nov 15, 2009

    I really enjoyed the quote in the video
    here
    that says "All a kid would have to do is find an adult to brew it for them and they have an unlimited amount of alcohol for free" Or something along those lines... yes, because homebrewing supplies are free to any adult and one "youngsters" are always willing to delay their drinking for 4-6 weeks while it ferments.....................
    Beerandraiderfan likes this.
  32. kmello69

    kmello69 Advocate (505) Texas Nov 27, 2011

    If you have an adult who would brew alcohol for you, wouldnt that same adult be willing to just go to the store and buy it for you too? The logic escapes me......
  33. Hanzo

    Hanzo Champion (955) Virginia Feb 27, 2012

    No, since brewing beer is so much easier and cheaper than going and grabbing a 12pk of Natty Ice.

    Won't someone think of the children!
  34. Steeeve

    Steeeve Savant (255) Pennsylvania Nov 16, 2010

    By the strictest definition of the word in that shoddily written law, I don't think they have any grounds for confiscating homebrewing books. Ingredients and equipment, yes, but not the books. I don't agree with the law obviously but this guy clearly didn't do his homework before attempting to open his store.

    Serious question, though... why do people live in Alabama?
    kmatlack, nanobrew and FosterJM like this.
  35. bum732

    bum732 Advocate (630) Lesotho Feb 18, 2008

    I am Jack's complete lack of surprise.
    kmatlack, videofrog, nanobrew and 7 others like this.
  36. Selective enforcement of the laws is commonplace. Just like the time you were one of many cars speeding down the interstate and you were the only car stopped and ticketed. Or, the owner may have pissed off someone at the ABC board and gotten himself targeted. Either way, the statute does prohibit possession of any equipment used to make any kind of alcoholic beverage. Is this discrimination? Perhaps. There aren't enough facts here to make that determination.
  37. robinsmv

    robinsmv Initiate (0) Florida Jun 24, 2010

    ftfy
  38. Hanzo

    Hanzo Champion (955) Virginia Feb 27, 2012

    This is one of the few times I don't think tax revenue is the motive. I mean let's face it, when it comes to beer sales they are getting 99% of the tax money from BMC drinkers...and BMC drinkers aren't likely to be the ones trying to brew their own beer. This is about controlling people and stopping them from making their own alcohol because alcohol is the devil.
  39. If this pisses you off, like it does me, donate a little money or buy a t-shirt from Alabama's Free The Hops and Mississippi's Raise Your Pints lobbying groups. These groups are trying to move our states out of the dark ages.
    skivtjerry, jivex5k and SatlyMalty like this.
  40. I guess they should start raiding kitchen supply shops then. After all, large stock pots fall under the category of "apparatus for manufacturing alcohol". Buckets, too. Oh yeah, get rid of all tubing as well.

    Don't quite understand about the hops though, as they don't produce any alcohol.

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