When we go to Atlanta, we love going to a place in Little Five Points called Everybody's Pizza. Not only do they have great pizza and salads (even Evan loves their salads, and he's not normally a big salad kinda guy), they have an wonderful selection of beers on tap, including these deep, dark, Belgian ales, some of which are served in a goblet.
But you can't get a lot of these beers in Alabama. Why? The world's finest and most expensive beers are prohibited in Alabama as result of the state's current alcohol by volume (ABV) and container size limits for beer. There's a group that is lobbying to try to get those laws changed, Alabamians For Specialty Beer, and they all their movement "Free the Hops." You can learn more about the issue at their web site, www.freethehops.org. Alabama is one of only three states in the U.S. that limit alcohol by volume for beer to only 6%. It is the only state that limits beer containers to a size of no more than 1 U.S. pint (16 ounces).
The group is currently calling for a consumer boycott of Anheuser-Busch products sold in the Birmingham/Jefferson County area. The group’s president, Stuart Carter, says his group is calling for the boycott because of the anti-craft beer lobbying efforts of Birmingham Budweiser and the distributor’s vice president, Pat Lynch. Lynch, Carter says, has been a major opponent of local and state legislation which could legalize gourmet beer, typically higher-strength, in Alabama.
Free The Hops has been working for three years to change the current Alabama law that limits beer to no more the 6% alcohol by volume (ABV). This ABV ceiling means the majority of America’s finest craft beers, and many of the world’s best imported beers, cannot be sold in the state. The Free The Hops organization is seeking to raise the state’s ABV limit for beer to 14.9%. Lynch’s lobbying efforts against the local Jefferson county bill for the higher ABV limit led to the Free The Hops supported legislation (HB-728) failing last year, Carter says.
To give the boycott more visibility, Free the Hops is asking craft beef fans to call or email Birmingham Budweiser, 205-945-4893, firstname.lastname@example.org, and ask your local stores, bars & restaurants to join the boycott.