A Proposed Rule In Alabama Would Make Breweries Collect A Lot Of Personal Information From Beer Buyers
Here’s how buying beer usually works: You go into whatever sort of store sells beer in your state. You bring the beer to the counter. If you’ve done a bad job of growing your goatee, you get carded. You pay and you leave. But a proposed rule in Alabama would make buying beer from a brewery specifically, a far more complicated matter, requiring the brewery to record each purchaser’s name, address, telephone number [and] date of birth, all of which “shall be subject to verification by the ABC (Alcohol Beverage Control) Board,” according to a release by the Alabama ABC board.
The proposed regulation does have a bit of logic to it: Up until June 1 of this year, Alabama breweries weren’t allowed to sell beer on their premises for off-site consumption at all. Thankfully for craft brewers and drinkers, new legislation passed allowing direct-to-consumer sales, as long as the breweries limited sales to to 288 ounces (the equivalent of a standard case of 24 bottles of 12 ounce beers) per person per day. Enforcing such a rule is a tricky proposition, but then again, enforcing most rules is a tricky proposition, and for hundreds of years we’ve found ways to enforce all sorts of regulations without always overburdening sellers or infringing on the privacy of buyers.
That’s exactly the stance that the Alabama Brewers Guild has taken. “The ABC is trying to do their job, and we understand the reasoning,” the group wrote in a blog post on its website. “However, we believe there are less invasive ways to ensure compliance.” Others weren’t so delicate. “As nonsensical as it might seem, this rule would essentially empower the ABC Board to come to an individual's house to confirm his or her purchase of a six pack of beer,” Nick Hudson of Alabama craft brewing advocate Free The Hops said according to the Associated Press.
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For now, the proposed rule is in its public comment period, with the board not set to actually decide on the proposal until September 28. That’s right: You have about two months where you can try to pull a fast one on the Alabama ABC Board and see if a brewery will sell you 289 ounces of beer in one day…if you dare!