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ABC confiscates homebrew equipment from Birmingham Hopcity!

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

  1. leedorham

    leedorham Champion (845) Washington Apr 27, 2006

    Although there are, of course, varying degrees of injustice (I certainly don't equate this situation to apartheid), your statement is fundamentally incorrect. Violating unjust laws despite the possibility of being charged, imprisoned, or worse, is many times the most effective way to end the injustice. History has proven this countless times.
    Beerandraiderfan likes this.
  2. leedorham

    leedorham Champion (845) Washington Apr 27, 2006

    It's a delicate dance. My LHBS sells "Water distillers."
  3. freduardo

    freduardo Savant (410) Alabama Feb 19, 2007

    oh boy. another story for everyone to beat up on alabama over.

    the other stores you listed don't have a liquor license (as far as i know), so they don't deal with the abc. hop city has/is seeking a liquor license (not sure which at this time), so they do have to deal with the abc. i guess it's hard for the abc to look the other way when they have to come in your store and do inspections and what not and the only thing in the store is a bunch of homebrewing supplies.

    i'm furious about this, but i guess i understand why it happened. please support free the hops and right to brew in their effort to make homebrewing legal in the next legislative session.
    Mavajo, beerFool28607 and daryk77 like this.
  4. dciBA

    dciBA Savant (390) Maine Dec 23, 2007

    for those saying the ABC was just doing it's job, were the guns really necesarry?
    Mavajo likes this.
  5. Danielbt

    Danielbt Savant (380) Texas May 4, 2012

    The barley might have made a suspicious move.
  6. Mojo

    Mojo Savant (470) Alabama Jul 21, 2012 Verified

    I sent this email to the state ABC enforcement division at this address:

    [email protected]

    Please allow me to register my displeasure and strong objection to your department's raid on Hop City in Birmingham. This makes our entire state and your department in particular look intolerant and heavy handed.

    Surely you are aware that the craft beer community is not the same thing as pedestrian drunks. Individuals looking to simply become intoxicated will not have an interest in paying premium prices or in the consumption of home brewed beverages.

    According to news reports you even confiscated books with the subject matter of home brewing. It is unthinkable that in the year 2012, that government agencies involve themselves in this type of forced censorship. You should be deeply ashamed of this action which is more befitting a totalitarian regime rather than modern age America.

    It is my hope that you will reflect on the folly of this action and allow Mr. Torres to operate his business in the manner in which he intends. It is my belief that he is a good citizen that is providing a service desired by his customers. He chose to open a store in Alabama so his customers from this state did not have to continue driving to his Atlanta store. This only benefits our state as all revenues will be subject to state and local taxes.
  7. Mojo

    Mojo Savant (470) Alabama Jul 21, 2012 Verified

    :) Because of the football!!!:)
    Beerandraiderfan likes this.
  8. GeezLynn

    GeezLynn Advocate (510) Minnesota May 10, 2009

    Carrying a gun is part of Alabaman culture
  9. skiofpinsk

    skiofpinsk Savant (430) Pennsylvania Jun 18, 2008 Verified

    That's one way to get your brewing equipment on the cheap..
  10. leedorham

    leedorham Champion (845) Washington Apr 27, 2006

    The more ridiculous the situation looks, the better. People need to be woken up so they can see how asinine this is. I wish they had rolled a tank up to the front door.
  11. DavoleBomb

    DavoleBomb Advocate (635) Ohio Mar 29, 2008

    Bootlegging is illegal in many places. Guess that means it's illegal to sell potatoes.
  12. DavoleBomb

    DavoleBomb Advocate (635) Ohio Mar 29, 2008

    "100 gallons of mead, whatever that is"
    -Rep. Laird
  13. leedorham

    leedorham Champion (845) Washington Apr 27, 2006

    "When I have a cocktail, I drink Chivas Regal. Chivas Regal is stamped and approved by the government agency that says this is healthy. But you think I'll drink something that was made at somebody house? Man you gonna make everybody up here a wino!"

    -Rep. Holmes
    fickenmeimirish and msubulldog25 like this.
  14. Hmmm, seems odd to me that the president of a country is allowed to homebrew, but a state can decide that it is illegal...
    jmw likes this.
  15. woosterbill

    woosterbill Champion (905) Kentucky Apr 6, 2009 Verified

    Why is that odd? States outlaw plenty of things that aren't federally prohibited. Unless there's a constitutionally protected right to a certain activity, it's fair game for state and local governments to ban. Sadly, while the 21st Amendment repealed the federal prohibition of alcohol, it did not establish an individual's right to imbibe.

    Remember that homebrewing was illegal nation-wide until the Carter administration - and all Carter did was allow states to make up their own minds about the issue.

    A better question is - if a Constitutional amendment was necessary to allow the feds the power to prohibit alcohol, where is the amendment granting them the power to prohibit marijuana and other drugs? Why aren't those issues left up to the states just like homebrewing is?
    fickenmeimirish likes this.
  16. daryk77

    daryk77 Advocate (570) District of Columbia Jun 16, 2005 Verified

    Good point there, didn't think about that. I agree, it is time to get this legalized. Though it might be tough to convince certain members, Quote from Rep. DuWayne Bridges (R-Valley)

    “If we don’t stop now, there’s going to be—next it’s marijuana, and it isn’t going to be 60 gallons, it’s going to be 150 gallons or more.” He also suggested that this bill could allow for 120 million gallons of beer to be brewed annually. Bridges attempted to make brewing more than the allowed amount a felony. -from Weld, for Birmingham

    Edit: here are a couple of good ones from Rep. Richard Baughn (R-Lynn)

    “I was raised in a Christian home and I was taught that any form of alcohol is bad,”
    “Anything I can do to kill alcohol, I’m going to do.”
  17. Ariz

    Ariz Aficionado (110) Alabama May 2, 2009

  18. “I was raised in a Christian home and I was taught that any form of alcohol is bad,”
    “Anything I can do to kill alcohol, I’m going to do.”[/quote]

    In other words; "my pappy n' momma told me al-kee-hol was bad, but I ain't really red tha Bible myself."
    Mavajo, robinsmv and woosterbill like this.
  19. I live in AL. This isn't a tax issue. This is a case where religion acts as a coercive agent in stripping individual liberties from fellow citizens. If there is one evil in the south that opresses every single person living here, it's religion. This is the group that pretty much drives the ABC on matters things like this.
  20. ...and now the great religious debate begins....
    Jesus made wine out of water..blah blah blah

    Was a state law broken? Yes. End of story.
    This whole debate reminds me of all the "medical marijuana" co-ops that got raided by federal DEA agents and cried foul. There's a hierarchy of laws...if a law is federally illegal, it overrides a state's law. A state law overrides county law, county law overrides city/town, etc etc etc...
    On the other hand, a state/county/city can instate laws that are federally legal, but outlaw them in their jurisdiction. Ever hear of a dry county?
  21. otispdriftwood

    otispdriftwood Advocate (570) Colorado Dec 9, 2011 Verified

    Hmmmm. No home brewing in AL or MS. Sounds like a remnant of the old South. The moonshine lobby is to blame.
  22. Steeeve

    Steeeve Savant (265) Pennsylvania Nov 16, 2010

    When I think of lawmakers in Alabama, I pretty much picture Cathy Bates in The Waterboy. Alcohol is the devil! Homebrewing is the devil! Your fancy book learnins is the devil!
  23. leedorham

    leedorham Champion (845) Washington Apr 27, 2006

    Enforcement agency leadership has to prioritize constantly then make enforcement decisions that will affect public support of their agency, which will ultimately affect legislative funding.

    They made the decision to raid a store selling stuff you could put together yourself from home depot. I hope they get crucified by the public, but they probably won't because it's Alabama.
  24. So government enforcing the laws that the people have asked for via their state legislatures is an example of govenrment showing people who's boss? I don't get it.
  25. herrburgess

    herrburgess Champion (935) South Carolina Nov 4, 2009 Verified

    Much of the public down here gets pretty pissed when the "gub-mint" messes around in their lives...so maybe there'll be some form of backlash. Doubtful though.
  26. daryk77

    daryk77 Advocate (570) District of Columbia Jun 16, 2005 Verified

    Did anyone go to this website? freakin' awesome, here is a quick excerpt from their current issues section:

    "[Officer] Thomas said it was definitely not just girls using the tampons to get drunk; he said that rectal beer bongs is another bizarre trend created under the same concept and is becoming as popular as beer bongs used at college drinking bashes. He said that is called "butt chugging."

    Back on topic- I agree that if it against the law it is fair game but to me the Alabama law is not black and white as there are many other homebrew shops in AL. There has to be some grey area in there for the other stores to operate, so at best this is very selective enforcement.
    woosterbill likes this.
  27. I could fabricate all sorts of things from items found at Home Depot, but that doesn't mean they're legal.
    I don't agree with the laws, but they are the laws. And until you can garnish enough support behind changing them, you have to play by them. I would like to walk around my property naked, but there are laws against that. So either I move to a nudist colony, or wear clothes. Nudist colonies scare the bejeezus out of me, so I choose to wear clothes.

    In this case, I think it boils down to revenue. Look at the multiple agencies who are dedicated to the eradication of home distillers. They are losing incredibly large amounts of revenue from those that brew moonshine, brandy, and vodka in the middle of the woods. Same goes with beer. They can't collect from, or control the quantity they dont know exists.
  28. leedorham

    leedorham Champion (845) Washington Apr 27, 2006

    Kind of a strange that you take that stance and have that avatar.

    There's a whole 'nother world out there friend. I don't have to play by jack shit.
    swhite11 likes this.
  29. jivex5k

    jivex5k Advocate (660) Florida Apr 13, 2011

    OMG...That audio debate.....my god these people are in charge?
    They are barely coherent...

    Is anyone in this thread actually from AL though? I mean, people must be homebrewing in AL, there was a raid so...

    I'd like to hear from someone living there and how they feel about this.
  30. This stance has evolved from nearly a lifetime of bucking the system. I've found it's easier and safer to play with sugar than dynamite. Until something comes along that drastically impacts my life, I will play nice.
  31. All laws are selectively enforced because government agencies don't have the time nor resources to enforce everything. It's interesting to observe that, of all the problems the ABC agents have to worry about in Alabama, they chose to make this arrest.

    Overbearing government agents using guns to confiscate supplies which have uses other than homebrewing is an example of government bureaucrats throwing their weight around. If there were concerns within the ABC, wouldn't it have been appropriate to have a meeting with the store owner prior to conducting a raid?

    There's also the issue that others have brought up of these agents confiscating literature, which is a violation of the first amendment.
  32. That really needs captions.:cool:

    I wish I could say that I'm more surprised by the profoundly illogical nature of those rants, ignorance, or loose grip upon the English language.

    Maybe a basic critical thinking test should be tacked on to the requirements for becoming a member of the legislature, at the very least.
  33. rolltide8425

    rolltide8425 Advocate (685) Pennsylvania Feb 18, 2011 Verified

    One more reason I'm glad I don't live there anymore.
  34. No arguments with anything that you just said whatsoever. However, in this situation, the people who allow the gov't to act in that fashion are more to blame than the gov't itself if you ask me.
  35. DavoleBomb

    DavoleBomb Advocate (635) Ohio Mar 29, 2008

    You don't need to have completed grade school to become a politician and that clip proves it.
  36. It was entered 1 minute before mine so no - I was typing my post. However, I still stand by the fact I'd be extremely surprised if he did not do the due diligence in making sure he'd be able to open this store.
  37. Replace the
    I think Free the Hops is taking a supporting role on the homebrew issue at this point. I believe the group that is at the forefront currently is call "Right to Brew".
  38. Steeeve

    Steeeve Savant (265) Pennsylvania Nov 16, 2010

    I doubt it really has anything to do with the minuscule amount of revenue they're losing (if any... every homebrewer I know still buys plenty of beer). Based on that audio clip, they are just unbelievably ignorant of the process and the reasons why people want to brew. They really believe that if you can make beer in your home, you and your children will walk around blind drunk for weeks at a time. They're past the point of even being educated on the topic. It's a sad reality that the people in charge of our welfare cannot be bothered to search Google for 5 minutes to learn something about the laws they make.
  39. cavedave

    cavedave Poobah (1,060) New York Mar 12, 2009 Verified

    Based solely on the comments I heard on this audio clip, I suggest the average IQ of Alabama legislators is so low it cannot be accurately measured without equipment capable of measuring nanoIQ.

    I had a slug problem in my garden, and I believe that every single one of the slugs in my garden had a higher intelligence quotient than any of the neanderthalic sub morons I heard on that clip.
  40. IceAce

    IceAce Advocate (570) California Jan 8, 2004

    ABC in virtually every state are sworn officers and they all pack...