FTH Passage has hit the press…

By XeroCube | May 14, 2009

Senate passes Free the Hops bill; higher-alcohol beer could be on the way – Breaking News from the Press-Register – al.com

MONTGOMERY — The state Senate today passed a bill allowing the sale of gourmet beers in Alabama.

The legislation, sponsored by state Rep. Thomas Jackson, D-Thomasville, allows the sale of beer with an alcohol content of 13.9 percent by volume. Previously the limit was five percent by volume.

The bill passed the Senate 22-9 and now goes to the governor. If signed, retailers would be allowed the sale of certain gourmet and imported beers in Alabama. Free the Hops, an organization which lobbied for the bill, says the beverages cost an average of $5 to $6 a bottle.

The bill came up for consideration earlier in the session but was filibustered by state Sen. Hank Erwin, R-Montevallo, who cited his personal opposition to alcohol consumption in blocking the legislation. Erwin was not in the Senate chamber for Thursday’s vote; however, the Senate approved the bill by using a previous vote total. Erwin was on that roll as voting aye.

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