Playing Politics With Beer

News out of Birmingham, Alabama this month has a local consumer lobby group calling for a boycott of all Anheuser-Busch products in the Birmingham/Jefferson County area due to anti-craft beer legislation in that state.

Free the Hops/Alabamians for Speciality Beer’s President Stewart Carter notes that the call for the boycott comes as a response to Anheuser-Busch’s Alabama distributor, Birmingham Budweiser’s lobby against gourmet or craft beers, especially those with higher alcohol contents.

Carter names Birmingham Budweiser’s vice-president, Pat Lynch, as the chief lobbyist opposing new legislation that would allow craft beers to flourish in the state of Alabama.

It certainly appears as if Alabama’s legislation on the topic of gourmet beer sales are a tad bit antiquated as they are one of only three states that limit alcohol by volume.

In the end, these prohibitive legislations mean that many of the world’s finest craft beers cannot be distributed for sale in Alabama.

Carter and the rest of the Free the Hops membership feels that by raising the state ABV limit to 14.9 per cent, Alabama could, like many other states, see craft beers take off and contribute to a healthier and more competitive beverage market.

So what if the Yukon had an ABV ceiling like Alabama’s?

Currently, the Yukon Brewing Company brews 14 beers, either seasonally or year-round. Of those 14 beers, local favourites such as Lead Dog Ale, Big Fluke India Pale Ale and Midnight Sun Espresso Stout all tip the ABV scales at well over 6.0 per cent.

Take away those beers due to territorial legislation and you are missing out on a lot flavour that you just cannot find in Canada’s mainstream lagers. Typically, these beers with elevated alcohol content are very flavourful, full bodied ales.

As far as ABV regulation goes, it appears as if the Yukon Territory’s liquor laws are not at risk of adopting a cap on ABV levels. Once again, the Yukon’s per capita liquor consumption is far and away the highest in Canada thus such regulation would probably not end up being too popular.

Still… you have to feel for those Alabamians. Free the Hops!

This column is courtesy of the Yukon Brewing Company, an organization that is apolitical … except when it comes to beer.

Mark Beese is our co-publisher.

Leave a Comment

Scroll to Top