'Bama beer battle hits legislature

In most states there is no restriction on the types of beers consumers can enjoy. "Most" being the key word.

In Alabama, for example, it is illegal to drink beer containing more than 6% alcohol. Violators face a $1,000 fine and up to a year in jail.

However, a bill in the state legislature would more than double the allowable alcohol content in beer. And legislators were recently treated to a beer tasting in Montgomery that offered numerous foreign and domestic beers well above the alcohol limit.

Stuart Carter, a Scotsman who heads a beer advocacy group called Free the Hops, says: "To people in Alabama it looks like there's a huge range of beers in the store already. They're saying, 'Wow, there's 300 beers.' From my perspective, being someone who came into Alabama more recently, I see 300 beers and think, 'Where's the beer?' "

National Public Radio has an interesting report on the topic. Go here to access it.

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Colorado repeals Sunday spirits ban

Colorado has become the 35th state to repeal its ban on Sunday spirits sale. Thirteen states, counting the imminent Colorado change, have passed Sunday sales laws since 2002.

A bill co-authored by Sen. Jennifer Veiga and Rep. Cheri Jahn passed the Senate Thursday by a 24-9 vote. It now moves to the desk of Gov. Bill Ritter for final signature. If he approves it, the bill becomes law on July 1.

"This is a terrific victory for the benefit of consumer convenience, market modernization and free enterprise," said Peter Cressy, president of the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States (DISCUS).

He noted that this year marks the 75th anniversary of national Prohibition repeal that left behind it a ban on Sunday sales under so-called "Blue Laws" based on religious preferences for banning sales on the traditional day of worship.

A recent economic analysis shows that year-round Sunday sales of distilled spirits in Colorado alone would lead to an estimated retailer revenue impact range of $23 to $32 million and between $1.8 and $2.6 million for the state in additional sales tax revenue.

• Colorado Taverns and Bars
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