Alabama’s breweries write letter requesting changes to coronavirus precautions and fiscal relief
The head of the Alabama Brewers Guild, a group of 55 breweries and distilleries across Alabama, presented Governor Kay Ivey with a letter on Thursday requesting changes to some of the new rules being enforced during the coronavirus pandemic.
The group wants more latitude in serving curbside customers/to-go orders, the ability to deliver beer and wine directly to customers’ homes and tax relief in the face of declining revenues.
According to members of the Guild, they employ more than 500 people together across the state.
The group would like the removal of the sales restrictions on what curbside customers can buy from liquor stores.
The limits are currently one 750 mL bottle of liquor, one 750 mL bottle of wine or one six-pack of beer per customer.
The brewers think those limits are unhelpful since all people have to do to get around them is walk inside an establishment, and they believe the limits are unfair because they do not apply to programs like Wal-Mart’s curbside service.
The limits arose as part of a new emergency rule instituted earlier in the week by the Alabama Beverage Control Board that allowed establishments with a liquor license to sell to curbside customers during the coronavirus pandemic.
The Guild is further protesting the part of the emergency law that only allows for curbside/to-go sales of manufacturer-sealed alcohol.
The group wants permission to sell repackaged draft beer called “growlers” because “many restaurants only have draft beer in inventory.”
Additionally, the Brewers Guild wants the ability to deliver beer and wine straight to their customers’ homes, which is currently banned by state law.
They say that waiving the delivery regulation is a commonsense move that helps prevent the spread of the disease and opens up more revenue for struggling businesses.
The Brewers Guild requests a three-month suspension or deferral of the excise tax on their merchandise. They say the money saved will be crucial to pay their employees.
The Guild also wants the recently implemented waiver of late penalties for businesses averaging less than $62,500 in monthly sales to be applied to all Category 3 food establishments that have been affected by recent coronavirus precautions.
They say these steps will help “keep small, local businesses afloat as they weather this storm.”
The full letter can be read here.
Henry Thornton is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can contact him by email: firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @HenryThornton95.