From the American Homebrewers Association (AHA): For the first time, homebrewing is to become explicitly legal in all 50 states of the United States.
The Alabama legislature has passed a bill that, once signed by Governor Robert J. Bentley, will effectively legalize homebrewing throughout the state. Alabama will be the last state in the nation to legalize homebrewing. Alabama is the last state holding out against legalizing homebrewing. In March 2013, Mississippi became the 49th state to pass homebrew legislation. The AHA has been working with Right to Brew for five years in order to get the Alabama bill passed.
"Homebrewing has been an integral part of the history of America, so it’s thrilling to know that soon all 50 states will support this growing hobby and long-standing tradition," said Gary Glass, director, American Homebrewers Association. "We appreciate the backing of all of the homebrewers, the dedicated grassroots efforts of Right to Brew and the legislators who have worked so diligently to make homebrewing a reality in Alabama. We are especially grateful to Representative Mac McCutcheon who introduced this bill and has fought long and hard for its passage, along with Senator Bill Holtzclaw."
Homebrewing became federally legal in 1979, though the 21st Amendment predominantly leaves regulation of alcohol to the states. Therefore, even though homebrewing is federally legal, it is up to individual states to legalize homebrewing in state codes. Once the Alabama bill is signed by Gov. Bentley, it will be the first time since pre-Prohibition days that homebrewers in all the states can legally brew at home.
The hobby of homebrewing has seen exponential growth in recent years. The AHA estimates that more than one million Americans brew beer or make wine at home at least once a year. Alabama is home to an estimated 5,000 homebrewers who will soon enjoy brewing without the restrictions of a state-wide ban.
Congratulations to the AHA and the home-grown groups of homebrewers who were instrumental in achieving these victories. In Alabama, that was Right to Brew and Free the Hops. In Mississippi, it was Raise Your Pints.
I got the geography wrong in the original draft of this post. Thanks to Craig of Raise Your Pints for the correction. And, congratulations!