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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. -- Beer advocacy group Free the Hops is pushing for legislation that would increase the maximum container size for beer in Alabama from 16 ounces in most of the state to 25.4 ounces, The Birmingham News reported. The measure, which the group says would be good for business, passed the Senate by a single vote last week. A House version remains in committee.
"We're just tweaking the container size restriction to allow the 22-ounce craft beers and the 500-milliliter and 750-milliliter sizes that so many European and so many domestic brewers are putting their beer into," said Stuart Carter, a Free the Hops board member. "American craft breweries doing Belgian-style beer love to bottle in the 750s because they can do the caged-and-corked look that resembles a bottle of champagne."
"We chose 25.4 ounces because we're all about craft beer," said Carter. "We didn't go after quarts or 40s. We're not about malt liquor. We're about craft beer. We will let someone else fight the malt liquor fight."
Local brewers, such as Birmingham's Good People Brewing Co. and Avondale Brewing Co., have voiced their support for the legislation, as well as their intention to produce beer in larger container sizes when possible.
"We want to use the larger bottles or cans," Avondale co-founder and co-owner Coby Lake told the news outlet. "We're anxious to see what the Legislature does. For us, it could have a significant effect on our business."
Alabama remains the only state that limits the size of beer containers, according to the report. "There are 49 states that allow you to buy beer in large containers and then there's Alabama," said Carter.