HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WZDX) - Brewmasters in Alabama celebrated Wednesday, presumably over an ice-cold glass of home brewed beer.
Late Tuesday night, both the Senate and House passed HB9. The bill will now go to Governor Bentley's desk. If signed, Alabama will become the last state in the nation to legalize at-home brewing of beer and cider.
Dan Roberts and his counterparts at the Alabama Brewer's Guild worked hand-in-hand with the Right to Brew movement in the hopes of making the prohibition of home-brewed beer a thing of the past.
"A lot of professional craft breweries, some of the most celebrated microbreweries across the country, they all started off as home brewers and that is how they honed their skills," said Roberts.
Rich Edmondson has been honing his skills at the brewing science for more than two decades. He said the right to home-brew was long overdue.
"As a home brewer you can create a recipe, take a little bit of a risk, develop a recipe that is a brand new style for example. Part of the fun of the hobby is that you try to catch time in a bottle. You create something that's unique," said Edmondson.
Edmondson and about a dozen others were insrumental in the grassroots effort behind HB9. He said that at-home innovation is the driving force behind the craft beer movement.
"There is a give and take that happens, a sort of synergy between the home brewers that are not making beer for sale and craft brewers who produce for sale," explained Edmondson.
Currently, there are no indications that Governor Bentley opposes the bill. For brew masters, it looks like Alabama has finally earned their right to brew.
"We'll be relieved when it's finally signed," said Edmondson. "As far as being 49th or 50th to make it legal, you know that doesn't matter to us. We just want it to be legal and that's good enough," he said.