Governor Signs Holtzclaw’s Bill to Protect Breweries & Consumers

By Bill Holtzclaw

MONTGOMERY, Ala. –  On May 26, a bill protecting Alabama breweries and their customers from needless government intrusion was signed into law by Governor Kay Ivey. Senate Bill 234, sponsored by Senator Bill Holtzclaw (R-Madison), clarifies that the Alabama Alcoholic Beverage Control Board (ABC) may not require breweries to maintain a record of the names, addresses, or other personal information of their retail customers.

“I appreciate Governor Ivey signing this bill into law. We need to protect the privacy of consumers in Alabama, and there is no reason in this instance for state government bureaucrats to step between a private citizen and the company he or she is doing business with,” Holtzclaw remarked.

After Holtzclaw successfully co-sponsored legislation in 2016 to allow breweries to sell growlers (a refillable, portable container) of beer to customers for off-site consumption, ABC indicated it would require breweries to record the personal information of all retail customers making such purchases. With SB234, Senator Holtzclaw has made good on his promise to bring legislation in the 2017 legislative session to correct ABC’s regulatory misstep.

For tax purposes, existing law does require breweries to collect information from restaurant owners and gas station proprietors, who purchase from breweries in a manufacturing capacity. But ABC’s decision to apply the law to retail customers clearly overstepped the law’s meaning and intent.

“We have at least nineteen craft beer companies in the state now, and more are coming online soon. Each year, tens of thousands of Alabamians responsibly enjoy some of the best craft beer in America, brewed in places like Huntsville and Madison,” Holtzclaw continued. “Going forward, those customers can enjoy great beer from microbreweries across Alabama, without having to fork over personal information to fulfill a burdensome government regulation.”

Senator Bill Holtzclaw represents Madison and Limestone counties in the Alabama Senate and served for twenty years in the U.S. Marine Corps, which included combat tours in the Gulf War and Somalia. Follow him on Twitter for the latest legislative updates: @billholtzclaw