Home brewing legalized in Alabama - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

Good People Brewing Co. turns home brewing experiment into big business

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Joel Harries, Good People Brewing Co. (abc3340.com) Joel Harries, Good People Brewing Co. (abc3340.com)
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BIRMINGHAM - AL -

Brewing is big business in Alabama. But many people behind that business got started by committing felonies. It's no longer a crime. Governor Bentley has signed a bill letting people make up to 15 gallons of beer or wine at home every three months. Home-brewing led to the establishment of some local breweries. Good People Brewery is just one that's getting attention nationwide.

What started as a home brewing experiment turned into one of the state's biggest breweries. To date, Good People Brewing Company puts out 18,000 barrels of beer every year. 

"We absolutely started that way, experimenting with different brews which built into something we're all proud of today," Joel Harris, Tap Room Manager, Good People Brewing Company said.

What has been illegal in the state of Alabama - helped to launch a new successful industry..

"It started out small batch brewing, and it's built into a huge tax base for the state and with this law passing, the ability to buy the supplies from various places, it will open up a whole new tax base for the state," Harris said.

"People have gotten into craft beers instead of your standard Bud, Miller, Coors," Kim Thomson, Owner, Alabrew said. "They realize there is more out there."

Kim Thomson started Alabrew 16 years ago. He sells home brewing kits with around 600 beer recipes. Kits that were illegal until yesterday.

"Of course you have those nights where you wake up and you're afraid you're going to get raided the next day but of course it never happened," Thomson said. "Those faded out over the time."

He says the art of home brewing opens a door to try new things....

"It's like any craft," Thomson said. "Here's the pin I made, here's the pizza I made - it's sharing it with friends. You put the love into it. That's what it is and exploring different things!"

"For being a place that had 0 micro breweries 5 or 6 years ago, to now having ten across the state - I think it's raising awareness all around the country when people travel through," Harris said.

The demand for beers brewed here in Alabama has grown not only locally, but nationally. Good People Brewing Company hopes to one day distribute internationally. 

 

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