BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — Jason Wilson believes a bill in the Alabama legislature could have a huge impact on alcohol-oriented businesses across the state, but he’s not sure if his will be included.
Wilson is the founder of Back Forty Beer Company. He’s also a former president of the Alabama Brewers Guild. He said the current language of Senate Bill 126, which would allow businesses to obtain licenses to deliver alcohol directly to consumers’ homes, does not include breweries and distilleries. He said the Alabama Brewer’s Guild hopes to get the wording changed to include the many business that it would impact.
“It’s just a general oversight, and we’re working really hard to hopefully have it corrected and have breweries and distilleries included in the final version of the bill,” Wilson said.
Wilson believes that if breweries and distilleries are included, the bill could provide a big boost for his business and others like it. If direct-to-consumer sales could account for even 5% to 10% of Back Forty’s sales, it could make a significant impact, too.
“This would allow us to focus our efforts and see a much greater return on our investment from our advertising dollars, from our marketing efforts, because we’re able to deal directly with that consumer,” he said.
Wilson said the new law could be important for Alabama’s economy and could attract larger companies to the state as well.
“There are companies outside of the state of Alabama that would potentially make significant financial investments in this state if they were allowed to exercise all of their business model here,” he said. “And the fact that they’re not allowed to exercise a significant portion of their business model is what keeps them from locating to the state of Alabama.”
The Senate passed the bill earlier this month and is currently being reviewed by the House Judiciary Committee.