David Carn

Alabama Legislative Recap

This was a very active year for alcohol legislation in Alabama. McLaughlin, PC attorney, David Carn, as general counsel for the Alabama Brewers Guild, drafted the legislation on behalf of the guild and worked closely with interested parties to achieve a very productive year. 

HB539 – Omnibus Alcohol Bill

This bill accomplishes a lot. 

It increases off-premises sales limits by breweries and brewpubs to 864 ounces for beer (three cases, and includes 1/6 BBL kegs). For manufacturers of liquor, the limit was doubled to 4.5 liters. All of these are still per-person, per-day limits.

This bill also clarifies that transfers of beer between commonly owned (75% common ownership) breweries can be sold in taprooms.

The bill also gives the ABC Board the ability to designate manufacturer licenses by the different types of alcohol the licensee is able to produce (based on permits/notices held at the federal level). This has the effect of allowing the ABC Board to, for example, suspend a manufacturer from being able to make a particular type of alcoholic beverage while allowing it to continue making other types. 

We support this for a healthy regulatory system. Sometimes a licensee is maybe having trouble making one type of alcoholic beverage (e.g., a brewery that makes liquor just for the taproom). If the problems merit suspension, this allows the licensee to maintain business operations with other types of alcoholic beverages.


SB126 – Alcohol Delivery

This is the famous “alcohol delivery” bill. It will go into effect October 1, after the ABC Board has had some time to adopt rules for it. We already know a few of the big items, though. If you have questions, go ahead and reach out to We look forward to working with clients to obtain this new license as the rules get developed. 

Note that common carriers are not included. In other words, this is not a “shipping” bill, but rather a “delivery” bill that licensees and third-party service providers (think Uber Eats or DoorDash for alcohol) can get. Although, there is a wine shipping bill (HB437) that passed this session allowing shipment of 12 cases per household per year, but only for wine.


HB235 – Dogs on Patios

Note that the federal standard is that dogs aren’t allowed at food establishments. States are allowed to have some exceptions, and this is one of those exceptions. 

It’s for dogs only. (Let’s be honest, cats would be impossible.) It’s also for patios only. (In other words, dogs on patios, until now, have been a “see no evil” sort of thing.) There must be a separate entrance to the patio (that’s outdoors) for the dogs. There are also signage requirements. 

If signed by the governor, this will be effective August 1.


Other bills to note are:

SB62 – Increases the number of entertainment districts for small cities to 3. 

SB167 – Allows wine manufacturers to serve at their own festivals.

SB294 – Self-distribution for Farm Wineries

SB397 – Wineries in Dry Counties


If you want to read these bills, go here and type in the bill numbers (make sure to include SB or HB for “Senate Bill” or “House Bill”).


David Carn

Read More

Monitoring Your Trademarks
Posted on: 09/01/2021
We have assisted hundreds of clients in navigating the nuances of federal and state trademark registration and protection. One of the most common misunderstandings about trademarks is a registrant’s obligations after they have registered a trademark with the United States Patent and Trademark Office.

Read More

The Four Character Traits of Entrepreneurs
Posted on: 06/29/2021
Matthew McLaughlin shares his thoughts on what 4 traits make for a successful entrepreneur

Read More