Changes To State Law Could Bring New Brewpubs To Huntsville

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT)  - For the past few years, craft beer enthusiasts have worked to convince even the most apathetic beer drinker that there's more to beer than what you find in your family grocer.

"You can have these fantastic wonderful experiences. It's more than just something you drink when you're watching a little bit of NASCAR," said Rich Partain, with Huntsville brewery Straight To Ale.

Until last year local brewers were limited to the confines of their breweries, all beer had to be consumed on the premises. But since changes to state law in 2012, they`ve started selling to local venues and in stores.

The law that made it possible also eliminated zoning restrictions on brewpubs. In the past they were limited to historic buildings, but members of Huntsville`s zoning committee seem to be on board with changing the rules to allow brewpubs in areas where bars are already permitted.

For local brewers, a little more competition is worth it for the expansion of craft beer culture.

"Anything that increases the beer culture and people's knowledge about craft beer helps us in the long run," said Partain.

Huntsville already has one licensed brewpub - Below the Radar Brewhouse, however they have not yet started their brewing operation.

The Huntsville Planning commission will hold a public hearing on the proposed changes on March 26th.

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