Over the last few months, licensees have requested that the agency take a fresh look at the Code Section that for years was interpreted to allow only beer to be served in pitchers. Alabama code section 28-3A-25(a)(9) says it is unlawful: "For any person to fortify, adulterate, contaminate, or in any manner change the character or purity of alcoholic beverages from that as originally marketed by the manufacturer, except that a retail licensee on order from a customer may mix a chaser or other ingredients necessary to prepare a cocktail or mixed drink for on-premises consumption."
Even though most of the recent interest shown by licensees focused on the serving of Margaritas, the Code speaks to beverages that are “customarily” served in pitchers. Licensees that traditionally serve pre-mixed alcoholic beverages in pitchers will be allowed to continue this practice. The menus of many restaurants and bars in Alabama already offer several beverages by pitcher. This updated interpretation should give licensees the flexibility they need to meet the needs of their customers, while maintaining the integrity of the original rule.
Alabama is recognized nationally by both regulators and those within the alcohol and restaurant industry for its well-designed system of checks and balances when it comes to alcohol. The ABC Board prides itself on being responsive to licensees’ concerns, while promoting temperance and protecting the health and safety of the citizenry, as its mission requires.