Stronger beers hit Ala. store shelves

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) - Specialty and gourmet beers that were once banned in Alabama are showing up on store shelves less than a week after Gov. Bob Riley signed a law allowing the sale of stronger beer.

The president of Birmingham Beverage, Harry Kampakis, said Thursday he had agreements with small breweries lined up before Riley signed the law May 22, and he immediately went to the state liquor agency for approval of the beers.

Birmingham Beverage began distributing more than 20 new domestic and foreign beers to retailers in the Birmingham area on Wednesday.

A spokesman for the Alabama Alcoholic Beverage Control Board said other distributors are also seeking approval for new brands and they are being reviewed.

The new law raised the alcohol limit on beer from 6 percent to 13.9 percent by volume.

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