Alabama ABC reverses margarita pitcher ban but questions remain

As recently covered on, R Street's Cameron Smith called out Alabama's ABC about its state-wide crackdown on margarita pitchers. In a new piece for, Smith recounts the whole episode and discusses how the legal standard at issue is still far from clear:

The Alabama Alcoholic Beverage Control Board (ABC) didn't want you wasting away in Margaritaville, so they banned pitchers of the frozen concoction outright. Then I called them out on it, Alabamians pressured the agency, and the ABC reversed the pitcher ban...I think

In reversing the ban, ABC spokesman Dean Argo announced, "The Code speaks to beverages that are 'customarily' served in pitchers." That's a true statement even if it's found in a different section from the one the ban relied upon.

He continued to note, "The menus of many restaurants and bars in Alabama already offer several beverages by pitcher." That's a fuzzier claim, because Argo told me unequivocally "that only beer may be served in a pitcher." According to his statement, pitchers of other alcoholic beverages might have appeared on menus, but the ABC considered them unlawful. 

Argo concludes the ABC's announcement by saying the "updated interpretation should give licensees the flexibility they need to meet the needs of their customers, while maintaining the integrity of the original rule." 

Well that's clear as mud...

Read the whole column here: