Hop City is one of the best beer stores around according to RateBeer.com. Their Atlanta, Georgia store sells 1,800 different beers, wine, and homebrewing supplies. But owner Kraig Torres was faced with some problems when he tried to open his Birmingham, Alabama location. Kraig had gained all the necessary permits except for a liquor license from the Alabama Beverage Commission (ABC). When Kraig applied for the license he gave a floor plan of his store with an area designated for home brewing supplies. Later, armed ABC agents raided the Hop City store and confiscated over $7,000 of Home Brewing books, ingredients, and equipment.
Home brewing is illegal in Alabama, but selling the ingredients and equipment is not. Kraig and his lawyer made sure of this. However, this did not stop ABC agents from busting in with guns drawn, taking merchandise, and threatening to arrest owner Kraig Torres. Kraig says that the grand opening will of course be delayed and “I’m being held hostage by the ABC Board”.