Senator seeks to tap out keg beer

Published 12:00 am Saturday, January 21, 2006

Long considered a requirement at college social functions, the beer keg may soon be going the way of the dodo, if state Sen. Bobby Singleton has anything to do with it.

Singleton, D-Greensboro, who admitted to enjoying his share of keg beer at fraternity functions when he was at Alabama State, has sponsored a bill in the Alabama Legislature that will outlaw retail sales of the high-volume beer barrels.

Singleton said he’s become one of Montgomery’s most-called lawmakers since introducing the bill in the state Senate last week. The Senate passed the measure 30-0.

Email newsletter signup

“I probably got the first 10 calls from my fraternity brothers,” the 1984 Alabama State graduate, a member of the Omega Psi Phi fraternity, said. “They weren’t real happy, but this is about looking at the big picture, what’s responsible and what’s the right thing to do.”

Singleton said he sponsored the bill after being approached by members of the beer and wine industry and local law enforcement in his district, which includes Demopolis.

“I got calls from sheriffs who talked about arresting teenagers for drunk driving, and breaking up big parties in the middle of fields, where they found kegs that all the kids were drinking from,” he said. “These kids would have someone of age buy the keg, then come back and sell it by the cup.”

Legal drinkers statewide might have a problem with the limitation on their drinking habits, Singleton admitted, but that risk paled in comparison with protecting young people’s lives.

“If these things are making it easier for underage (Alabamians) to drink, then we need to stop the sale of kegs,” he said. “It may not totally stop them from (drinking), but it will at least make it more difficult and more expensive.”

Singleton said his bill – overwhelmingly approved by the Senate – just received its first reading in the House of Representatives. Based on the total lack of opposition in the Senate, he said, “I feel like it’s got a really good chance to pass.”