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General Category => General Homebrew Discussion => Topic started by: enso on February 27, 2010, 11:43:02 am

Title: Beer bartering?
Post by: enso on February 27, 2010, 11:43:02 am
Is it legal to barter with beer?

I realize this is very much relative to where one lives.  Where would I look to know if this is legal.

Here is why I am asking.  I am trying to become more involved in local sustainable food, a localvore if you will.  I have attended a worskshop of a local organization.  The topic of creating a network for trading foodstuff and or services, bartering etc. came up.  This was very much about trading surplus of fresh fruit/veg. crops, eggs, meat, or canned/preserved items for things that someone else has that you made need.  Got me thinking what do I have or could have a surplus of that would be a commodity to trade with.  Well, beer was certainly one foodstuff that I can offer as well as say fresh bread.

If I were to still maintain the legal 200 gallon limit so that I was not "going into production" but just bartered some "surplus" beer for some veg. or eggs say, would that be legal.  If it is not, boy that seems to me something worth pushing to make legal.

I am very captivated and inspired by the idea of reestablisghing local food community.  I already trade some things with a neighbor for surplus veg., and pay another for eggs.  I would think it would be fantastic to setup an all inclusive community where one could trade for all foodstuffs including beer, wine, mead, etc...

On that note, gotta go ask the neighbors if I can tap there maples and birch trees...  Of course there will be some syrup in it for them.   ;D
Title: Re: Beer bartering?
Post by: denny on February 27, 2010, 11:48:18 am
I really support your goal, but I'm skeptical about it being legal.  I think you'd need to check your local laws.
Title: Re: Beer bartering?
Post by: The Professor on February 27, 2010, 12:11:34 pm
Yeah...you're gonna want to check into this pretty carefully.

I'm not particularly well versed in law other than some of my own barter experience in business (so this is not legal advice), but my understanding is that bartered goods/services are considered practically the same as selling them.  The form of payment is different, but you are still receiving 'value' for the goods/services.  Technically, I believe also that bartered goods in payment for services is even considered to be taxable income.

My gut feeling is that it wouldn't be legal, but you need expert opinion other than from an internet forum, ESPECIALLY since you're dealing with something that is regulated by the Feds. :o
Title: Re: Beer bartering?
Post by: enso on February 27, 2010, 12:30:58 pm
So, where would I begin to look?   ???

Any suggestions?

Thanks.
Title: Re: Beer bartering?
Post by: tygo on February 27, 2010, 12:34:18 pm
From the Vermont barter network website:

http://vtbarter.com/faq/

Quote
Barter dollars are treated exactly the same as cash for tax purposes...

I'd say it's a pretty safe bet to conclude from that statement that bartering your beer is illegal.
Title: Re: Beer bartering?
Post by: denny on February 27, 2010, 01:32:19 pm
So, where would I begin to look?   ???

Any suggestions?

Thanks.

The limk tygo posted looks pretty conclusive, but you should consult an attorney to be certain.
Title: Re: Beer bartering?
Post by: tubercle on February 27, 2010, 01:41:30 pm
What the Professor said.

 Bartering bread for eggs is one thing but beer has another layer, that being federal excise taxes. And most states have strict rules governing the distribution of alcoholic beverages such as the 3 tier system in S.C. A micro brewery cannot sell its own beer with out sending it to a sanctioned distributor and getting a tax stamp and coming right back.

 That being said, trading a sixer for a couple of dozen eggs to your neighbor would probably go unnoticed but be aware of the risk in case someone decides to drop a dime.

 A call to the state revenue office would be the quickest way to find out if this is worth pursuing further. I'm sure they could tell you right off if bartering beer would be a legal exchange.  

 For your sake I hope it is.

Title: Re: Beer bartering?
Post by: enso on February 27, 2010, 03:57:15 pm
...but you should consult an attorney to be certain.

ugh.  I was afraid someone would mention that as a resource.   ;)

I figured deep down it was a no go.  Damn shame.

Guess I will stick to bread and kimchi perhaps.

 ;D
Title: Re: Beer bartering?
Post by: mtbrewer on February 27, 2010, 03:58:17 pm
Play it like the Military, don't ask, don't tell :-X
Title: Re: Beer bartering?
Post by: beerocd on February 27, 2010, 08:51:06 pm
Play it like the Military, don't ask, don't tell :-X

Ummm, he posted it on the internet. And he didn't even say "a friend of mine wants to know..."
Had that not happened, I'd say it's like trading a pot of stew for a cake.
Title: Re: Beer bartering?
Post by: theoman on February 28, 2010, 12:54:42 am
I read these answers and think: Really? Is it that big of a deal? When a fried comes over and I offer him a beer I am actually exchanging a product for quality time with said friend. I should probably be taxed, since that's an exchange of goods for services. Or, if you go to someone's house for a party, usually you expect to be fed and usually you would bring something like some beer or a bottle of wine for the host. It's not officially an exchange, but that's what it is. So, maybe if you don't actually barter, but instead exchange gifts, it would be acceptable.
Title: Re: Beer bartering?
Post by: akr71 on February 28, 2010, 06:55:00 am
So, maybe if you don't actually barter, but instead exchange gifts, it would be acceptable.

This may be a loophole, but you are probably best keeping it as quiet as possible within your 'gift ring'
Title: Re: Beer bartering?
Post by: dean on February 28, 2010, 07:06:08 am
So, maybe if you don't actually barter, but instead exchange gifts, it would be acceptable.

This may be a loophole, but you are probably best keeping it as quiet as possible within your 'gift ring'

No witnesses...  :D
Title: Re: Beer bartering?
Post by: denny on February 28, 2010, 09:18:59 am
I read these answers and think: Really? Is it that big of a deal? When a fried comes over and I offer him a beer I am actually exchanging a product for quality time with said friend. I should probably be taxed, since that's an exchange of goods for services. Or, if you go to someone's house for a party, usually you expect to be fed and usually you would bring something like some beer or a bottle of wine for the host. It's not officially an exchange, but that's what it is. So, maybe if you don't actually barter, but instead exchange gifts, it would be acceptable.

But there's a big difference between offering a friend a beer and becoming part of a network of people who exchange goods.
Title: Re: Beer bartering?
Post by: dean on February 28, 2010, 12:13:15 pm
Agree with Denny... and with the economy the way it is the Law is looking for anything to turn a buck in the courthouse.  I'm getting sick of all the cop shows.   ::)  You know its bad when every channel has an "insert county or city" police show.  I just watched a woman deputy bust an old lady for not pulling over, she pulled a gun on granny!  In granny's garage!   :o  I don't know exactly what it was about but the old lady said she didn't see them until she was in her garage.  Something Sly Stallone said ran through my mind right about then...  ;D  Some of the cops these days are No Good and need to be locked up.  jmo...

So unless you want to invite unnecessary trouble to your doorstep... I'd think about it more.
Title: Re: Beer bartering?
Post by: denny on February 28, 2010, 03:21:43 pm
Calm down, Dean.....;)
Title: Re: Beer bartering?
Post by: dean on March 01, 2010, 07:25:02 am
I didn't mean anything political etc. by that... just saying there is Good and Bad everywhere regardless of belief, job title, wealth, etc. etc.  Never judge a book by its cover, just because it looks good doesn't mean its good and vice-versa.

I was just saying to my wife how much our society has changed and its been so gradual that nobody realizes it.  On TV this morning they were showing how to make mixed drinks... on a Morning Show!  And drinking them!  On TV!   :D :D :D  Never would have happened 20 years ago.   Incrementalism, makes me wonder what will be the norm in another 20 years.... maybe bartering? 
Title: Re: Beer bartering?
Post by: denny on March 01, 2010, 09:09:49 am
I don't know how old you are, Dean....I just turned 58 and I think a lot about how things have changed.  Then, just yesterday I called my 81 year old mother....wow, talk about an eye opener!  I think every generation goes through the feelings that you have about change, but OTOH, there's no way around it!

Now, shall we keep this related to beer, or should I move this to the pub?  :)
Title: Re: Beer bartering?
Post by: bspisak on March 01, 2010, 10:02:08 am
Each state has it's own laws for homebrewing including how much beer can be removed from the premises and for what reasons. It can even be illegal to give beer away!
Title: Re: Beer bartering?
Post by: denny on March 01, 2010, 10:21:21 am
Each state has it's own laws for homebrewing including how much beer can be removed from the premises and for what reasons. It can even be illegal to give beer away!

Very true....Seattle was under consideration for NHC, but then we discovered that WA had a law that in effect (IIRC) didn't allow homebrew to be moved from your home!  Fortunately, a group of homebrewers there got that changed.