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General Category => General Homebrew Discussion => Topic started by: babalu87 on June 29, 2010, 04:19:32 PM

Title: Oregon cancels homebrew contest at the State Fair?????????
Post by: babalu87 on June 29, 2010, 04:19:32 PM
Really?

http://beervana.blogspot.com/2010/06/olcc-cancels-homebrew-contest-at-state.html

http://www.katu.com/news/97269679.html

SALEM, Ore. – Law enforcement officials are putting a stop to the home-brew and home-wine-making competitions at this year's Oregon State Fair.


Title: Re: Oregon cancels homebrew contest at the State Fair?????????
Post by: denny on June 29, 2010, 04:26:31 PM
Yep, but we're on top of it.  Already have a committee working on getting the law changed, and have the backing of a couple state legislators.
Title: Re: Oregon cancels homebrew contest at the State Fair?????????
Post by: babalu87 on June 29, 2010, 04:28:08 PM
Yep, but we're on top of it.  Already have a committee working on getting the law changed, and have the backing of a couple state legislators.

In time for this year?

What about all the wine that is being sent back?

Title: Re: Oregon cancels homebrew contest at the State Fair?????????
Post by: denny on June 29, 2010, 04:29:40 PM
Unlikely for this year, but you never know.  I had heard that the state fair was working with the DOJ and OLCC to find a way to make it happen.
Title: Re: Oregon cancels homebrew contest at the State Fair?????????
Post by: beerocd on June 29, 2010, 04:58:21 PM
Were the kitchens inspected of all the pie makers? I'm sure there's compliance and sanitation and health certificates that are needed for food production too. It is after all being served to the public. It's a conspiracy.
Title: Re: Oregon cancels homebrew contest at the State Fair?????????
Post by: skyler on June 29, 2010, 06:00:20 PM
The OLCC was the worst thing about living in Portland. What a Fascist Prohibitionist finger-wagging waste of legislative effort and taxpayer money those nanny state liquor control agencies are in most states. I say we do it like Belgium. Anyone can serve anything legal whenever they want in Belgium. Leuven is the only city there I know of that even prohibits outdoor drinking.
Title: Re: Oregon cancels homebrew contest at the State Fair?????????
Post by: denny on June 29, 2010, 06:16:28 PM
Ya know, we're trying to get the OLCC on our side and show them what a fine group of people homebrewers are.  Name calling ain't gonna help....
Title: Re: Oregon cancels homebrew contest at the State Fair?????????
Post by: beerocd on June 29, 2010, 07:33:27 PM
You really think they read our threads?

We recently had a farm in the area run into legal issues. The town would rather have the farm turned into some sort of development for the tax revenue. The farmer published the letters and contact info for the officials - ultimately the farm was allowed to continue it's business. I'm sure some of the letters we far from eloquent. All kinds of people are affected by government; aside from outright profanity or legal issues - they probably need to hear it.

Maybe AHA can provide contact info and the outrage can be directed there instead of turning this board into NC-17 material.
Title: Re: Oregon cancels homebrew contest at the State Fair?????????
Post by: a10t2 on June 29, 2010, 07:54:48 PM
Were the kitchens inspected of all the pie makers? I'm sure there's compliance and sanitation and health certificates that are needed for food production too. It is after all being served to the public. It's a conspiracy.

From what I'm reading, it doesn't seem like health code has anything to do with it. Serving homebrew to the public is illegal under OR state law - serving pie is not.

Quote
However, the Liquor Control Act does not apply to the making or keeping of naturally fermented wines and fruit juices or beer in the home, for home consumption and not for sale.
(emphasis mine)

Obviously I hope OR home brewers will lobby for a change in the language, but as it stands I don't see how you can fault them for enforcing the law.
Title: Re: Oregon cancels homebrew contest at the State Fair?????????
Post by: bonjour on June 29, 2010, 07:56:45 PM
The AHA will step in, and I'm sure they have already, but they will ask for support and to contact the right people by Oregon voters when the time is right.  But Denny is right,  we want them to KNOW we are the good guys.

Fred
Title: Re: Oregon cancels homebrew contest at the State Fair?????????
Post by: denny on June 29, 2010, 08:12:52 PM
You really think they read our threads?

Nope, I don't.  It's just that the attitude isn't productive and could even be counter productive.  The OLCC has said that they want to get the law fixed, not bust homebrewers, so name calling isn't necessary or helpful.

We recently had a farm in the area run into legal issues. The town would rather have the farm turned into some sort of development for the tax revenue. The farmer published the letters and contact info for the officials - ultimately the farm was allowed to continue it's business. I'm sure some of the letters we far from eloquent. All kinds of people are affected by government; aside from outright profanity or legal issues - they probably need to hear it.

Maybe AHA can provide contact info and the outrage can be directed there instead of turning this board into NC-17 material.

As I've said, we have a local group, including state legislators working on it, with support from the AHA.  There's a website (http://oregonhomebrewersalliance.org/) set up, although it's just been set up and there's no real content there at the moment.  Interested OR homebrewers can keep an eye on it for info on what needs to be done and when.  At this point, there's not much to be done beyond what the organizing committee is doing, which includes reviewing a draft of a bill written by a state legislator.  

And what's up with the NC-17 comment?
Title: Re: Oregon cancels homebrew contest at the State Fair?????????
Post by: beerocd on June 29, 2010, 08:34:08 PM

And what's up with the NC-17 comment?

You called a foul with the namecalling; I didn't see anything heinous but I guessed it upped the board from PG to something higher. That's why I suggested aiming the correspondence to the legislators instead of here. You want PG-13? By the power vested in me....   :D

Oh, also there's nothing wrong with non-OR people voicing complaints too. Sure they can't vote, but they can also choose not to spend their tourist dollars there.


Edit: ooh, this is my evil 666 post.  >:(
Title: Re: Oregon cancels homebrew contest at the State Fair?????????
Post by: denny on June 29, 2010, 08:40:31 PM

And what's up with the NC-17 comment?

You called a foul with the namecalling; I didn't see anything heinous but I guessed it upped the board from PG to something higher. That's why I suggested aiming the correspondence to the legislators instead of here. You want PG-13? By the power vested in me....   :D

Oh, also there's nothing wrong with non-OR people voicing complaints too. Sure they can't vote, but they can also choose not to spend their tourist dollars there.


Edit: ooh, this is my evil 666 post.  >:(


I simply said name calling wasn't helpful.  I didn't pass judgment on anyone's opinion. Sorry if I implied otherwise. 
Title: Re: Oregon cancels homebrew contest at the State Fair?????????
Post by: weithman5 on June 29, 2010, 08:56:30 PM
In some respects it may be a good thing that it is cancelled.  It brings the issue to the legislature so that the law can be improved and (hopefully) less restrictive.  Otherwise the law lingers and when someone wants to enforce it out of malice or just trying to be a busy body, you are hosed.  Hopefully next year all is well.  I do still miss Oregon. 
Title: Re: Oregon cancels homebrew contest at the State Fair?????????
Post by: bonjour on June 29, 2010, 09:03:11 PM
don't you just hate these speed bumps
Title: Re: Oregon cancels homebrew contest at the State Fair?????????
Post by: bluesman on June 29, 2010, 09:40:30 PM
What do they hope to achieve by this move????

Absolutely unfounded IMHO.

After 22 years they want to rule with an iron fist????
Title: Re: Oregon cancels homebrew contest at the State Fair?????????
Post by: babalu87 on June 29, 2010, 09:43:20 PM
Obviously I hope OR home brewers will lobby for a change in the language, but as it stands I don't see how you can fault them for enforcing the law.

I can given the fact that they didnt enforce the law for 20 years prior
Title: Re: Oregon cancels homebrew contest at the State Fair?????????
Post by: dirk_mclargehuge on June 29, 2010, 09:45:10 PM
The OLCC was the worst thing about living in Portland. What a Fascist Prohibitionist finger-wagging waste of legislative effort and taxpayer money those nanny state liquor control agencies are in most states. I say we do it like Belgium. Anyone can serve anything legal whenever they want in Belgium. Leuven is the only city there I know of that even prohibits outdoor drinking.
To be fair, I doubt the OLCC wrote the laws.  I think the legislature wrote the laws, and created the OLCC to enforce the laws.  Not sure.  I don't like in Oregon, but Texas has TABC to enforce the laws and everyone here calls them the same things you said.  

Please correct me if I'm wrong, but it sounds like this is not a new law.  Someone wanted clarification on the law, and OLCC realized that for the last couple of decades, the contest has been illegal.  
Title: Re: Oregon cancels homebrew contest at the State Fair?????????
Post by: beerocd on June 29, 2010, 10:04:25 PM

I simply said name calling wasn't helpful.  I didn't pass judgment on anyone's opinion. Sorry if I implied otherwise. 

Just trying to add a little levity. Don't go apologizing for apologizing now. We all want the same thing.  ;)
Title: Re: Oregon cancels homebrew contest at the State Fair?????????
Post by: SwashBuckling Drunk on June 29, 2010, 11:25:36 PM
I don't know if it's the OLCC, or who, but Oregon does run a tight ship on liquor/ beer/ wine. Marijuana, on the other hand, not so much.  Maybe the AHA could get some pointers from NORML on how to get their agenda into law.
Title: Re: Oregon cancels homebrew contest at the State Fair?????????
Post by: Gary Glass on June 30, 2010, 01:12:57 AM
dirk_mclargehuge has it pretty much right.  The OLCC does not make alcohol law, they enforce the laws that the legislature passes.  While they may choose to ignore a particular regulation, in this case the homebrew law, they cannot choose to not enforce the law when they are specifically asked if a certain action is legal.

Here's the statute as it stands:
>>
Oregon statute Title 37 Chapter 471 §471.403

471.403 License required to produce alcoholic liquor; exception. (1) No person
shall brew, ferment, distill, blend or rectify any alcoholic liquor unless licensed so to do
by the Oregon Liquor Control Commission. However, the Liquor Control Act does not
apply to the making or keeping of naturally fermented wines and fruit juices or beer in
the home, for home consumption and not for sale.
<<

As I understand the situation in Oregon, the issue came up when a brewery contacted the OLCC to determine if there were any legal issues for them to host a homebrew competition.  The OLCC looked into and found that the statute pretty clearly states that homemade beer and wine can only be made for home consumption.  This is what prompted the state fair organizers to question whether or not they could legally hold a homebrew competition.

From what I've been told, the OLCC is supportive of changing the law so that they don't have to deal with homebrewers or homebrew competitions and can get back to their primary job of collecting taxes, license fees, and fines from alcohol beverage manufacturers, distributors and retailers.  Antagonizing the OLCC will not help our cause, we need them to support homebrew legislation in 2011.  If the OLCC chooses to oppose homebrew legislation, it will make legislators much less inclined to vote for homebrew legislation.

Ted Hausotter has posted a website to keep Oregon homebrewers apprised of what's going on: http://oregonhomebrewersalliance.org/.  It just went live so there's not much there yet, but it will be used for posting updates on the legislative process.  To date, several legislators have already indicated they would support legislation to make the homebrew law in Oregon less restrictive.  Initial language for a bill is being drafted.  So progress is being made! 

There's not a whole lot to do in terms of direct action until we get closer to the start of the 2011 legislative session.  It probably wouldn't hurt for homebrewers in Oregon to contact the state representative and senator for their district, politely point to the situation with the State Fair homebrew competition, and ask that they support legislation in the next session to allow homebrew to be served at homebrew competitions, club meetings, and other organized events.
Title: Re: Oregon cancels homebrew contest at the State Fair?????????
Post by: hopfenundmalz on June 30, 2010, 01:24:02 AM
In the bizarro world of the state of Michigan we have a different situation.

Our State Fair, longest running in the nation, has been canceled due to lack of funding.  You may have heard our economy is a little below average.

The State Fair Homebrew Competition lives on with a new name.  At over 700 entries, it was too big to fail!
http://www.mlive.com/kalamabrew/index.ssf/2010/06/a_new_homebrewing_competition.html
Title: Re: Oregon cancels homebrew contest at the State Fair?????????
Post by: theDarkSide on June 30, 2010, 12:28:41 PM
In some respects it may be a good thing that it is cancelled.  It brings the issue to the legislature so that the law can be improved and (hopefully) less restrictive.  Otherwise the law lingers and when someone wants to enforce it out of malice or just trying to be a busy body, you are hosed.  Hopefully next year all is well.  I do still miss Oregon. 

Like some of those crazy old laws that say something like, "it is illegal to share a beer with a woman who is not your wife after 6pm on Tuesdays in years that end with a 0 or 5"  I joke but there are some of these laws on the books that people forgot about, but technically they are still laws.

Good luck to OR in getting this straightened out.
Title: Re: Oregon cancels homebrew contest at the State Fair?????????
Post by: bluesman on June 30, 2010, 01:58:36 PM
Good luck to OR in getting this straightened out.

+1

Hopefully the statute can be modified for the betterment of OR Homebrewers.

Good luck to all involved.
Title: Re: Oregon cancels homebrew contest at the State Fair?????????
Post by: rabid_dingo on July 01, 2010, 05:41:37 AM
...Everything that Gary said and quoted from dirk...

I know some semantics and interpretation are involved, but can one argue that a competition is not a place to
consume home brewed beer. As in, can "they" (AHA, Event Organizers) say that the competition does not consume the
beer. Make-all-the-judges-actually-spit-out-the-samples kind of argument?

Just tossing some angles out there that may allow the comp to proceed?
Title: Re: Oregon cancels homebrew contest at the State Fair?????????
Post by: denny on July 01, 2010, 03:07:22 PM
I appreciate your creative thinking, but it's hard to accurately judge beer without swallowing the sample.  I think the fair comp this year is a lost cause, but I have high hopes that next year will see it return.
Title: Re: Oregon cancels homebrew contest at the State Fair?????????
Post by: bfogt on July 02, 2010, 12:53:19 AM
I'm curious how "the public" is defined.  Here in IN, the State Fair provides a travel stipend to those deemed to be of the class of Beer Judges (BJCP folk and professional brewers).  If it was limited to those people, it would seem not to be "public".

But I'm sure all that's been gone through.  But the definition of public is of interest for things like club meetings and parties.
Title: Re: Oregon cancels homebrew contest at the State Fair?????????
Post by: denny on July 02, 2010, 01:38:31 AM
I got a bit of a clarification today.  It seems to have something to do with the judging being in a public area.  Beyond that, I dunno.
Title: Re: Oregon cancels homebrew contest at the State Fair?????????
Post by: BrewArk on July 03, 2010, 04:02:32 PM
I got a bit of a clarification today.  It seems to have something to do with the judging being in a public area.  Beyond that, I dunno.

Close the door, make it "private"!

I can't understand, the supreme court can "reinterpret" the constitution, so that the politicians can do whatever is popular, but when a silly oversight is found in a complex "law", we are helpless to act as adults.
Title: Re: Oregon cancels homebrew contest at the State Fair?????????
Post by: denny on July 03, 2010, 04:27:30 PM
No, we're not helpless.  We can change the law, which is underway.
Title: Re: Oregon cancels homebrew contest at the State Fair?????????
Post by: denny on December 31, 2010, 08:00:33 PM
Here's an update...the following bill and amendments are going to be introduced to the OR legislature.  As soon as we have a bill number, we'll send out an action alert for OR homebrewers to contact their representatives.

http://oregonhomebrewersalliance.org/?p=119