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General Category => General Homebrew Discussion => Topic started by: Pawtucket Patriot on July 08, 2011, 12:30:32 AM

Title: Pint of Reference: A Guide To The Federal Homebrewing Exemption Statute
Post by: Pawtucket Patriot on July 08, 2011, 12:30:32 AM
In October 14, 1978, President Jimmy Carter signed into law H.R. 1337, an Act that, among other things, fundamentally changed the legal landscape for homebrewers in the United States.  H.R. 1337 amended section 5053(e) (http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/search/display.html?terms=%20Any%20adult%20may%20produce%20beer,%20without%20payment%20of%20tax&url=/uscode/html/uscode26/usc_sec_26_00005053----000-.html) of the Internal Revenue Code, providing a limited tax exemption for beer produced “for personal and family use and not for sale.”  While most homebrewers are aware that homebrewing is legal, subject to certain limitations, many do not have a comprehensive understanding of section 5053(e).  The goal of this article is to provide a clear and thorough analysis of section 5053(e), the federal homebrewing exemption statute.  While the article will not necessarily examine prospective legal issues that could arise under section 5053(e) (in fact, section 5053(e) has never been litigated, to my knowledge), I hope that it will serve as a general reference tool to improve the homebrewing community’s understanding of the federal law which makes it possible for us to legally practice our craft.

The article will first discuss the basic statutory context within which section 5053(e) is situated.  Second, the article will look to the language of the exemption statute, clause by clause, analyzing the legal significance of each.  Throughout the article, I will call the reader’s attention to various related state-law issues.  In addition, I will use linked legal citations throughout in order to provide interested readers with the source material I used in writing the article.

Basic Statutory Context

Alcoholic beverages are heavily regulated and taxed in the U.S.  Section 5053(e) is situated among provisions in the Internal Revenue Code governing excise taxes on alcoholic beverages.  You’ve probably noticed that this article terms section 5053(e) an “exemption.”  This is because section 5053(e) does not create or otherwise guarantee a “right” to homebrew.  Any federal law purporting to establish such a right would likely contravene the Tenth (http://www.gpoaccess.gov/constitution/html/amdt10.html) and Twenty-First Amendments (http://www.gpoaccess.gov/constitution/html/amdt21.html), given that by most indications, regulating alcohol in that manner is exclusively a state right.  Rather, section 5053(e) exempts homebrewed beer from certain federal excise taxes.

States are free to regulate homebrewing in addition to, and in spite of, most federal laws.  For example, states may levy their own excise taxes or penalties on homebrewed beer, or -- in the extreme -- they may ban homebrewing entirely.

Given this basic statutory context, let’s turn to the language of section 5053(e).

    (e) Beer for personal or family use

    Subject to regulation prescribed by the Secretary, any adult may, without payment of tax, produce beer for personal or family use and not for sale. The aggregate amount of beer exempt from tax under this subsection with respect to any household shall not exceed:

    (1) 200 gallons per calendar year if there are 2 or more adults in such household, or

    (2) 100 gallons per calendar year if there is only 1 adult in such household.

    For purposes of this subsection, the term “adult” means an individual who has attained 18 years of age, or the minimum age (if any) established by law applicable in the locality in which the household is situated at which beer may be sold to individuals, whichever is greater.

“Subject to regulation prescribed by the Secretary”

The Secretary in section 5053(e) means “the Secretary of the Treasury . . . [,]” see 23 U.S.C. § 7701(a)(11) (http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/html/uscode26/usc_sec_26_00007701----000-.html), who has a legislative grant of authority to administer and enforce internal revenue laws.  This clause is pretty much boilerplate introductory language recognizing that the Secretary may prescribe “all needful rules and regulations for the enforcement of [internal revenue laws].”  See id. § 7805(a) (http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/html/uscode26/usc_sec_26_00007805----000-.html).  Nonetheless, it is still significant because, as will be seen below, rules and regulations prescribed by the Secretary provide clarification on the precise meaning of section 5053(e).

“any adult may”

Only adults may legally produce homebrewed beer under Section 5053(e).  The operative term here is “produce.” The statute is silent on whether a minor can legally purchase raw ingredients for beer, which is likely a state issue anyway.  Section 5053(e) defines adult, but the definition is somewhat quaint and requires further analysis.

When it was originally signed into law in 1978, the definition of adult at the end of section 5053(e) had different effects depending on the minimum drinking age in a particular jurisdiction.  That changed with the National Minimum Drinking Age Act (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Minimum_Drinking_Age_Act) (“NMDAA”) of 1984.  The NMDAA amended the Federal Aid Highway Act (“FAHA”) by subjecting states to a ten percent decrease in annual highway funding apportionment if they did not establish a minimum drinking age of 21.  In constitutional law parlance, the NMDAA was an exercise of Congress’s “conditional spending” power.  The constitutionality of the NMDAA was challenged by the state of South Dakota in 1987 in South Dakota v. Dole, 483 U.S. 209 (1987) (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_Dakota_v._Dole), but the U.S. Supreme Court held that the NMDAA was a valid exercise of Congress’s conditional spending power that did not otherwise run afoul of the Constitution, namely the Tenth and Twenty-First Amendments.

Today, every state in the U.S. has a minimum legal drinking age of 21.  Accordingly, for the purposes of section 5053(e), adult means a person who is at least 21 years old.

“without payment of tax“

Ordinarily, a person who produces beer for sale, i.e. a “brewer” as defined in section 5052(d) (http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/26/usc_sec_26_00005052----000-.html), is subject to a federal excise tax.  According to Black’s Law Dictionary, an excise tax is “[a] tax imposed on the manufacture, sale, or use of goods . . . .”  The federal excise tax rate for brewers is currently “$18 for every barrel containing not more than 31 gallons and [] a like rate for any other quantity or fractional parts of a barrel.”  26 U.S.C. § 5051(a)(1) (http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/26/usc_sec_26_00005051----000-.html).  There is a reduced excise tax rate for smaller brewers: “In the case of a brewer who produces not more than 2,000,000 barrels of beer during the calendar year, the per barrel rate of the tax imposed by this section shall be $7 on the first 60,000 barrels of beer which are removed in such year . . . .”  Id. § 5051(a)(2) (http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/26/usc_sec_26_00005051----000-.html).

Under section 5053(e), homebrewers are expressly exempted from paying federal excise taxes on beer they produce for personal and family use and not for sale.  The Code goes even further to clarify the contours of homebrewers’ exempted status by expressly stating that the definition of brewer does “not include any person who produces only beer exempt from tax under section 5053(e).”  Id. § 5052(d) (http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/26/usc_sec_26_00005052----000-.html).

But what about state excise taxes?  Recall that neither section 5053(e) nor any other federal law prohibits individual states from regulating homebrewing.  Accordingly, states are free to impose excise taxes on homebrewed beer.  On balance, states are free to create exemptions similar to those in section 5053(e).  Pint of Law’s home state of Minnesota ordinarily levies a state excise tax on beer.  But Minnesota Statutes section 297G.07, subdivision 1(b) (https://www.revisor.mn.gov/statutes/?id=297G.07), specifically provides that beer “naturally brewed in the home for family use” is exempted from the state excise tax.

Other jurisdictions have not taken such a lenient approach.  For example, in Alabama and Mississippi, it is still illegal to homebrew.  Sadly, under the Tenth and Twenty-First Amendments, it is these states’ prerogatives to ban homebrewing.  For an “interesting” look at some of the Alabama legislators who recently voted down a proposal which would have legalized homebrewing, click here (http://northernbrewer.blogspot.com/2011/06/illegal-homebrewing-in-alabama.html).

Consult the laws in your jurisdiction to learn whether there are state-level excise taxes or penalties associated with homebrewing.  Chances are, however, that if it is legal to homebrew in your state, there are likely state exemptions which mirror section 5053(e).

“produce beer for personal or family use”

To qualify for the section 5053(e) exemption, beer can only be produced “for personal or family use.”  For the purposes of section 5053(e), beer is legally defined as “ale, porter, stout, and other similar fermented beverages (including sake and similar products) of any name or description containing one-half of 1 percent or more of alcohol by volume, brewed or produced from malt, wholly or in part, or from any substitute therefore.” 26 U.S.C. § 5052(a) (http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/26/usc_sec_26_00005052----000-.html). While this definition would make any BJCP judge, and most homebrewers, cringe (‘Ale, porter, and stout?!  You don’t say!’), it covers the bases for purposes of section 5053(e).  Just about anything today’s average homebrewer would consider to be beer would likely fit within the definition.  Even the newer gluten-free beers brewed with 100% malted sorghum, a recognized substitute for malted barley, would qualify.

As for personal or family uses, we can easily accept that brewing and consuming homebrewed beer in one’s own home is among the uses contemplated by the plain language of section 5053(e).  But what about uses that stray further from the plain language?  What about uses, or “removals,” as termed in the Code, outside the home, such as homebrew competitions or club meetings?  Other subsections (http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/26/usc_sec_26_00005053----000-.html) in section 5053 provide little insight, especially considering that just about every other subsection is only applicable to a commercial brewery, which necessarily precludes application to homebrewing.

Regulatory provisions prescribed by the Secretary offer some guidance.  Title 27, part 25.206 of the Code of Federal Regulations (http://ecfr.gpoaccess.gov/cgi/t/text/text-idx?c=ecfr&sid=a41b982612a20959f138abb4406908e8&rgn=div5&view=text&node=27:1.0.1.1.20&idno=27#27:1.0.1.1.20.12.390.14) includes within the meaning of personal and family use, “use at organized affairs, exhibitions or competitions such as [homebrewing] contests, tastings or judging.”  “Organized affairs” probably covers most, if not all, of the legitimate uses associated with homebrewing.  “Exhibitions” and “competitions” are really just thrown in for good measure.

States also have the right to regulate uses with regard to homebrewing.  In a rather extreme example, law enforcement officials shut down the 2010 Oregon State Fair homebrewing competition due to a rigid -- and newly minted -- interpretation of a thirty-some-year-old state law.  The law at issue provided:

    “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.”

Despite its three-decade history, in was only in 2010 that regulators and law enforcement began to read the law to literally limit uses to only home consumption.  Accordingly, transporting homebrewed beer to the State Fair for competition or any other removal from the home was prohibited.  While the Oregon use restrictions were ultimately relaxed by a 2011 legislative amendment (http://oregonhomebrewersalliance.org/) to the until-2010-unproblematic law, state use restrictions such as the Oregon example are ordinarily valid.

“and not for sale”

No.  Selling.  Period.  There is always that enterprising homebrewer who thinks they’ve come up with a creative way around the prohibition on the sale of homebrewed beer.  See, e.g., Homebrew “Shares” (http://brewerylaw.com/2011/05/is-the-sale-of-home-brew-shares-illegal-most-likely/).  But selling, and just about anything that even hints of a sales transaction, amounts to illegal production, for which there can be both civil and criminal penalties.

Under federal law, unlawful production can result in either a $1,000 fine or imprisonment for “not more than 1 year,” or both.  26 U.S.C. § 5674(a) (http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/26/usc_sec_26_00005674----000-.html).

State law penalties differ depending on the jurisdiction.  In Minnesota, the civil penalties associated with illegal production are set forth in Minnesota Statutes section 297G.18 (https://www.revisor.mn.gov/statutes/?id=297G.18).  Criminal penalties are set forth in section 297G.19 (https://www.revisor.mn.gov/statutes/?id=297G.19) and include multiple types and levels of offenses.

“The aggregate amount of beer exempt from tax under this subsection with respect to any household shall not exceed: (1) 200 gallons per calendar year if there are 2 or more adults in such household, or (2) 100 gallons per calendar year if there is only 1 adult in such household.”

Although this is the most lengthy excerpt quoted for this article, this is the most straight-forward part of section 5053(e).  Recall that section 5053(e) provides a limited tax exemption for beer produced for personal or family use.  The most apparent limitation relates to the number of exempted gallons a homebrewer may produce in a given year.

Where there are at least two adults in a given household, the annual gallon limit which qualifies for the section 5053(e) exemption is 200 gallons.  Where there is only one adult in a household, the annual limit is 100 gallons.  A gallon is defined in section 5052(b) as the liquid measure of 231 cubic inches.  “Calendar year” means the period from January 1 through December 31 of a given year, as opposed to a fiscal year or some other yearly measure.

Although Pint of Law is not aware of any homebrewer in the U.S. being the subject of federal action for producing in excess of the prescribed annual gallon limits, there is no reason to be cavalier about these limits.  Brew and let brew, but don’t jeopardize the reputation of this excellent hobby by straying into unlicensed, and thus illegal, production territory.  Again, there are both civil and criminal penalties for engaging in illegal production.  There are also state and local penalties for engaging in unlicensed brewing.

Conclusion

Title 26, section 5053(e) of the United States Code changed the legal landscape for homebrewing in the U.S. by creating a limited excise tax exemption for homebrewed beer.  I hope that this article has improved your understanding of the federal law which makes it possible for us to legally practice our craft.

Cheers!


 

 

 
Title: Re: Pint of Reference: A Guide To The Federal Homebrewing Exemption Statute
Post by: gymrat on July 08, 2011, 12:55:30 AM
Very interesting stuff...thankyou.
Title: Re: Pint of Reference: A Guide To The Federal Homebrewing Exemption Statute
Post by: bluesman on July 08, 2011, 01:59:39 AM
That was a very important date and law to benefit our great hobby.

Great website Matt!  :)
Title: Re: Pint of Reference: A Guide To The Federal Homebrewing Exemption Statute
Post by: Pawtucket Patriot on July 08, 2011, 02:13:59 AM
Thanks guys!  I've been wanting to write that article for a long time.
Title: Re: Pint of Reference: A Guide To The Federal Homebrewing Exemption Statute
Post by: tschmidlin on July 08, 2011, 02:55:27 AM
Nicely done. :)

Typo: "Oregan"
Title: Re: Pint of Reference: A Guide To The Federal Homebrewing Exemption Statute
Post by: gmac on July 08, 2011, 03:22:10 AM
Nicely done. :)

Typo: "Oregan"

Forgot the O?  What can you brew with oregano? 
Title: Re: Pint of Reference: A Guide To The Federal Homebrewing Exemption Statute
Post by: Pawtucket Patriot on July 08, 2011, 11:28:03 AM
Nicely done. :)

Typo: "Oregan"

D'oh!!  Thanks for pointing that out.
Title: Re: Pint of Reference: A Guide To The Federal Homebrewing Exemption Statute
Post by: garyg on July 08, 2011, 02:16:58 PM
Excellent review of the federal law Matt.  One thing that often gets overlooked with the homebrew law is that while President Carter signed the bill in October 1978, the law did not actually go into effect until February 1, 1979.  Also, I think President Carter gets more than his fair share of credit for legalizing homebrewing.  Homebrew legalization was part of a much larger omnibus transportation bill.  Carter likely did not care much about the homebrewing provision that was buried in the bill.  The primary proponent of homebrew legalization and sponsor of the homebrew bill that was attached to the transportation bill was Senator Alan Cranston.

Another interesting piece of this story is that In January 1977, Representative Conable introduced HR 2028, to legalize homebrewing. The bill included the exemption from tax and the 200/100 gallon limits, but didn't include the allowance for use at organized events.

Cheers!
Gary
Title: Re: Pint of Reference: A Guide To The Federal Homebrewing Exemption Statute
Post by: 1vertical on July 08, 2011, 02:31:44 PM
Gave it a read, thank you for the write....
Title: Re: Pint of Reference: A Guide To The Federal Homebrewing Exemption Statute
Post by: denny on July 08, 2011, 03:22:04 PM
Nicely done. :)

Typo: "Oregan"

D'oh!!  Thanks for pointing that out.

Yeah...we spell it Orygun....
Title: Re: Pint of Reference: A Guide To The Federal Homebrewing Exemption Statute
Post by: Pawtucket Patriot on July 08, 2011, 03:39:47 PM
Excellent review of the federal law Matt.  One thing that often gets overlooked with the homebrew law is that while President Carter signed the bill in October 1978, the law did not actually go into effect until February 1, 1979.  Also, I think President Carter gets more than his fair share of credit for legalizing homebrewing.  Homebrew legalization was part of a much larger omnibus transportation bill.  Carter likely did not care much about the homebrewing provision that was buried in the bill.  The primary proponent of homebrew legalization and sponsor of the homebrew bill that was attached to the transportation bill was Senator Alan Cranston.

Another interesting piece of this story is that In January 1977, Representative Conable introduced HR 2028, to legalize homebrewing. The bill included the exemption from tax and the 200/100 gallon limits, but didn't include the allowance for use at organized events.

Cheers!
Gary

Very interesting, Gary!  Thanks for filling in some of the blanks. I guess Congress waited until February 1979 -- the month/year I was born -- as a good omen:)
Title: Re: Pint of Reference: A Guide To The Federal Homebrewing Exemption Statute
Post by: jhwk on July 20, 2011, 12:34:57 PM

HR 2028, to legalize homebrewing. The bill included the exemption from tax and the 200/100 gallon limits, but didn't include the allowance for use at organized events.

Cheers!
Gary
Maybe the national level is where we should focus our efforts for organized, outside the home, events legislation versus a state by state campaign.

Rod Murray
Title: Re: Pint of Reference: A Guide To The Federal Homebrewing Exemption Statute
Post by: garyg on July 20, 2011, 02:10:54 PM

Maybe the national level is where we should focus our efforts for organized, outside the home, events legislation versus a state by state campaign.

Rod Murray

The federal bill that was passed in 1978 included this provision (which was not in the 1977 bill that was not passed):

"Beer made under §25.205 may be removed from the premises where made for personal or family use including use at organized affairs, exhibitions or competitions such as homemaker's contests, tastings or judging. Beer removed under this section may not be sold or offered for sale."

So organized events are already federally legal. However, the 21st Amendment gives states the authority to regulate the production, transportation and possession of alcohol within each state. That means what you can and cannot do with homebrew in the US is dependent on the law of the state in which you reside.
Title: Re: Pint of Reference: A Guide To The Federal Homebrewing Exemption Statute
Post by: Pawtucket Patriot on July 20, 2011, 06:55:24 PM
So organized events are already federally legal. However, the 21st Amendment gives states the authority to regulate the production, transportation and possession of alcohol within each state. That means what you can and cannot do with homebrew in the US is dependent on the law of the state in which you reside.

Exactly.  States have expansive authority to regulate "use" or "removal" of homebrew in addition to, and in spite of, federal law.

An interesting (or not), and mostly academic, question is whether the 21st Amendment confers upon individual states a positive right to regulate alcohol, or whether the Amendment is merely a truism that recognizes states' inherent right to do so. Supreme Court cases aren't particularly helpful because they speak of the 21st Amendment in language that would accommodate either understanding.  
Title: Re: Pint of Reference: A Guide To The Federal Homebrewing Exemption Statute
Post by: ynotbrusum on July 31, 2011, 03:09:04 PM
Great article.  I have two thoughts:  The federal annual gallonage should be increased to at least 500 gallons - who would object to that?  Second, here in Illinois, there is no volume limit, but we should push to seek adoption of a statute that expressly allows serving at competitions and other social gatherings, because the statute presently limits the uses to those "for the personal use of the possessor, his family and guests". 

Technically, it could be argued that when you transport your homebrew to another person's home or some place else outside the home, the homebrewer is likely a guest of that place or function, so he couldn't provide his homebrew to any persons other than family or unless he is the host of the event, he couldn't have others qualify as his guests.  I suppose you could argue that there can be more than one host, but I don't like my chances with that argument, especially if I am attending an organized event by a specific group of which I am not a member....Hey, they could state that for all purposes of the statute, a member of the American Homebrewers Association will always be considered a host to guests when serving his homebrew to others....I like that idea.
Title: Re: Pint of Reference: A Guide To The Federal Homebrewing Exemption Statute
Post by: 1vertical on July 31, 2011, 03:20:11 PM
Great article.  I have two thoughts:  The federal annual gallonage should be increased to at least 500 gallons - who would object to that? 

The revenoors thats who....
Title: Re: Pint of Reference: A Guide To The Federal Homebrewing Exemption Statute
Post by: ynotbrusum on August 02, 2011, 02:01:27 AM
At $18 per barrel, that's not much money lost.  You might make it up in income tax and sales tax at the LHBS. ;)
Title: Re: Pint of Reference: A Guide To The Federal Homebrewing Exemption Statute
Post by: Thirsty_Monk on October 21, 2011, 01:23:42 AM
Wisconsin:
https://docs.legis.wisconsin.gov/2011/related/amendments/ab290/aa1_ab290

Change in alcohol law.
Title: Re: Pint of Reference: A Guide To The Federal Homebrewing Exemption Statute
Post by: calpyro on November 25, 2011, 05:16:37 AM
http://northernbrewer.blogspot.com/2011/06/illegal-homebrewing-in-alabama.html


"What is this M.E.A.D. Mead? I drink Chivas Regel, I's got a Gavermant stamp that says it' hethy"
Love Alabama!
Title: Re: Pint of Reference: A Guide To The Federal Homebrewing Exemption Statute
Post by: maxieboy on November 28, 2011, 10:41:23 PM
http://northernbrewer.blogspot.com/2011/06/illegal-homebrewing-in-alabama.html


"What is this M.E.A.D. Mead? I drink Chivas Regel, I's got a Gavermant stamp that says it' hethy"
Love Alabama!

Scary stuff. The level of ignorance is stunning.
Title: Re: Pint of Reference: A Guide To The Federal Homebrewing Exemption Statute
Post by: theDarkSide on November 29, 2011, 01:08:46 PM
http://northernbrewer.blogspot.com/2011/06/illegal-homebrewing-in-alabama.html


"What is this M.E.A.D. Mead? I drink Chivas Regel, I's got a Gavermant stamp that says it' hethy"
Love Alabama!

Noah was a whino!  Scary yes, but if you want a good laugh, listen to the Loftus Ranch show on the Sunday Session.  Toward the end they play clips of the discussion from the house floor.  JP was on fire that day.

My favorite is when one rep says he has the biggest bootlegger in the county and that he would love this legislation.  If you know where he is and what he's doing, why don't you arrest him?

Title: Re: Pint of Reference: A Guide To The Federal Homebrewing Exemption Statute
Post by: Pawtucket Patriot on December 21, 2011, 12:39:37 AM
Just wanted to post a quick update about the Pint of Law blog.  If any of you guys have been following the blog, then you've noticed that I haven't posted anything new in a few months.  I've been getting slammed at work recently and it's been preventing me from doing much of anything, even brewing -- major bummer.  I think things will ease up by late January, however, and there are plenty of things to talk about for 2012, so stay tuned!

Cheers,
Matt
Title: Re: Pint of Reference: A Guide To The Federal Homebrewing Exemption Statute
Post by: Thirsty_Monk on February 15, 2012, 02:21:57 AM
Wis. Senate passes bill on homebrew guidelines:

Now it goes to assembly:

http://www.kare11.com/rss/article/962087/14/Wis-Senate-passes-bill-on-homebrew-guidelines
Title: Re: Pint of Reference: A Guide To The Federal Homebrewing Exemption Statute
Post by: tschmidlin on February 15, 2012, 08:09:12 AM
Awesome
Title: Re: Pint of Reference: A Guide To The Federal Homebrewing Exemption Statute
Post by: ynotbrusum on November 14, 2012, 12:41:49 PM
Did anyone hear if the Illinois bill got anywhere?  Supposedly one was introduced to mimic WI law.
Title: Re: Pint of Reference: A Guide To The Federal Homebrewing Exemption Statute
Post by: AleForce on November 14, 2012, 12:50:51 PM
Regarding the status of the Illinois bill, recently an email was passed around with a link to see the status:http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/billstatus.asp?DocNum=6229&GAID=11&GA=97&DocTypeID=HB&LegID=67830&SessionID=84 (http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/billstatus.asp?DocNum=6229&GAID=11&GA=97&DocTypeID=HB&LegID=67830&SessionID=84)
Title: Re: Pint of Reference: A Guide To The Federal Homebrewing Exemption Statute
Post by: piszkiewiczp on November 14, 2012, 02:14:14 PM
In Illinois, the bill was assigned to the Rulles Committee on 11/9/12. Technically, the Rules Committee is supposed to determine where to reassign bills when it's not obvious.  Practically speaking, this is where unwanted bills go to die. Our shadow governor, Mike Madigan has full control over this process, and it's extremely unlikely to move anywhere during the short November Veto session. While there are ways around it, only legislation vetoed by the governor are worked on during the veto session. They should be working on public pensions and the budget deficit.

So, this bill and all unpassed bills die at the end of the session. It will need to be reintroduced after the new legislature is sworn in, in January.

bummer......
Title: Re: Pint of Reference: A Guide To The Federal Homebrewing Exemption Statute
Post by: mmitchem on November 14, 2012, 02:22:13 PM
Great stuff. Always up for an interesting read and a little education/history. Thanks!!
Title: Re: Pint of Reference: A Guide To The Federal Homebrewing Exemption Statute
Post by: ynotbrusum on November 14, 2012, 07:56:48 PM
In Illinois, the bill was assigned to the Rulles Committee on 11/9/12. Technically, the Rules Committee is supposed to determine where to reassign bills when it's not obvious.  Practically speaking, this is where unwanted bills go to die. Our shadow governor, Mike Madigan has full control over this process, and it's extremely unlikely to move anywhere during the short November Veto session. While there are ways around it, only legislation vetoed by the governor are worked on during the veto session. They should be working on public pensions and the budget deficit.

So, this bill and all unpassed bills die at the end of the session. It will need to be reintroduced after the new legislature is sworn in, in January.

bummer......

Oh well, even Denny had to try a few times before finally getting something passed out there in Orygun... Maybe it will be reintroduced in the new session and passed without much fanfare...otherwise we will need to get the letters and emails started to get some information flowing to allow the homebrews to do the same at some of the 2013 events.
Title: Re: Pint of Reference: A Guide To The Federal Homebrewing Exemption Statute
Post by: denny on November 15, 2012, 04:51:58 PM
Oh well, even Denny had to try a few times before finally getting something passed out there in Orygun... Maybe it will be reintroduced in the new session and passed without much fanfare...otherwise we will need to get the letters and emails started to get some information flowing to allow the homebrews to do the same at some of the 2013 events.

Not to brag, but the law got passed the first time around without a single vote against it in any committee or legislative body.
Title: Re: Pint of Reference: A Guide To The Federal Homebrewing Exemption Statute
Post by: ynotbrusum on November 15, 2012, 09:54:16 PM
Congrats, Denny.  Rational legislatures are a thing of wonder around these parts.

Illinois can't get anything done the first time around - it takes a few times to make sure all palms are properly greased.

Title: Pint of Reference: A Guide To The Federal Homebrewing Exemption Statute
Post by: zabba on November 15, 2012, 10:30:25 PM
Very nice post! Here in Utah, they just passed a home brew transport law that allows the transport of no more than 64oz of home brew. One growler.. It would seem rather hard in my opinion to regulate this law. I can get more than one growler at the local brew pub. Just saying...
Title: Re: Pint of Reference: A Guide To The Federal Homebrewing Exemption Statute
Post by: stealthbrewer on February 06, 2013, 03:53:50 AM
Thanks Patriot and Gary for a rather in depth explanation. :)

Have you ever heard of any cases where someone was prosecuted for exceeding the limits or transporting ?

I would guess it would be hard to enforce the maximum allowable limits.  If your Posting all your batches made on facebook and other places may be one way to tell if your exceeding your limits. And one may want to pay cash for kits and ingredients every now and then as to not create a paper trail. 

Again, thanks for the information.
Dan
Title: Re: Pint of Reference: A Guide To The Federal Homebrewing Exemption Statute
Post by: beermo on February 18, 2013, 09:46:44 PM
What an excellent post! Thank you, Pawtucket Patriot (Matt, is it?), for writing such an informative and comprehensive explanation of applicable law(s). This is very interesting stuff, especially for a new homebrewer such as myself.

Also, I want to give my thanks to Denny for all your efforts on getting SB444 signed in to law. As a fellow Oregonian, it is MUCH appreciated.  ;)

Cheers!
Title: Re: Pint of Reference: A Guide To The Federal Homebrewing Exemption Statute
Post by: Pawtucket Patriot on March 09, 2013, 02:09:10 AM
Hey guys,

Thanks for the comments!  I'm glad that people are getting something out of that post. 

Stealthbrewer: to date, I have not heard of anyone being prosecuted for exceeding the limits or violating any removal/use restrictions.  But I have heard of several state-level agencies enforcing state laws that are more restrictive than the federal homebrewer's exemption.

Keep on brewing!

Matt
Title: Re: Pint of Reference: A Guide To The Federal Homebrewing Exemption Statute
Post by: glenmoorebrewing on December 09, 2013, 09:31:01 PM
Thank you sir, I've read the code before but your expounding on all the lawful jargon was very helpful
Title: Hobby Distiller's Association
Post by: Tom C on March 26, 2014, 04:57:58 PM
Hello,
This is an informational notice to let all the brewers know what is going on in a related but different part of the brewing world.  The home beer lovers got a huge boost when Jimmy Carter's brother Bill got caught brewing Billy Beer.  Good things happen when your brother is President of the United States.

We know it is legal to brew up to 200 gallons of beer annually (for a 2+ person household). It is illegal however, everywhere but New Zealand, to concentrate the alcohol that is already in the legally brewed beer by running it through a distillation devise.  The reason for this discrimination is simple: revenue. The Dukes and Kings of old needed money to finance their wars so they taxed home made booze.   Distilling alcohol without a permit is a federal crime under code 26 USC.  It is a state crime without a permit in every state but Missouri, Arizona and we aren't so sure about Alaska. 

Mine is a story, not about mountain moonshiners selling untaxed liquor by the gallon, these guys are criminals and should be treated as such; but about the home or hobby distiller.  The average hobby distiller probably makes less than 10 gallons of spirits a year.  It is consumed personally and with friends/ family and neighbors and is NEVER sold to anyone.  We don't know how many hobbyists there are in the US, but the numbers are certainly in the hundreds of thousands.  With the advent of online sales, still purchases have skyrocketed and are still climbing.  Many stills are made at home by following the directions available  online and in the many books published on the subject.

There have been write-in campaigns, petitions and lots of ideas about how to legalize Hobby distilling and none have gotten the attention of the lawmakers in Washington DC.  We wrote a very sensible and simple proposal last summer that puts the bobby distillers on an even par with the beer brewers and wine makers.  I'd love to post it but can't figure out how. 

With the help of Rick Morris, owner of Brewhaus Inc. USA, we have started the Hobby Distiller's Association, or HDA.  www.hobbydistillersassociation.org. HDA is being run as a nonprofit, with all of the funds going toward our legislative efforts.  We have hired Lobbyit.com to represent us in Congress at a cost of approximately $40,000/year.  We hope the bill passage does not take any longer than that but there are no guarantees. I would like to invite anyone who has an interest in distilling, or knows someone who does to join our association. There are several ways to join so check us out.  The fee is only $30.00us and goes to help offset the lobbying costs.  The site is brand new and only a few weeks old so we still have work to do.  Everyone working on the project is a volunteer. 

Lastly, comments and ideas are welcome.  Volunteers are needed.  Thanks for reading.

Tom
tomcowdrey@yahoo.com



 



 
Title: Re: Pint of Reference: A Guide To The Federal Homebrewing Exemption Statute
Post by: denny on March 26, 2014, 05:57:42 PM
Thanks for the info, Tom.  AFAIK, the AHA has decided that distilling is out of their purview, at least for the time being.  It's good to hear that there's an organization for people interested in home distilling.
Title: Re: Pint of Reference: A Guide To The Federal Homebrewing Exemption Statute
Post by: klickitat jim on April 19, 2014, 12:45:11 AM
Thanks for the info, Tom.  AFAIK, the AHA has decided that distilling is out of their purview, at least for the time being.  It's good to hear that there's an organization for people interested in home distilling.

Heat distilling, right? Cuz they do award eisbock
Title: Re: Pint of Reference: A Guide To The Federal Homebrewing Exemption Statute
Post by: morticaixavier on April 19, 2014, 03:34:04 AM
Thanks for the info, Tom.  AFAIK, the AHA has decided that distilling is out of their purview, at least for the time being.  It's good to hear that there's an organization for people interested in home distilling.

Heat distilling, right? Cuz they do award eisbock

that's freeze concentration. you remove the water instead of the ethanol