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Messages - phunhog

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We just sent out an action alert to our California members about an up-coming Senate hearing for California AB 2609, which would allow for homebrewer organizations to host homebrew events, in particular events like the Southern California Homebrewers Festival and the AHA National Homebrewers Conference.  The bill recently was passed unanimously by the Assembly and is now scheduled for a hearing before the Senate Governmental Organizations Committee.  We ask California homebrewers to write to the committee chair in support of the bill.

You can see the alert at: http://www.homebrewersassociation.org/recent-alerts/legalize-ca-homebrew-events/.
Gary....I am glad that so far AB 2609 been passing easily. However I am confused by a recent amendment (7/2) to AB 2609.   It reads.....Beer or wine produced pursuant to this section may only be provided or served to the public pursuant to paragraphs (1) and (3) within a clearly identified area, that includes, but is not limited to, a physical barrier with a monitored point of entry. Beer or wine produced by a beer manufacturer or winegrower as defined in Sections 23012 and 23013, respectively, and licensed by the department, shall not be provided or served to the public within this area.
It seems to me that homebrewed beer/wine has to be served in a seperate area than commercial beer/wine and you have to have a "hall monitor" watching people go in and out?   Is that true?
The problem I have with it is I am currently donating homebrew to various charities/non profit events.  These events also feature commercial beer/wine to some degree.  It is highly doubtful that anyone is going to set up a special area complete with a physical barrier and monitored point of entry just because there is homemade beer/wine.  So any idea why this ridiculous amendment was put into AB 2609?

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Homebrew Clubs / Re: Fundraiser Question
« on: May 11, 2014, 09:07:12 PM »
I like Tasty's twitter comment a few weeks ago regarding the CA ABC....."they are a dictatorship with no real army".   As has been pointed out the rules/interpretations vary based on whose particular jurisdiction you are in. Frustrating to say the least!!! I think that in a lot of ways we need to stop asking permission( the answer is almost always NO!) and start begging forgiveness IF they actually try to stop us.  Now obviously you won't be able to put on an event with several thousand beer drinkers but a smaller one with perhaps a 100-200 is certainly manageable.  In fact they happen on a pretty regular basis....

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Going Pro / Re: Hop contracts and obtaining hops
« on: May 07, 2014, 05:28:08 PM »
So I know as a homebrewer I can find the most popular hops for somewhere around 16-22 dollar a pound. Just curious as to what a brewery with a hop contract pays per pound for the popular varieties. 

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Homebrew Clubs / Re: Fundraiser Question
« on: May 07, 2014, 04:30:54 PM »
Yeah, I would imagine if you do that, you'll have the ABC looking very particular at your doings particularly since this is part of the bill:

23356.2.d.5 Only bona fide members of the nonprofit organization may attend the event.

That gives the ABC a lot of room when they issue the license to tell you to go spit.

The whole "bona fide member" thing is up for interpretation.  Look at the California Homebrewers Assoc....there sole purpose is really to put on two homebrewing festivals a year.  Anyone can pay ten dollars and become a member.  I know of lots of people who go to the Southern CA Homebrewers Festival who don't brew and just see it as a good party.  It wouldn't be hard to start a  non-profit that focuses on homebrewing education and beer appreciation.  You could then charge a small annual membership fee (5 dollars) and host your own festival 2x a year.  Plus I don't know if the ABC can really deny a one day license to a non-profit that meets all the legal requirements. 

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Homebrew Clubs / Re: Fundraiser Question
« on: May 05, 2014, 05:14:33 PM »
As an update there is currently legislation to change the law so that the non profit CAN be a brewing related charity.  This is being done so that AHA can have the NHC in CA.  But I do wonder if then a legally recognized non-profit homebrewing club (501c3) COULD have events where they sell their beer and all profits go back to the club.
Maybe, but I'm in a non-brewing related (plenty of drinking though) that is a 501(c)3 and the IRS is VERY particular about what we do with the money we raise.
I bet they are!  If this new law passes in CA I am seriously thinking about starting some sort of non profit homebrewing club/collective.  The "club" could then hold fundraising beer festivals 2x year and would be able to keep the profits.  The caveat is that only "members" can attend but anyone can become a club member.

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Going Pro / Re: Biggest barrier?
« on: April 24, 2014, 09:57:04 PM »

How many folks here have tried and failed?

Funny thing about the Internet, people love to talk about how awesome they are, but they get real quiet when they fail. It's really too bad, because I think there's a lot to be learned from failure, and better still when it's others' failure.

That's a great point!!  The other thing we never hear about is how much are breweries making?  I have heard/read countless times that it takes almost 1 million to establish a 15-30bbl production brewery.  I am sure it varies quite a bit but what is a ballpark ROI in the first couple of years?
I am going to buy me a second vacation house in Florida this summer. Doing quite good. Join the party bro.
Now that's funny!!  Honestly though.....someone spends hundreds of thousands of dollars and the reality is that they have "bought themselves a job".  Unless of course there is some sort of financial reward that I am missing.  It seems like unless you are a major player (Stone, Dogfish, Deschutes, etc....) the chances of are somewhat slim that any significant money will be made? 

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Going Pro / Re: Biggest barrier?
« on: April 24, 2014, 07:19:54 PM »
How many folks here have tried and failed?

Funny thing about the Internet, people love to talk about how awesome they are, but they get real quiet when they fail. It's really too bad, because I think there's a lot to be learned from failure, and better still when it's others' failure.

That's a great point!!  The other thing we never hear about is how much are breweries making?  I have heard/read countless times that it takes almost 1 million to establish a 15-30bbl production brewery.  I am sure it varies quite a bit but what is a ballpark ROI in the first couple of years? 

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Going Pro / Re: Biggest barrier?
« on: April 12, 2014, 09:18:24 AM »
I imagine the biggest barrier would be a full understanding of how much work it is, how much bureaucracy crap there is, how little return there may be, and a fear of getting in too deep before you discover an even bigger barrier

+1!!   I think this is why there will eventually be quite a few breweries closing.  Too much work for too little pay. You can do that for a little bit but at some point enough is enough.

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Going Pro / Re: Biggest barrier?
« on: April 11, 2014, 07:25:33 PM »
I think the licensing and permitting at the local level is big roadblock.  Unless you live in the country you can't just turn a back garage/shed into a legal production brewery.  Which of course necessitates renting a space with all associated permits/fees.  Then you MUST have more capital to really pull it off.

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General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Noob judge observations
« on: April 11, 2014, 12:23:37 PM »
For the judges out there...do you think the size or round of the comp influences your judging?  In other words do you judge a beer more critically in the second round of the NHC vs. a local club comp? 

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General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Noob judge observations
« on: April 11, 2014, 07:30:28 AM »
In recent years, I've started to view guideline differently. I used to brew to style and chase medals. Not anymore. Some of the best commercial beers are technically out of style in some way. Now, I value a score sheet if the judge detects a flaw (DMS, diacetyl, etc...). That can tell me to reevaluate my process. Otherwise, I make it my goal to brew a great tasting beer, regardless of style guidelines. I know I can brew classic styles. Now, I just tweek a classic style to my taste, BJCP be damned :). Of course that will hurt me sometimes in judging, but I'm ok with that. 


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

I agree.  I recently was lucky enough to have a Grand Master II judge three of my beers.  He really enjoyed two of them. But the best comment he wrote on all three score sheets was " No technical faults"  :)

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Homebrew Clubs / Re: Fundraiser Question
« on: April 10, 2014, 11:41:36 AM »
The new California law is pretty straightforward and might be a model for other States to adopt.  It basically says, you can donate homebrew to a nonprofit and they can sell it at fundraisers (as long as they have a serving license), full stop.  It specifically says you CANNOT sell it as a benefit for your homebrew club (i.e. you can't get around the permitting laws just by calling your brewery a club!).

This is one of the primary reasons why I'm interested in starting a homebrewing club here.  Many local nonprofits would be happy to serve homebrew at their functions.

As an update there is currently legislation to change the law so that the non profit CAN be a brewing related charity.  This is being done so that AHA can have the NHC in CA.  But I do wonder if then a legally recognized non-profit homebrewing club (501c3) COULD have events where they sell their beer and all profits go back to the club.

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Going Pro / Re: So You Think You Want to Open a Brewery...
« on: March 18, 2014, 09:35:48 AM »
I plan to brew full time once I retire. I don't mind cleaning, but I'm not going to bother with regulatory, licensing, payroll, financial, contracts, distribution,  or customers. I figure that ignoring that stuff means that I can brew whenever I feel like it and not go belly up as fast as some of the breweries that do.

That's pretty much where I am at now.  I call it "semi-pro" brewing!   With the new CA homebrew law I am donating/pouring a ton of beer at charity events.  The tax deduction and t shirt sales make it a break even proposition for me  plus as you mentioned I don't have to deal with all the bs! 

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General Homebrew Discussion / Re: 9 oz tumbler
« on: February 27, 2014, 07:34:10 PM »
Just like a lot of you I can stand to lose a few pounds but give up beer??.....Not going to happen!! I have been using this site http://www.livestrong.com/myplate/  Basically you just track EVERYTHING you eat and your workouts and it calculates all of your calories for you. Working great so far...down 10 lbs over a month's time and I can honestly say I haven't given up beer at all.

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Homebrew Competitions / Re: NHC Lottery Limbo
« on: February 13, 2014, 09:44:22 PM »
I will try not to get too pissy yet....the site said they have until the 19th to notify everyone.

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