« on: May 13, 2015, 11:01:00 AM »
Yup. Laws have changed.
What happened was two years ago a non-profit group (non-beer or wine affliated) up in the Bay Area decided to check with the CA ABC to make sure they were in the clear to auction off homemade beer and wine from members at a charity auction to benefit Firefighters. The ABC said "wha? no, that's an illegal sale of an unsaleable product". So, the group worked with the CA Legislature to change the law and make it allowable for the benefit of a non-profit to auction/offer your beer to members of the organization/event.
Problem is - the law that got passed explicitly forbade organizations mostly made up of homebrewers or for the promotion of homebrewing from taking advantage of the new law. It was, in effect, to prevent someone from setting up a non-profit like "Drew's Cure for His Wallet" and then selling my homebrew via the law as a loophole to avoid all the commercial controls on brewing.
So - that killed the Southern California Homebrewer's Festival because the ABC said "nope, you're a homebrewing organization and this would be a felony." (Seriously, criminal charges were threatened.)They had been looking for a reason to shut down the fest because it rubbed someone the wrong way. It would have shut down the AHA conference as well. The ABC also clarified that to their interpretation of the law - these events would have always been illegal, they just hadn't commented on it before.
New law passed last year - allows homebrew orgs to host festivals and tastings, etc with some restrictions - largely around clear separation and labelling of homebrew from commercial brews.