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Messages - garyg

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Vote on the homebrew bill before the full Assembly that was supposed to take place on Tuesday March 6, was postponed a week.  There is a chance the bill will be amended before the Assembly vote.  If it is amended, it will have to go back to the Senate for a vote on the amended version.  With the very limited time left in this session, it's possible that time will run out before the Senate has a chance to vote on an amended bill.

The homebrew legalization bill cleared the House Economic Development and Tourism Committee, so it now needs to be schedule for a vote before the full House.

All three homebrew legalization bills that were filed this year (two in the House, one in the Senate) died in committee this past Tuesday, along with something like 69% of all bills filed in Mississippi this year.

All hope is not yet lost.  According to Butch Bailey of Raise Your Pints (RYP), dead is not dead-dead.  There is a remote chance that RYP will be able to get homebrew legalization added as a rider on a separate bill.

The AHA sent an Action Alert to Alabama members this morning.  House Bill 354 sponsored by Rep. Mac McCutcheon, to legalize homebrewing in the state has been scheduled for a hearing before the House Economic Development and Tourism Committee tomorrow, Wednesday, March 7.  We are asking Alabama residents to contact the members of the committee and politely urge them to vote in favor of the bill.  If it passes through the committee, it will be sent to the full House for a vote.

You can see the action alert at

The Wisconsin Assembly is scheduled to vote on the homebrew bill SB 395 tomorrow, March 6.  Last chance to contact Reps before the vote.  See the Action Alert at

Also, a homebrew legalization bill is scheduled for a committee hearing in the Alabama House on Wednesday, March 7.  We'll have an action alert going out tomorrow. 

The Mississippi House has passed a bill to increase the allowable alcohol in beer from 5% to 8% and a similar bill has passed through two Senate committee hearings.  Hopefully that bodes well for the homebrew bills in Mississippi.

Zymurgy / Re: ezymurgy not working
« on: March 05, 2012, 08:21:37 AM »
When I try to log in to see ezymurgy the page blows up - gives me a bunch of lines of code. I verified that my login info is correct.

Strange, I just got on no problem using both Firefox and Explorer.

Success in the legislature is far from guaranteed.  I would want to be sure there was a consensus across the Illinois homebrewing community that pursuing a change in the law is way to go before jumping into the legislative fray.  Attempting to introduce a bill will certainly generate greater scrutiny of the activities of homebrewers and could have negative short (or possibly long) term consequences, depending on how long it takes to get a bill passed, which could be years.  It really depends on the level of sympathy for the homebrewing community there is in the legislature, if the bill is seen as bipartisan, whether or not there is any opposition from lobbyists, and the willingness of the local homebrew community to get involved.   


We just sent out an Action Alert to our Mississippi members. Homebrew legalization bills have been filed in both the House and Senate.  Mississippi residents, contact your state representative & senator to help get these bills passed.  See the Action Alert:

My life would be a lot easier if we could all live under the federal statute on homebrewing! 

Is there any real reason, beyond rumor, that would lead anyone to think the Illinois Liquor Control Commission is going to go after homebrew competitions?  To keep things in perspective, homebrew competitions are private events where homebrew is served to beer judges.  That's a lot different than serving unlicensed, untaxed alcohol to the public at an event, like a beer festival, where the attendees pay to get in (to drink beer).

Honestly, I think there are very few states where serving homebrew to the public at a beer festival would be within the letter of the law.  In most cases, there would have to be a provision in the homebrew statute to specifically allow for serving to the public at a festival where people pay to get in.


General Homebrew Discussion / Re: AHA Membership
« on: February 21, 2012, 02:07:22 PM »
Yeah, you should get a card.  They only manufacture them at intervals (quarterly?) so it may take a while.

The cards actually mail every 2-3 weeks.  If you've been waiting much more than that, I'd suggest contacting our Member Services staff to make sure we have your correct contact information:; 888-822-6273.

I was abotu a week late renewing so will that count as a new membership or is there continuity? will I get a new card or does the one I have now just keep going?

We'll send you a new card with your new expiration date.  The member number will stay the same, though.

We sent out another Action Alert today to our Wisconsin members about the homebrew right bill.  SB 395 has been referred to the Assembly Rules Committee to assign a date for an Assembly vote, which could happen any day now.  We are asking Wisconsin residents to contact their Representative and ask him/her to support SB 395 or AB 521 (they are identical bills, but SB 395 is the most likely version to be voted on).  We are also asking residents to contact the Assembly Speaker and the Assembly Majority Leader to get the bill scheduled for a vote as soon as possible.  You can see the alert at

I've been extremely impressed with the Wisconsin Homebrewers Alliance's ability to mobilize club members throughout the state to make phone calls and send email to legislators.  The level of media coverage has been impressive as well. 

Yesterday, the Wisconsin Senate unanimously passed AB 290, a bill to allow homebrew supply shops to make beer and wine on their premises and offer samples of beer and wine to their customers for educational purposes.  The bill has already passed the Assembly, so it's off to the Governor's desk to sign.

Congrats to Wisconsin's homebrew shops on the passage of this bill!

The Wisconsin state Senate passed SB 395 by a vote of 32-1.  the homebrew rights bill we've been working on with the Wisconsin Homebrewers Alliance.  In doing so, they rejected an amendment submitted by Senator Scott Fitzgerald (the lone no vote) that would have greatly watered down the bill.

An identical bill, AB 521, has already been through a public committee hearing in the Assembly, and so awaits a vote before the full Assembly.  Wisconsin residents, if you haven't already contacted your Assembly representative about supporting AB 521, now's the time!  See to find your representative.


Senate Bill 395, the Wisconsin homebrew bill that the AHA has been working on with the Wisconsin Homebrewers Alliance to lift current restrictions that prohibit homebrew from being transported outside of the home where it was made was passed unanimously by Senate committee and so moves on to a vote before the full Senate, probably next week.

An identical bill, Assembly Bill 521, was scheduled for a committee hearing this morning and will likely be passed on to the full Assembly shortly.

Wisconsin residents should contact the state Senator and Representative for their district and politely urge them to support these bills.

See the Action Alert we sent today at for more details.

Events / Re: AHA Conference Registration Opens Feb 1
« on: February 03, 2012, 03:18:02 PM »
Hotel is 24 hours.  The conference tickets I believe are nonrefundable but I bet the AHA would have some sort of waiting list, especially the way this one is selling.

We'll extend refunds at least through March 31.  We do have a wait list started and will do what we can to accommodate as many on the list as possible.  We certainly would rather accommodate someone from the wait list who wants to go to the conference than not refund someone who can't go.  I do think we will be able to get a number of people on the wait list into the conference, but probably not everyone.  

Anyone needing a refund can contact Events Registrar Chris Williams at x 125.

Events / Re: AHA Conference is SOLD OUT!
« on: February 03, 2012, 02:55:12 PM »
I guess given that there's a waitlist, there must be some procedure for refunding or transferring a reservation. Does anyone know for sure?

We will accept refund request up to March 31.  Those needing a refund can contact Chris Williams our events registrar at x 125.

I do think we will be able to accommodate a good number of the wait listed people, though probably not everyone.  It's certainly our goal to accommodate as many people who want to attend as possible.

Something to keep in mind with the conference is that we have to book the venues 2 to 3 years in advance.  The 2012 contract was signed before the 2010 conference even took place.  It's not easy predicting what kind of growth (or possible decline) we'll have that far in advance.

Events / Re: NHC Hotel Room Booking Issues?
« on: February 02, 2012, 10:01:54 AM »
The Hyatt has rooms for Thursday through Sunday.  From what they have told us, they have sold out on Tuesday and Wednesday (there's another group at the hotel before ours, which is why rooms are tight on those nights).  If you have issues booking with the online reservation system, I recommend calling the Hyatt: 425-462-1234.

We've got an overflow block at the Westin Bellevue, which is attached to the Hyatt via sky bridge, and so is very convenient.  When we got the reservation code up last night, it wasn't allowing rooms booked before Wednesday June 20 and presumably after Saturday the 23th.  We've asked them to add "shoulder dates" at the group rate so those coming in early or leaving later can get rooms at the group rate.

We'll be adding additional overflow rooms at nearby hotels as needed.

The hotels and registration is filling up faster than we anticipated.

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