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Messages - garyg

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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:  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.

Events / Re: GABF and AHA Family Membership
« on: June 22, 2010, 03:14:48 PM »
For those with Family Memberships who want to purchase more than two tickets for the GABF members session (you can purchase up to four under a Family Membership), you should call the Brewers Association toll free number: 888-822-6273.  The online registration system only has the member numbers for the primary person listed on an AHA membership and will only allow that person to purchase a maximum of two tickets.

Sorry for the confusion!

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Homebrew Legalization
« on: June 18, 2010, 08:25:17 AM »
Louisiana House unanimously passed the Senate-amended version of homebrew bill HB1484 this morning.  It now moves on to the Governor to sign or veto.  If it becomes law, it will allow homebrew for club meetings, competitions, and events to be served at pubs, breweries, and other licensed facilities, passed the Senate yesterday by unanimous vote.

Hope you are reading this from the totally awesome National Homebrewers Conference in Minneapolis.

Gary Glass
AHA Director

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Homebrew Legalization
« on: June 17, 2010, 07:12:27 AM »
Louisiana homebrew bill HB1484, to allow homebrew for club meetings, competitions, and events at pubs, breweries, and other licensed facilities, passed the Senate yesterday by unanimous vote. The bill was slightly amended in Senate committee and so needs to go back to the House for a vote on the amended version.  Once the House re-passes the bill, it will move on to the Governor's office.

Cheers from the National Homebrewers Conference!
Gary Glass
AHA Director

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Homebrew Legalization
« on: June 09, 2010, 04:29:32 PM »
Louisiana homebrew bill HB1484, to allow homebrew for club meetings, competitions, and events at pubs, breweries, and other licensed facilities, passed a Senate Judiciary B Committee hearing yesterday. It now moves on to the full Senate for a vote.  We encourage Louisiana residents to contact the state Senator for their district and ask them to support this bill. See the AHA Action Alert at for details.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: AHA Membership
« on: June 03, 2010, 02:49:11 PM »
The mail house that handles our member cards screwed up and resent member packs to a group that had already received packs.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Black IPA?
« on: June 02, 2010, 04:31:24 PM »
We'll have a feature on Black IPA in the up-coming July/August issue of Zymurgy.

Questions about the forum? / Re: renewing AHA membership
« on: June 01, 2010, 10:39:31 AM »
Thanks for you renewal!

You'll get a new card.  The cards are mailed from the company that prints the cards rather than from our warehouse.  Cards are printed approximately every two weeks, as we must have a minimum of 200 cards before printing.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Homebrew Legalization
« on: June 01, 2010, 10:18:37 AM »
Louisiana homebrewers support HB1484 to allow homebrew for club meetings, competitions, and events at pubs, breweries, and other licensed facilities.  The bill has been passed by the Louisiana House and is now in the Senate Judiciary B Committee. See the AHA Action Alert at for details.

A lot of what we do is spelled out on the AHA website in the Government Affairs section:

In terms of homebrew legalization, the process works like this:
We are contacted by local homebrewers who are interested in changing the laws in their state. 
We can provide history of past attempts to legalize homebrewing based on whatever records we have on file.
We can help line-up allies within the brewing community.
We also advise homebrewers through the legislative process, provide samples of statute language from other states, who to involve in the process, how to avoid creating enemies that can sink the process, etc.
When needed, we rally the troops to contact politicians to garner support for bills, including all AHA members within the state, Brewers Association brewery members, and Support Your Local Brewery Members as well as posts to the AHA Forum and TechTalk.  We include other influential people within the brewing community, such as The Brewing Network, Basic Brewing Radio, and Beer Advocate in our Action Alerts.  We also use social media, including twitter (@AHADirector) and the AHA Facebook page to spread the word. 

For both Oklahoma and Utah, we sent press releases when the legalization bills were signed into law, though our media database is primarily beer and food writers. 

Gary Glass
AHA Director

Ha!  Yes, definitely unintentional!  The plan going forward is to have one AHA/Forum ad and one paid ad in the header.  When posted yesterday, these were the first two AHA ads that were created and since we don't yet have a paid ad to put up there we just posted them both.

Gary Glass
AHA Director

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Home Brewing in Louisiana
« on: May 19, 2010, 08:12:46 AM »
The info below is my understanding of the situation in Louisiana, though I would not pretend to be an expert on Louisiana state law.

First, there is no law in Louisiana that specifically allows homebrewing, nor one that specifically bans homebrewing.  Homebrewers are not considered producers, and therefore don't fall under the jurisdiction of the Louisiana ATC.  Since there is no state law specifically addressing homebrewing, the state defers to federal law on homebrewing (note: this is not generally true for other states).

Businesses with licenses to sell alcoholic beverages due fall under the jurisdiction of the ATC.  There is a law on the books that states that businesses licensed to sell alcohol for on premises consumption (such as restaurants and pubs) may not serve unlicensed alcohol.  The ATC interprets this to mean that licensed establishments cannot allow homebrew to be served on their premises.

HB1484, if passed, would create an exception to this through a special permit that will allow licensed businesses to host homebrew club meetings, competitions, etc.  The permit is free, and must be granted by the ATC to any licensed business that applies for it.  Each permit lasts for three days, but the bill does not establish a limit on the number of permits a business may apply for.  It does mean that the business would have to apply for a separate permit for every individual club meeting, competition, etc.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Homebrew Legalization
« on: May 18, 2010, 03:04:30 PM »
We sent an Action Alert to Louisiana residents today in support of HB1484, which if passed will allow homebrew in licensed establishments, such as pubs, breweries and restaurants for homebrew events, club meetings, competitions etc.  This bill is a vastly improved substitute for HB503 which was introduced earlier this year. 

The Louisiana Alcohol and Tobacco Commission consider homebrewing to be legal based on the federal homebrew law, but according to the ATC, it is currently not legal to serve unlicensed alcoholic beverages at licensed establishments.

See for the Action Alert.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Oklahoma Legalizes Homebrewing
« on: May 11, 2010, 08:06:46 PM »
So it turns out that the new law will go into effect earlier than I had originally been told.  Since there was no start date in the bill, which typically would have been November 1, the bill actually goes into effect 90 days after the end of the current legislative session.  That should make homebrewing legal in Oklahoma sometime in late August.

General Homebrew Discussion / Oklahoma Legalizes Homebrewing
« on: May 11, 2010, 12:19:36 PM »
Yesterday, Oklahoma Governor Brad Henry signed HB 2348, legalizing homebrewing in the state.  The new law goes into effect November 1, 2010. 

Thanks to all of the Oklahoma homebrewers and their supporters who made phone calls and sent emails to the Oklahoma legislature and the Governor's office.  Those contacts make a huge difference.  Thanks also to Rep. Colby Schwartz and Sen. Mike Schulz. 

Special thanks go to AHA member and now head brewer at the Mustang Brewery Gary Shellman for initiating the legalization process and working tirelessly to see the bill through.

Cheers to Oklahoma's Homebrewers!

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