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Messages - garyg

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31
Homebrew Clubs / Re: Accepting Donations
« on: September 02, 2014, 06:37:48 PM »
Accepting anything of value in return for homebrew is federally illegal, and is almost certainly against your state's law as well, though there are a few exceptions.

In most states it is illegal to serve homebrew to the public, so if the fundraiser was a public event you may have been operating in excess of what the law allows there as well.  Most likely this would not be as much of an issue for you or your club members, but it might be for the venue or whomever holds the license for the event.

32
As you may have seen posted elsewhere, Governor Brown signed California AB 2609 yesterday, meaning homebrewer organizations like the AHA and the California Homebrewers Association can once again legally host homebrewer events in the state. 

Thank you to all of the California homebrewers that reached out to their legislators and the governor's office.  This bill did not have a single "no" vote at any point in the process, thanks in large part to all of the communications from homebrewers.

Thanks also to Christy Elshof and the California Homebrewers Association board for really driving this issue.

I hope to see you all at the AHA National Homebrewers Conference in San Diego next June!

33
The California homebrew bill AB 2609, which allows for homebrewer organizations to host homebrew events, like the Southern California Homebrewers Festival and the AHA National Homebrewers Conference, has now cleared the legislature and is awaiting Governor Brown's signature. Yesterday, the Assembly concurred with the Senate amended version of the bill. The bill passed all committee hearings and votes in both the Assembly and Senate unanimously, thanks to all of the contacts with legislators from homebrewers.  Thank you to all of the California homebrewers who have contacted their legislators!

The Governor's signature is the final hurdle.  The bill sponsor, Assemblyman Brian Nestande, has requested that the state's homebrewers contact the Governor's office (mail or fax are best, emails are not actively counted, so have much less influence).  See the action alert we sent to all California AHA members on Friday for more details: http://www.homebrewersassociation.org/recent-alerts/california-action-needed/.

34
Homebrew Clubs / Re: Insurance
« on: July 23, 2014, 08:19:49 AM »
It is official, the AHA has a signed agreement with West's Insurance, which is now providing a package of General Liability ($1M/$3M) and Liquor Liability ($1M/$3M) insurance for AHA Registered homebrew clubs, covering meetings and events with up to 1000 attendees. The cost to clubs is just $3.50/member (paid in one lump sum to West's).  The initial enrollment deadline is September 1, though clubs will be allowed to enroll at various times following that deadline.  The program is dependent on getting enough clubs signed up by September 1 for the underwriter to justify moving forward, so we are hoping to have several clubs enroll before the deadline.

We have a post on HomebrewersAssociation.org: http://www.homebrewersassociation.org/news/american-homebrewers-association-rolls-out-homebrew-club-insurance-program/.

Details on coverage can be found on the West's Insurance website at http://westinsurance.com/homebrew-home.html.  Questions about the coverage should be directed to West's, as they are the experts on this program.

The AHA has opted not to receive any financial compensation from the program, as we wish to keep the enrollment cost low and maximize the number of clubs that can take advantage of this great insurance product.  There was clearly a need for an affordable, nationwide insurance option for clubs that includes liquor liability and we are very please to assist clubs in meeting that need.

Cheers!
Gary

35
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?
I really have no idea where that amendment came from.  We didn't get any forewarning on that one.

My reading of it is that it is intended to differentiate commercial beverages from homemade beverages.  Some rope stanchions or something similar to differentiate the space would probably be sufficient.  This amendment only applies to events open to the public.

36
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/.

37
General Homebrew Discussion / Baltimore Homebrew Shop Flooded
« on: May 01, 2014, 12:18:24 PM »
I heard from an AHA member who indicated that the Nepenthe Homebrew store in Baltimore, Maryland was flooded and causing devastating damage to the store. Local homebrew club Baltibrew, which had been planning to participate in a Big Brew event at the shop this Saturday, has been rallying its members to get together on Saturday to help clean up the shop.

If you live in the area, I'm sure Nepenthe and the Baltibrew club would appreciate all the help they can get with the clean-up effort.

The address of Nepenthe is: 3600 Clipper Mill Rd #130a Baltimore, MD 21211.

38
KS bill signed April 17th and published and official April 24th.  For the last 4 days we've finally been able to legally remove beer/wine/cider from the home and give it to others beyond immediate family.  We can legally hold a competition now too.

I'd like to thank the AHA for their help, the Kansas Homebrewers Alliance, people all over the state who talked to their representatives to educate them, and with a special shout-out to Steve Cook, who spearheaded this effort.

cheers--
--Michael

Congrats to all involved in this effort!  Thanks to all of the Kansas homebrewers that contacted legislators.  I know there will be a ceremonial signing of this bill with the Governor later this week.

39
We just posted an Action Alert regarding a Florida bill that if passed would be very bad for Florida's craft breweries: http://www.craftbeer.com/action-alerts/attention-florida-beer-activists-support-your-states-small-brewers.  If you live in Florida, please contact your state Senator.

40
Classifieds / Re: The AHA is Hiring!
« on: March 24, 2014, 08:19:57 AM »
Was this position filled?
Yes, it was filled in January.

41


Oregon has a similar provision allowing donations of homebrew to non-profits and actually allows homebrewers to deduct their donations.

Gary, could you steer me on where to find this language?  ORS or OARs? Thanks!

We've got all of the relevant statutes regarding homebrew in the Homebrewing Rights section of HomebrewersAssociation.org.  Oregon is at http://www.homebrewersassociation.org/homebrewing-rights/statutes/Oregon/

Here's the relevant text:

Oregon statute Title 37
471.037 Homemade beer, wine and fermented fruit juice exemption from liquor laws. (1) As used in this section and ORS 471.268:

(B) “Financial consideration” does not mean any of the following:
...
(i) A tax deduction or credit for donating beer, wine or fermented fruit juice to a nonprofit organization.
Excellent, thank you!
I wouldn't recommend trying to claim that deduction on your federal tax return!  :)

42


Oregon has a similar provision allowing donations of homebrew to non-profits and actually allows homebrewers to deduct their donations.

Gary, could you steer me on where to find this language?  ORS or OARs? Thanks!

We've got all of the relevant statutes regarding homebrew in the Homebrewing Rights section of HomebrewersAssociation.org.  Oregon is at http://www.homebrewersassociation.org/homebrewing-rights/statutes/Oregon/

Here's the relevant text:

Oregon statute Title 37
471.037 Homemade beer, wine and fermented fruit juice exemption from liquor laws. (1) As used in this section and ORS 471.268:

(B) “Financial consideration” does not mean any of the following:
...
(i) A tax deduction or credit for donating beer, wine or fermented fruit juice to a nonprofit organization.


43
I've always understood the Federal law to govern interstate stuff while intra state stuff was more or less up to the state, with obvious exceptions. Course, I'm just some guy, not a lawyer.

State's can be more restrictive than federal law, but they can't write a law that supersedes the federal law.  In this case, it wouldn't be illegal for a non-profit to sell tickets to an event where homebrew is served as far as California enforcement goes, but it's still federally illegal, so the TTB could still enforce the federal law.  So far, I have yet to see the TTB get involved with state homebrew bills that seem to go beyond federal law.

44

No because the new homebrew law was intended to allow homebrewers to donate homebrew to non-profits that could then profit from that homebrew by selling tickets to a fund raising event where that homebrew is served.  Apparently the California state legislature did not bother to check what the federal law was, since the new law most definitely violates federal law.

Oregon has a similar provision allowing donations of homebrew to non-profits and actually allows homebrewers to deduct their donations. 

45
I have been working with the California Homebrewers Association on this issue.  The homebrew bill that was stealthily passed by the legislature last year had good intentions, but did not take into account many of the well established homebrew events that were already happening in the state. 

We are very hopeful for a legislative solution later this year.  Of course with legislation, there are no guarantees of success, but it does seem there are a number of state legislators that are interested in getting the situation fixed.

We'll be sure to let California AHA members know if/when a bill is filed and contacts with legislators are needed to ensure the bills success.

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