Author Topic: Something rotten in the state of Illninois  (Read 2635 times)

Online kramerog

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Something rotten in the state of Illninois
« on: April 20, 2012, 09:23:19 AM »
Heads up to folks in Illinois: The Illinois Liquor Control Commission recently cracked down on a festival that served homebrew and commercial brew.  http://www.pjstar.com/entertainment/x643675111/Illinois-Liquor-Control-Commission-enforces-law-no-home-brews-at-festival

I'm told that the AHA is going to seek clarification from the Illinois Liquor Control Commission.
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Offline dbeechum

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Re: Something rotten in the state of Illninois
« Reply #1 on: April 20, 2012, 09:28:00 AM »
More and more this looks like the next battleground legal issue for the AHA is going to be getting recognition of homebrew legality outside of the house.

Not that I'm surprised that the state cracked down on homebrew at a commercial beer fest, that's always going to be dicey.
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Offline weithman5

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Re: Something rotten in the state of Illninois
« Reply #2 on: April 20, 2012, 09:28:54 AM »
almost everything is rotten in the state of Illinois. 
they probably care very little about safety, their real concern is tax revenue. not sure how much longer i will live here
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Online kramerog

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Re: Something rotten in the state of Illninois
« Reply #3 on: April 20, 2012, 09:55:06 AM »
It would be nice if there was a way to pay taxes on small volumes of homebrew to serve at charity events if that was the problem.  In Illinois, charities could hold occasional casino events back when gambling was otherwise illegal. 
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Offline nateo

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Re: Something rotten in the state of Illninois
« Reply #4 on: April 20, 2012, 09:55:17 AM »
I think "slippery slope" arguments are usually pretty dumb, but it might be relevant here. How many pro brewers started homebrewing? How many got their name out there with homebrew before they went into business? How many homebrewers want to be pro brewers?

I think the system is abused by some people exploiting "homebrew" laws to market an intended product without paying their due tax and complying with health laws. If you let "homebrewers" serve their beer at commercial beer festivals, how is that still "homebrew?" If you charge admission to the event, you're profiting from unlicensed liquor. How is that different from a bar making their own booze to sell?

In my state, you can make jams and jellies to sell at farmers' markets without a state license or certified kitchen. Since Americans have such a messed up relationships with alcohol, I don't see anything similar happening with beer/wine.
« Last Edit: April 20, 2012, 09:58:38 AM by nateo »
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Online kramerog

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Re: Something rotten in the state of Illninois
« Reply #5 on: April 20, 2012, 10:13:16 AM »
I think "slippery slope" arguments are usually pretty dumb, but it might be relevant here. How many pro brewers started homebrewing? How many got their name out there with homebrew before they went into business? How many homebrewers want to be pro brewers?

I think the system is abused by some people exploiting "homebrew" laws to market an intended product without paying their due tax and complying with health laws. If you let "homebrewers" serve their beer at commercial beer festivals, how is that still "homebrew?" If you charge admission to the event, you're profiting from unlicensed liquor. How is that different from a bar making their own booze to sell?

In my state, you can make jams and jellies to sell at farmers' markets without a state license or certified kitchen. Since Americans have such a messed up relationships with alcohol, I don't see anything similar happening with beer/wine.

In my proposal, the real beneficiary would be the charity.  The homebrewer wouldn't receive any money although the homebrewer could receive incidentals. 
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Offline punatic

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Re: Something rotten in the state of Illninois
« Reply #6 on: April 20, 2012, 10:27:18 AM »
almost everything is rotten in the state of Illinois. 
they probably care very little about safety, their real concern is tax revenue. not sure how much longer i will live here

I hear that.  My sister lives in West Chicago and works at Fermilab.  Trying to convince her to move here.  She likes the snow.  I took her up to the snow on Mauna Kea this year.  She liked it.

BTW there is plenty of room for more doctors here too.
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Offline Joe Sr.

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Re: Something rotten in the state of Illninois
« Reply #7 on: April 20, 2012, 11:05:28 AM »
almost everything is rotten in the state of Illinois. 
they probably care very little about safety, their real concern is tax revenue. not sure how much longer i will live here

I would bet that it's more related to the distributors complaining than it is tax revenue.

The distributors have everything locked up tight and they can't control homebrew so they don't want it there.  Plus, if people are drinking the homebrew they aren't buying $6 Budweisers.
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Offline weithman5

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Re: Something rotten in the state of Illninois
« Reply #8 on: April 20, 2012, 11:24:15 AM »
almost everything is rotten in the state of Illinois. 
they probably care very little about safety, their real concern is tax revenue. not sure how much longer i will live here

I hear that.  My sister lives in West Chicago and works at Fermilab.  Trying to convince her to move here.  She likes the snow.  I took her up to the snow on Mauna Kea this year.  She liked it.

BTW there is plenty of room for more doctors here too.

will think about hawaii.  i did enjoy living in mililani, but that was a long time ago.. still thinking back to oregon (wife is from there) washington (where we met) ohio (my hometown) or montana (sister in law)....
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Offline weithman5

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Re: Something rotten in the state of Illninois
« Reply #9 on: April 20, 2012, 11:26:37 AM »
almost everything is rotten in the state of Illinois. 
they probably care very little about safety, their real concern is tax revenue. not sure how much longer i will live here

I would bet that it's more related to the distributors complaining than it is tax revenue.

The distributors have everything locked up tight and they can't control homebrew so they don't want it there.  Plus, if people are drinking the homebrew they aren't buying $6 Budweisers.

possibly the distributors are the trigger but just the text of the argument is that they are saying

Hofer said the state has concerns about safety, as there is no way to know how the product is produced and under what circumstances. Plus, home brewers aren't paying taxes on the product.  and it is not just in reference to this they are talking about beer taken out of the home in general
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Offline Joe Sr.

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Re: Something rotten in the state of Illninois
« Reply #10 on: April 20, 2012, 11:58:49 AM »
And they also say:

"We are very sensitive to concerns about (charitable and individual) competition with for-profit businesses," she said.

In my experience, this is very likely due to the distributor complaining about competition.

The taxes that would be collected on the amount of beer we're talking about must be minimal.  It's the lost revenue to LaGrou or Wirtz and the small nick in their monopoly.  It's that slippery slope again - first it's homebrewers, then it's the wine makers, pretty soon no one needs a distributor!!!  These people have the market locked up and competition is not welcome.
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Offline tomsawyer

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Re: Something rotten in the state of Illninois
« Reply #11 on: April 20, 2012, 01:13:02 PM »
Sounds like the homebrew component of the festival just got a little too big and was advertized a little too much, given the current laws in IL.  Sorry to hear this, I would guess it will negatively affect the success of the festival.
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Offline ChitownJT

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Re: Something rotten in the state of Illninois
« Reply #12 on: April 20, 2012, 02:18:34 PM »
Certainly the position that the liquor control commission is taking is within the letter of the law, but I have to agree with Joe Sr. that the interests being served seem much more in line with the distributors rather than any public health concerns.
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Offline weithman5

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Re: Something rotten in the state of Illninois
« Reply #13 on: April 20, 2012, 02:59:02 PM »
i will admit that you have swayed me some.  i do believe that the "tattletales" in this case were the distributors etc.  however it is the attitude embodied in their argument that pisses me.  it comes off as "and those guys don't even pay taxes on ..." 
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Offline nateo

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Re: Something rotten in the state of Illninois
« Reply #14 on: April 20, 2012, 07:57:39 PM »
I love taxes. I love roads, and bridges, and police, and fire depts, and state parks, and all the thousands of other things that taxes pay for. I don't really feel like charities should be tax free. I don't think charging admission to drink homebrew at a public event should be legal, regardless of who profits from it.

I don't think it's fair to demonize the distributors. I'm not convinced it's actually any specific distributor that complained about this. Even if it was, distributors pay taxes, and have families to feed, and so on. I don't begrudge them for wanting to stay in business. Most brewers don't have time to drive around to deliver the beer they make, so either they can hire an employee to do that (expensive) or hire a distributor (slightly less expensive).

Until American decides alcohol shouldn't be a controlled substance, I don't see a way to get around these regulations in any fair and cogent way.
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