Author Topic: St. Loius: Home brew illegal at festival  (Read 6207 times)

Offline micsager

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St. Loius: Home brew illegal at festival
« on: June 12, 2012, 08:55:54 AM »


Hundreds of gallons of beer that were set to be poured this weekend at the sixth annual St. Louis Brewers Heritage Festival will have to find a new home after the city's excise commissioner ruled Monday that serving it at the festival would be illegal.



Read more: http://www.stltoday.com/st-louis-no-homebrew-allowed-at-heritage-festival/article_f1f1a866-b439-11e1-ab83-0019bb30f31a.html#ixzz1xaxEYAeM

Offline dbeechum

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Re: St. Loius: Home brew illegal at festival
« Reply #1 on: June 12, 2012, 09:08:50 AM »
It's a real bind.. on the one hand you seriously want to shake people, but on the other hand there is the point of contention there between a paid festival where you control the drinking of commercial beer (effectively selling it for the cost of tickets/tokens) and that translating to homebrew.

If you don't do tickets for the homebrew, then how do you keep the drinking situation there in check?

It would be nice for this to have an easy solution.
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Offline Joe Sr.

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Re: St. Loius: Home brew illegal at festival
« Reply #2 on: June 12, 2012, 09:28:40 AM »
I think it's cool to see Schlafly advocating for homebrewer's and acknowledging that it's an important part of the festival.

If you don't do tickets for the homebrew, then how do you keep the drinking situation there in check?

Not sure what you mean, Drew.  Are you saying that without tickets, it could be a super drunk-fest on free homebrew?  How would it be different with tickets?

I worked a four hour shift on Sunday at a beer tent for a local neighborhood festival.  At $5 and $6 a cup, I was literally pouring continually for at least three hours (mostly Bud Light, ewww).  I don't know it would be any different with higher or lower beer prices.  People want their beer at festivals.
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Offline dbeechum

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Re: St. Loius: Home brew illegal at festival
« Reply #3 on: June 12, 2012, 09:58:26 AM »
Not sure what you mean, Drew.  Are you saying that without tickets, it could be a super drunk-fest on free homebrew?  How would it be different with tickets?

Part of the rationale of tickets and ticket sales is to control the drinking pace and volume. Of course, tickets = money = sales in the eyes of the law, so that's a no-no for homebrew. Can't even bundle them with the sale of the mug because that's still an exchange of money.
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Offline kramerog

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Re: St. Loius: Home brew illegal at festival
« Reply #4 on: June 12, 2012, 09:59:48 AM »
I'd like to see a new class of liquor license for festivals permitting the festivals to serve homebrew if they pay for taxes on the homebrew.  Illinois has new law on the books permitting people to sell food made at home (e.g., not in a commercial kitchen).  It's time to further deregulate homebrew.
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Offline Joe Sr.

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Re: St. Loius: Home brew illegal at festival
« Reply #5 on: June 12, 2012, 10:03:54 AM »
Part of the rationale of tickets and ticket sales is to control the drinking pace and volume.

I guess I've never quite viewed tickets that way. 

I've been to fests where you can only buy two beers at a time, but you can buy as many tickets as you like.

I've always assumed that tickets are preferred because you generally buy more tickets than you use and cash transactions are limited to a secured booth.  Less opportunity for shenanigans with the $$ that way.
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Offline EHall

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Re: St. Loius: Home brew illegal at festival
« Reply #6 on: June 12, 2012, 10:12:38 AM »
I'd like to see a new class of liquor license for festivals permitting the festivals to serve homebrew if they pay for taxes on the homebrew. 

Why would you want to go down the path of taxing homebrew?!!!  :o Its bad enough that taxes on alcohol are already to high and they keep going up an now you would be ok with taxing homebrew just so someone can serve it at a festival? No thanks!
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Offline dak0415

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Re: St. Loius: Home brew illegal at festival
« Reply #7 on: June 12, 2012, 10:35:11 AM »
Controlling over-indulgence is quite simple.  The person serving the beer (homebrew or commercial) operates under the same rules as a bartender in the state.  He/She shouldn't be serving AND drinking and you can't serve someone who is intoxicated, tickets or not!

As far as serving homebrew, we are not usually dolling it out by the pint, but it 2-3oz tasters.  You would kick a keg pretty fast if you were serving pints.  I have refused to serve even tasters to festival goers who seem to have been on their 40th sample!
« Last Edit: June 12, 2012, 10:40:46 AM by dak0415 »
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Offline Alewyfe

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Re: St. Loius: Home brew illegal at festival
« Reply #8 on: June 12, 2012, 10:49:36 AM »
We have a brew festival here in our town that is put on by a PAC to raise funds for their operations.
As with the rest of the festivals, all the beer is donated by the breweries. No one is admitted unless they are over 21.  Then they buy a glass, they buy tickets.  You can get in to the festival if you are over 21. You are NOT required to buy the glass or the tickets to get in the door, but then of course you can't sample the commercial beers.

Last year, our club had a booth and poured home brew. It was free...they did not have to purchase glass...our beer was served in 3oz. plastic cups.  The premise was because they got in to the event free (only drinking the commercial beers required a purchased glass & tickets) so therefore it was fine to pour the home brew. No one who came to our booth, came only to have home brew. They had their glasses and their tickets. Most only hung around if they were very interested in getting into brewing or were already home brewers. It was a great awareness opportunity for our club and home brewing.

We are still allowed to pour home brew at our town's Art & Wine walks, from which no one makes money. It's just for exposure of the downtown merchants.

However, this year they have said no to the festival pouring.  We may "donate" our homebrew to the PAC, then they can pour it to the paying attendees from their booths, not ours. 

I'm not sure who figured that one out. I'm told it was the decision of our local liquor control, but I suspect that the festival organizers were mostly concerned about our pouring beer for which they were not getting income. (my opinion, I haven't talked to LCC )  I think this is screwed up. Why in this instance is it OK for home brew to be "sold".  They say because it's being donated, and the PAC is a tax exempt organization.
(So? Most home brew clubs are tax exempt organizations. Could we donate it to our club and sell it? Of course we have no political affiliations, so I'm sure that wouldn't work)
I am bothered by this and don't understand how it passes the sniff test.



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Offline dbeechum

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Re: St. Loius: Home brew illegal at festival
« Reply #9 on: June 12, 2012, 11:06:39 AM »
Yeah, the way you mentioned that you've been doing it is the only way I can really think it will work, but... (always a but...) I've encountered a lot of folks on the government/insurance/safety side who have small kittens around that sort of endless pour situation / public area of drinking.

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Re: St. Loius: Home brew illegal at festival
« Reply #10 on: June 12, 2012, 11:16:26 AM »
They say because it's being donated, and the PAC is a tax exempt organization.
I don't think being tax exempt exempts them from alcohol taxes anyway, just income taxes. I'd agree their new position is pretty dubious since they are now selling unlicensed beer. It is hard to believe that idea came from the liquor board.
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Offline kramerog

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Re: St. Loius: Home brew illegal at festival
« Reply #11 on: June 12, 2012, 11:18:55 AM »
We have a brew festival here in our town that is put on by a PAC to raise funds for their operations.
As with the rest of the festivals, all the beer is donated by the breweries. No one is admitted unless they are over 21.  Then they buy a glass, they buy tickets.  You can get in to the festival if you are over 21. You are NOT required to buy the glass or the tickets to get in the door, but then of course you can't sample the commercial beers.

Last year, our club had a booth and poured home brew. It was free...they did not have to purchase glass...our beer was served in 3oz. plastic cups.  The premise was because they got in to the event free (only drinking the commercial beers required a purchased glass & tickets) so therefore it was fine to pour the home brew. No one who came to our booth, came only to have home brew. They had their glasses and their tickets. Most only hung around if they were very interested in getting into brewing or were already home brewers. It was a great awareness opportunity for our club and home brewing.

We are still allowed to pour home brew at our town's Art & Wine walks, from which no one makes money. It's just for exposure of the downtown merchants.

However, this year they have said no to the festival pouring.  We may "donate" our homebrew to the PAC, then they can pour it to the paying attendees from their booths, not ours. 

I'm not sure who figured that one out. I'm told it was the decision of our local liquor control, but I suspect that the festival organizers were mostly concerned about our pouring beer for which they were not getting income. (my opinion, I haven't talked to LCC )  I think this is screwed up. Why in this instance is it OK for home brew to be "sold".  They say because it's being donated, and the PAC is a tax exempt organization.
(So? Most home brew clubs are tax exempt organizations. Could we donate it to our club and sell it? Of course we have no political affiliations, so I'm sure that wouldn't work)
I am bothered by this and don't understand how it passes the sniff test.

If the homebrew is not exchanged for tickets then the homebrew is being given away not sold.  If the PAC requires tickets for homebrew then the deal is fishy.
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Offline kramerog

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Re: St. Loius: Home brew illegal at festival
« Reply #12 on: June 12, 2012, 11:21:42 AM »
I'd like to see a new class of liquor license for festivals permitting the festivals to serve homebrew if they pay for taxes on the homebrew. 

Why would you want to go down the path of taxing homebrew?!!!  :o Its bad enough that taxes on alcohol are already to high and they keep going up an now you would be ok with taxing homebrew just so someone can serve it at a festival? No thanks!

I'm only talking about taxing the homebrew served at festivals via the festival organizers.  If you ever work with charities trying to raise money through donations for homebrew then I think you would begin to see my point.
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Re: St. Loius: Home brew illegal at festival
« Reply #13 on: June 12, 2012, 11:31:13 AM »
We have a brew festival here in our town that is put on by a PAC to raise funds for their operations.
As with the rest of the festivals, all the beer is donated by the breweries. No one is admitted unless they are over 21.  Then they buy a glass, they buy tickets.  You can get in to the festival if you are over 21. You are NOT required to buy the glass or the tickets to get in the door, but then of course you can't sample the commercial beers.

Last year, our club had a booth and poured home brew. It was free...they did not have to purchase glass...our beer was served in 3oz. plastic cups.  The premise was because they got in to the event free (only drinking the commercial beers required a purchased glass & tickets) so therefore it was fine to pour the home brew. No one who came to our booth, came only to have home brew. They had their glasses and their tickets. Most only hung around if they were very interested in getting into brewing or were already home brewers. It was a great awareness opportunity for our club and home brewing.

We are still allowed to pour home brew at our town's Art & Wine walks, from which no one makes money. It's just for exposure of the downtown merchants.

However, this year they have said no to the festival pouring.  We may "donate" our homebrew to the PAC, then they can pour it to the paying attendees from their booths, not ours. 

I'm not sure who figured that one out. I'm told it was the decision of our local liquor control, but I suspect that the festival organizers were mostly concerned about our pouring beer for which they were not getting income. (my opinion, I haven't talked to LCC )  I think this is screwed up. Why in this instance is it OK for home brew to be "sold".  They say because it's being donated, and the PAC is a tax exempt organization.
(So? Most home brew clubs are tax exempt organizations. Could we donate it to our club and sell it? Of course we have no political affiliations, so I'm sure that wouldn't work)
I am bothered by this and don't understand how it passes the sniff test.

I think that the modifications we made to the law a couple years ago should allow you to pour.  Lemme look into it and get back to you.
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Re: St. Loius: Home brew illegal at festival
« Reply #14 on: June 12, 2012, 11:57:37 AM »
I think that the modifications we made to the law a couple years ago should allow you to pour.  Lemme look into it and get back to you.

As came up in another thread in the GoingPro section, this could very well be related to liability reasons (i.e. their event insurance only covers their employees serving, etc.)