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Homebrew Club Running a Nano-Brewery

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granitebaybrewer:
Hi All,

We're a new homebrew club located near Sacramento, California. Our club, along with at least 2 others, were invited to serve our beers at a local beer festival with over 90 commercial breweries attending.  After making plans, and literally with kegs in hand, they told us that the ABC wouldn't allow us to serve--probably something to do with them collecting an entrance fee and linking this fee to the home brewed beer. The beer festival was a charity event.

Anyway, I was wondering if any club out there has started it's own club sponsored nano-brewery and obtained licensing? I believe this would answer any questions that would arise about the club serving at brew fests. Is this a viable idea? Would the club have to drop out of the AHA even though we'd be brewing on a homebrew system?

I realize there would be some complexities involved, but I thought I'd throw it out there for discussion.

Cheers,
David Long
Secretary, Placer Ultimate Brewers Society (PUBS)

rbclay:
Pretty sure getting licensed is the definition of no longer being a homebrewer.

phunhog:
That a bummer about you guys being shut out of the event. My club has poured at a very similar festival here in SoCal for the last five years with no problems. Of course we operate more on the "better to beg forgiveness, than ask permission" philosophy.  In fact some of us are slated to pour at a very small charity beer festival next month. On a side note.....I was talking to a co-worker who is very connected politically in CA...his wife is a former high ranking state assemblywoman. I was telling him about this "problem"...Homebrewers not being able to pour beer at charity beer festivals.  He talked to some current state politicians.....he got the impression that it would be a fairly easy fix via legislation. That there would be very little/no real opposition.

Alewyfe:
Our club was invited to pour at a local brewfest in 2011. According to the powers that be there was no problem as admission was free to the event. There was no admission charge, you only bought glasses and drink tickets and we did not require tickets for our beer.

The next year 2012, we were told we could not pour under the festivals liability insurance. We could however donate our kegs to the festival and they could dispense them for "paid tickets" the same as the commercial beers. This was apparently deemed to be OK as the festival was organized by and with proceeds going to a non-profit.

I think most of the rules are made by the local liquor commission rep depending on how they feel on any particular day. Without club members being able to pour at our own booth and talk to people about the club, etc., it has become very difficult to get members to participate in the festival. A lose:lose  situation for both us and the fest.

Slowbrew:

--- Quote from: Alewyfe on March 02, 2013, 12:05:01 PM ---Our club was invited to pour at a local brewfest in 2011. According to the powers that be there was no problem as admission was free to the event. There was no admission charge, you only bought glasses and drink tickets and we did not require tickets for our beer.

The next year 2012, we were told we could not pour under the festivals liability insurance. We could however donate our kegs to the festival and they could dispense them for "paid tickets" the same as the commercial beers. This was apparently deemed to be OK as the festival was organized by and with proceeds going to a non-profit.

I think most of the rules are made by the local liquor commission rep depending on how they feel on any particular day. Without club members being able to pour at our own booth and talk to people about the club, etc., it has become very difficult to get members to participate in the festival. A lose:lose  situation for both us and the fest.

--- End quote ---

I know the whole situation is in the past but my first thought was the orginizers saw dollars being missed and wanted to increase the take.  Even if it goes to charity that seems a bit greedy to me.  I would also question wether homebrew can be donated and then sold.  Did the "donation" somehow satisfy the tax man?

Sorry your club lost the opportunity but it's probably best you didn't participate.

And for the record IANAL.  I'm just a sometimes grump guy with a tendency to see the bad side of people (especially before my first 3 cups of coffee).

Paul

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