Author Topic: Homebrew Club Running a Nano-Brewery  (Read 6278 times)

Offline jeffjm

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Re: Homebrew Club Running a Nano-Brewery
« Reply #15 on: March 05, 2013, 02:53:30 PM »
I went to the Heritage Beer festival in St. Louis last year and a local homebrew club had a similar issue.  They had kegs ready and were informed about some state law although it apparently was never enforced in the past.  They ended up serving soda pop.  If there's anyone on the forum from the St. Louis Brews homebrew club they could probably give more details on the situation they encountered.

I was one of the people who had kegs ready to go and couldn't bring them. I don't remember all the details, but it was pretty well covered in the local paper.  The official reason we were barred was that selling entry tickets to the festival constituted 'selling homebrew'. At least part of the problem was that the festival was right across the street from Busch Stadium and was likely to be on national TV during a game. That may have been what made the local alcohol commissioner nervous. Prior years events weren't nearly so well publicized, so it was easier to turn a blind eye.
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Offline granitebaybrewer

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Re: Homebrew Club Running a Nano-Brewery
« Reply #16 on: March 05, 2013, 09:21:58 PM »
Thanks you all for the continued input!

Tim Schmidlin - You mentioned the club brewing at a brewery.  Yes, this is what I had in mind. We have a brewery in town that is very homebrewer friendly.  If the club could set up a nano within the brewery as a separate entity, then we could put one or more beers on tap at the brewery and/or a local pub, who also is very supportive of the club. This would be the so called "commercial" face of the club which would allow us to serve and donate beer to charity events, and recruit new members of course. Granted, the beer served at the events would have to be brewed at the nano. Might be a big headache and cost prohibative to do this, but I feel it's worth exploring anyway.

Denny Conn - Your club seemed to have done something similar. I would like to hear more detail about this if you can post about it.

By the way, here's how the California law is written (it's definitely up for interpretation):

Note: I removed a couple of paragraphs that dealt with wine making.

Code 23356.2 states:

No license or permit shall be required for the brewing
of beer for personal or family use, and not for sale, by a person over the age of 21
years. The aggregate amount of beer with respect to any household shall not exceed
(a) 200 gallons per calendar year if there are two or more adults in such household,
or (b) 100 gallons per calendar year if there is only one adult in such household.
Any beer brewed pursuant to this section may be removed from the premises where
brewed for use in competition at organized affairs, exhibitions or competitions, including
homemakers’ contests, tastings, or judgings.

Maybe the best solution would be talk to festival organizers and have them add "Homebrew Competition" to the beer fest title.  Then people attending could vote for their favorite homebrewed beer.  Wouldn't this make it a "Competition at an organized affair"?

Cheers,
Dave

Offline tschmidlin

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Re: Homebrew Club Running a Nano-Brewery
« Reply #17 on: March 05, 2013, 09:50:30 PM »
Tim Schmidlin - You mentioned the club brewing at a brewery.  Yes, this is what I had in mind. We have a brewery in town that is very homebrewer friendly.  If the club could set up a nano within the brewery as a separate entity, then we could put one or more beers on tap at the brewery and/or a local pub, who also is very supportive of the club. This would be the so called "commercial" face of the club which would allow us to serve and donate beer to charity events, and recruit new members of course. Granted, the beer served at the events would have to be brewed at the nano. Might be a big headache and cost prohibative to do this, but I feel it's worth exploring anyway.
No, that's not how it works.  It is their equipment, it is brewed under their license, it is their beer, brewed by our club.  They put it on tap at their place, but they could just as easily have sold the keg or dumped it if they didn't like it.

All you would need to do is convince them to let you do it.  You could bring some of your equipment or use theirs, brew there, they account for it with their beer, and you can do what you like.

The event is already an exhibition/tasting/organized affair and fits within the law. The grey area is where you have to pay to get in to the event, that is likely why they won't let you serve the beer that has not been taxed.
Tom Schmidlin

Offline phunhog

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Re: Homebrew Club Running a Nano-Brewery
« Reply #18 on: March 05, 2013, 10:35:00 PM »
Thanks you all for the continued input!

Tim Schmidlin - You mentioned the club brewing at a brewery.  Yes, this is what I had in mind. We have a brewery in town that is very homebrewer friendly.  If the club could set up a nano within the brewery as a separate entity, then we could put one or more beers on tap at the brewery and/or a local pub, who also is very supportive of the club. This would be the so called "commercial" face of the club which would allow us to serve and donate beer to charity events, and recruit new members of course. Granted, the beer served at the events would have to be brewed at the nano. Might be a big headache and cost prohibative to do this, but I feel it's worth exploring anyway.

Denny Conn - Your club seemed to have done something similar. I would like to hear more detail about this if you can post about it.

By the way, here's how the California law is written (it's definitely up for interpretation):

Note: I removed a couple of paragraphs that dealt with wine making.

Code 23356.2 states:

No license or permit shall be required for the brewing
of beer for personal or family use, and not for sale, by a person over the age of 21
years. The aggregate amount of beer with respect to any household shall not exceed
(a) 200 gallons per calendar year if there are two or more adults in such household,
or (b) 100 gallons per calendar year if there is only one adult in such household.
Any beer brewed pursuant to this section may be removed from the premises where
brewed for use in competition at organized affairs, exhibitions or competitions, including
homemakers’ contests, tastings, or judgings.

Maybe the best solution would be talk to festival organizers and have them add "Homebrew Competition" to the beer fest title.  Then people attending could vote for their favorite homebrewed beer.  Wouldn't this make it a "Competition at an organized affair"?

Cheers,
Dave
You are absolutely right that it is up for interpretation!! There is a "mobile" brew pub in SF(Brewtruc) that was letting homebrewers pour their beer at various charity beer gardens.  Everyone who attended could vote for their favorite beer and give feedback. Thus meeting, in their eyes, the letter of the law since it was a competition/judging.  I guess CA ABC got wind of it and said that a contest could only have "5-7 judges"!!  Talk about pulling something out of their arse...no where in the law does it stipulate the number of judges permitted in a homebrew competition.
As far a charity event being structured like the NHC...it already exists. The California Homebrewers Assoc. is a legitimate 501(c) charity whose primary purpose, as far as I can tell, is to put on two homebrew festivals a year.  Here's the catch....it is free to members (40 dollar annual dues). Of course the only real benefit to being a "member" is "free" entry to the festival. Technically they sell memberships instead of tickets. In fact they aren't allowed to sell tickets, I mean memberships ;), at the gate. Check it out..http://www.calhomebrewers.org/

Online denny

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Re: Homebrew Club Running a Nano-Brewery
« Reply #19 on: March 06, 2013, 09:54:22 AM »
In our case, Rogue bought a 30 gal. MoreBeer sculpture (top of the line) and put it in the basement of their local brewpub.  They also bout a temp controlled conical for the system.  Our people would go in and brew using ingredients supplied by Rogue.  Generally, they were pretty good about getting ingredients that were needed, but sometimes we just had to wing it.  The finished beer was owned and sold by Rogue.  Even the club member who brewed it had to purchase it...no free beer for the club.  They were supposed to have a tap handle available for us all the time, but often their own beer would fill that while ours sat until there was space.  They did no identification kf the beer as being brewed by the club.  Basically, we were just providing free labor.  We recently decided to end our brewing on the system because we just couldn't identify the value to the club.
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Offline mtnrockhopper

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Re: Homebrew Club Running a Nano-Brewery
« Reply #20 on: March 06, 2013, 12:06:18 PM »
Code 23356.2 states:

No license or permit shall be required for the brewing
of beer for personal or family use, and not for sale, by a person over the age of 21
years. The aggregate amount of beer with respect to any household shall not exceed
(a) 200 gallons per calendar year if there are two or more adults in such household,
or (b) 100 gallons per calendar year if there is only one adult in such household.
Any beer brewed pursuant to this section may be removed from the premises where
brewed for use in competition at organized affairs, exhibitions or competitions, including
homemakers’ contests, tastings, or judgings.

Maybe the best solution would be talk to festival organizers and have them add "Homebrew Competition" to the beer fest title.  Then people attending could vote for their favorite homebrewed beer.  Wouldn't this make it a "Competition at an organized affair"?
Honestly, that's about as good as it gets. I think the goal going forward would be to educate about what the law actually says.
Jimmy K

Delmarva United Homebrewers - President by inverse coup when the old president ousted himself.
AHA Member since 2006
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Offline corkybstewart

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Re: Homebrew Club Running a Nano-Brewery
« Reply #21 on: March 06, 2013, 01:30:25 PM »
In our case, Rogue bought a 30 gal. MoreBeer sculpture (top of the line) and put it in the basement of their local brewpub.  They also bout a temp controlled conical for the system.  Our people would go in and brew using ingredients supplied by Rogue.  Generally, they were pretty good about getting ingredients that were needed, but sometimes we just had to wing it.  The finished beer was owned and sold by Rogue.  Even the club member who brewed it had to purchase it...no free beer for the club.  They were supposed to have a tap handle available for us all the time, but often their own beer would fill that while ours sat until there was space.  They did no identification kf the beer as being brewed by the club.  Basically, we were just providing free labor.  We recently decided to end our brewing on the system because we just couldn't identify the value to the club.
Those guys at Rogue are pretty damn smart.  If the beer was good they sell it, if not dump it and wait for another group of brewery slaves to make another batch.
I'd really just rather be brewing in sunny Carlsbad New Mexico

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Re: Homebrew Club Running a Nano-Brewery
« Reply #22 on: March 06, 2013, 01:32:34 PM »
Those guys at Rogue are pretty damn smart.  If the beer was good they sell it, if not dump it and wait for another group of brewery slaves to make another batch.

It was all good and I don't think any got dumped.  Beyond that, I have a lot of friends at Rogue, so I'll restrain myself...
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Offline phunhog

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Re: Homebrew Club Running a Nano-Brewery
« Reply #23 on: March 07, 2013, 02:38:18 PM »
In our case, Rogue bought a 30 gal. MoreBeer sculpture (top of the line) and put it in the basement of their local brewpub.  They also bout a temp controlled conical for the system.  Our people would go in and brew using ingredients supplied by Rogue.  Generally, they were pretty good about getting ingredients that were needed, but sometimes we just had to wing it.  The finished beer was owned and sold by Rogue.  Even the club member who brewed it had to purchase it...no free beer for the club.  They were supposed to have a tap handle available for us all the time, but often their own beer would fill that while ours sat until there was space.  They did no identification kf the beer as being brewed by the club.  Basically, we were just providing free labor.  We recently decided to end our brewing on the system because we just couldn't identify the value to the club.
I am hoping we can convince the brewery where our club meets to do something like this!! I think it would because they are not only a brewery but also a homebrew shop.  It seems like it would be a win/win for the brewery. They get to put a "special" beer on tap for a day or two and get more people into the hobby. 

Offline mtnrockhopper

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Re: Homebrew Club Running a Nano-Brewery
« Reply #24 on: March 08, 2013, 06:20:47 AM »
I am hoping we can convince the brewery where our club meets to do something like this!! I think it would because they are not only a brewery but also a homebrew shop.  It seems like it would be a win/win for the brewery. They get to put a "special" beer on tap for a day or two and get more people into the hobby.
Well that could work well since promoting homebrewing is in the financial interest of the brewery/shop.
Jimmy K

Delmarva United Homebrewers - President by inverse coup when the old president ousted himself.
AHA Member since 2006
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