Author Topic: Apparently homebrewing is not legal nationwide  (Read 1207 times)

Offline reverseapachemaster

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Apparently homebrewing is not legal nationwide
« on: October 14, 2013, 08:03:13 PM »
Last month the American Bar Association Journal published a one page piece about the legalization in all states. This month there was a letter to the editor from a lawyer in Alaska who said in parts of rural Alaska it is a felony to homebrew. Even having a lot of sugar and yeast in your home is a felony. Apparently the local authorities are quite aggressive in prosecuting these charges and this lawyer has several clients in jail on felony charges for homebrewing (although it seems making prison hooch-style wine is more common than beer).

Some crawling of the interwebz indicated this is true. Apparently rural parts of Alaska have extreme alcohol abuse problems that results in a lot of accident-related deaths and domestic violence. The local communities have used the state's local option law to ban all alcohol in the community and include homebrewing for a total prohibition. It seems like this topic came up on the homebrew forums a lot in 2011 when these communities started voting in favor of prohibition but if I knew about it before I certainly forgot about it. I did not know that they are aggressively prosecuting these charges. One story I found said the guy got caught with seven pounds of yeast and some sugar and that was enough to get him in deep doo doo.
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Offline erockrph

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Re: Apparently homebrewing is not legal nationwide
« Reply #1 on: October 14, 2013, 09:05:07 PM »
I'm assuming that homebrewing probably isn't legal in a lot of dry counties in the south, either.

And I gotta say, 7 pounds is a hell of a lot of yeast. If it's dry yeast and you go by the rule of thumb of 1 gram per gallon of wine, then 454 grams per pound times 7 pounds equals a whole buttload of hooch. Even if it's a slurry, that's probably enough for 100-200 gallons of mash on its way to shine. Not that I agree with the law per se, but that's enough yeast where you can be reasonably sure he's not just making a few batches of IPA for home consumption.
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Offline klickitat jim

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Re: Apparently homebrewing is not legal nationwide
« Reply #2 on: October 14, 2013, 09:27:13 PM »
I'm curious if these areas are tribal. I've seen Alaska Trooper shows where they were called in to arrest people for a bottle of vodka

Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: Apparently homebrewing is not legal nationwide
« Reply #3 on: October 14, 2013, 11:32:30 PM »
Yes, not legal on tribal lands as I understand it in Alaska.
« Last Edit: October 14, 2013, 11:34:28 PM by hopfenundmalz »
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Offline ynotbrusum

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Re: Apparently homebrewing is not legal nationwide
« Reply #4 on: October 15, 2013, 05:21:22 AM »
It appears that Alaska has three different classifications - dry, damp and wet.  Dry forbids all possession or sale; damp forbids sale, but not possession; and, wet allows both.  With it varying from community to community, that can cause trouble for someone "just passing through".....
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Offline reverseapachemaster

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Re: Apparently homebrewing is not legal nationwide
« Reply #5 on: October 15, 2013, 07:17:13 AM »
Yeah but who is just passing through in Alaska?
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Offline kramerog

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Re: Apparently homebrewing is not legal nationwide
« Reply #6 on: October 15, 2013, 07:33:24 AM »
I think many of the reservations in the 48 states are dry too.  If you take advantage of the cheaper gas, cigarettes, etc. on the res, you might be inadvertently breaking the law if you got some brew with you.
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Offline tomsawyer

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Re: Apparently homebrewing is not legal nationwide
« Reply #7 on: October 15, 2013, 12:16:01 PM »
I guess some peoples' stupidity ruins it for the rest.  I'd have thought Alaskan wilderness was an anything goes kind of place, but I do recall seeing some Cops shows from up there and some of the alcoholism is pretty severe.
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Offline BrewArk

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Re: Apparently homebrewing is not legal nationwide
« Reply #8 on: October 15, 2013, 01:25:40 PM »
I guess some peoples' stupidity ruins it for the rest.  I'd have thought Alaskan wilderness was an anything goes kind of place, but I do recall seeing some Cops shows from up there and some of the alcoholism is pretty severe.

Yeah, I remember a cops episode where some overzealous man in blue started busting up someone's homebrew equipment not realizing it wasn't a moonshine still.  I was getting upset until they found the rest of the guy's stash and had something to really get him for.
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Re: Apparently homebrewing is not legal nationwide
« Reply #9 on: October 15, 2013, 02:04:26 PM »
I guess some peoples' stupidity ruins it for the rest.  I'd have thought Alaskan wilderness was an anything goes kind of place, but I do recall seeing some Cops shows from up there and some of the alcoholism is pretty severe.
Yeah, I normally find the idea that there could still be dry counties (as in the South) or any restriction on homebrewers as an obvious negative, but after seeing a few episodes of Alaska State Troopers on cable, I can see what  might have led to some of the restrictions. Alcohol related violence (domestic and otherwise) are in epidemic proportions especially, as mentioned, in alot of the small, very isolated towns and villages. Pretty grim stuff.
Jon H.

Offline cakey

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Re: Apparently homebrewing is not legal nationwide
« Reply #10 on: October 16, 2013, 11:23:01 AM »
As an Alaska resident (Fairbanks) i can say that among many of the native communities their are extreme alcohol problems, Non native as well for that matter.  One could go on for quit some time about all the many factors that play into it but that would be something to discus a different place and another time.  Many of the rural communities are quit remote, and operate with a great deal of autonomy.  They are often ran by tribal council, or to a lesser extent native corporations.  For the most part these communities are self policed only major offenses are dealt with by actual cops who rarely if ever patrol many of these communities.  These communities take alcohol very very seriously which i believe to be understandable if you could see the damage it has contributed to.  I believe in personal responsibility but for some communities this is such an extreme problem it is literally destroying a culture.  It's very sad and inescapable up here as its effects can be seen everywhere. 

Offline alestateyall

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Re: Apparently homebrewing is not legal nationwide
« Reply #11 on: October 19, 2013, 05:37:47 PM »
Home brewing is illegal in dry counties in Mississippi and Alabama. In MS it's a misdemeanor. Not sure the level of offense in Alabama.
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