Author Topic: Fundraiser Question  (Read 1086 times)

Offline alestateyall

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Fundraiser Question
« on: December 22, 2013, 05:34:53 PM »
My state, Mississippi, allows homebrewers to "remove the beer from the premises of the household where it is made and transport the beer only for the purpose of participating in a bona fide exhibition, contest or competition where homemade beer is being tasted and judged; however, homemade beer may not be sold or offered for sale under any circumstances."

So, would it be legal for a home brew club to hold a bonafide exhibition with an entry fee and then give people who pay to entry free beer?

Or could the club partner with a festival and provide beer to festival goers in return for payment to the club from the festival?

Or could the club set up at a farmers market, sell empty growlers and glasses and then fill them for free?

Offline Bruce B

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Re: Fundraiser Question
« Reply #1 on: December 22, 2013, 10:12:13 PM »
People had similar ideas in WI after our homebrew legislation changed a year ago.  A lot of people thought they could get creative once the laws were changed.  Not sure if the questions posted are an effort to be creative and indirectly get compensated for homeebrew or if they are first time legal want to know questions.  Regardless, I'm not familiar with Mississippi law or the ins and outs of the new legislation so I would suggest you consult directly with a lawyer or a legislator regarding your questions.

Some things to consider:
  • Remember that professional brewers pay taxes for the product that they produce and sell.  For a homebrewer to produce a product, get compensated for it, and not have to pay taxes it could create some animosity between the homebrew and professional brewing communities. 
  • If your club is pouring homebrew samples at a beer festival where professional product is being served your club members can take turns pouring beer for the fest goers and going to see what the pro brewers brought.
Prosit, Sláinte, Salute, Na Zdravi, Cheers! - Bruce
Beer Barons of Milwaukee - http://www.beerbarons.org
Coordinator - Midwinter and Schnapp Hans Cup Competitions
BJCP National & Mead Judge

Offline klickitat jim

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Re: Fundraiser Question
« Reply #2 on: December 23, 2013, 09:25:39 AM »
What is the intent of the law?  Like a 50 miles per hour speed limit, the intent is to not go faster than that rate of speed. It doesn't mean that you can drive at any rate of speed you want so long as you don't drive more than 50 total miles in one hour.

Online morticaixavier

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Re: Fundraiser Question
« Reply #3 on: December 23, 2013, 09:32:30 AM »
In California they just passed a law allowing homebrewers top donate homebrew to charities who would then be allowed to sell the homebrew in a variety of ways (auction, door prize, festival) to raise funds. The law is written so that the charity cannot be specifically beer/wine/spirits related so no raising funds for the club even though it is a non-profit but it's still pretty great.
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Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: Fundraiser Question
« Reply #4 on: December 23, 2013, 09:38:40 AM »
I always wonder how these laws fit in with the Federal law that says homebrew is not to be sold?
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Online morticaixavier

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Re: Fundraiser Question
« Reply #5 on: December 23, 2013, 09:40:16 AM »
That will be an interesting this to see. As I understand it, as long as it's not interstate it's not really the feds deal but that has not stopped them in the past.
"Creativity is the residue of wasted time" - A. Einstein

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Offline klickitat jim

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Re: Fundraiser Question
« Reply #6 on: December 23, 2013, 09:55:02 AM »
Especially if it's drugs, alcohol, tobacco, firearms, or explosive

Offline denny

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Re: Fundraiser Question
« Reply #7 on: December 23, 2013, 10:07:44 AM »
My state, Mississippi, allows homebrewers to "remove the beer from the premises of the household where it is made and transport the beer only for the purpose of participating in a bona fide exhibition, contest or competition where homemade beer is being tasted and judged; however, homemade beer may not be sold or offered for sale under any circumstances."

So, would it be legal for a home brew club to hold a bonafide exhibition with an entry fee and then give people who pay to entry free beer?

Or could the club partner with a festival and provide beer to festival goers in return for payment to the club from the festival?

Or could the club set up at a farmers market, sell empty growlers and glasses and then fill them for free?

If you want an accurate answer, ask your local alcohol control authorities, not a bunch of homebrewers who may not even live in your state!  When I taught a homebrew course recently, I had questions about if I could give the finished beer to the people in the class.  I contacted the OR Liquor Control Commission and they were very helpful.  After examining the laws they told me it was fine.  Ask the people who know!
Life begins at 60.....1.060, that is!

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Offline pmhennessey

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Re: Fundraiser Question
« Reply #8 on: December 23, 2013, 12:42:24 PM »
I think the short answer is no.  In each of the three situations money is changing hands.  If the beer is removed from the equation would money change hands?  In the title you are calling this a fund raiser which implies the only reason for the beer is to make money on the sale of beer.

In the first situation would I be able to get “free beer” without paying the entry fee?  I the answer is no then the beer is not free and there is a sale.  In the second situation would the festival organizers still pay you if you just stood around and talked about beer and did not provide the beer promised?  If not then the transaction is a sale of beer to the festival organizers.  In the last situation, if I brought my own growler would it be filled with “free beer” at no cost to me?  Again if the answer is no then the beer is not free and there is a sale.

In each situation, whether to an individual or the club, I am expected to give up my money to get your beer.  I believe this would define a sale of beer.
« Last Edit: December 23, 2013, 07:32:41 PM by pmhennessey »

Offline alestateyall

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Re: Fundraiser Question
« Reply #9 on: December 23, 2013, 01:52:58 PM »

My state, Mississippi, allows homebrewers to "remove the beer from the premises of the household where it is made and transport the beer only for the purpose of participating in a bona fide exhibition, contest or competition where homemade beer is being tasted and judged; however, homemade beer may not be sold or offered for sale under any circumstances."

So, would it be legal for a home brew club to hold a bonafide exhibition with an entry fee and then give people who pay to entry free beer?

Or could the club partner with a festival and provide beer to festival goers in return for payment to the club from the festival?

Or could the club set up at a farmers market, sell empty growlers and glasses and then fill them for free?

If you want an accurate answer, ask your local alcohol control authorities, not a bunch of homebrewers who may not even live in your state!  When I taught a homebrew course recently, I had questions about if I could give the finished beer to the people in the class.  I contacted the OR Liquor Control Commission and they were very helpful.  After examining the laws they told me it was fine.  Ask the people who know!

Just getting opinions. Believe me I won't be doing this without consulting authorities in my state. However, I thought it might be useful to hear what people think and perhaps what can or can't done elsewhere before moving forward.

Offline alestateyall

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Re: Fundraiser Question
« Reply #10 on: December 23, 2013, 02:26:16 PM »

People had similar ideas in WI after our homebrew legislation changed a year ago.  A lot of people thought they could get creative once the laws were changed.  Not sure if the questions posted are an effort to be creative and indirectly get compensated for homeebrew or if they are first time legal want to know questions.  Regardless, I'm not familiar with Mississippi law or the ins and outs of the new legislation so I would suggest you consult directly with a lawyer or a legislator regarding your questions.

Some things to consider:
  • Remember that professional brewers pay taxes for the product that they produce and sell.  For a homebrewer to produce a product, get compensated for it, and not have to pay taxes it could create some animosity between the homebrew and professional brewing communities. 
  • If your club is pouring homebrew samples at a beer festival where professional product is being served your club members can take turns pouring beer for the fest goers and going to see what the pro brewers brought.

This is not an attempt to profit from beer. I am just curious. We have had festivals in MS where both home brew and commercial beer are given away to festival goers who paid an admission fee. So I am wondering if it would be legal for a club to have its own fundraiser involving home brew.

Offline denny

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Re: Fundraiser Question
« Reply #11 on: December 23, 2013, 02:33:10 PM »
Just getting opinions. Believe me I won't be doing this without consulting authorities in my state. However, I thought it might be useful to hear what people think and perhaps what can or can't done elsewhere before moving forward.

No offense intended, man, but why would it matter what the opinions of people here are?  Just give 'em a call then let us know what they say.
Life begins at 60.....1.060, that is!

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The best, sharpest, funniest, weirdest and most knowledgable minds in home brewing contribute on the AHA forum. - Alewyfe

Offline alestateyall

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Re: Fundraiser Question
« Reply #12 on: December 23, 2013, 02:55:58 PM »

Just getting opinions. Believe me I won't be doing this without consulting authorities in my state. However, I thought it might be useful to hear what people think and perhaps what can or can't done elsewhere before moving forward.

No offense intended, man, but why would it matter what the opinions of people here are?  Just give 'em a call then let us know what they say.

It is easier to anonymously find out if I am being foolish by asking on a forum. If people don't think I am an idiot then I can go on record and ask.

Offline Bruce B

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Re: Fundraiser Question
« Reply #13 on: December 25, 2013, 12:17:55 AM »
This is not an attempt to profit from beer. I am just curious. We have had festivals in MS where both home brew and commercial beer are given away to festival goers who paid an admission fee. So I am wondering if it would be legal for a club to have its own fundraiser involving home brew.

Just to be clear I didn't intend to suggest that you were looking to profit.  Seeking compensation, even in the name of a fund raiser can present issues.  Our club serves brew samples for beer festivals in WI but we always do it for festivals that include professionally made and purchased beer.  We even hold our own beer festival - http://www.wobfest.com/ which the proceeds benefit a professional brewers scholarship fund that we've set up, but the amount of purchased brew far outweighs homebrew.
Prosit, Sláinte, Salute, Na Zdravi, Cheers! - Bruce
Beer Barons of Milwaukee - http://www.beerbarons.org
Coordinator - Midwinter and Schnapp Hans Cup Competitions
BJCP National & Mead Judge

Offline alestateyall

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Re: Fundraiser Question
« Reply #14 on: December 25, 2013, 07:35:41 AM »
Thanks, Bruce. I just wanted to make it clear I wasn't looking for a half baked scheme to profit. Not saying you accused me of that.

After Christmas I will email or call my state authorities.

Merry Christmas.