Author Topic: Southern California Homebrew Festival Cancelled?  (Read 1006 times)

Offline morticaixavier

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Southern California Homebrew Festival Cancelled?
« on: March 14, 2014, 07:37:36 AM »
I just saw this posted on my brewclub forum.

http://blogs.ocweekly.com/stickaforkinit/2014/03/southern_california_homebrewers_festival.php

What a bummer!

Drew,
Do you have any details on this? is it ironed out now? or is there still work to do to ensure other festivals don't get shut down this year?
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Offline theDarkSide

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Re: Southern California Homebrew Festival Cancelled?
« Reply #1 on: March 14, 2014, 07:47:00 AM »
Can they change the name of the sale of tickets to a donation?  Here in NH we have a homebrew jamboree and they say you can (strongly suggest but can't require it) give a donation. 

So if this law isn't changed, how does that affect NHC in San Diego next year?
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Offline garyg

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Re: Southern California Homebrew Festival Cancelled?
« Reply #2 on: March 14, 2014, 08:11:58 AM »
I have been working with the California Homebrewers Association on this issue.  The homebrew bill that was stealthily passed by the legislature last year had good intentions, but did not take into account many of the well established homebrew events that were already happening in the state. 

We are very hopeful for a legislative solution later this year.  Of course with legislation, there are no guarantees of success, but it does seem there are a number of state legislators that are interested in getting the situation fixed.

We'll be sure to let California AHA members know if/when a bill is filed and contacts with legislators are needed to ensure the bills success.
Gary Glass
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Offline dbeechum

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Re: Southern California Homebrew Festival Cancelled?
« Reply #3 on: March 14, 2014, 08:41:27 AM »
Yeah, lots of work to be done, but the Legislature seems open to the fixes. The ABC is enforcing the rule as it stands.

Right now the crux is over the status of the beer. It's currently seen as a donation to the non-profit CHA. The new law expressly forbids the donation of homebrew to a non-profit dedicated to promoting homebrewing (aka the CHA) or made mostly of homebrewers (aka the CHA). So, that's no good. (The wording was really intended to prevent a doofus like me starting "Drew's Brews for the Cure - of his Empty Wallet Non-Profit", donating my homebrew and then auctioning it off. aka circumventing the regulation of alcohol sales in the state to funnel money to an unlicensed operation. I suspect this was added both at the behest of the ABC and the state's distributors)

A lot of this is because the CABC discovered the fest a few years back (after it had been done for ~20 years) and it raised all sorts of alarm bells - 2000 people, unregulated festival, legally unclear use of homebrewed beer, other questions (does a membership that's only benefit is admission to the festival really a smokescreen for a sale), etc. Since an enforcement agency's default answer is almost invariably "no", I'm surprised we got the few years we did before something like this cropped up and shut down the whole enterprise.

But, never mind the present - it's on to the future with new changes to the code that will allow us to once more have our fests and other fun!
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Offline morticaixavier

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Re: Southern California Homebrew Festival Cancelled?
« Reply #4 on: March 14, 2014, 08:49:21 AM »
Thanks for the responses Gary and Drew.

I'll spread the word!
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Offline ynotbrusum

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Re: Southern California Homebrew Festival Cancelled?
« Reply #5 on: March 14, 2014, 11:15:02 AM »
That is too bad.  It took the cancellation of a couple festivals here in Illinois (or at least the banning of homebrew at the festivals) to get Illinois to change its laws last year to allow for festivals (technically a "public exhibition, demonstration, tasting, or sampling") thanks in large part to the AHA involvement and a few homebrewers who organized to help the legislation along.  It isn't perfect, but it goes a long way from what it used to say (basically, only allowed to serve to family and guests).  Good luck with the CA legislature - it seems ridiculous in this era that a simple festival where admission is charged for entry gets hung up as the illegal sale of alcohol, but education can overcome the limitations!
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Offline udubdawg

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Re: Southern California Homebrew Festival Cancelled?
« Reply #6 on: March 14, 2014, 01:28:00 PM »
(The wording was really intended to prevent a doofus like me starting "Drew's Brews for the Cure - of his Empty Wallet Non-Profit", donating my homebrew and then auctioning it off. aka circumventing the regulation of alcohol sales in the state to funnel money to an unlicensed operation. I suspect this was added both at the behest of the ABC and the state's distributors)


is this sort of wording necessary? I guess what I'm saying is my impression is that federal laws are written such that states may pass more stringent requirements if they want, but not less.  So, isn't 'though shalt not profit from your homebrew' already covered?

...this stuff is maddening.

good luck--
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Offline garyg

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Re: Southern California Homebrew Festival Cancelled?
« Reply #7 on: March 14, 2014, 01:47:11 PM »

No because the new homebrew law was intended to allow homebrewers to donate homebrew to non-profits that could then profit from that homebrew by selling tickets to a fund raising event where that homebrew is served.  Apparently the California state legislature did not bother to check what the federal law was, since the new law most definitely violates federal law.

Oregon has a similar provision allowing donations of homebrew to non-profits and actually allows homebrewers to deduct their donations. 
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Offline dbeechum

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Re: Southern California Homebrew Festival Cancelled?
« Reply #8 on: March 14, 2014, 01:49:05 PM »
I guess to the lawmakers it opened up the possibility of making those sales legal at a state level if it wasn't closed.

Everything about the law is about the fine edge of possibility and misinterpretation.
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Offline morticaixavier

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Re: Southern California Homebrew Festival Cancelled?
« Reply #9 on: March 14, 2014, 02:42:27 PM »

No because the new homebrew law was intended to allow homebrewers to donate homebrew to non-profits that could then profit from that homebrew by selling tickets to a fund raising event where that homebrew is served.  Apparently the California state legislature did not bother to check what the federal law was, since the new law most definitely violates federal law.

Oregon has a similar provision allowing donations of homebrew to non-profits and actually allows homebrewers to deduct their donations.

I've always understood the Federal law to govern interstate stuff while intra state stuff was more or less up to the state, with obvious exceptions. Course, I'm just some guy, not a lawyer.
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Offline garyg

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Re: Southern California Homebrew Festival Cancelled?
« Reply #10 on: March 14, 2014, 02:49:50 PM »
I've always understood the Federal law to govern interstate stuff while intra state stuff was more or less up to the state, with obvious exceptions. Course, I'm just some guy, not a lawyer.

State's can be more restrictive than federal law, but they can't write a law that supersedes the federal law.  In this case, it wouldn't be illegal for a non-profit to sell tickets to an event where homebrew is served as far as California enforcement goes, but it's still federally illegal, so the TTB could still enforce the federal law.  So far, I have yet to see the TTB get involved with state homebrew bills that seem to go beyond federal law.
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Offline 69franx

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Re: Southern California Homebrew Festival Cancelled?
« Reply #11 on: March 19, 2014, 01:46:09 PM »
But in this day and age where states pass and are considering the legalization of marijuana, I think the line has been crossed and they may point to this as a means to pass what they want. The federal govt is not going to step in to strike down this Cali law anytime soon. Also not a lawyer, and also not a Cali resident. Just an observation from the mid west


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Offline Pinski

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Re: Southern California Homebrew Festival Cancelled?
« Reply #12 on: March 19, 2014, 02:37:32 PM »
But in this day and age where states pass and are considering the legalization of marijuana, I think the line has been crossed and they may point to this as a means to pass what they want. The federal govt is not going to step in to strike down this Cali law anytime soon. Also not a lawyer, and also not a Cali resident. Just an observation from the mid west
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That depends on if they want to test/tempt the Feds to enforce their regulation. Risky business.
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Offline Pinski

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Re: Southern California Homebrew Festival Cancelled?
« Reply #13 on: March 19, 2014, 02:41:28 PM »

No because the new homebrew law was intended to allow homebrewers to donate homebrew to non-profits that could then profit from that homebrew by selling tickets to a fund raising event where that homebrew is served.  Apparently the California state legislature did not bother to check what the federal law was, since the new law most definitely violates federal law.

Oregon has a similar provision allowing donations of homebrew to non-profits and actually allows homebrewers to deduct their donations.

Gary, could you steer me on where to find this language?  ORS or OARs? Thanks!
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Re: Southern California Homebrew Festival Cancelled?
« Reply #14 on: March 19, 2014, 02:43:43 PM »
There is an order from Holder to the DOJ and DEA of Washington and Colorado to spend tgeir resources other ways rather than overstep their State laws.

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