Author Topic: Idaho Homebrewing laws? Competitions  (Read 1802 times)

Offline quattlebaum

  • Brewer
  • ****
  • Posts: 370
    • View Profile
    • Wildhops
Idaho Homebrewing laws? Competitions
« on: March 01, 2015, 02:24:36 PM »
Need some help with interpreting my state laws or who can i contact to help?
There has been some local post on the Idaho state police website with this being said to the public.

Home Brewing Information
"Recently we have had a lot of questions in regards to home brewing contests and other forms of competition. Idaho and Federal law allows the privilege of manufacturing wine or brewing beer for personal and family use in the privacy of your home without a brewery or winery license. Idaho State law does not permit an unlicensed person to allow their wine or beer to be consumed by the general public in such contests, competitions or exhibitions. If you intend to compete in a homemaker’s contest, competition or exhibition you must obtain the proper state, county, city and federal licensing. For more information click here. [pdf]  "

I organize the local state fair for a yearly homebrew comp and we have multiple entries from around the US along with organized judging. Basically they are saying we cant do this anymore unless we have the proper licensing.

This is a link to the PDF
http://www.isp.idaho.gov/abc/inc/documents/HomeBrewing.pdf

Any suggestions or recommendations on how to proceed with education to the local homebrewers and determining what the law really is would be appreciated   

Offline morticaixavier

  • I must live here
  • **********
  • Posts: 7782
  • Underhill VT
    • View Profile
    • The Best Artist in the WORLD!!!!!
Re: Idaho Homebrewing laws? Competitions
« Reply #1 on: March 01, 2015, 02:37:51 PM »
here is a link to the idaho statute as laid down in the AHA database.

http://www.homebrewersassociation.org/homebrewing-rights/statutes/Idaho/

it's pretty general but does seem to say you have to keep it at home.

Here is the AHA page about legal stuff

http://www.homebrewersassociation.org/homebrewing-rights/statutes/

"Creativity is the residue of wasted time"
-A Einstein

"errors are [...] the portals of discovery"
- J Joyce

Offline tommymorris

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1998
  • Tommy M.
    • View Profile
Re: Idaho Homebrewing laws? Competitions
« Reply #2 on: March 01, 2015, 02:56:35 PM »

Need some help with interpreting my state laws or who can i contact to help?
There has been some local post on the Idaho state police website with this being said to the public.

Home Brewing Information
"Recently we have had a lot of questions in regards to home brewing contests and other forms of competition. Idaho and Federal law allows the privilege of manufacturing wine or brewing beer for personal and family use in the privacy of your home without a brewery or winery license. Idaho State law does not permit an unlicensed person to allow their wine or beer to be consumed by the general public in such contests, competitions or exhibitions. If you intend to compete in a homemaker’s contest, competition or exhibition you must obtain the proper state, county, city and federal licensing. For more information click here. [pdf]  "

I organize the local state fair for a yearly homebrew comp and we have multiple entries from around the US along with organized judging. Basically they are saying we cant do this anymore unless we have the proper licensing.

This is a link to the PDF
http://www.isp.idaho.gov/abc/inc/documents/HomeBrewing.pdf

Any suggestions or recommendations on how to proceed with education to the local homebrewers and determining what the law really is would be appreciated
I contacted my state directly and provided a description of the events we would hold. In my state there was a specific agency under the department of revenue. The people I talked to were very helpful. They had me write descriptions of the event. They had the event descriptions reviewed and sent me letters stating they were legal.

Actually, for 1 event they first said it was illegal. I had to make a change and resubmit (they told me what was wrong.) On the second try I got a letter stating we were legal.

To find the right agency I worked my way patiently through a phone tree (explaining my issue to multiple people along the way.)

In your case, this may not help since they have clearly stated contests are not legal. However,  they might know a work around.

Offline denny

  • Administrator
  • Retired with too much time on my hands
  • *****
  • Posts: 19470
  • Noti OR [1991.4, 287.6deg] AR
    • View Profile
    • Dennybrew
Re: Idaho Homebrewing laws? Competitions
« Reply #3 on: March 01, 2015, 05:22:18 PM »
We went through pretty much the same thing here in OR, and the alcohol control people and state legislature were all too happy to change the laws.  Don't count on the interpretations of homebrewers here.  Contact your local alcohol control people and talk to them about it.  Maybe they'll decide that a homebrew comp is NOT the same as serving to the general public.  At the very least, you'll know where you stand.  Then find a friendly legislator to help you change things.
Life begins at 60.....1.060, that is!

www.dennybrew.com

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

"The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts." - Bertrand Russell

Offline HobsonDrake

  • Assistant Brewer
  • ***
  • Posts: 102
  • Beaverton, OR
    • View Profile
    • Brew Batch List
Re: Idaho Homebrewing laws? Competitions
« Reply #4 on: March 01, 2015, 05:26:03 PM »
I'm no lawyer. But from the PDF linked how do they reconcile the last section to that police statement? It says:

§25.206 Removal of beer.

Beer made under §25.205 may be removed from the premises where made for personal or family use
including use at organized affairs, exhibitions or competitions such as homemaker's contests, tastings or judging.
Beer removed under this section may not be sold or offered for sale.


Check out my brew history and recipes at http://www.hobsondrake.com/BrewList.html

John D.

Offline quattlebaum

  • Brewer
  • ****
  • Posts: 370
    • View Profile
    • Wildhops
Re: Idaho Homebrewing laws? Competitions
« Reply #5 on: March 01, 2015, 05:34:47 PM »
Thanks gentlemen.  i agree HobsonDrake it contradicts itself with that statement. Ill give them a shout.

Offline reverseapachemaster

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 3144
    • View Profile
    • Brain Sparging on Brewing
Re: Idaho Homebrewing laws? Competitions
« Reply #6 on: March 01, 2015, 05:45:36 PM »
I disagree with OP's interpretation of the state police's interpretation of the statute. The state police says you cannot present homebrew to the general public, not that you cannot do an organized competition with prearranged judges. It does seem like a people's choice where general attendees taste and pick their favorite would be impermissible.

Talk to whatever office in the state police agency that issued the advisory opinion and see if they can clarify their position for you.

Edit: If this is not the agency that normally regulates alcohol in your state then you should also contact that entity and try to get the two agencies to reach a single interpretation of the law.
« Last Edit: March 02, 2015, 04:33:44 PM by reverseapachemaster »
Heck yeah I blog about homebrewing: Brain Sparging on Brewing

Offline tommymorris

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1998
  • Tommy M.
    • View Profile
Re: Idaho Homebrewing laws? Competitions
« Reply #7 on: March 01, 2015, 07:30:09 PM »
I think if you contact your state they may tell you a specific license they want you to have. Good luck.

Offline Jimmy K

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 3646
  • Delaware
    • View Profile
Re: Idaho Homebrewing laws? Competitions
« Reply #8 on: March 02, 2015, 03:54:23 AM »
Thanks gentlemen.  i agree HobsonDrake it contradicts itself with that statement. Ill give them a shout.
25.206 is the section of Federal law that authorizes competitions. That is not state law.
Delmarva United Homebrewers - President by inverse coup - former president ousted himself.
AHA Member since 2006
BJCP Certified: B0958

Offline phunhog

  • Brewer
  • ****
  • Posts: 254
    • View Profile
Re: Idaho Homebrewing laws? Competitions
« Reply #9 on: March 02, 2015, 02:43:08 PM »
So I am probably in the minority here but.....what would happen if you went ahead with your competition plans as usual?  Call their bluff if you will.  Make them enforce their interpretation of the law and then use it for good PR....something like "Long standing Idaho State Fair tradition cancelled due to law interpretation". That will get many more people/politicians to take notice and you have a better shot at getting the law changed.   

Offline reverseapachemaster

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 3144
    • View Profile
    • Brain Sparging on Brewing
Re: Idaho Homebrewing laws? Competitions
« Reply #10 on: March 02, 2015, 03:47:52 PM »
So I am probably in the minority here but.....what would happen if you went ahead with your competition plans as usual? 

Maybe a nice criminal record for all involved...
Heck yeah I blog about homebrewing: Brain Sparging on Brewing

Offline Jimmy K

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 3646
  • Delaware
    • View Profile
Re: Idaho Homebrewing laws? Competitions
« Reply #11 on: March 02, 2015, 03:58:21 PM »
So I am probably in the minority here but.....what would happen if you went ahead with your competition plans as usual? 

Maybe a nice criminal record for all involved...
I know - on the one hand they might just send a letter telling you to cancel the competition. But if they found out the organizer knew they said it was illegal and went ahead with plans - who knows.
 
If you did choose to cancel, I'd send ABC a real written letter, tell them the history of the competition and ask them for permission to continue. Make them deny you in writing first. Like phundog said, 'ABC made us cancel' is a much better news story.
 
 
Delmarva United Homebrewers - President by inverse coup - former president ousted himself.
AHA Member since 2006
BJCP Certified: B0958

Offline phunhog

  • Brewer
  • ****
  • Posts: 254
    • View Profile
Re: Idaho Homebrewing laws? Competitions
« Reply #12 on: March 02, 2015, 04:16:04 PM »
So I am probably in the minority here but.....what would happen if you went ahead with your competition plans as usual? 

Maybe a nice criminal record for all involved...

So why wouldn't they prosecute them for past competitions?  Unless the law was recently changed the competitions have always been illegal.  Is ignorance a defense?

On another note it appears that only "native grown products" can be used in Idaho homebrewing.  How can they possibly enforce that?
« Last Edit: March 02, 2015, 04:19:50 PM by phunhog »

Offline denny

  • Administrator
  • Retired with too much time on my hands
  • *****
  • Posts: 19470
  • Noti OR [1991.4, 287.6deg] AR
    • View Profile
    • Dennybrew
Re: Idaho Homebrewing laws? Competitions
« Reply #13 on: March 02, 2015, 04:21:05 PM »
So I am probably in the minority here but.....what would happen if you went ahead with your competition plans as usual?  Call their bluff if you will.  Make them enforce their interpretation of the law and then use it for good PR....something like "Long standing Idaho State Fair tradition cancelled due to law interpretation". That will get many more people/politicians to take notice and you have a better shot at getting the law changed.

Because he respects the law and doesn't want to be a jerk?  We didn't have to do anything here to get the law changed without a single negative vote anywhere in the process.  Why not take the high road?
Life begins at 60.....1.060, that is!

www.dennybrew.com

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

"The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts." - Bertrand Russell

Offline phunhog

  • Brewer
  • ****
  • Posts: 254
    • View Profile
Re: Idaho Homebrewing laws? Competitions
« Reply #14 on: March 02, 2015, 06:01:29 PM »
So I am probably in the minority here but.....what would happen if you went ahead with your competition plans as usual?  Call their bluff if you will.  Make them enforce their interpretation of the law and then use it for good PR....something like "Long standing Idaho State Fair tradition cancelled due to law interpretation". That will get many more people/politicians to take notice and you have a better shot at getting the law changed.

Because he respects the law and doesn't want to be a jerk?  We didn't have to do anything here to get the law changed without a single negative vote anywhere in the process.  Why not take the high road?

Absolutely take the high road. What I am saying is make the responsible agency cancel the homebrew comp via some sort of specific written documentation.  That plays much better in the media than a bunch of homebrewers deciding not to have it.  Besides do they "really" respect the law when it clearly says only "native grown products" can be used.   That seems pretty cut and dry...only Idaho hops, barley, yeast and water can be used. Pretty ridiculous