Author Topic: Homebrew at festivals  (Read 1227 times)

Offline IMperry9

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Homebrew at festivals
« on: March 24, 2016, 02:31:50 AM »
I wasn't sure where to post this topic but I figured here would be a good start and I can always move it if need be. My home town has festivals throughout the year as I'm sure most do and I thought of a crazy idea I am sure almost every homebrewer has had. "It would be awesome if I could set up a booth at one of these festivals and show everyone how to homebrew and give free samples of my homebrew!" Maybe I am alone in thinking this but I would love to do this. I live in NY State and I know it varies by local and state laws but is this something that is possible? Obviously I wouldn't be serve full pints and getting people hammered but just opening their eyes to the Craft beer world by demonstrating the process talking about the ingredients and history and possibly giving samples if allowed. Any advice or input is welcome as always! Prost!
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Offline tommymorris

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Re: Homebrew at festivals
« Reply #1 on: March 24, 2016, 02:50:36 AM »
Ask a local homebrew club for starts. They may have already asked local and state officials.

Offline ynotbrusum

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Re: Homebrew at festivals
« Reply #2 on: March 24, 2016, 02:56:04 AM »
It varies state to state, but last weekend I judged a competition in Athens, GA that included a homebrew dispensing the following day - it was great.  They did not charge to get in and had a suggested donation and upgrade to glasses that featured local Brewers for $10.  Every state has its own rules and you have to make sure you are compliant.
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Offline IMperry9

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Re: Homebrew at festivals
« Reply #3 on: March 24, 2016, 02:57:15 AM »
Unfortunately there is no homebrew clubs in my immediate area. I will reach out to some in NY though, thank you for the advice. ynotbrusum that sounds like an awesome time!
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Offline ynotbrusum

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Re: Homebrew at festivals
« Reply #4 on: March 24, 2016, 03:02:51 AM »
There are likely some that are close enough to get folks that know what can and can't be done. - you can also ask here by stating your specific locale - you might just get a very knowledgable person.  I am in Illinois and we can't do much, unfortunately.
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Offline tommymorris

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Re: Homebrew at festivals
« Reply #5 on: March 24, 2016, 03:24:34 AM »
I used to live is Mississippi. I called the city and state and asked about hosting a competition and a festival (separate events). The city only cared about having enough parking. The state helped me understand what could and couldn't be done. There competitions were allowed but festivals were not. But we added a people's choice competition to our festival and the state approved that.

My club kept letters on file from the state approving both events.

Offline phunhog

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Re: Homebrew at festivals
« Reply #6 on: March 24, 2016, 05:13:05 AM »
I did this several years ago.   We won the " fan favorite" comp.  I think we pissed off a few "real" breweries!!.🍻

RPIScotty

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Re: Homebrew at festivals
« Reply #7 on: March 24, 2016, 09:07:42 AM »
I wasn't sure where to post this topic but I figured here would be a good start and I can always move it if need be. My home town has festivals throughout the year as I'm sure most do and I thought of a crazy idea I am sure almost every homebrewer has had. "It would be awesome if I could set up a booth at one of these festivals and show everyone how to homebrew and give free samples of my homebrew!" Maybe I am alone in thinking this but I would love to do this. I live in NY State and I know it varies by local and state laws but is this something that is possible? Obviously I wouldn't be serve full pints and getting people hammered but just opening their eyes to the Craft beer world by demonstrating the process talking about the ingredients and history and possibly giving samples if allowed. Any advice or input is welcome as always! Prost!

I'd be wary of doing it "lone wolf" style. The legality of what you describe is kind of a grey area and like others have stated, it would be in your best interest to find a homebrew club and pick thier brain.
« Last Edit: March 24, 2016, 09:14:44 AM by RPIScotty »

Offline stevecrawshaw

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Re: Homebrew at festivals
« Reply #8 on: March 24, 2016, 11:03:21 AM »
Can't comment about the legal situation in the US, but I've done this in the UK. Just needed a risk assessment. It was at a small festival near rugby called "Small Is.." with a focus on sustainability. Here's a video.
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Offline duboman

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Re: Homebrew at festivals
« Reply #9 on: March 24, 2016, 12:42:29 PM »
I don't think setting up a booth and doing a demo would be much of an issue as home brewing is legal in all state. Serving samples is where the law steps in and as mentioned every state and community will be different.

There is a large fest in Illinois each year. First year they had it they had a homebrew tent sponsored by a couple clubs and it was a hit, then they discovered what they did was illegal, second year no homebrew tent:( they then petitioned the local officials and got the law ammeneded and have had the tent each year since:)

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Offline ethinson

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Re: Homebrew at festivals
« Reply #10 on: March 24, 2016, 02:01:01 PM »
I'm not sure if my club is going to do it, but we're going to have a booth at a local festival coming up that's small nano breweries and he specifically wanted homebrewers there since in a lot of ways it's a similar process.  Some of the nano brewers are just on the high end of the homebrew range (20-30 gallon batches).  We just got approval to serve homebrew at the booth as long as we give it away for free, no exchange of money or tokens and follow the OLCC regulations of not serving someone visibly intoxicated, no drinking while serving, etc. 

This is in Oregon, so as always your mileage my vary.
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Offline reverseapachemaster

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Re: Homebrew at festivals
« Reply #11 on: March 24, 2016, 03:48:51 PM »
You need to look at your state's alcohol statutes and regulations for the conditions in which beer may be served at those events and whether homebrew may be transported and sold at those events. You may need a permit and/or the festival may need a permit. The local government may also have ordinances about serving beer and may also require you and/or the festival operator to obtain permits.
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Offline denny

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Re: Homebrew at festivals
« Reply #12 on: March 24, 2016, 04:00:24 PM »
I'm not sure if my club is going to do it, but we're going to have a booth at a local festival coming up that's small nano breweries and he specifically wanted homebrewers there since in a lot of ways it's a similar process.  Some of the nano brewers are just on the high end of the homebrew range (20-30 gallon batches).  We just got approval to serve homebrew at the booth as long as we give it away for free, no exchange of money or tokens and follow the OLCC regulations of not serving someone visibly intoxicated, no drinking while serving, etc. 

This is in Oregon, so as always your mileage my vary.

Yeah, when we got the OR law changed a few years ago, one of our goals was to allow this.
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Re: Homebrew at festivals
« Reply #13 on: March 24, 2016, 05:40:52 PM »
Our club conducts a homebrewing demo tent at an annual microbrewery festival.  The festival is held on private grounds, but they charge admission and sell tokens for beer samples.  As such, the festival host obtains a one-day license from our County liquor board.

We have asked, and been declined, for permission to serve small samples of homebrew to visitors at our demo tent.  Festival host tells us that the liquor board has said "no".  Pains in the ass...they could very easily allow it within the scope of the festival's license.
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Offline tommymorris

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Re: Homebrew at festivals
« Reply #14 on: March 24, 2016, 05:54:31 PM »

Our club conducts a homebrewing demo tent at an annual microbrewery festival.  The festival is held on private grounds, but they charge admission and sell tokens for beer samples.  As such, the festival host obtains a one-day license from our County liquor board.

We have asked, and been declined, for permission to serve small samples of homebrew to visitors at our demo tent.  Festival host tells us that the liquor board has said "no".  Pains in the ass...they could very easily allow it within the scope of the festival's license.
They probably feel charging admission and selling tokens would be tantamount to selling the homebrew. Federal law prohibits selling homebrew.

See the last sentence of the "Removal of Beer" section here: http://www.homebrewersassociation.org/homebrewing-rights/statutes/united-states/