Author Topic: Homebrewing CSA?  (Read 2620 times)

Offline phunhog

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Homebrewing CSA?
« on: August 28, 2011, 12:02:43 PM »
I was wondering what you guys thought about this?  http://www.chow.com/food-news/86982/it-was-only-a-matter-of-time-san-franciscos-first-beer-csa/

Essentially it is a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) that instead of passing fruits and veggies passes out homebrewed beers.  What are the legalities of this? It sounds like they take donations but technically it is free. It sounds like a wonderful way to expose people to homebrewing and craft beer in general. If I was involved with something like this it would allow me to become a better brewer since I would be able to brew more often.....I can only drink so much ;)

Offline denny

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Re: Homebrewing CSA?
« Reply #1 on: August 28, 2011, 12:56:30 PM »
IANAL, but the legality seems dubious to me.
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Offline tschmidlin

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Re: Homebrewing CSA?
« Reply #2 on: August 28, 2011, 02:55:50 PM »
I'm not a lawyer either, but I'm with Denny - I think if anyone takes a look at the way they are doing things it will be deemed illegal.  "Reimbursing for ingredients" is paying for beer in my view.  The law isn't against paying people to brew, it is against selling homebrew.  If they have sacks of grains and hops delivered to the brewers house that might be more acceptable, although it is still a material gain.
Tom Schmidlin

Offline tygo

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Re: Homebrewing CSA?
« Reply #3 on: August 28, 2011, 05:10:21 PM »
Also not a lawyer.  But I think any exchange of goods is considered a monetary (taxable) exchange and that would be considered "selling" homebrew.  We've talked about "eggs/bread/vegetables for beer" before and as far as I can tell that's barter and would be considered selling your beer the same as if you accepted cash instead of eggs.

I would think that even exchanging homebrew as many do would technically be considered barter and would qualify.  Not that the authorities are going to be paying much attention to things like that.  Something organized, however, might eventually cause them to take notice.

Might be a good subject for a Pint of Law article  :)
« Last Edit: August 28, 2011, 05:32:07 PM by tygo »
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Offline Pawtucket Patriot

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Re: Homebrewing CSA?
« Reply #4 on: August 29, 2011, 10:26:11 AM »
Might be a good subject for a Pint of Law article  :)

My ears were burning, so I figured I'd chime in.  ;)

In either June or July, I linked an article from another beer law blog discussing this very issue.

Check it out: http://brewerylaw.com/2011/05/is-the-sale-of-home-brew-shares-illegal-most-likely/

Doug (author of the Brewery Law blog) concludes that it is most likely illegal and I agree.
« Last Edit: August 29, 2011, 10:29:43 AM by Pawtucket Patriot »
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Offline tschmidlin

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Re: Homebrewing CSA?
« Reply #5 on: August 29, 2011, 10:28:37 AM »
Might be a good subject for a Pint of Law article  :)

My ears were burning, so I figured I'd chime in.  ;)

In either June or July, I linked an article from another beer law blog discussing this very issue.

Check it out: http://brewerylaw.com/2011/05/is-the-sale-of-home-brew-shares-illegal-most-likely/
Doug's article was on the thing in NY though ("The homebrew shares costs $44"), the SF one seems to be set up differently.  It's still probably illegal though. :)
Tom Schmidlin

Offline Pawtucket Patriot

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Re: Homebrewing CSA?
« Reply #6 on: August 29, 2011, 10:35:07 AM »
Might be a good subject for a Pint of Law article  :)

My ears were burning, so I figured I'd chime in.  ;)

In either June or July, I linked an article from another beer law blog discussing this very issue.

Check it out: http://brewerylaw.com/2011/05/is-the-sale-of-home-brew-shares-illegal-most-likely/
Doug's article was on the thing in NY though ("The homebrew shares costs $44"), the SF one seems to be set up differently.  It's still probably illegal though. :)

You don't miss a thing, do you Tom?!   :P

The second to the last sentence in Doug's article sets the stage for the general illegality of the CSA homebrew model. TTB and state regulation requires very specific and often burdensome licensing requirements. Without satisfying these requirements, brewers are selling illegally.
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Offline tschmidlin

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Re: Homebrewing CSA?
« Reply #7 on: August 29, 2011, 10:41:16 AM »
Might be a good subject for a Pint of Law article  :)

My ears were burning, so I figured I'd chime in.  ;)

In either June or July, I linked an article from another beer law blog discussing this very issue.

Check it out: http://brewerylaw.com/2011/05/is-the-sale-of-home-brew-shares-illegal-most-likely/
Doug's article was on the thing in NY though ("The homebrew shares costs $44"), the SF one seems to be set up differently.  It's still probably illegal though. :)

You don't miss a thing, do you Tom?!   :P

The second to the last sentence in Doug's article sets the stage for the general illegality of the CSA homebrew model. TTB and state regulation requires very specific and often burdensome licensing requirements. Without satisfying these requirements, brewers are selling illegally.

;D  I was familiar with Doug's article since he emailed me about it to get my opinion. ;)
Tom Schmidlin

Offline beersk

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Re: Homebrewing CSA?
« Reply #8 on: August 29, 2011, 02:08:58 PM »
IANAL

Man, you and your internet acronyms.  What is this? I am not a liar?
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Offline denny

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Re: Homebrewing CSA?
« Reply #9 on: August 29, 2011, 02:24:47 PM »
IANAL

Man, you and your internet acronyms.  What is this? I am not a liar?

Well, that, too, but...

I
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Life begins at 60.....1.060, that is!

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Offline tschmidlin

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Re: Homebrewing CSA?
« Reply #10 on: August 29, 2011, 02:37:47 PM »
And here I thought it was a typo.  IMANAL

jk
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Offline bluesman

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Re: Homebrewing CSA?
« Reply #11 on: August 29, 2011, 02:40:47 PM »
So how did they get past this "obvious illegality"?

This is now public information...I can only imagine someone will press the issue to have them shut down.

Don't get me wrong...I like the idea, but it seems obvious to me that they are skirting some legalities.  :-\

Matt?
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Offline beersk

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Re: Homebrewing CSA?
« Reply #12 on: August 29, 2011, 02:44:08 PM »
IANAL

Man, you and your internet acronyms.  What is this? I am not a liar?

Well, that, too, but...

I
Am
Not
A
Lawyer
That's pretty much saying the same thing, haha.
Watch out for those Cross Dressing Amateurs!

Offline Pawtucket Patriot

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Re: Homebrewing CSA?
« Reply #13 on: August 29, 2011, 03:14:56 PM »
IANAL

Man, you and your internet acronyms.  What is this? I am not a liar?

Well, that, too, but...

I
Am
Not
A
Lawyer
That's pretty much saying the same thing, haha.

Hey, we're not liars.  We "massage" the facts.  :P ;D
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Offline phunhog

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Re: Homebrewing CSA?
« Reply #14 on: August 29, 2011, 04:50:11 PM »
So how did they get past this "obvious illegality"?

This is now public information...I can only imagine someone will press the issue to have them shut down.

Don't get me wrong...I like the idea, but it seems obvious to me that they are skirting some legalities.  :-\

Matt?

That is what I would like to know. They have been operating for 3-4 months now according to their website. I know their CSA has been mentioned on various blogs and local newspapers. They aren't trying to hide anything.  I just wonder how much the authorities care?  In the 33 years of legal homebrewing there must be some sort of legal precedent.  I can't believe that this is the first time something like this has happened.