Author Topic: Hombrew in Charity Auctions; is this legal in Oregon now? Elsewhere?  (Read 1849 times)

Offline Pinski

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My office has an annual silent auction during the holidays to raise funds for local charities.  I was asked if I would be interested in donating some of my brews for the cause.   I'm absolutely into the contribution but I don't want to put us in a potentially sticky legal situation.  Does anyone know if this is ok or is donating with the intent of fundraising considered the same as selling and not allowed for homebrew? 
Denny, if you read this was this covered in the revised Oregon legislation last spring? 
Steve Carper
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Online denny

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Re: Hombrew in Charity Auctions; is this legal in Oregon now? Elsewhere?
« Reply #1 on: October 24, 2011, 01:43:35 PM »
I don't think it is legal.  IMO, it would be the same as selling it.  But IANAL and you should consult legal counsel for correct advice.
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Offline garyg

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Re: Hombrew in Charity Auctions; is this legal in Oregon now? Elsewhere?
« Reply #2 on: October 24, 2011, 02:27:52 PM »
Well, the new law does allow for tax write-offs for homemade beer or wine donated to charity, but that is different than what you are asking about.  Unless the company you work for is a non-profit charity, you could not donate beer to your company for an auction to raise money for charity.  If your company is simply donating items to a charity that is running the auction themselves, that would probably be allowable under the new law.
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Offline jeffy

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Re: Hombrew in Charity Auctions; is this legal in Oregon now? Elsewhere?
« Reply #3 on: October 24, 2011, 02:29:16 PM »
You could donate a brewing session instead of the actual brew.  Winner gets to help brew and keep the final product (since he made it anyway).  
I like that IANAL thing.  IANALE.
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Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: Hombrew in Charity Auctions; is this legal in Oregon now? Elsewhere?
« Reply #4 on: October 24, 2011, 05:02:17 PM »
You could donate a brewing session instead of the actual brew.  Winner gets to help brew and keep the final product (since he made it anyway).  
I like that IANAL thing.  IANALE.

Jeff, this is what I was going to say.  Donate the session.  The winning bidder gets to make the wort, pitch the yeast, and keep it.

Edit - Under a the supervission of someone who will know how to make a good beer.
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Offline Pinski

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Re: Hombrew in Charity Auctions; is this legal in Oregon now? Elsewhere?
« Reply #5 on: October 24, 2011, 05:58:13 PM »
Well, the new law does allow for tax write-offs for homemade beer or wine donated to charity, but that is different than what you are asking about.  Unless the company you work for is a non-profit charity, you could not donate beer to your company for an auction to raise money for charity.  If your company is simply donating items to a charity that is running the auction themselves, that would probably be allowable under the new law.
We're not a charity but we do have 401-C3 non-profit status. One thing I was thinking of doing is to make up a sixer and a few bombers filled and capped with water to display in the office that the winner could then exchange with me for the brews of their choice. 
The brew session could be a good backup plan. Great suggestion!
Steve Carper
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Offline phunhog

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Re: Hombrew in Charity Auctions; is this legal in Oregon now? Elsewhere?
« Reply #6 on: October 24, 2011, 07:09:08 PM »
You could donate a brewing session instead of the actual brew.  Winner gets to help brew and keep the final product (since he made it anyway). 
I like that IANAL thing.  IANALE.
This is what I have done numerous times for my children's school auctions.  The winner gets to come over and make beer with me and of course sample my other beers.  It is always a big hit!!

Offline tomsawyer

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Re: Hombrew in Charity Auctions; is this legal in Oregon now? Elsewhere?
« Reply #7 on: October 25, 2011, 05:06:22 AM »
You really think there would be a problem from doing this?  Who cares what the letter of the law says.  Use some common sense.
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Offline bo

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Re: Hombrew in Charity Auctions; is this legal in Oregon now? Elsewhere?
« Reply #8 on: October 25, 2011, 05:17:30 AM »
You really think there would be a problem from doing this?  Who cares what the letter of the law says.  Use some common sense.

I agree. You're not selling it and that's where the real problem starts. Just be sure the winner is over 21 YOA.

Offline dbeechum

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Re: Hombrew in Charity Auctions; is this legal in Oregon now? Elsewhere?
« Reply #9 on: October 25, 2011, 08:47:13 AM »
Remember though - the definition of selling (for taxation purposes) isn't just the handing over of cashey money, but includes things like bartering and indirect sales. I would not hesitate to believe for a moment that someone in enforcement could make a call that the auctioning of homebrew is a sale and therefore a no-no. Might not be a good enough case to pursue or win, but it might be enough to make things a hassle for you and yours.
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Offline Jimmy K

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Re: Hombrew in Charity Auctions; is this legal in Oregon now? Elsewhere?
« Reply #10 on: October 25, 2011, 08:57:42 AM »
If the silent auction is at a party, you could donate beer to be sampled at the event. May not directly raise money, but it would be fun for people.
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Offline tomsawyer

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Re: Hombrew in Charity Auctions; is this legal in Oregon now? Elsewhere?
« Reply #11 on: October 25, 2011, 09:37:15 AM »
Remember though - the definition of selling (for taxation purposes) isn't just the handing over of cashey money, but includes things like bartering and indirect sales. I would not hesitate to believe for a moment that someone in enforcement could make a call that the auctioning of homebrew is a sale and therefore a no-no. Might not be a good enough case to pursue or win, but it might be enough to make things a hassle for you and yours.
I'm completely in agreement that it might not technically be lawful but I'm saying it is so insignificant and done with honorable intentions that it is impossible to believe anyone in law enforcement would waste their time pursuing it.  It'd be like putting a litterer on the Group W bench next to the father rapers.
Lennie
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Offline jeffy

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Re: Hombrew in Charity Auctions; is this legal in Oregon now? Elsewhere?
« Reply #12 on: October 25, 2011, 11:02:24 AM »
Remember though - the definition of selling (for taxation purposes) isn't just the handing over of cashey money, but includes things like bartering and indirect sales. I would not hesitate to believe for a moment that someone in enforcement could make a call that the auctioning of homebrew is a sale and therefore a no-no. Might not be a good enough case to pursue or win, but it might be enough to make things a hassle for you and yours.
I'm completely in agreement that it might not technically be lawful but I'm saying it is so insignificant and done with honorable intentions that it is impossible to believe anyone in law enforcement would waste their time pursuing it.  It'd be like putting a litterer on the Group W bench next to the father rapers.
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Offline skyler

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Re: Hombrew in Charity Auctions; is this legal in Oregon now? Elsewhere?
« Reply #13 on: October 26, 2011, 10:30:01 AM »
I got permission from my law school in Portland to donate a keg of homebrew to a charity event. This was back in 2009. I imagine they would be aware if it was any kind of problem. Also, I doubt the Portland Bureau of Police would go after a person for donating to charity... In California it is common for homebrew to be offered at charity events... I have donated several kegs to such events without issue. My club is listed in the flyer and on the website for the event in once instance... and no one questioned the legality or so much as hassled us.

As an aside, Brewlab SF keeps growing and it doesn't seem like the ABC or SFPD are doing anything to stop it.

Offline phunhog

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Re: Hombrew in Charity Auctions; is this legal in Oregon now? Elsewhere?
« Reply #14 on: October 26, 2011, 05:32:59 PM »
Personally I am glad people are pushing the "envelope" with regards to what can and can't be done with homebrew. I and some of my club members have poured our beer at a commercial beer festivals. Although proceeds went to a non-profit, people still had to pay to get in and taste. Like I said earlier I have donated brewing sessions for charity auctions as well.  I think sometimes the only ways laws are changed are when "normal, law abiding" citizens get caught up in something "illegal".  The powers that be recognize the absurdity of the laws/regulations and changes are made. If no one is breaking a law regarding homebrewing there would be little pressure/incentive to change it.