Illinois

Updated: 8/2013

Status: Permitted

Statute

illinoisIllinois statute Chapter 235 ILCS 5/1-3.39 defines “Homemade brewed beverage,” which includes, but is not limited to beer, mead and cider. 235 ILCS 5/6-36 exempts homebrewers from obtaining a license or permit to make homemade brewed beverages and allows for annual production of up to 100 gallons for a household with one resident 21 years or older, or up to 200 gallons for a household with two or more residents 21 years of age or older, as long as the maker receives no compensation for the homemade brewed beverages. Homemade brewed beverages may be shared with others at private residences and other private locations, but not with the general public. The statute allows for homemade brewed beverages to be transported to and served at exhibitions, demonstrations, judging, contests or competitions. Homebrew supply shops can produce and serve samples of homemade brewed beverages, so long as the samples are not sold and the establishment obtains the required level of liquor liability insurance coverage.

Discussion

The statute was amended in 2013 to accommodate for the production of homemade brewed beverages both in the home as well as outside the home (though fermentation is limited to private residences and homebrew supply shops), the transportation of homemade brewed beverages, and licensing for public events where homebrew is served. The statute also allows homebrew supply retailers to demonstrate the brewing process and to offer samples (subject to volume limitations) of homemade brewed beverages to their customers. Please review the definition of “homemade brewed beverage” under the Applicable Statutory Material section below.

Special Provisions

N/A

State Alcohol Beverage Control Agency

Illinois Liquor Control Commission

  • 100 W. Randolph, Suite 5-300
  • Chicago, IL 60601
  • Phone: 312.814.2206
  • Fax: 312.814.2241

 

  • 101 West Jefferson Suite 3-525
  • Springfield, Illinois 62702
  • Phone: 217.782.2136
  • Fax: 217.524.1911

Applicable Statutory Material

Sec. 1-3.39. Homemade brewed beverage. “Homemade brewed beverage” means beer or any other beverage obtained by the alcoholic fermentation of an infusion or concoction of grains, sugars, or both in water and includes, but is not limited to, beer, mead, and cider made by a person 21 years of age or older, through his or her own efforts, fermented at his or her place of residence, fermented at another place of residence of a homemade brewed beverage brewer, or fermented at a premises of a commercial enterprise that is engaged primarily in selling supplies and equipment for use by home brewers and not for commercial purpose but for consumption by that person or his or her family, neighbors, guests, and friends or for use at an exhibition, demonstration, judging, tasting, or sampling with sampling sizes as authorized by section 6-31 of this Act or as part of a contest or competition authorized by section 6-36 of this act.

Sec. 5-3. License fees. Except as otherwise provided herein, at the time application is made to the State Commission for a license of any class, the applicant shall pay to the State Commission the fee hereinafter provided for the kind of license applied for.

The fee for licenses issued by the State Commission shall be as follows:

For a homebrewer special event permit . . . . . . . . 25

Sec. 6-36. Homemade brewed beverages.

(a) No license or permit is required under this Act for the making of homemade brewed beverages or for the possession, transportation, or storage of homemade brewed beverages by any person 21 years of age or older, if all of the following apply:

(1) the person who makes the homemade brewed beverages receives no compensation;

(2) the homemade brewed beverages is not sold or offered for sale; and

(3) the total quantity of homemade brewed beverages made, in a calendar year, by the person does not exceed 100 gallons if the household has only one person 21 years of age or older or 200 gallons if the household has 2 or more persons 21 years of age or older.

            (b) A person who makes, possesses, transports, or stores homemade brewed beverages in compliance with the limitations specified in subsection (a) is not a brewer, craft brewer, wholesaler, retailer, or a manufacturer of beer for the purposes of this Act.

(c) Homemade brewed beverages made in compliance with the limitations specified in subsection (a) may be consumed by the person who made it and his or her family, neighbors, and friends at any private residence or other private location where the possession and consumption of alcohol is permissible under this Act, local ordinance, and other applicable law, provided that the homemade brewed beverages are not made available for consumption by the general public.

(d) Homemade brewed beverages made in compliance with the limitations specified in subsection (a) may be used for the purposes of public exhibition, demonstration, tasting, or sampling with sampling sizes as authorized by Section 6-31, if the event is held at a private residence or at a location other than a retail licensed premises. If the public event is not held at a private residence, the event organizer shall obtain a homebrewer special permit for each location, and is subject to the provisions in subsection (a) of Section 6-31. Homemade brewed beverages used for purposes described in this subsection (d), including the submission or consumption of the homemade brewed beverages, are not considered sold or offered for sale under this Act. A public exhibition, demonstration, tasting, or sampling with sampling sizes as authorized by section 6-31 held by a licensee on a location other than a retail licensed premise may require an admission charge to the event, but no separate or additional fee may be charged for the consumption of a person’s homemade brewed beverages at the public exhibition, demonstration, tasting, or sampling with sampling sizes as authorized by section 6-31. Event admission charges that are collected may be partially used to provide prizes to makers of homemade brewed beverages, but the admission charges may not be divided in any fashion among the makers of the homemade brewed beverages who participate in the event. Homemade brewed beverages used for purposes described in this subsection (d) are not considered sold or offered for sale under this Act if a maker of homemade brewed beverages receives free event admission or discounted event admission in return for the maker’s donation of the homemade brewed beverages to an event specified in this subsection (d) that collects event admission; free admission or discounted admission to the event is not considered compensation under this act. No admission fee and no charge for the consumption of a person’s homemade brewed beverage may be collected if the public exhibition, demonstration, tasting, sampling with sampling sizes as authorized by section 6-31 is held at a private residence.

(e) A person who is not a licensee under this Act may at a private residence, and a person who is a licensee under this Act may on the licensed premises, conduct, sponsor, or host a contest, competition, or other event for the exhibition, demonstration, judging, tasting, or sampling of homemade brewed beverages made in compliance with the limitations specified in subsection (a), if the person does not sell the homemade brewed beverages and, unless the person is the brewer of the homemade brewed beverages, does not acquire any ownership interest in the homemade brewed beverages. If the contest, competition, exhibition, demonstration, or judging is not held at a private residence, the consumption of the homemade brewed beverages is limited to qualified judges and stewards as defined by a national or international beer judging program, who are identified by the event organizer in advanced of the contest, competition, exhibition, demonstration, or judging. Homemade brewed beverages used for the purposes described in this subsection (e), including the submission or consumption of the homemade brewed beverages, are not considered sold or offered for sale under this Act and any prize awarded at a contest or competition or as a result of an exhibition, demonstration, or judging is not considered compensation under this Act. An exhibition, demonstration, judging, contest, or competition held by a licensee on a licensed premises may require an admission charge to the event, but no separate or additional fee may be charged for the consumption of a person’s homemade brewed beverage at the exhibition, demonstration, judging, contest, or competition. A portion of event admission charges that are collected may be used to provide prizes to makers of homemade brewed beverages, but the admission charges may not be divided in any fashion among the makers of the homemade brewed beverages who participate in the event. Homemade brewed beverages used for purposes described in this subsection (e) are not considered sold or offered for sale under this Act if a maker of homemade brewed beverages receives free event admission or discounted event admission in return for the maker’s donation of the homemade brewed beverages to an event specified in this subsection (e) that collects event admission charges; free admission or discounted admission to the event is not considered compensation under this Act. No admission fee and no charge for the consumption if the exhibition, demonstration, judging, contest, or competition is held at a private residence. The fact that a person is acting in a manner authorized by this Section is not, by itself, sufficient to constitute a public nuisance under Section 10-7 of this Act. If the contest, competition, or other event is held on licensed premises, the licensee may allow the homemade brewed beverages to be stored on the premises if the homemade brewed beverages are clearly identified, kept separate from any alcohol beverages owned by the licensee. If the contest, competition, or other event is held on licensed premises, other provision of this Act not inconsistent with this Section apply.

(f) A commercial enterprise engaged primarily in selling supplies and equipment to the public for use by homebrewers may manufacture homemade brewed beverages at the location of the commercial enterprise, provided that the homemade brewed beverages are not sold or offered for sale. Homemade brewed beverages provided at a commercial enterprise for tasting under this subsection (f) shall be in compliance with Sections 6-16, 6-21, and 6-31 of this Act. A commercial enterprise engaged solely in selling supplies and equipment for use by homebrewers shall not be required to secure a license under this Act, however, such a commercial enterprise shall secure liquor liability insurance coverage in an amount at least equal to the maximum liability amounts set forth in subsection (a) of Section 6-21 of this Act.

(g) Homemade brewed beverages are not subject to Section 8-1 of this Act.

Note: The information presented here is to the best of our knowledge and should not be used as a substitute for legal advice specific to the laws of your state.

 
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