From the Glass: Legislative Update (January/February 2020)

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[Above: American Homebrewers Association Director Gary Glass awards James Zorn from the Office of Rep. Charlie Crist (D-FL, 13th District) with the 2020 Homebrew on the Hill competition trophy.]

On November 1, the AHA, along with our parent organization the Brewers Association (BA), hosted a daylong homebrew demonstration in Washington, D.C.: the second annual Homebrew on the Hill, held in conjunction with National Learn to Homebrew Day. AHA events and membership coordinator Matt Bolling and BA government affairs manager Katie Marisic, along with local homebrewers from the DC Brewers, Brewers United for Real Potables (BURP), and Grains Result in Something Tasty (GRiST) clubs, joined members of Congress and their staffs to walk them step by step through the homebrewing process. About 60 people visited the event throughout the afternoon.

In December, the AHA and BA hosted our annual Capitol Hill Staff Homebrew Competition, which was open to any employee on Capitol Hill. The winning homebrewers were announced at the BA Holiday Hill Tasting, where first-, second-, and third-place awards were presented in each category, as well as a best-of-show trophy. The winning homebrews were poured for members of Congress and their staffs at the event.

These activities in our nation’s capital help us ensure that homebrewing remains federally legal for the indefinite future and, if the need arises, homebrewers get fair treatment on any federal legislation that might affect us.

In Pennsylvania, the AHA is working with local homebrewers, Brewers of PA (BOP), and counsel to resolve a new issue preventing homebrew being served at charitable events in some municipalities. We will update members as more information is available.

In Ohio, the AHA, AHA Governing Committee member “Goose” Steingass, and the Legislative Service Committee have drafted homebrew legislation. Key stakeholders and legislators are reviewing the bill to hopefully have it introduced by the end of the year.

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The above is an excerpt from the “From the Glass” column in the January/February 2020 Zymurgy magazine. AHA members enjoy exclusive access to the Zymurgy online archive.