On May 10, Oklahoma Governor Brad Henry signed HB 2348, legalizing homebrewing in the state.
Oklahoma law already allowed for the home production of wine and cider, but until now excluded beer.
Throughout the legislative process, Oklahoma homebrewers made phone calls and sent emails to Oklahoma representatives and senators asking for support for the homebrew bill. With grassroots legislative efforts like this that don’t have the luxury of relying on paid lobbyists, contacts from constituents can make the difference between passage or failure.
The bill was ably sposnored Representative Colby Schwartz and Senator Mike Schulz who pushed the bill through the committee hearings and floor votes in their respective houses of the legislature. The bill was passed by the House by a vote of 76 to 19 before moving to the Senate. The Senate amended the bill slightly before passing it by a 45 to 3 margin. The amended bill then went back to the House for a final vote, where it again passed and was sent on to the Governor’s desk.
“I’m excited to see Oklahoma finally bring Homebrewing into parity with wine and cider,” comments Rep. Colby Schwartz after the bill was signed into law. “It was an honor to author the legislation and the success of the measure would not have been possible without the overwhelming support of the active homebrewing community in Oklahoma.”
Gary Shellman, AHA member and and editor for Oklahoma City’s homebrew club, the High Plains Draughters, initiated the legalization process and working tirelessly to ensure the bill’s passage. Shellman spent months lining up a sponsor for a homebrew bill. He kept up with the bill through out the process, advising the bills sponsors and reporting on the bill’s progress to the American Homebrewers Association staff and Oklahoma homebrew club members.
“Gary Shellman’s dedication to homebrew legalization and the response of Oklahoma’s homebrewers has been truly inspiring,” says Gary Glass, Director of the American Homebrewers Association. “I’m glad that the AHA was there to help with the process, as I feel that legalizing homebrewing for all US citizens is one of the most important issues that the AHA works on.”
The new law goes into effect 90 days from the end of the current legislative session.
Read the Brewers Association press release.