South Dakota Passes Homebrewer Legislation

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By John Moorhead, American Homebrewers Association

In February, homebrewers in South Dakota successfully lobbied their state legislature to pass new homebrew legislation that amended the definition of homemade alcoholic beverages and lifted restrictions that had been unfavorable to homebrewers. The amendment updates South Dakota’s legislation to include cider as a permissible homemade alcoholic beverage to produce in limited quantities and permits homemade alcoholic beverages in licensed facilities for certain events, including organized affairs, exhibitions, competitions, and tastings.

The amendment also explicitly allows homebrewers to transport homemade alcoholic beverages from their households. Prior to the amendment’s passing, cider had not explicitly been included in the statute, homemade alcoholic beverages were not permissible in licensed facilities, and transporting homebrew was not explicitly defined in the South Dakota alcohol code.

Representative Kirk Chaffee (Dist. 29) was the prime sponsor of the bill, along with John Griffith, Logan Steffans, and other members of the Ale Riders Homebrew Club in Rapid City, S.D., who were crucial in introducing the bill. House Bill 1109 cleared the South Dakota House and Senate on February 22, 2021 and was signed into law by Governor Krist Noem on February 25, 2021.

The new legislation redefines homebrew in Section 1 of South Dakota Code 35-1-5.4 to include cider and makes it permissible to take homemade alcoholic beverages onto licensed premises so long as the product is conspicuously identified, served free of charge, and does not exceed three (3) fluid ounces. The premises must be licensed to sell alcoholic beverages. Section 2 of South Dakota Code 35-4-10.2 was amended to add a provision on the sample size amount permissible to serve on licensed premises. The sample size amount is three (3) fluid ounces.

Section 3 of South Dakota Code 35-4-66 was amended to include a provision that exempts homebrewers from needing a license to transport homemade alcoholic beverages. The amendment also explicitly permits transporting homemade alcoholic beverages from the household in quantities of one (1) gallon or less for interstate transportation, and in any quantity for intrastate transportation for personal use, or having been produced by said individual, pursuant to Section 1 South Dakota Code 35-1-5.4.

This is a huge win for South Dakota homebrewers!

You can find more information about the bill on the South Dakota State Legislative website.

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John Moorhead is director of the National Homebrew Competition, AHA competition manager, and lead AHA staffer for government affairs.