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7990Re: [Ayreton] Illinois General Assembly bill restricting homebrew

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  • Christian Fournier
    May 7, 2013
      Thanks for posting the link!

      So, the specific language of interest is probably this:

      (235 ILCS 5/6-36 new)
      (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 ordinances, and other applicable law,
      provided that the homemade brewed beverages are not made
      available for consumption by the general public.

      This has two things to think about: the distinction between a "private location" and a public space, and the distinction between "family, neighbors, and friends" and "the general public". So, serving home-brew to persons unknown to you would, if this bill passes, be dodgy, unless you have a license to do so. Bringing your home-brew to a party at a friend's house is pretty clearly still okay. Serving home-brew at a football tailgate might be okay, depending on whether the parking lot of the stadium is a "private location" (I suspect it is: you have to pay someone to bring a vehicle into it, and the owners of the stadium can force people to leave). Same logic with SCA events, I think-- we could still bring home-brew, and still serve it to friends and neighbors (which could presumably include friends you've just met today).

      (d) Homemade brewed beverages made in compliance with the
      limitations specified in subsection (a) may be used for
      purposes of a 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 event permit for each location...

      This explicitly covers "public exhibition, demonstration," etc. So, if you want to have a home-brewers event, that's specifically open to the public, this part of the bill tells you what you can and can't do in that venue, and how to apply for permits to do it. There's a part (e) that describes competitions (presumably, a "competition" is an event that has a prize, and a "tasting" is an event that doesn't). In any case, both of these sections relate to public events-- I think that, within the SCA, the fact that we have memberships in the corporation, and charge additional fees to non-members, makes it easy to argue that they are not public events.

      There's an open question, I think, regarding the level of regulation that we're comfortable with. Too much regulation, and we wouldn't be able to share our home-brew in the ways we're already so happy to do so. Too little regulation, and we expose ourselves to negative public opinion about home-brewing more broadly (that is, if "neighborhood festivals" get a bad rap, based on wide-spread instances of irresponsible brewing and sharing). I think that the current bill doesn't restrict too unreasonably, but probably doesn't do much to help maintain our reputation as a community. So, I guess I mildly oppose it, but am not really fired up on this one.


      On May 7, 2013, at 10:57 AM, Ryan Pierce wrote:

      > Hail and well met!
      > I have recently learned of HB0630 which, if adopted, severely impacts home
      > brewing within the state of Illinois. It passed the Illinois House 118-0.
      > Full text is here:
      > http://ilga.gov/legislation/fulltext.asp?DocName=09800HB0630eng&GA=98&SessionId=85&DocTypeId=HB&LegID=70842&DocNum=0630&GAID=12&Session=
      > Now IANAL, but from what I can gather, if this becomes law:
      > Homebrew (including beer, wine, mead, cider, etc.) can only be consumed
      > at private residences or private locations and not made available for
      > consumption by the general public. This might impact persons bringing
      > their own homebrew to wet event sites, serving donated mead at feasts to
      > guests or the Royals, or A&S class teachers providing samples to students.
      > It creates an exception for a "homebrewer special event permit" for
      > competitions or tastings. The language of this is dense, but it seems like
      > one must obtain a $25 permit from the state, and each attendee may not
      > receive more than 4 ounces of wine or 16 ounces of beer in total.
      > Now this bill has not yet passed, it could be amended at any time, and
      > I really can't say for sure what it will do. But I think it warrants
      > further observation and consideration.
      > THL Ryan Murdoch Mackenzie
      > ------------------------------------
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