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Illinois General Assembly bill restricting homebrew

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  • Ryan Pierce
    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
    Message 1 of 3 , May 7, 2013
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      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
    • Christian Fournier
      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
      Message 2 of 3 , May 7, 2013
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        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.

        XF

        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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      • Dave
        Actually, this is an expansion and clarification of the rules regulating how and where homebrew (including mead) can be transported and consumed. HB630 has
        Message 3 of 3 , May 7, 2013
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          Actually, this is an expansion and clarification of the rules regulating how and where homebrew (including mead) can be transported and consumed.  HB630 has been drafted in response to the Illinois Liquor Control Commission interpretation of the existing rules as "homebrew may only be consumed in the home, on the premises where it was made, by the people that made it."  They have threatened to shut down beer fests where homebrew was going to be served, even though passing out samples at these fests has been going on for at least 20 years.  I know.  I was there.  It was my homebrew.  And, whiffs of raids of homebrew club meetings were heard.  The $25 fee you are seeing is to enable beer fests and other similar functions to be able to pass out samples.   
           
          This is not a bad thing - quite the opposite.  It throws the ILCC's erroneous interpretations and throws then right out the window.
           
          More info available at:
          http://www.illinoishomebrew.org/
           
          http://www.craftbeer.com/action-alerts/attention-illinois-homebrewers
           
          http://www.palebrewers.org/illinois-hb630-heading-to-the-house-floor-for-a-vote/
           
           
           -Jhondo Oakenshield
          (who has been brewing since before Jimmy Carter made it legal.  oops, did i say that out loud?)
           
           


          On Tue, May 7, 2013 at 10:57 AM, Ryan Pierce <rdpierce@...> 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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