Here is your feel good story of the day. Oregon lawmakers have unanimously decided to approve a bill that will let home brewers share their brew. Its about time.
According to the Oregon Home Brewers Alliance, a 2010 legal opinion issued by the Oregon Liquor Control Commission caused major uproar that necessitated this bill. The opinion specifically stated that while home brewers could produce beer and drink it in their homes, the law did not permit the removal of home brew for sharing with others.
In response, lawmakers produced SB 444. That bill amends ORS 471.403 and 471.440 to provide specific exceptions to the Liquor Control Act, freeing home brewers from the grasp of the Liquor Control Commission. In particular, the bill provides that home brewers can remove brew from their homes, share with friends, and enter into competitions.
Several Oregon lawmakers have made public comments on the necessity of this bill (from the Oregon Home Brewers Alliance Website):
“This bill is a great example of legislators coming together to fix an unintended consequence of state liquor law. Local events should be able to feature local home brewers and this bill puts us back on the right track.” Co-Speaker Hanna said.
“This bill stops in its tracks a misguided legal opinion that shut down competitions at fairs all over Oregon,” said State Rep. Mike Schaufler (D-Happy Valley). “This legislation ensures that home brewers can share their products and that the growing craft beer industry gets a boost. The return of these competitions at local county fairs is welcome news for home brewers and their fans.”
Thanks to a big push from home brewers, this bill got introduced and passed. Congratulations to all Oregon home brewers.