Archive for May, 2010

Hating on the OLCC

Friday, May 21st, 2010

There’s been an email floating around started by a conversation with Fearless Brewing about a homebrew competition they were (are?) involved with. Someone emailed in telling them that their competition was illegal. Fearless brewing’s response apparently was to start emailing everyone that they were told essentially that it would be illegal to hold a homebrew competition on their premises. Here are the emails.

This became a subject of discussion regarding a recent inquiry from another part of the state, thought you should know about it in advance. This will impact your yearly event that you had recently.
Home brewers are not permitted under ORS 471.403 to provide tastings of their beer (or wine) outside of the home without having a manufacturing license. In order to qualify under the home brewer (or winemaker) exception in 471.403 from the general licensing requirement, all of the requirements in the statute must be met – which means that the beer or wine must be both for home consumption and not for sale. Since this product is not being consumed in the home, the home brewers would not qualify under the home brewer exemption and would be brewing without a license. Sorry to be the bearer of this news, but better now than the day before the event.

Thanks, Leslie

The Leslie in the email is Leslie Kleinkopf, an OLCC inspector. Keep in mind that ORS401.473 doesn’t specifically say this. In fact it says that ORS401.473 doesn’t apply to beer brewed or kept for home consumption and not for sale. The law does not define home consumption. Here’s the law if you want to see it for yourself.

No person shall brew, ferment, distill, blend or rectify any alcoholic liquor unless licensed so to do by the Oregon Liquor Control Commission. However, the Liquor Control Act does not apply to the making or keeping of naturally fermented wines and fruit juices or beer in the home, for home consumption and not for sale.

Now here’s the email from Strange Brew Homebrew Club after Fearless “clarified” the OLCC’s stance. Keep in mind all fearless brewing did was forward them their conversation with Leslie.

To keep their working relationship with the OLCC, Fearless brewing and most other brewers that we have held competitions at let their OLCC contact know what is going on. This is what Bennet did again this year. In their true governmental efficiency, they did not get back to Bennet till just recently. It appears that the statute allows the home production of beer, wine etc was amended in 2007. What it does not touch on is the transport of the home made beverages. From a strict interpretation of the statute, we can not even transport a homebrew to another house. I agree with Randy, we need to get an adjustment just like the Washington guys did. We need to get a united front of beer clubs, supply stores and breweries to fix the transport issue. Anyone know a legislator?

Ted

Notice how Ted completly changes it from being an issue of providing tastings to transporting those tastings? Anyone else not see transportation not mentioned in Leslies original email? Here’s another on the subject from Ted.

Guys,

Look at the following email thread, the OLCC does not want us to transport beer to beer club meetings or competitions. As a home brew community we need to get the Oregon Statues revised. We need a united front of home brewers, beer clubs, supply stores and breweries to fix the transport issue. Please pass this to your club president and put it on your next meeting agenda! It is a time for action, I am looking for people to help support the battle, are you willing to help or do you have club members that are willing to help?

Ted

 Interestingly the transportation of liquor is governed by ORS471.405 which says

No person shall peddle or deliver alcoholic beverages to or at any place, where, without a license, alcoholic beverages are sold or offered for sale. No licensee shall sell or offer for sale any alcoholic beverage in a manner, or to a person, other than the license permits the licensee to sell