I Don't Do Politics (except for today): SB 444, Oregon Homebrewers Bill

When I started this blog, I promised myself I would avoid politics.  However, all rules have exceptions and I hope you'll indulge me...

Last year, the Oregon Liquor Control Commission changed their interpretation of Oregon law and deemed it illegal to consume homebrewed beer outside of the home where it was produced.  While this might not seem like a big deal, it's problematic for beer geeks (like me), because it has essentially killed off homebrew club gatherings and competitions.

Fortunately, Senate Bill 444 has been introduced to make state law more friendly to homebrewers.  Below is a letter from the Brewer's Association and the American Homebrewers Association.  If you'd like to learn more about this bill, please read on.  If you're willing to take action and make a difference, please contact the State Senators listed below.

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February 2, 2011

Dear AHA, BA and Support Your Local Brewery Members,

Many of you are likely aware that the Oregon Liquor Control Commission determined last year that under existing Oregon law, homebrew cannot be consumed outside the home where the beer was produced.

The American Homebrewers Association is supporting an effort by the Oregon Home Brewers Alliance (OHBA) to resolve this issue. The OHBA has been working with Senator Floyd Prozanski, a homebrewer, on Senate Bill 444 along with the already filed amendments to SB 444. While there are other bills addressing homebrewing, the OHBA and the AHA support SB 444 as the most comprehensive of these in restoring to legality all of the activities homebrewers participated in prior to the Oregon Liquor Control Commission’s revision of their interpretation of homebrew law last year, including entering homebrew competitions and sharing homebrew at club meetings.

How Can You Help?

Senate Bill 444 is being scheduled for a hearing before the Senate Business, Transportation and Economic Development Committee Thursday, February 10. We ask you to take a few minutes to call or email the members of the committee and politely urge them to support the passage of SB 444 along with Senator Prozanski’s amendments to the bill. The committee members need to hear from you if this bill is to succeed. Contacting legislators is quick and easy, and every contact they get from homebrewers will help ensure our success.

Senate Business, Transportation and Economic Development Committee Contact Information:

Sen. Lee Beyer, Chair
Capitol Phone: 503-986-1706

Jason Atkinson, Vice-Chair
Capitol Phone: 503-986-1703
District Phone: 541-282-6502

Sen. Ginny Burdick
Capitol Phone: 503-986-1718

Sen. Chris Edwards
Capitol Phone: 503-986-1707

Sen. Fred Girod
Capitol Phone: 503-986-1709
District Phone: 503-769-4321

Sen. Bruce Starr
Capitol Phone: 503-986-1715
District Phone: 503-352-0922

Thank you for your support of homebrewers, your action could make the difference in whether or not this legislation becomes law. Please forward this message on to any other Oregon residents that you feel would be interested in supporting this bill.


Charlie Papazian, President -- Brewers Association
Gary Glass, Director -- American Homebrewers Association

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