Good news for Oregon Home BrewersSaturday, March 5th, 2011
The Oregon Senate has passed legislation to re-legalize aspects of home brewing that were outlawed last year. The bill, SB 444, invalidates last June’s article. At that time home brew clubs and beer competitions were considered illegal. The law was so narrowly reinterpreted that taking home brewed beer out of the house was seen as a problem. It was stupid, and thankfully our democratic system has shown itself able to do some good. The spirit of the laws surrounding alcohol regulation and taxation draw the line when money and commercial production come into play. Unfortunately home brew got sucked into this temporarily but now that is fixed.
The credit for saving us goes to Sen. Floyd Prozanski! Oregon is fortunate that Sen. Prozanksi is a long time member of the Oregon Senate AND a long time home brewer. I am impressed by the fact that not a single member of the Oregon Senate voted ‘No’ on the bill. All 30 members voted yes. It was bi-partisan whoo hoo!
What the bill does in Oregon:
- Beer and wine competitions are legalized.
- Home brew clubs may operate again as they used to. Members may bring the home brew to share and taste.
- Transportation of home brew is legal, including sweet wort. You can brew at your friend’s house and ferment at your house.
- Compensation in the form of home brew contest prize money is legal.
- Club dues are legal provided the amount of the dues is NOT tied to the amount of home brew you get to drink. Dues must be separate from how much beer you get during a meeting.
- Trading home brew is legal.
- Trading home brew ingredients is legal.
- Donating home brew to a not for profit qualifies for a tax deduction!?
- Restates statue limiting amounts of home brew per household. If you are over 21 you can brew 100 gallons. If your spouse or roommate is also over 21, you can brew up to 200 gallons between the both of you.
- Holders of a brewery public house license may allow customers to brew on site, provided alcohol by volume does not exceed 14% in the brew. The customer made brew may not be consumed or sold in the pub.
It still needs to pass in the House, but it is widely expected to sail through without a problem. The bill has a rider that makes it go into effect when the Governor signs it. To track the progress of the bill:
For the full content of SB 444: