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-   -   Call for Support from Michigan Homebrewers (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f14/call-support-michigan-homebrewers-150984/)

GeorgeH 12-09-2009 02:23 AM

Call for Support from Michigan Homebrewers
If you're a Michigan resident you should contact your state rep to tell them you support House Bill 5613. It will make it legal to have homebrew club meetings and competitions in brew pubs and microbreweries.

This was posted to my homebrew club's mailing list:


As members of homebrew clubs in Michigan, one of the issues we face is where we should meet. A natural place would of course be our local microbrewery or brew pub. We are all passionate supporters of our locally produced Michigan beers, and the symbiosis of homebrewers and local craft brewers has demonstrated time and again to be a great benefit to both, as witnessed by the homebrewing origins of most of today's craft breweries.

A while back, I contacted the state for a ruling on the permissibility for clubs to bring homebrew to microbreweries and brew pubs for club meetings and competitions. The response was negative, current legislation prohibits this activity.

Not satisfied with the response, I discussed this with various contacts. One, Bob Zukosky, a former Michigan homebrewer who has since moved to Colorado, provided me with Colorado's model legislation that allows for this type of activity.

I then contacted fellow F.O.R.D. Homebrew club member and State Representative for the 22nd District, Doug Geiss (http://022.housedems.com/), to see what could be done. I shared with him the document that Bob had provided, and Representative Geiss had his staff review it to use as a starting point to draft legislation that will allow our microbrew/brew pub colleagues to host meetings and competitions.

Representative Geiss recently contacted me to let me know that he and State Representative Deb Kennedy (who, along with husband Alex, is a member of the Down River Brewers Guild) introduced House Bill 5613 on December 1st, the contents of which can be viewed at the following link: (http://www.legislature.mi.gov/documents/2009-2010/billintroduced/House/htm/2009-HIB-5613.htm

This amends the previous Michigan Liquor Control code that dealt with this issue. In part, it states:
Sec. 1027. (1) Unless otherwise provided by rule of the commission, a person shall not conduct samplings or tastings of any alcoholic liquor for a commercial purpose except at premises that are licensed by the commission for the sale and consumption of alcoholic liquor on the premises.

(2) This section does not prohibit any of the following...
(d) A micro brewer or brew pub from allowing the sampling and consumption on the licensed premise of beer produced by 1 or more home brewers at a meeting of home brewers, or a club composed primarily of home brewers, under the following circumstances:

(I) The sampling or consumption is for the purpose of exhibitions or competitions involving home brewers.
(ii) The beer is served in portions not to exceed 6 ounces.
(iii) No sale of beer is made to members of the general public.
(iv) The participants otherwise comply with applicable state and federal law and applicable regulatory provisions of this act and rules adopted by the commission under this act.

The bill will likely come up for discussion early in January. We need a grass roots effort to have interested parties inform their electorate that they support this legislation. Support would be especially useful from residents in the Oakland County / Rochester Hills area, as this is Senate Majority Leader Mike Bishop's home district (http://www.senate.michigan.gov/2003/12.pdf),. Shows of support will increase his awareness of the issue and will likely assist the billís passage.

Your support is critical. State laws can be changed if enough people take action and let their lawmakers know how they feel on issues important to them. Please send a letter or an email to your respective State Representative (http://www.house.mi.gov/find_a_rep.asp) or State Senator (http://www.senate.michigan.gov/SenatorInfo/find-your-senator.htm).

Points to mention are:

o The strong support local homebrewers provide by selecting and purchasing Michigan produced beers.
o How homebrewers act as ambassadors to local microbreweries and brew pubs, and doing so much to support the jobs and products of these local businesses.
o Microbreweries and Brew Pubs support homebrew clubs in kind with gifts, financial support, and would like to offer space for meetings.
o Virtually all commercial microbreweries and brewpubs hire brewers who have learned via homebrewing.
o By more closely aligning ourselves with these local merchants, they can continue to be inspired by trends and endeavors in the homebrew community.
o Homebrewing competitions are often judged at brewpubs and should not be illegal in the State of Michigan.
o Homebrewers are changing the nature of brewing, and striving to save the world's ancient brewing styles

Letís pull together and help get these amendments passed. A strong beer culture in the form of a homebrewing community is the underpinning of the thriving craft beer movement in our state, a proven source of entrepreneurship and living wage jobs.

Chris Frey

Talloak 12-09-2009 01:17 PM

That's great that Michigan is on the right track. I live in NW Indiana, however my local club occasionally will hold a meeting across the border. We usually ignore these bullsh*t laws, putting ourselves and the proprietor at risk.

Homercidal 12-09-2009 03:25 PM

Emails sent. I truly hope they can see the value that these bills would provide to homebrewers and the advancement of the brewing process in the state.

lunchbox 12-09-2009 03:56 PM

Gotta love big brother sticking his noes where it doesn't belong... again...
Good luck Michigan.

olllllo 03-12-2010 04:19 PM

MI Homebrewers / Guild Members
EDIT**** Was directed to this thread and put in contact with Cripsy via GeorgeH Thanks!!!!

Please contact me if you are working on House Bill 5613 or can put me in contact with someone who is.

This can either be a Guild Member or homebrewer, preferably someone who presented at the March 11th Michigan Liquor Control Commission (LCC) meeting.

Michigan homebrewers and the Michigan Brewers Guild are supporting legislation that would allow homebrew clubs to serve homebrew at meetings held at Michigan breweries.

This law would mirror a similar law in Colorado.

More info: http://bit.ly/bRMUsu


neovox 03-12-2010 04:57 PM

Join this cause on Facebook too and show your support.

olllllo 03-12-2010 05:35 PM

I am following this closely as well. WE are looking to propose this in AZ.

Incidentally, I spoke with Larry Bell (he was here for a 9000 launch) and he expressed concerns that the LCC board would be a substantial hurdle.

He was interested enough to ask that I email him our progress.

withak 03-12-2010 06:35 PM

What would be the rationale against this? To prevent people from bringing their own drinks into a bar?

Homercidal 03-12-2010 06:50 PM

Unfortunately, I think the LLC would be hard to get past. The LLC wants COMPLETE control over all beer in any establishment they provide a license for. Allowing homebrew for club meetings might be seen as a way to circumvent the system. Of course it's hogwash and impractical, but if there was ever an audit, and unlicensed beer found, the owner could claim that it was from a homebrew club. Of course that would not happen since the club would have to be present in the building with the beer, but that is the sort of thing the LLC wants to avoid.

It's change and even though a sensible person would understand that these things would be relatively rare, and super easy to do safely, their imagination starts running away with all sorts of improbable circumstances.

They could easily cap the amount brought in for the meeting to something reasonable, plus make sure that a representative from the club be present with the beer to prevent a bar owner from secretly selling homebrew under the table (avoiding taxes), etc.

This is funny because I suddenly picture a homebrew club setting up an old kitchen table in the basement of a local bar. Lights are low and a hazy fog of cigarette smoke fills the air as the homebrewers sit hunched over the table sampling little glasses of beer.

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