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-   -   Homebrew to be served at Michigan breweries? (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f19/homebrew-served-michigan-breweries-250217/)

MI_Craig 06-08-2011 10:46 PM

Homebrew to be served at Michigan breweries?

LANSING The American Homebrewers Asociation and the Brewers Association is seeking support of legislation to allow homebrew to be served at Michigan breweries.

Current Michigan regulations prohibit the serving of homebrew for any purpose at microbreweries or brewpubs, according to an email from the AHA.

House Bill 4061, sponsored by State Representative Doug Geiss (D-Taylor) would allow homebrew to be served at licensed Michigan breweries for activities like club meetings and competitions.

For homebrew club Kalamazoo Libation Organization of Brewers (KLOB) this legislation is essential, President Chris Elston said in an email.

KLOB currently has about 90 members and Elston expects that number to exceed a 100 before the end of the year.

Both the size of the club and the lack of meeting space options are problems for the club.

KLOB currently meets at Old Dog Tavern, 402 E. Kalamazoo Ave., in Kalamazoo and attendance usually is anywhere from 20 to 50 people, Elston said.

"Unfortunately, we are hindered by the fact that, since they are a bar, we cannot bring in homebrew to share among our members. Without this fundamental activity, it's difficult (if not impossible) for our members to share their thoughts, experience and knowledge about the beers they and their peers create at home," he wrote.

Elston also pointed out that homebrewing and craft beer have a symbiotic relationship.

Almost every professional brewer or brewery started at the homebrew level at one point in time, he said.

"Both home and professional brewers are constantly one upping each other to create innovative products and both would suffer if either side was hindered."

The bottom line, Elston said is that "homebrewing is good for local business."

"The brewing industry is thriving in Michigan and
 that's at least partially the result of a strong homebrewing community that both supports and inspires it."

Geiss, along with AHA Governing Committee Chair Chris Frey and fellow homebrewer Phil Wilcox, met with members of the Michigan Liquor Control Commission to discuss similar legislation in March 2010.

If all goes well, the bill will then go on to a House vote, followed by a Senate vote and then potential new legislation, according to Frey.

If you want to voice your opinion, you can contact the Regulatory Reform Committee Members below.
Hugh D. Crawford (R), Committee Chair, 38th District

Ken Yonker (R), Majority Vice-Chair, 72nd District

Paul E. Opsommer (R), 93rd District

Kevin Daley (R), 82nd District

Tom McMillin (R), 45th District

Jim Stamas (R), 98th District

Michael Shirkey (R), 65th District

Ray A. Franz (R), 101st District

Ed McBroom (R), 108th District

Bruce R. Rendon (R), 103rd District

Tim Melton (D), Minority Vice-Chair, 29th District

Harold L. Haugh (D), 42nd District

Barb Byrum (D), 67th District

Dian Slavens (D), 21st District

James Womack (D), 7th District

wildwest450 06-08-2011 11:21 PM

I so need to move back home.


Homercidal 06-09-2011 01:57 PM

I contacted all of the people on that list yesterday and a couple responded with automated acknowledgement, and a couple of others responded that they supported the bill.

While I wholly support the bill because it just makes sense, (I mean, we aren't risking anything if this goes through), I do appreciate where we are with homebrewing compared to many states.

The amendment would not hurt business, IMO, since the amount of homebrew allowed each person would be pretty small. It's really designed to allow for "tastings". But it would get people in the pubs and they are likely to purchase either food or drink while there.

The establishments already have liquor licenses and have the room, and manpower, an experience, to provide for any situation. Much better than a random person's house.

Also, the business would have the option of hosting such tastings, so they can be scheduled around busy times, or not hosted at all, at the owners' discretion. They would have the final say if they want HB in their place (but I don't know why they wouldn't, see first point above.

I expect, a few of the brewers and management people at the brewpubs would be interested in seeing what the HB'ers are doing lately. Most of them are friend's with a few homebrewers.

Scooby_Brew 06-09-2011 06:57 PM

I'm writing them an email right now.

Homercidal 06-09-2011 07:29 PM

FYI - They are not voting on the law at this time. I think they are in process of drafting a law, which will go to house and senate at a later time (if all goes well).

MI_Craig 06-09-2011 07:53 PM

The bill has been drafted. It is in the Regulatory Reform House committee. They have been sitting on it since January. If they approve it by committee vote, it will be moved forward for a vote of the House. Now that its more out in the open, hopefully that will be sooner rather than later!

motobrewer 06-09-2011 08:04 PM

d*mn you michigan and your awesome homebrew laws...

njnear76 06-09-2011 08:11 PM


Originally Posted by wildwest450 (Post 2991240)
I so need to move back home.


+1. Get me the hell out of NJ! Need to convince wife and find a job first though.

TexasSpartan 06-10-2011 02:49 AM


Originally Posted by wildwest450 (Post 2991240)
I so need to move back home.

Same here. Michigan beer laws are so much better than what we have in Texas.

Homercidal 06-10-2011 12:37 PM

I like the way we have it. The only thing that I dislike is the fact that you are not allowed to decide if your underage child can have a drink. Not even for religious purposes.

Some states allow the parent to make the choice as long as it's not considered abusive (excessive amounts). Some states say that you can if it's connected to a religious ceremony. I think that teaching your kids to handle alcohol is part parenting. Of course I would keep an eye on how much my kids drank, and so far neither seem interested (I've offered).

Kara, at age 9, had a taste of IPA we were bottling and couldn't rush to the bathroom fast enough. Hasn't accepted an offer since.

Kim, this year, had a taste of Kid Rock's American Badass, and quickly washed it down with some water. (My wife's comment was, "Is this water?")

But yeah, our Homebrew laws are awesome! It would be neat if we had a local club that could meet somewhere nearby. I *think* the bill only allows tastings at "brewpubs", not simple bars. So we'd have to meet in Big Rapids, since our small town doesn't have a brewery of any kind. The Brewpub in BR has hosted commercial beer tastings, so I think they would be open to doing club tastings.

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