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Old 08-07-2012, 02:38 PM   #1
ryanjbrowne
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Default Madison, WI homebrewer with a question about Boston's/Mass' Laws

MA Homebrewers,

Is it legal for homebrewers to transport/pour homebrew outside of one's home in MA, specifically in Boston? Any links to legalese for confirmation would be most helpful.

I am investigating the possibility of an event in Boston which would feature homebrew not served in a home/for private use.

Thanks!

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Old 08-07-2012, 03:12 PM   #2
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It's an interesting question that I've actually looked into very slightly in the past for doing a "homebrew festival" type of things as a fundraiser. I never got that far with it.

Here is a link to the general laws of the state that deal with alcohol: http://www.malegislature.gov/Laws/Ge...eXX/Chapter138

The main regulatory body is the Mass ABCC (Mass Alcoholic Beverages Control Commission) but I'm skeptical they would have much to do with it because they regulate "licensed" vendors... unless there is some sort of temporary license they can offer (I'm not aware of one).

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Old 08-07-2012, 04:29 PM   #3
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Don't forget Sheriff Mayor Menino. He wanted to shut down the city bars during the Stanley Cup Finals because of what he terms "knuckleheads". I lived in Boston for a bit and the local laws are pretty strict. I'd call the local city offices. I'm sure droopy eyes Menino doesn't have access to the interwebs to keep it up to date.

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Old 08-10-2012, 10:47 PM   #4
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I cannot quote laws here, but as far as the state goes, I am pretty confident that as long as NO MONEY, NOT EVEN CHARITY is involved, no donations, no can or cup at the door, no no no money...not even for food served with the beer....then the state is ok with it. NOt 100%, but pretty confident. We have an event here in the Berkshires every fall (Berktoberfest) where home brew and craft beers are sampled and shared with the public for free, and a competition is held.

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Old 08-13-2012, 02:29 PM   #5
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Thanks for all the input! The Berktoberfest looks like a great time! I'm hoping to be able to set up a reading (I'm a writer) in Boston which will feature homebrew in March 2013. I wasn't planning on selling any of it anyway and just wanted to clarify the legal/sticky issues. It sounds like there is somewhat of a precedent set by an event like Berktoberfest for which no money changes hands. I'll keep digging and let you all know what I find -- if anything.

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Old 08-18-2012, 12:03 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ryanjbrowne View Post
Thanks for all the input! The Berktoberfest looks like a great time! I'm hoping to be able to set up a reading (I'm a writer) in Boston which will feature homebrew in March 2013. I wasn't planning on selling any of it anyway and just wanted to clarify the legal/sticky issues. It sounds like there is somewhat of a precedent set by an event like Berktoberfest for which no money changes hands. I'll keep digging and let you all know what I find -- if anything.
Craft beers are sold at the event, and food is too. But those are commercial breweries, and that is legal. The home brew event associated with it is a competition and give away to the crowd as part of the competition. Peoples choice is one of the winning categories.
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Old 10-12-2012, 12:27 PM   #7
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In the Commonwealth of Massachusetts malt beverages not distiled with an alcohol content consistent with beer manufactured in a residence can be transported to the residence of friends or family. All consumption of home-manufactured malt beverages must be consumed at a residence and there is to be no exchange of monies. The maximum allowable transport of malt beverages in a private vehicle is one-barrel. Any volume over one-barrel the transport vehicle must be registered with both the IRS and the ATF as well as local authority. The ownership of the manufactured malt beverage belongs to the person who initiates fermenatation. One must be at least 21 years of age to introduce yeast into a raw liquid malt product.

In a nutshell, transportation of anything even remotely related to alcohol, tobacco, or firearms begins to involve the Feds when the threshold is reached.

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