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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > General Beer Discussion > Can I get in trouble for this?
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Old 12-10-2011, 07:10 PM   #1
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Default Can I get in trouble for this?

I love to brew. It's one of my favorite pastimes, especially in the winter. I am trying to give people beer so I can brew more. I've told friends that they can come over to my house and take beer whenever they like. BUT...people don't want to impose or take "too much". I get that.

So what I've started doing is giving people a growler of beer if they donate to my favorite charity. I don't take any money. The donations are all done online and I have nothing to do with it. I've noticed that people feel more willing to come and take some beer if they feel like they did something for it.

As long as I stay within the 200 gallon annual limit, am I doing anything "wrong"? I've figured that if I keep going at this rate my favorite little charity will get about $400 this month off of this. Not bad for less than $100 worth of ingredients.


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Old 12-10-2011, 07:13 PM   #2
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do whatever you want to do.


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Old 12-10-2011, 07:13 PM   #3
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I think you're in the clear.

Think of it this way: if you got them all to donate without giving beer as an incentive then it would be fine. And since you are receiving zero funds and it's all going to charity, you aren't exactly trading the money for the beer. It's more of a, "Hey, you're awesome for donating. Here's some beer for your awesomeness."
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Old 12-10-2011, 07:27 PM   #4
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How would they catch you? Your friends going to rat while they are enjoying your brew? Really not something I could see the ATF pursuing unless you were profiting and not paying the taxes. Shutting down charitable contributions wouldnt be very good PR for the ATF.
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Old 12-10-2011, 07:30 PM   #5
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That's what I was thinking! I just wanted to be sure. I had a friend imply that I should have more respect for the ATF. If they want to come after a mother of 5 who is simply trying to raise money for orphans while enjoying her love for home brewing, they're more than welcome to.
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Old 12-10-2011, 07:39 PM   #6
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That's what I was thinking! I just wanted to be sure. I had a friend imply that I should have more respect for the ATF.
Derp.... super derp. Are you sure he wasn't just implying that brewing is illegal? Because a lot of people still have that misconception.
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Old 12-10-2011, 07:41 PM   #7
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Our local homebrewers and breweries did something very similar on a bigger scale. To raise money for the local Muscular Dystrophy Association, they held a tasting party for people that donated $30 or more to the MDA. It was wildly successful. I bet there was easily 400-500 people that turned up for the event. It was a good PR event for the brewers (and caterers that donated food) that got to promote home brewing and local brewing, and it raised a lot of money.
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Old 12-10-2011, 08:52 PM   #8
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How would they catch you? Your friends going to rat while they are enjoying your brew? Really not something I could see the ATF pursuing unless you were profiting and not paying the taxes. Shutting down charitable contributions wouldnt be very good PR for the ATF.
I've heard of governmets busting church bingo games because they were gambling. Bummers.
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Old 12-10-2011, 09:14 PM   #9
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I've heard of governmets busting church bingo games because they were gambling. Bummers.
Yes because they probably weren't playing by the rules and they were making profit without the proper paperwork. Our church has a full on casino at the fall festival along with a beer tent. We have to have all the paperwork ahead of time and pay for police officer to be onsite for security. I have worked on the casino for several years and there are rules that have to be followed.
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Old 12-10-2011, 09:17 PM   #10
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In some states, brewing is still illegal.

In Michigan, it used to be legal to give away only a sixpack of beer per person per year (this has changed, it's legal to give away 20 gallons to a single individual), and in some states it illegal to give away ANY beer, let alone sell it. In some states, it's illegal to remove the homebrew away from the home it was made in. That means that even you yourself can't take your own homebrew from your home to your own campsite in your own RV!

Make sure you check your state law to ensure that even giving it away is ok. Laws very widely from state to state. Here's a brief synopsis of ID:

Updated: 1/2007
Status: Permitted, Subject to use of native grown products
Statute

Idaho statute Title 23, Chapter 5, 23-501. NATIVE WINE OR BEER FOR PERSONAL USE. Any person shall have the privilege of manufacturing wine or brewing beer from native grown products for the personal use of himself, family, and guests.
Special Provisions

N/A
State Alcohol Beverage Control Agency

Title 25, Chapter 10, 23-1001 Definitions.

As used in this chapter:

(a) The word "Beer" means any beverage obtained by the alcoholic fermentation of an infusion or decoction of barley, malt and/or other ingredients in drinkable water.


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