This is a repost from the Prairie Schooners facebook page, just though that people should know whats up in our lovely state.
"In case you haven't heard, the Illinois Liquor Control Commission (ILCC) told the Peoria Jaycees that homebrewers will not be allowed at their annual International Beer Festival this year. And you can be assured that it won't just be the Peoria festival where this will be the case. This is (and has been) going on in other states, too; most notably Wisconsin. I believe it was last year that the Oregon legislature rewrote the statute to insure that homebrewers could continue to hold events in public places. The Illinois statute that relates to homebrewers as currently written does seem to limit who a homebrewer can share their product with (but says nothing about WHERE, as the old Oregon statute did). 235 ILCS 5/2-1 reads, in part: "for the personal use of the possessor, his family and guests." I would suggest that "guests" needs to be defined clearly. I've been reading the comments of several homebrewers from Peoria and Bloomington in the last day and many have said that they saw this day coming. But why now? The ILCC cites health concerns and tax issues, but it's not hard to imagine another scenario. The emergence of craft beer (and the inroads it has made in the industry) prompted last year's battle over self-distribution. I don't think it's too far fetched to suggest that the same thing is happening again, with homebrewers being the target this time. Hopefully another inadequately written Illinois statute can be clarified to preserve what homebrewers have been doing for years without complaint."