Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > General Beer Discussion > Legality of my Operation
Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 06-07-2012, 03:07 PM   #1
dacaldera
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 15
Liked 1 Times on 1 Posts

Default Legality of my Operation

Hi everyone,

Im hoping I can get some advise from the community on this one before I talk to a legal professional.
Basically, I'm brewing beer in a warehouse space that belongs to a business that is in the ceramics industry. They have some extra space and are allowing me to brew up some beer there free of rent. The beer is only for personal use, not for sale or distribution.
An inspector came by yesterday just doing a general inspection of the building. Although the inspector did not see or know about the beer being brewed, he did ask If i was storing flammable liquids. I said no.
I'm concerned that the use of the space to brew beer might violate the lease contract of the business as it is not stipulated in the agreement that beer will be brewed here. Am I putting the ceramics business at risk by home brewing in their warehouse? If an inspector sees the beer, will that breach any contracts that the ceramic business has with the landlord? I do not want to jeopardize the business.
Also, this is Texas, so beer laws are wanky here.

-thanks


dacaldera is offline
 
Reply With Quote
Old 06-07-2012, 03:15 PM   #2
hopsalot
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Corpus, Texas
Posts: 1,574
Liked 17 Times on 16 Posts
Likes Given: 55

Default

are you using propane or nat gas?


__________________
In Illa Brettanomyces Nos Fides

http://bjsbrewery.blogspot.com/
hopsalot is offline
 
Reply With Quote
Old 06-07-2012, 03:17 PM   #3
motobrewer
I'm no atheist scientist, but...
HBT_SUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 1 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Thiensville, Wisconsin
Posts: 7,544
Liked 367 Times on 298 Posts
Likes Given: 499

Default

my advice would be to not take the advice of anyone on this forum and talk to a legal professional.
__________________
Quote:
The man who intoxicates himself on bad whisky is sometimes moved to kill his wife and set his house on fire, but the victim of applejack is capable of blowing up a whole town with dynamite and of reciting original poetry to every surviving inhabitant.

"A Wicked Beverage," New York Times, April 10, 1894
motobrewer is offline
4
People Like This 
Reply With Quote
Old 06-07-2012, 03:17 PM   #4
TopherM
BJCP ID: F0838
HBT_SUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 1 reviews
 
TopherM's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: St. Petersburg, FL
Posts: 3,959
Liked 442 Times on 348 Posts
Likes Given: 23

Default

If you aren't selling the homebrew, then you personally aren't doing anything wrong by brewing in your buddy's warehouse.

SO, the only legalities involved would be the governing rules of the ceramics business and the business' lease on the warehouse.

Even those, I would think they would give you fair warning to move the homebrewing out of the warehouse before they took any legal action, so just use a little common sense and I think you are OK.

That said, if it feels iffy, then it is probably iffy, and you may want to seek out some alternatives.
__________________
Primary #1 - Midnight Ryeder (Midnight Wheat and Rye)
Primary #2 - Florida Weiss
Primary #3 - Kane-DOH APA (Honey Citra APA)
Secondary #1 - Downtown Flanders Brown (brewed August 2012)
Keg #1 - Raspberry Florida Weiss
Keg #2 - Cinnamon Raisin Cider
Keg #3 - NONE!
Bottled - NONE!
TopherM is offline
 
Reply With Quote
Old 06-07-2012, 03:18 PM   #5
Bobby_M
Vendor and Brewer
HBT_SPONSOR.png
Vendor Ads 
Feedback Score: 4 reviews
 
Bobby_M's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Whitehouse Station, NJ
Posts: 22,810
Liked 1335 Times on 876 Posts
Likes Given: 35

Default

No one can know what the lease agreement specifically stipulates besides the landlord and the business. I suppose technically the "home production" aspect of homebrewing law is being violated but who knows if would ever be an issue.
__________________
Welcome to BrewHardware.com. I love you.
New 100% Stainless Steel Heating Elements are IN! ULWD 5500w Ripple, 2000w, 1500w, etc
Chugger Pumps, Pump Kits, Camlocks, Sightglasses, Clear USA made Silicone Tubing, RIMS, Electric Install Parts, etc.
Bobby_M is offline
 
Reply With Quote
Old 06-07-2012, 03:21 PM   #6
Homercidal
Licensed Sensual Massage Therapist.
HBT_MODERATOR.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
Homercidal's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Reed City, MI
Posts: 27,302
Liked 3632 Times on 2470 Posts
Likes Given: 2419

Default

I think you are safe as far as homebrewing laws go, depending on whether or not your state allows transportation of homebrew (some places are still stone-age level).

But hopsalot has a point about flammable liquids. A portable propane tank may not be legally stored in that place. Or the inspector might be worried about gasoline cans, etc.

If you are using a piped-in gas, then you should be fine. But the only way to know for sure is to find out what the code is for that area.

And for others' clarification, the beer made there cannot be sold, traded, bartered, etc. no matter where it was brewed. Homebrew is for personal consumption only.
Homercidal is offline
 
Reply With Quote
Old 06-07-2012, 03:27 PM   #7
GilaMinumBeer
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
GilaMinumBeer's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 52,936
Liked 6056 Times on 5221 Posts
Likes Given: 81

Default

IMHO, there are two issues to consider.

1.) Use of Propane. If you are using propane, that is a flammable liguid. "Storing" is an arguable term.

2.) Zoning. The area may not be zoned appropriately for process that involved "Food Preparation" and an inspector may assert that a health department license be required in order for it to continue. It's a commercial property, in a commercialized zone, thus anything that takes place within will be scrutinized under commercial ordinances. The fact that you aren't selling the product has no bearing.
GilaMinumBeer is offline
 
Reply With Quote
Old 06-07-2012, 03:32 PM   #8
IXVolt
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
IXVolt's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Southern Oregon
Posts: 1,736
Liked 79 Times on 54 Posts
Likes Given: 77

Default

Maybe I'm just old fashioned, but I would be up-front with the landlord if communication is possible.

Just say you want to respect his property and without knowing the lease agreement in place, would it be ok to brew on the premises.

As a landlord myself, being forthcoming and open with information goes a long way.
IXVolt is offline
 
Reply With Quote
Old 06-07-2012, 03:33 PM   #9
dacaldera
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 15
Liked 1 Times on 1 Posts

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by hopsalot
are you using propane or nat gas?
Propane
dacaldera is offline
 
Reply With Quote
Old 06-07-2012, 03:36 PM   #10
ajwillys
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Holly Springs, NC
Posts: 1,327
Liked 25 Times on 23 Posts
Likes Given: 35

Default

On the federal side, the law is not clear. It mentions the "household" an awful lot, but does not specifically say its illegal. The applicable laws:

http://ecfr.gpoaccess.gov/cgi/t/text...dno=27;cc=ecfr

Of course, assuming that checks out (not saying it does, I give it a maybe), there's state and local laws to deal with. I don't want to give legal advice, but I'd be cautious. Generally, state and federal agents only care about taxes. Local officials only care about "appearances".


ajwillys is offline
 
Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools



Forum Jump

Newest Threads

LATEST SPONSOR DEALS