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Old 10-15-2012, 09:11 PM   #1
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Default Members-Only Clubs & Homebrew?

I just joined our local Fraternal Order of Eagles chapter. I live in the middle of nowhere and there aren't many social opportunities. So, I thought this would be a great way to meet other locals. They have a little lounge with a bar usually Budweiser and Harpoon IPA on tap with a full bar. It's a nice hangout but the beer selection is pretty weak.

I know a lot of places go members-only or private so they can get around alcohol laws. I think how it works at our place is they can serve what they want and get kegs from anywhere as long as it's only consumed on premises..

Well, I have a sankey keg laying around and could fill it with homebrew. I'm wondering if this is legal? I asked one of the brothers and he said he had no idea. Anyone on HBT deal with private fraternal groups and brining homebrew to share with brothers?

Thanks!


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Old 10-15-2012, 09:25 PM   #2
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I think the easiest way would be for you and your "brothers" to brew a beer together. That way it is "everyone's" beer. Maybe your FOE could even buy/reinburse you for the ingredients for your beer. I am assuming that this beer won't be sold...that is just a members only privledge.


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Old 10-15-2012, 09:33 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Phunhog View Post
I think the easiest way would be for you and your "brothers" to brew a beer together. That way it is "everyone's" beer. Maybe your FOE could even buy/reinburse you for the ingredients for your beer. I am assuming that this beer won't be sold...that is just a members only privledge.
Great idea. I know the easiest answer is that I just ask them...but, before I ask and get shot down, it would be nice to have some suggestions like you outlined before I present the idea.

I think an Eagles Brew would be an awesome idea!
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Old 10-15-2012, 09:38 PM   #4
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In Michigan, this would be legal up to a certain amount (I think 20 gallons(?) per year). But in NH, I have no idea. Reading the statute, though, seems like it would be legal to do this if you were holding tastings and "for personal use"L

Statute
New Hampshire statute Title XIII, Chapter 175, § 175:5-b provides that a license or permit is not required for the manufacture of family beer by persons over age 21 for personal or family use, and not for sale.

Discussion
This statute is a concise exception enabling the limited production of beer for home consumption without a license or permit. It also allows for transportation of the homebrew from the home for meetings, competitions, tastings, ect. and for personal use.

(This is from the AHA website)
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Old 10-16-2012, 01:29 AM   #5
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Great feedback. For sure, I won't quote you but it gives me the idea to spend some extra time researching this.
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Old 10-16-2012, 02:13 AM   #6
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It depends on how your state ABC defines "personal use". I would venture a guess that a for-profit club that makes alcohol available to its members as part of the membership fee is not "personal use". It would probably be ok if you did an individual tasting or two from time to time but regularly keeping it on tap, especially when you're not there, is going to be a hard one to fit into even a liberal construction of "personal use".

I'd also assume your club/bartenders have permits to serve alcohol. Those permits probably preclude serving beer that does not conform to your state's distribution laws.
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Old 10-16-2012, 02:30 AM   #7
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That's why I suggested doing a group brew. If everyone does a little bit (i.e. measuring grain, stirring the mash, pitching yeast, clean up) it is a collective brew and no one person can claim it. Thus "personal use" would apply to each and every member who helped out.
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Old 10-16-2012, 02:15 PM   #8
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If the club is giving it away for free, I can not imagine there would be any issues with a club like that.
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Old 10-16-2012, 02:23 PM   #9
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If the club is giving it away for free, I can not imagine there would be any issues with a club like that.
If they're already selling beer and wine legally, they may not be allowed to even have it on premise.

You really need to check with your local liquor control commission. My BIL is in a private yacht club in Michigan, and the club house has a members only bar, you have to be a member to physically purchase drinks, they have a liquor license, and they can ONLY purchase an serve alcohol bought through their distributor. They cannot even run out to a store to pick up a bottle of whiskey in an emergency during a function when they run out. And THEY CANNOT serve homebrewed beer/wine, etc.

Be very careful about this, there was a story on here about a bar that lost their liquor license, because they were having a homebrew competition in the bar, and a rep from the distrubator ratted on them to the liquor control commission. For having untaxed/unlicensed alcohol on the premise.

I'm sure they would have simply needed some sort of temp permit or given notice to the LCC to have allowed it to happen. Plenty of brew pubs do it.
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Old 10-16-2012, 02:38 PM   #10
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Thanks Revvy. You always have great insight. I know it varies state and county but what you're saying does make sense. I'll make a few calls and see. It's a bummer that I just want to share some drinks with friends but that's how it is.

I'm also going to check on "member functions" at my house. I know for our work, even if the function is off-site, the corporate insurance requirements for alcohol being served is mandatory if it is in fact a work function communicated to the staff no matter how many times you put "unofficial"


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