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Old 12-05-2013, 08:59 AM   #1
jmcquesten
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So it sounds like a great adventure to move to bush Alaska, but after over a year as a homebrewer, moving to a 'damp' town really sucks. I moved to Kotzebue, Alaska in the arctic circle and it turns out that it IS illegal to homebrew here. I didn't find out the hard way, but I did ask local police and Lawyers. The town is 90% native (eskimo) and they have a serious problem with alcohol. It was damp until 2010 when the town opened their first liquor/beer store. They claim that alcohol negatively impacts "their people", but yet the town opened and runs the only place you can get any kind of alcohol. In order to legally purchase alcohol, you have to buy a $50 permit at the liquor store which is good for one year. The permit allows you to buy $16 six packs of Sam Adams, Moose Drool, or a few Alaska beers as well as a limited selection of liquor and wine. The prices in the town run store are outrageous. The permit also allows you to place bush orders, or a mail order that is shipped from a liquor store in Anchorage. When I say mail order, I mean just that. You are required to either fill out an order form and mail it to the store in Anchorage, or go to there in person. Then they package it up for you and ship it to the local package store here in town, which charges a $25 pick up fee. So one way or another, the crooked town is going to get their money from you drinking. Funny thing is, it's still cheaper to place a mail order, pay shipping, and the $25 fee than it is to buy the same quantity in town, plus you get a better selection than what's available in town. So, to get to my point, don't take homebrewing for granted. It's a great hobby/passion, and you don't realize it until you can't do it anymore. The fact that it is legal in all states, but not all localities is ridiculous. The native people here have such a problem with alcohol that the local community feels the need to try to control everything. They can't solve the problem, so they are profiting from it. People that would responsibly enjoy the hobby of making good beer are punished because a bunch of drunks like to illegally make jailhouse liquor out of sugar and bread yeast just to get wasted. I can't wait to get home to pick up where I left off on my nice, newly built all grain system.
Enjoy your homebrew, and have a few for a fellow brewer who can't. Until then, I'll be planning for my return.

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Old 12-05-2013, 09:30 AM   #2
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In truth, I'd brew. Inside and small batches if my stove couldn't handle larger ones. Keep my mouth shut and call it a day. But you're night, I take for grated the things I can do and never thought of home brewing being illegal. That's absolutely insane and archaic.
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Old 12-05-2013, 11:09 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmcquesten View Post
The native people here have such a problem with alcohol that the local community feels the need to try to control everything. They can't solve the problem, so they are profiting from it.
Isn't that pretty much how government today works? Hope you escape soon!

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Old 12-05-2013, 12:42 PM   #4
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Would have expected a way more friendly outlook on brewing itself with all the pioneer/subsistence living you hear about Alaska. Wasn't aware that localities could do this - start a homebrew speakeasy!

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Old 12-05-2013, 12:54 PM   #5
Cottonmouth
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Class 3 felony? wow

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Old 12-05-2013, 01:40 PM   #6
passedpawn
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Man, that was surprising. I had no idea.
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Old 12-05-2013, 01:52 PM   #7
progmac
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that place sounds terrible
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Old 12-05-2013, 01:53 PM   #8
unionrdr
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It's like here in Ohio. There's no specific law saying you can,but it just states that you need a permit,license,etc to sell it. so far,no problems with the cops since they've known me for years. They no I'm no underground type selling or trading my HB's. so it's legal as long as you follow the rules here. Gotta love that stuff. Maybe I do need to join the AHA?...
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Old 12-05-2013, 01:54 PM   #9
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Apple juice container (with a little bit of yeast in it) goes a long way.

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Old 12-05-2013, 02:19 PM   #10
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If you have some privacy, I don't see why homebrewing would be a problem. Just keep your mouth shut about it and do not share any.
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