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Baldy_Beer_Brewery

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Roger Johnson of the state Department of Revenue-Alcohol and Tobacco Enforcement Unit said it's not legal to hold a competition at a business or any other public place that holds a retail liquor license or permit.
It would seem the best way to have this event would be to have the laws changed. Easier said than done. It is too bad that what the article described as a concerned citizen (busybody) can ruin what otherwise was a harmless event.
 

Phunhog

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First off I think Jamie Martin needs a little talkin' to!!!:mad:
 

pauljmccain

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Who's got Jamie Martin's email? A couple thousand messages in the inbox usually gets a notice.
 

JetSmooth

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We have a local BBQ festival where there are both vendors and citizens entering the BBQ competition. Contestants may not provide their food to the public, even for free. This is both for health code reasons, and I'm sure to not compete with the vendors. Always made sense to me, even though I'd like to be able to sample their wares.

Laws are laws.

You do get into a difficult area where some of the beers available at a place are taxes and controlled while others aren't. I know there's a bar that has a "homebrewer" night. But they open it up just to the participating homebrewers, and hold it in a private spare separate from where taxed and "public" service occurs.
 

stevea1210

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I have no good advice, but want to say I'm sorry. It is a shame that a fundraiser is spoiled by some busy body that has nothing better to do than ruin a good time, and a good fundraiser.
 

carnevoodoo

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Regardless of the guy who spoke up, you were breaking laws. Find a better way to support charities. I personally cannot believe you tried to sell homebrewed beer at a restaurant. That seems like poor decision making.
 

monty73741

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the bar owner is lucky they arent loosing their license. Most states have a three tier system who you can get beer through. the best bet is start talking to your local politicians it probally take years to get passed because the lobbying power of the distributers
 

logan3825

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We are having some legal issues with a homebrew competition tied with a fundraiser for MS and were hoping to get some advice on how to keep this event going into the future. Any help or advice would be greatly appreciated. You can read about the event and what happened here: http://www.wiscnews.com/baraboonews...cle_7f16d998-8d88-11e0-8384-001cc4c03286.html and here: www.brewatthebarn.com

Thanks!
Well that sucks. Unfortunately I am pretty sure the law on homebrew in Wisconsin is that you can only brew at your own residence and it cannot be transported outside that residence.

Competitions are illegal. I think the authorities have just been looking the other way. There was recently a problem with a homebrew club down by Racine. There really needs to be a change in legislation.

I have been to the Coffee Bean Connection but never the Barn. I will stop at the Barn now that I know a little more about it. I plan to boycott the Moosejaw now. Not hard as I didn't find their beer all that interesting anyway. There are several much, much better brewpubs in Madison and I am 30 miles from either.
 
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I'm surprised this didn't throw any flags with any of the local homebrewers when the idea was brought up in the first place. Any time there's money involved with homebrew, people err on the side of caution. Odds are they knew what they were doing was wrong, but thought it would get overlooked because it was for a good cause. It sounds like the person who reported them thought that the bar was using the homebrew fundraiser to simultaneously raise business and made her move.

As for ideas, the bar could set up a special beer where the proceeds go towards MS. I like how NB has a kit that can be purchased to support cancer research. They could even do a fundraising cookout. Where I live, the "bars" are really brewpubs and they often do cookouts to get rid of their extra food they're required to stock.
 

IffyG

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Regardless of the guy who spoke up, you were breaking laws. Find a better way to support charities. I personally cannot believe you tried to sell homebrewed beer at a restaurant.
the bar owner is lucky they arent loosing their license.
I'm going to have to agree with these guys.

Also, not to split hairs, but reading the article linked in the first post it sounds like the even was cancelled and not shut down. IMO, it's probably better that it went down this way instead of having someone show up during the event itself when homebrew was being served...
 
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Baraboo Brew

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Thanks for all the replies and ideas everyone! Hopefully we can work on changing the laws before the event next year. I have read of a few establishments having their liquor license suspended for the day of the event, but that still doen't help us with the "only served at the place where it was brewed" issue.
 
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Baraboo Brew

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The idea came from other similar charity events here in WI that are advertised and even one that is not a charity event put on by a chamber of commerce, so it was assumed that the laws are not strictly enforced. That is unless someone complains!
 

Bensiff

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I would get in touch with the AHA if you are serious about changing laws. We have had some good changes in WA recently, such as it is now legal to transport your brew outside of your home for serving purposes (ie taking it to your friends). Of course you would be hard pressed to find a cop who would enforce such stupid laws, but its not worht bucking the tiger. It would also be reasonable to work on getting a law passed stating that homebrew can be sold for charity for such events as long as 100% proceeds go to the charity (maybe some caveat about that other than recouping material costs for the brewer no income can be made). This would be great because it would give homebrew some attention and allow those aspiring to go pro to get a small following for their homebrew label, easing the transition. Good entrepreneurial laws are always better than tax protection laws, especially ones that are win-win-win.
 

logan3825

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Yeah, what he said.^^^

Joining and working with the Wisconsin Brewers Guild and American Homebrewers Association(AHA) may be a good place to start. Specifically the AHA. Changing homebrew laws is something they were formed for. I believe they have worked with homebrewers in other states to help get laws changed. Like I said, this isn't an isolated incident.

It does seem like selective enforcement. That is part of the problem though, it isn't legal and while most people probably don't care one way or the other it only takes one person to complain and shut everything down.
 
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It's a shame that this turned out the way it did. With the limited info available on the matter, it seems as if both sides acted a bit irresponsibly. It would've been nice to find a middle ground where the competition could still be held in conjunction with the charity event. A local brewer might have had the ability to help make that happen...
 
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Baraboo Brew

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Thanks Logan and Bensiff, I sent an email to the AHA looking for help on Friday and am a current member. I have heard of agroup of homebrewers in WI already working on the issue and hopefully the AHA will be able to hook me/us up with them. Does anyone here know of that group? By the way, 100% of the proceeds were going to charity with the homebrewers donating their brews.
 

Bensiff

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Stuff like that should be easy to get a state house rep to pick up on and sponsor a bill, after all its for charity and its always good to slap your political name on a pro-charity bill.
 

logan3825

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Maybe PM Bernie Brewer. Sounds like his HB club was trying to contact other HB clubs and get something organized. Read through the first thread I linked about the problems in Racine.
 
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