Bradford on Beer

Oregon Homebrewing Activities Illegal? Probably not for long.

Posted July 13, 2010 by daniel 3 Comments | Post a Comment

A recent ruling by the Oregon Liquor Control Commission (OLCC) has put a stop to any homebrew competition or homebrew gathering. They interpret the law, which refers to “home consumption,” to mean just that: consumption in a home, which means you make it in your home and you drink it in your home. They now consider carrying a six-pack to a party, holding a competition, or any other way of consuming homebrew to violate the state’s law.

Before you fire off the vitriolic letter or email, filled with rude and abusive things, consider a few points. Oregon is ground zero for the craft beer revolution. They have a thriving craft beer industry. All three tiers—supplier, wholesaler and retailer—have strong, supportive relationships, based on recognizing the value of craft beer to the beer industry and the state community. And to a person, I’m betting they understand the role homebrewing plays in developing this idyllic beer world.

All of this is why I can say, “probably not for long.” If the powers that be interpret the OLCC’s ruling as a need for clarification and sit down with the appropriate industry and elected officials, and work on revising the legal language, I’m pretty convinced this will go away. Ten or twenty years ago, this could have been a dogfight, but not today. The beer revolution is here to stay and all sectors of the industry and the government know it.

Cool heads need to prevail and reasonable discussions are the call of the day. Clarifying language, not storming the halls, will probably solve this conundrum and we can all get back to continuing to build a better beer world.

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  1. 1

    Obviously, this issue has been floating around for a while now and has come up on so many different blogs etc.

    And honestly, I think it’s getting more and more stupid each time. The fact that out of ALL states Oregon has joined this illegal home brewing ranking is just ridiculous. A state and culture that is so obsessed with their food, beer and wine and you’re trying to put a stop it FOR WHAT LOGICAL REASON?!?!

    I don’t see the “law” lasting very long and I really hope that it doesn’t. I’ll go up there from Texas myself and support them if I have to ;)

    Ilya

  2. 2

    Totally agree. It could be just a case of clearing up an ambiguity. We’ve come too far now for anyone to role back the clock.

  3. 3

    Daniel,

    I like your thinking ;)

    I want to see this issue worked out, and finally settled once and for all. I still can’t believe it’s happening in Oregon though. It’s a problem in many states, but Oregon? Really?!?!?

    Ilya

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