Once upon a time, Oregon brewers were pretty much able to do what they wanted with their products. Beer judging contests were held at state fairs, and brewers joined each other at clubs for tastings and note exchanges. However, the Department of Justice put a stop to all that by mandating that all homebrewed beer be consumed where it was brewed. That is, small home brewers had to drink their beer at home – transporting beer was a no-no, punishable by fines and even jail time.
The immediate effect of this decision was a bit shocking. Beer clubs stopped meeting, fair attendance and exhibitor enrollment dropped drastically and even the economy of the state took a hit. Still, the law stood and the DOJ maintained enforcement of it. However, things might be looking up. New legislation has been introduced to challenge the outdated laws mandating that craft beer not be transported. The new policy has a lot of backing, as you might imagine. Everyone from local craft brewers to the State Fair board and even state senators are behind the bill.
The old laws are still in place, though, as legislators consider how to change things. It is not certain that anything will change, though hope is strong that lawmakers will realize what an important thing this is and to the vitality of the beer marketplace.
Oregon is not the only state where laws are changing. South Carolina changed several laws regarding the sale of beer, including the ability of breweries to sell beer from their property in an effort to help the craft brew industry in the state grow. Other areas are also changing legislation to benefit craft brewers. For instance, some laws in Mississippi forbid certain types of beer from being made in the state at all. These include any beer that is over 5% ABW. Interestingly, Mississippi is one of the only states that still has not legalized home brewing.
Even Utah, long one of the most conservative states where alcohol of any type was concerned, is beginning to ease their strict limitations. For instance, bartenders in Utah are now legally able to pass a drink directly to a customer, and you are no longer required to be a paying member of a "club" in order to buy a drink.
It's hoped that the easing of these laws will help the craft brew industry as a whole grow and prosper.
allow transportation,craft brew industry,homebrewed beer,craft brewers
Once upon a time, Oregon brewers were pretty much able to do what they wanted with their products. Beer judging contests were held at state fairs, and brewers joined each other at clubs for tastings and note exchanges. However, the Department of Justice put a stop to all that by mandating that all homebrewed beer be consumed where it was brewed.