Winsconsin State Assembly Set to Rule on Hombrewer’s Rights

A fine homebrewing setup.It’s a different kind of Super Tuesday in Wisconsin today as the State Legislature is considering Senate Bill 395, which amends the Wisconsin Homebrew laws to allow homebrewers an express right to transport their brews for “contest, competition, or other event for the exhibition, demonstration, judging, tasting, or sampling of homemade wine or fermented malt beverages”.  So long as the homebrewer doesn’t sell the brew and so long as someone other than the homebrewer doesn’t acquire an ownership interest in the brew.

We would be nothing if we weren’t ardent liquor law geeks, so in true Libation Law Blog fashion, just like game day – or Dark Lord Day, if you prefer, we’ve got this link for you to the updated live written feed to the Wisconsin State Assembly.  And if you need video – here it is.

This bill is incredibly important for homebrewers and organizations that want to have tastings or hold homebrew competitions.

In the legislature’s own words:

This bill significantly modifies the standards for the production and use of homemade wine and beer for which a license or permit is not required and for which occupational taxes are not owed. Under the bill, “homemade” wine and beer is wine and beer made by a person’s own efforts and not for a commercial purpose, and is not limited to wine or beer made in the person’s home. Under the bill, no license or permit is required for the making of homemade wine or beer, and the possession, transportation, or storage of homemade wine or beer, if all of the following apply: 1) the person who makes the wine or beer receives no compensation; 2) the wine or beer is not sold or offered for sale; and 3) the total quantity of wine or beer made by the person and any other person living in the same household does not exceed 100 gallons or 200 gallons per calendar year, depending on how many persons of legal drinking age live in the household. If wine or beer is made in compliance with these requirements, this homemade wine or beer may also be used, without any license or permit, for purposes of exhibition, demonstration, judging, tasting, or sampling or as part of a contest or competition (collectively “home maker’s event”).

The bill also allows a person, including an alcohol beverage retailer or other permit holder, to conduct, sponsor, or host, at a public or private place under the control of the person, a home maker’s event if the person does not sell, or acquire any ownership interest in, the homemade wine or beer.

The bill passed the State Senate and is up today for passage in the State Assembly.  Don’t worry if you can’t follow the exciting session online, we’ll certainly let you know how it goes.

Ashley Brandt

Hi there! I’m happy you’re here. My name is Ashley Brandt and I’m an attorney in Chicago representing clients in the Food and Beverage, Advertising, Media, and Real Estate industries. A while back I kept getting calls and questions from industry professionals and attorneys looking for advice and information on a fun and unique area of law that I’m lucky enough to practice in. These calls represented a serious lack of, and need for, some answers, news, and information on the legal aspects of marketing and media. I've got this deep seeded belief that information should be readily available and that the greatest benefit from the information age is open access to knowledge... so ... this blog seemed like the best way to accomplish that. I enjoy being an attorney and it’s given me some amazing opportunities, wonderful experiences, and an appreciation and love for this work. I live in Chicago and work at an exceptional law firm, Goldstein & McClintock, with some truly brilliant people. Feel free to contact me at any time with any issues, comments, concerns… frankly, after reading this far, I hope you take the time to at least let me know what you think about the blog and how I can make it a better resource.

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