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Tuesday, February 24, 2009

A New Amendment to the Homebrew Bill

There has been an amendment made to House Bill 51, the homebrew bill. The amendment limits the amount of homebrewed beverages allowed to be transported from home.
The amendment made on Feb. 23 by Sen. John Valentine, R-Orem, would limit the amount allowed to be transported out of the home for personal or family use to one liter of wine or 72 ounces of beer per person age 21 or over.

The amendment also would limit the amount that may be transported from home for judging on taste and quality to one ounce of wine or two ounces of beer per judge.
The bill's sponsor, Rep. Christine Johnson, approved of the changes.

The amended bill was approved by the Senate 25-2 and will be sent back to the House floor for approval.


Anonymous said...

I just love how our legislators can wave their pens and write laws that don't work in the real world.

So, you are allowed two ounces per judge. Since beer bottles are normally 12 oz or 22 oz in size, this would mean that Utah beer competitions would require a judging panel of 6 people for brewers to be legal in submitting a 12 oz bottle. A 2 ounce pour is a reasonable amount to judge, but to expect the brewer to send ONLY the amount needed for each judge is absurd.

Also the amendment limits the amount you can transport out of the home for personal use to 1 liter of wine, 72 ounces of heavy beer (6 - 12oz bottles) and 72 ounces of beer (3.2% or lighter). This is limited to each household member over 21, to a single carry in a calendar year.

(So, you really enjoyed my raspberry mead? Remind me to bring you another bottle next year.)

The solution to this type of idiotic carry restriction is to invite people over to the brewer's house and let friends and family carry out in their gut. Now that sounds like a major step forward.

While having home brewing become a legal activity is a major step forward, these carry restrictions will be ignored, unenforced and unenforceable. Only only thing that these carry rules will do is to keep AHA sanctioned competitions out of the State of Utah.

Anonymous said...

Dude, do you brew a raspberry mead? That sounds amazing. Oh and, those additions are stupid, and once again we take two steps forward and 1 1/2 back.

Mikey said...

It's a bad time for too much alcohol related legislation. The Mormons on the hill feel like things are slipping from their control. They need to express that they're still in charge. So, we take what we can get. And in a few years when it can be shown that this amendment to the bill is impracticable we'll try to re-amend the amendment.

Matt Hendry said...

Ha ha Im sure home brewers will wont follow this stupid amendment they will just care if homebrewing is legal or not in Utah .

Many Homebrewers with corny Kegs transport 5 gallons outside thier home to their friends parties .

Anonymous said...

This probably has more to do with my own political ignorance than with any fault of Rep. Johnson, but:

I wonder why she would approve of regressive changes to a bill that seemingly was going to pass anyway? Especially when those changes are unlikely to appease the small number of neo-prohibitionists who would never vote to legalize home brewing under any conditions.

Anonymous said...

Well, Rep. Johnson moved and succeeded to refuse to concur with the senate amendment today. She said there was an unintended consequence of some verbiage in it, so she was working with the sponsor of the senate amendment to resolve it. So this is delayed even longer.

And, of course, it's an unnecessary delay. The amendment is pointless. It's really sad that there are legislators who feel to nitpick to such an extent. I see no reason for the restrictions. Anything that can be done with homebrew is already possible with store bought alcohol. They're protecting no one outside of the state budget coffers with this bill. And even then they're not really because the amendment's provisions are unenforceable.

Anonymous said...

My guess is that the intent is to prevent kegs from being transported. However 1 six-pack per year is somewhat ridiculous. Perhaps they should just have the amendment say "no kegs."

Anonymous said...

Jeff, it's already illegal to have kegs anyway. I don't think the homebrew bill would have ever allowed a private person who doesn't have a license from having beer in a keg.

And if that beer is > ~4.0ABV, it'll still be illegal for any one to have a keg of that. Unless this passes: http://le.utah.gov/~2009/bills/hbillint/hb0349.htm

T said...

Yes Mikey, I totally agree, I think the Mormons on the hill are feeling like their power is slipping! I guess we'll take what we can get for now.

(Unfortunately for us homebrewers, we don't have the hospitality sector behind us -- although they are only fairing slightly better right now...)

calanan said...

The Utah Senate just posted their summary of the new alcohol-related bills at The Senate Site: Happy Hour.

Anonymous said...

Rep Johnson simply wasn't aware of the problems that this would cause for homebrewers who enter competitions. We contacted her and let her know of the problems and it was reverted back to some semblance of normalcy in the final bill.