SALEM, Ore. - Do-it-yourself beer and wine competitions are one step closer to being legal again in Oregon. A Senate committee Thursday advanced a measure that would restore the rights of homebrewers to show off their creations outside the home.
Oregonians love their beer, and some Oregonians love to make it themselves. Members of homebrew clubs had been entering their craft in festivals and competitions for decades.
That is, until the Oregon Liquor Control Commission last year put a stop to those events, even a decades-old competition at the Oregon State Fair. The agency cited a new legal opinion that effectively meant that amateur brewers couldn't take their beer outside the home without a license.
Tom Erwin: "Believe me the agency had a lot of angst all about this this last summer, and wanted to have a magic solution."
The OLCC's Tom Erwin says the only solution he sees is a bill from the legislature. Dennis Conn testified homebrewers like him just aren't into drinking alone.
Dennis Conn: "Of course we enjoy consuming the fruits of our labors, but even more than that we enjoy the culture of beer and homebrewers."
The measure would also apply to homemade wine. It now advances to the full Senate for a vote.
On the Web:
Oregon Senate Bill 444:
OLCC's Summer 2010 ruling:
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