About Home Brewing Competitions
by Joy Spencer
The Oregon Liquor Control Commission was recently asked whether certain public competitions involving home made alcohol products were in compliance with the law. We provided guidance to the State Fair and other licensees which stated that such competitions were not authorized because they did not fall within the requirements of this statute ORS 471.403 clearly states that the Liquor Control Act (including the requirement for a liquor license) applies except for beer "brewed in the home for home consumption and not for sale".
The Department of Justice’s guidance certainly requires us to look at the competitions in a different way than we have before. It’s completely understandable that home beer and wine makers would be disappointed. We know how important the home brew and wine competitions are for artisans and professional hopefuls. We expect a final analysis from the Department of Justice next week. Although we are hopeful that there may be some other way of interpreting this statute to allow these events to continue, we anticipate that the initial analysis will stand.
The OLCC is already working with Representative Mike Schaufler and Senator Floyd Prozanski to draft language for legislative consideration in the next session.