SB 444 passes in the House
SALEM— Home brew competitions at the Oregon State Fair and local county fairs across the state will be back this summer following passage of SB 444, according to Oregon House Co-Speakers Arnie Roblan and Bruce Hanna.
The bill changes a prohibition-era law that was recently reinterpreted by the Oregon Liquor Control Commission that caused the Oregon State Fair to cancel home beer and wine events, including the 23rd annual Amateur Beer Competition, last year.
The Department of Justice opinion said that while Oregonians could brew beer and craft wine at home, they couldn’t share it beyond that. SB 444 also clarifies that those who brew craft beer or wine at home can share it with friends and neighbors.
“This bill is a great example of legislators coming together to fix an unintended consequence of state liquor law. Local events should be able to feature local home brewers and this bill puts us back on the right track.” Co-Speaker Hanna said.
State Rep. Mike Schaufler (D-Happy Valley), Co-Chair of the House Committee on Business and Labor, thanked Senator Floyd Prozanski for his work on the issue.
“This bill stops in its tracks a misguided legal opinion that shut down competitions at fairs all over Oregon,” Rep. Schaufler said. “This legislation ensures that home brewers can share their products and that the growing craft beer industry gets a boost. The return of these competitions at local county fairs is welcome news for home brewers and their fans.”
Roblan said the bill made clear that a prohibition-era law used to shut down the competitions last year was not necessary in today’s regulatory environment:
“Oregonians can welcome the return of local home brew contests at the Oregon State Fair and in their local communities,” Co-Speaker Roblan said. “Craft brewers can now share their products with friends and be assured that they will not run afoul of Oregon law. This prohibition-era law should not have stopped these local competitions and we have fixed it.”
Rep. Bill Kennemer (R-Oregon City), Co-Chair of the House Committee on Business and Labor, added, “This is a great bill that restores the ability of home brewers to engage in a hobby and competitions that have become such a big part of Oregon’s home brew success. I am grateful for the home brewers and legislators who worked together to craft a solution, and am glad to see it pass the House will such a strong showing of support.”