The bill (HB 630) defines homebrewed beer, would allow homebrew to be consumed outside of the home it was brewed in and would also allow homebrewers to take part in contests and be included in festivals.
The legislation was introduced in response to the Illinois Liquor Control Commission’s crackdown on homebrewers taking part in beer festivals. The Commission gave homebrewed beer the boot from a Peoria beer festival last year saying current law only allows beer brewed at home to be consumed in the home.
The legislation also allows homebrew shops to hold classes and sample beer brewed by customers to help them tweak recipes and offer tips.
The homebrew shop portion of the legislation was hashed out by Brew and Grow’s John Beystehner while the Illinois Homebrew Alliance’s Peter J. Rzeminski II, of the PALE Homebrew Club, led the negotiations on the homebrewer portion. Both worked in conjunction with the Associated Beer Distributors of Illinois to iron out any differences before the legislation was drafted.
Rzeminski II, in an emailed response to Guys Drinking Beer, says they are ecstatic the legislation has cleared both the House and Senate. “The IHA wants to thank all the members of the General Assembly for helping expand the rights of Illinois Homebrewers,” said Rzeminski II.
The legislation now awaits Governor Pat Quinn’s signature.