The Illinois Senate Executive Committee, Wednesday, unanimously approved bills impacting homebrewing in Illinois as well as legislation prohibiting a brewer from owning a distributor.
The homebrew legislation (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. Last year the Illinois Liquor Control Commission cracked down on homebrewers taking part in a Peoria beer festival, 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 three-tier legislation (HB 2606) would prohibit a brewer from owning a distributor in Illinois. The legislation specifically targets Anheuser-Busch, who holds a minority interest in Illinois distributor City Beverage. Prior to the bill passing the House Anheuser-Busch announced it would sell its 30 percent stake in the cluster of wholesalers by 2015.