Illinois Homebrew Legislation Filed In IL House

In Beer News, Beer Politics by Ryan

State Representative Keith Farnham (D-Elgin) has formally introduced legislation to allow Illinois homebrewers to showcase their beers at festivals.

Homebrewers in the state have been doing this for years, but this year the Illinois Liquor Control Commission began cracking down on the practice saying the Illinois Liquor Control Act prohibits homebrew from being shared outside of the home.

Here is the synopsis of the bill, which is HB 6299:

Amends the Liquor Control Act of 1934. Defines “homemade beer” to mean a beer that was made by a person 21 years of age or older through his or her own efforts, at his or her place of residence, and not for a commercial purpose, but for consumption by that person or his or her family and guests or for use at an exhibition, demonstration, judging, tasting, sampling, contest, or competition authorized by the Act. Provides that the making of homemade beer does not require a license or permit under the Act if all of these apply: the brewer receives no compensation; the homemade beer is not sold or offered for sale; and the total quantity of homemade beer made, in a calendar year, by the person does not exceed 100 gallons if the household has only one person of legal drinking age or 200 gallons if the household has 2 or more persons of legal drinking age. Provides that homemade beer made in compliance with the Act may be used for purposes of an exhibition, demonstration, judging, tasting, sampling, contest, or competition, if the event is held at a private residence or on a licensed premises. Provides that an event held on a licensed premises by a licensee may require an admission charge, but no separate or additional fee may be charged for the consumption of homemade beer at the event. Provides that event admission charges may be partially used to provide prizes, but may not be divided in any fashion among the makers of the homemade beer who participate in the event. Provides that no admission fee and no charge for the consumption of homemade beer may be charged if the event is held at a private residence. Provides that the fact that a person is acting in a manner authorized under the Act is not, by itself, sufficient to constitute a public nuisance under the Act. Provides that if an authorized event is held on licensed premises, the licensee may allow the homemade beer to be stored on the premises if it is identified and kept separate from any other alcohol beverages. Provides that if an authorized event is held on licensed premises, other provisions of the Act, not inconsistent with the homemade beer provisions, apply. Makes other changes. Effective immediately.

As you can see the legislation goes to great lengths to define what a homebrewer is, what homemade beer is and how it can be included in beer festivals.

Lawmakers are not due back in Springfield until after the November election.

The Illinois legislature won’t meet again until the Fall Veto Session, which falls on the last week of November and first week in December. This is the earliest lawmakers could consider this legislation.


We wondered aloud, on twitter, if the 100-200 gallon cap is too low?

Apparently that is not up for debate. According to the Homebrewers Association, Mark Gres is correct:

(b) The production of beer per household, without payment of tax, for personal or family use may not exceed:

(1) 200 gallons per calendar year if there are two or more adults residing in the household, or

(2) 100 gallons per calendar year if there is only one adult residing in the household.

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About the Author



Equal parts beer nerd and policy geek, Ryan is now the curator of the Guys Drinking Beer cellar. The skills he once used to dig through the annals of state government as a political reporter are now put to use offering unique takes on barrel-aged stouts, years-old barleywines and 10 + year verticals.

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