Capitol Alert

Home brewers toast new law

It took the people who make beer at home a few days to get around to this, but the American Homebrewers Association issued a statement Wednesday praising the enactment of a California law that will let them gather in San Diego next year, after all.

The conference, billed by the association as the world’s largest gathering of home brewers, was in jeopardy of moving out of state as a result of legislation last year that – apparently inadvertently – would have turned such gatherings dry.

That legislation authorized the donation of homemade beer or wine to nonprofit organizations for fundraising events, but it excluded organizations that exist to promote home brewing or home winemaking. Home brewers were forced to cancel a Southern California festival this year.

But the drought will soon be over. Lawmakers this month voted without dissent to approve Assembly Bill 2609, which allows home brewing and home winemaking organizations to serve drinks. Gov. Jerry Brown signed the legislation last week.

In a prepared statement, Gary Glass, director of the American Homebrewers Association, said California “has been central to the growth of homebrewing – as a hobby, a business and a community.”

AB 2609’s enactment, Glass said, will let people “continue innovating, learning and sharing their craft through events organized by homebrewers for homebrewers.”

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