What does AB 1425 say and why was it enacted?
AB1425 was introduced by the Assembly Committee on Governmental Organizations, and was originally intended to give California’s Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) guidance on certain non-controversial reporting requirements. The Committee was contacted during the process to include language that would help a non-profit group in northern California with a home wine-making charity event. Language was included to allow donations of homemade wine and beer to non-profits raising money for charities. However, in the process, wording was included that excludes non-profits that support homebrewers. The California Homebrewers Association (CHA) was incorporated in 1997 by and for homebrewers.
Why doesn’t AB 1425 help CHA if it is for non-profits?
The wording that specifically excludes non-profits that promote homebrewing or “whose membership is composed primarily of homebrewers…” is interpreted by ABC to include CHA, making our event illegal (ABC’s interpretation).
Why don’t we simply host the event and involve a charity in order to qualify?
There is additional wording in the law that says the non-profit event must be ”conducted solely by and for the benefit of the non-profit.” The charity would be required to completely host the event, including all of the costs. The income from CHA’s event each year carries over to pay the costs of the following year’s event, so there would be no funds available for our event within one year, under this scenario.
Why doesn’t our event qualify under the definition of “exhibition”?
We believe that we do, but ABC does not. Their narrow interpretation is that any removal of homebrew from personal premises, other than the charity donation in AB 1425, must be for competitions only, only judges may taste, and every attendee is not a judge.
What are we trying to accomplish?
First, the legislation needs amending to include definitions that protect the activities of homebrewers:
4) Club Meetings
Second, we need assistance from legislators to encourage ABC to find an interpretation of AB 1425 that will allow our event to move forward.
How can members help?
Write to your California Legislators and ask them to support the amendment of AB 1425 to protect homebrewers and the sharing of homebrewed beer and wine. Also ask them to encourage ABC to find an interpretation of AB 1425 that allows the 2014 event to move forward. Time is of the essence!
How do I find my Assemblymember and my Senator?
Go to : http://findyourrep.legislature.ca.gov/ You can find a sample letter in our archives, or compose your own, keeping in mind that we do not want to be seen as being negative. We want legislators to know how much we value our hobby—its creativity, technicality, artistry and the wonderful end product!