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Wisconsin Homebrewer Legislative Alert/ Call to Action

Dear Fellow Wisconsin Homebrewers:

As some of you may be aware, there have been some developments in the past year with how the WI Department of Revenue interprets the current State Statues relative to homebrewing. The current statutes can be found here : … s/125/I/06 . If you take a strict interpretation of those statues, the only place one can make or enjoy your own home brewed beer is at your home or farm. This means you could not legally brew a beer and hand it over your fence to your neighbor. The Wisconsin statues are outdated and not conforming with the overall Federal statutes regarding homebrewing. you can review the AHA’s copy of the Federal Statues here: … ted-states . One of the highlights of the Federal Statute is the following section:

§ 25.206 Removal of beer.

Beer made under §25.205 may be removed from the premises where made for personal or family use including use at organized affairs, exhibitions or competitions such as homemaker’s contests, tastings or judging. Beer removed under this section may not be sold or offered for sale.

All of those activities are not allowed by Wisconsin statute. So the State Fair beer and wine completions would not be allowed, tastings and homebrew club meetings would also not be allowed.

A group was formed earlier this year to address these problems. The AHA formed the Wisconsin Homebrewer’s Alliance. The group was comprised of a member from as many homebrew clubs as we could find contacts for, homebrew shop owners, etc. This group has worked to introduce legislation to the Wisconsin Senate to correct these deficiencies. We have been asked to voice our support to our State Senators and Assembly members in support of this legislation. The proposed legislation can be found here: … _31011.pdf

Now is the time for all Wisconsin Homebrewer’s to take action and ask for your representative’s to support this bill. Below is an except from an email to the Wisconsin Homebrewer’s Alliance from 1/5/2012:

"…Sen. Ellis’s office and a “Dear Colleague” letter is going out within minutes asking for co-sponsorship of our legislation. The co-sponsorship period is for 2 weeks starting from today. So, now is the time for all of our memberss to contact their respective Clubs to get them to contact both of their legislators. The most sponsors that we can get the better. The legislation is LRB 3101 The Ellis/Kaufert legislation. We can also contact breweries, distributors, homebrew shops, etc. We can also alert the press …

He did give me one word of warning. Time is running short. The January floor period is taken up already leaving only February and March. The legislature is going to shut ASAP due to the recalls."

Find your local legislators here :

There were some issues with the links in the post. here are the proper links. ... s/125/I/06 ... ted-states ... _31011.pdf

Thanks. I’ll add that when contacting a legislator by mail or email, you must provide your name and address. When I contacted my representative, I received an auto-response email indicating that he may not read the email if a name and address wasn’t included. He also asked for a telephone number (which I provided, but according to the state’s website, is not required).

Howdy guys,
I made this topic a sticky so it would show up front and center for all the WI forum users.
I’ll likely return the post to normal status after a week.

Northern Brewer has also sent out an email to our Milwaukee store customer list with a similar call to action, and we are spreading the word via social media with this Connect post - … mebrewers/

Let’s get this turned around in WI!

I have contacted my appropriate Representative and Senators (Senators Carpenter and Lazic, Representative Krusic and Kuglitsch) and gotten responses back from Krusic and Kuglitsch.

Dear Tom,

Thank you for your e-mail supporting Legislative
Reference Bureau draft 3101 relating to home
brewing. I’ll review the details of the proposal.

Again, I appreciate you taking the time to let me
know your thoughts.


Peggy (Krusic)

Dear Tom,

Thank you for sharing your thoughts with me this morning. I have been reviewing this legislation and will continue to review should it come before me in Homeland Security and State Affairs. I have heard from a number of constituents on this issue and believe that our standards may be out dated and could use an updating. I will certainly keep your thoughts in mind should this legislation come before me.

Thanks for your time,

Mike (Kuglitsch)

They at least seem to be paying attention, but whether something gets done is another story.

[quote=“MilwaukeeBeerMaker”]Dear Tom,

Thank you for sharing your thoughts with me this morning. I have been reviewing this legislation and will continue to review should it come before me in Homeland Security :shock: and State Affairs. [/quote]This is a Homeland Security issue in WI? I’d call and make someone elaborate.

[quote=“Glug Master”][quote=“MilwaukeeBeerMaker”]Dear Tom,

Thank you for sharing your thoughts with me this morning. I have been reviewing this legislation and will continue to review should it come before me in Homeland Security :shock: and State Affairs. [/quote]This is a Homeland Security issue in WI? I’d call and make someone elaborate.[/quote]

I would think that is the name of a committee. Sometimes people get too cute. Say hi to Peggy and Tim for me.

I sure missed the homebrew island at last year’s Great Lakes Brew Fest! Maybe you guys can get it back with a change in the law! So if I bring a growler up on a fishing trip or my daughter takes a couple bottles back with her to college and wants to let someone try a homebrew, it’s illegal? That is so wrong.


That is the plan anyway. Hopefully we will succeed.

Proposal: SB-395 (11-3101)
Bill History:
Relating to: homemade wine and fermented malt beverages.
Senate Bill 395 has been scheduled for a public hearing by Committee on Energy, Biotechnology, and Consumer Protection in the Senate. Date/time: January 31, 2012 at 10:00 AM. Location: 330 Southwest.

It looks like our letters and calls paid off. If I read this correctly a home brewer should be able to do the following:

Can create 100 gallons per person and another 100 gallons if there are 2 people or more of legal drinking age in the residence.
Can legally transport homebrew
Can receive compensation for competitions

All of this is possible of course if you do not sell your beer or wine.

That is a correct summary of the bill. Please contact your Representatives and Senators to support this bill.

Dear AHA, Brewers Association and Support Your Local Brewery Members,

The American Homebrewers Association continues to support the efforts of the Wisconsin Homebrewers Alliance to change Wisconsin law to allow homebrew to be removed from the home where it was produced so that it can be shared with friends, brought to homebrew club meetings and entered into homebrew competitions.

Last year, the Wisconsin Department of Revenue determined that under existing Wisconsin law, homebrew cannot be consumed outside the home where it was produced.

Senate Bill 395, if passed, would lift current restrictions that prohibit homebrew from being transported outside of the home where it was made.

How Can You Help?
Senate Bill 395 is scheduled for a hearing before the Senate Energy, Biotechnology, and Consumer Protection Committee Tuesday, Jan. 31, at 10:00 a.m. in Room 330 Southwest in the Capitol. We ask you to take a few minutes to call or email the senators on the committee and politely urge them to pass SB 395. Contacting legislators is quick and easy, and every contact they receive from Wisconsin residents will help ensure success. A large audience of homebrewers at the meeting will send a strong message that this is important legislation, so please consider attending the hearing if possible.

Senate Energy, Biotechnology, and Consumer Protection Committee
Senator Cowles (Chair),, (608) 266-0484
Senator Kedzie (Vice-Chair),, (608) 266-2635
Senator Wanggaard,, (608) 266-1832
Senator Wirch,, (608) 267-897
Senator Hansen,, (608) 266-5670

Please act now! There is a very limited window of opportunity to get this bill heard before the legislature shuts down due to recalls.

Thank you for your support of homebrewing. Your action could make the difference in whether or not this legislation becomes law. Please forward this message to any other Wisconsin residents or businesses that you feel would be interested in supporting this bill.

It’s coming up for a vote today 2/15/12 according to the morning news.

The Senate voted yesterday. It passed 32-1 With Sen. Fitzgerlad as the lone no vote. On to the Assembly and the other Fitzgerlad.

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