St. Louis Bans Homebrew from Local Beer Festival


The St. Louis Brewers Heritage Festival kicks off this Friday. The idea is to showcase the great local breweries of the Gateway to the West. In preparation, local homebrew clubs like the Garage Brewers and the East Side Brewers whipped up hundreds of gallons of their best suds to share with beer-seekers from around the nation as well.

On Monday, St. Louis Excise Commissioner Robert Kraiberg told the festival organizers that they couldn't allow the homebrews to be served at an event where tickets were sold. That would be tantamount to reselling the beer, the commissioner said, which is iillegal. 

The response from festival participants and organizers: Thank you, sir! May I have another?

"The good things is, we now have clarity from the Excise Division that homebrewed beers from unlicensed brewers are not legal at paid beer festivals," [Schlafly CEO Dan Kopman] told the Post-Dispatch on Monday night.

When festival organizers are pleased to finally have clarity that their plans are illegal mere days before the party kicks off, we are in a bad way. But Kopman and others remain optimistic thoes unfair and silly rules can be changed. Here's the rest of that quote above.

 "The bad news, of course, is that this was a very cool part of Heritage Festival, and we may have to introduce a bill in the state legislature or else find another solution."

I guess he hasn't been talking with his local the food truck owners.

Via Mark Sletten.

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  1. I've never been to a festival that's open to the public which allows for distribution of the concoctions of homebrewers. Given the licensing regimes around alcohol, this is neither unsurprising nor particularly upsetting. Homebrewers usually share their wares in more private settings that don't involve public admission and the exchange of funds.

    It might have been a nice feature at this particular festival. But it's illegality is not surprising in the slightest. And I doubt they'll get much traction in legalizing it. Nor do I think it's really worth the effort.

    1. What a sad place you must live in. In Texas, there are several pay festivals where homebrewers are welcome.

      They aren't allowed to "sell" you their beer, but they provide plenty of free samples in exchange for voluntary donations.

    2. In Maryland, we take "donations" from the general public in order for them to be "judges" in a home-brew "competition". My and other homebrew clubs do this routinely without problems.

    3. In beer backwards TN we are allowed to take our homebrew to festivals. People buy a ticket to the festival, not our beer specifically.

  2. So, if selling a ticket to a beer festival is equivalent to selling beer, is selling a ticket to a gun show the equivalent of selling a gun?

    1. Dammit RC, you may have just alerted gun-grabbers to a new tactic.

    2. Is selling a ticket to a movie the same as selling the movie?

      1. So, bootlegging is really just backing-up your purchase.

        *dusts off hands*

    3. Do the gun show venders give you free guns?

    4. The last beer festival I went to I was given a 4oz glass and ten tickets. One expensive 40oz beer if you ask me.

      Gun shows are an opportunity to buy guns, but you don't get a gun for going through the door.

      Short answer: no.

      1. ....but you don't get a gun for going through the door

        I would attend more regularly were this the case.

  3. Nothing harmful to you can grow in beer. The alcohol and the acidity of beer take care of that. There is zero public health reason to ban the sale of home brewed beer.

    1. It's not about public health. It's about taxes.

      Alcohol changing hands without the government getting paid?


    2. I beg to differ. I've seen some horrifying blooms in homebrewed beer.

      1. Nothing harmful to you can grow in beer.

        If you choked down a moldy beer you may end up with the atomic shits, but you're not going to die.

        1. Milwaukee's Beast: Nasty as shit, but it can't kill you!

          1. One of the benefits of beer, way back when it was first created, was that it made for something safe to drink, and then on top of that it had that added "buzz" benefit.

            1. First you boil it, then you make it toxic to pathogens!


              1. "Here's to alcohol: the cause of, and solution to, all of life's problems."

        2. If you were already on the verge of death from cholera or diptheria, and just ooonnnneeee shit away from dying when you began to recover, and then drank the moldy beer, *BAM* death.

          1. If you were smart and only drank beer, never touching water, you'd never get cholera or diphtheria in the first place!

            1. Touche, sir.

        3. um...so atomic shits aren't harmful, good to know. Wait what?

          1. It ain't gonna kill ya.

            Nothing harmful to you No known pathogens can grow in beer.

            Better, oh PedanticPriestess?

            1. Mr. Pot meets Mr. Kettle.

    3. Saw a show on brewing (NatGeo?), where they started with actual pond water.

      The final beer was perfectly safe to drink.

      1. Was thinking about getting into a little beer brewing. The water in Phoenix is notorious for its algae flavor (the algae is gone, it's scent and taste remains). I have one of those Pur filters on my tap where I can switch it on and off. That takes care of the algae flavor.

        So can I simply use the unfiltered tap water for the beer with no ill effects?

        1. You won't have any ill effects, but it might not taste that great.

          The end product is only as good as the ingredients.

          1. I wonder if it might give it a unique flavor...

            1. I'm sure you could toss some nori in there to accent the notes of algae, though I doubt you'll make an friends by sharing it.

        2. Yes, water is the main ingredient so it is an important part of the flavor.

        3. That which doesn't kill you gives you a badass immunity system in return.

      2. I've never brewed without first boiling all the water. The biggest pain with this is cooling it off so that it doesn't kill the yeast.

  4. Obviously the solution is to let in people for free who can only sample the homebrewed beer. Tiered admission.

  5. Given the homebrewers can probably document that they receive no money, and probably have to pay to exhibit there, the idea that the festival organizers are getting paid means beer is being sold is a hell of a stretch.

  6. Given the licensing regimes around alcohol, this is neither unsurprising nor particularly upsetting.

    Surprising? No.

    The day it stops being upsetting though, I'll join you in your statist bootlicking. Though, since the alcohol regulation regime is nothing more than kickbacks to organized crime, I guess it's not statist bootlicking, but more like mobster-shoe-shining.

  7. Also, I'm still impatient for the impending end of civilization.

    Fending off barbarians can't be any worse than the current situation.

    1. (at least you have a chance with the barbarians)

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