Thought I’d pass this on…
Need immediate relief from ABC’s negative interpretation of regulations targeting homebrewed beer in AB 1425 for the Southern California Homebrewers Festival
Attention Reps and your Club Members:
You’ve heard that saying “If you aren’t part of the solution, you are part of the problem”? Well, now is your chance to be part of the solution to ensure our ability to hold our Homebrew Fest!
It is of the utmost importance that you press every one of your club members to write a letter to their Assembly Rep and their Senator NOW – don’t put it off or it could be too late. We need you to write even if your Assembly Rep or Senator were not a part of the GO committee. We have made it as easy as we can but it does take a few minutes on their part.
First, if you don’t know who your State Assembly member and/or State Senator is for your district, go to this link: http://findyourrep.legislature.ca.gov
You just add your address and your representative’s info will pop up. You can go directly to their website to get their contact information. Unfortunately, our sample letter below is too long to fit in their email form on their webpage but you can fax or send a hard copy.
We can’t stress enough the urgency and importance that each club member participates in this letter writing campaign. The politicians have been very responsive so far but we still have a lot to get done. This is YOUR Fest and now we need YOUR help!
Please follow the instructions – the first paragraph is for you to personalize the letter, giving your homebrewing experience, etc.
Instructions: Fill in proper areas with name of Assembly member or Senator and Address.
Use the first paragraph to speak about your tie-in with the homebrew community and feel free to add more background if you want.
Make sure it fits on one page
January __, 2014
Subject: Need immediate relief from ABC’s negative interpretation of regulations targeting homebrewed beer in AB 1425 for the Southern California Homebrewers Festival
I (work in/live in/am a member of a club in/support homebrew events in) the (Assembly/Senate) District you serve and am requesting your urgent attention to amending AB 1425 which was recently passed and signed into law. This Committee Bill, introduced by the Committee on Governmental Organizations, establishes new statutes for home-made beer and wine. Subsequent to the Governor approving the bill on October 1, 2013, the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) has notified the California Homebrewers Association that our annual festival is now illegal.
The Southern California Homebrewers Association Festival has been held annually for the past 23 years and has become the premier event for awareness and attention to the hobby of homebrewing. At the festival, Southern California homebrewing clubs come together to learn, discuss, and share our appreciation for the hobby. Sampling of different styles of brewing is imperative to learning the intricacies and science of homebrewing and allows homebrew clubs throughout the state to showcase their best artistry.
Our festival has grown to approximately 2,000 members and is scheduled to be held May 2-3, 2014 at the Lake Casitas Recreation Area outside of Ojai. Admission to the event is restricted to members only and has a 23-year track record of responsible citizenship. Our members are proud to help support the local community during their off-season, filling the Lake Casitas campsites on an off-peak weekend and spending well over $120,000 over the course of the event.
The California Homebrewers Association has been a non-profit organization in California since 1997. The California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control has interpreted the law to say that “personal use” and “exhibitions” do not apply to our festival. Further, they have determined that our annual membership dues should be viewed as purchased “tickets” to the festival. The rigid interpretation of AB 1425 describes our event as something it is not and was never intended to be. We do not sell tickets or solicit non-members to attend our event. It is geared exclusively to enthusiasts.
We desperately need your help in repairing the damage inadvertently done by AB 1425 and with our event only 3 months away we need your intervention immediately.