Restrictions On Distribution Frustrate Home Beer Brewers

ELGIN, Ill. (CBS) — Brewing beer at home is perfectly legal, but state officials are issuing a reminder that offering homebrew at a public event is not.

As WBBM Newsradio’s Nick Young explains, the Illinois Liquor Control Commission’s getting tough — using a law on the books that says homebrewers may share their beer with family, friends and guests in their home, but not at a public setting, the Elgin Courier-News reports.

The law applies even if homebrewers aren’t making money off giving away samples. They are prohibited, period.

One example is the Silverado Homebrew Club in St. Charles, whose members had been invited to the Wheaton Ale Fest next weekend, but were later told they couldn’t give out samples because of the law, the Courier-News reports.

The club also has been invited to a fundraising event in Elgin on Sept. 15. Though all the proceeds go to a recreation youth scholarship fund — Liquor Control Commission spokeswoman Susan Hofer tells the Courier-News the club would still be in violation of the law if it hands out samples.

A state lawmaker, Rep. Keith Farnham (D-Elgin), tells the newspaper that perhaps it’s time to rewrite the statute.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Nick Young reports

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