Homebrewers rejoice! Sharing beers with friends and homebrew clubs could… (Shauna Bittle/Chicago…)
An estimated 48,000 homebrewers in Illinois soon could be able to share their beers at competitions and festivals. HB 0630, a bill that ammends the state's Liquor Control Act, this week passed both chambers of the state legislature. It now heads to Gov. Pat Quinn for a signature.
Though amateur Illinois beer makers have for years entered their creations in homebrew competitions, these actions recently were deemed illegal under state laws.
Thanks to advocacy by homebrew groups, the bill unanimously passed both the Illinois House and Senate and will be effective immediately following the governor's signature.
Under the new rules, homebrewers would be allowed to share their beers with friends, family and homebrew groups as long as they do not charge money for them. The beers also will be legal for entry into festivals and competitions. If the beer is sold, it will require a $25 homebrewer special events permit.
The bill places limits on how much beer a homebrew can produce in a given year. The cap is 100 gallons for a household with one member of legal drinking age, and 200 gallons for a household with two members of legal drinking age—that's 800 pints and 1600 pints, respectively.
With Alabama's passage of homebrew legislation earlier this month, this marks the first time since Prohibition that homebrewing will be legal in all 50 states.
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