Washington Homemade Beer and Wine Makers,
Raise a glass of homebrew in celebration!
At 2:00 on May 6th Governor Gregoire signed Senate Bill 5060 in the presence of Mark Emiley, Tim Hayner, and Tom Schmidlin, the three founding members of Washington Homebrewers Association. Starting July 26th (estimate) it will be legal to enjoy your homemade beer and wine in private, but as a community! This is a great day for homebrewing in Washington!
The wording of the final bill can be found here (http://apps.leg.wa.gov/documents/billdocs/2009-10/Pdf/Bills/Senate%20Passed%20Legislature/5060.PL.pdf) but in short, by law, you will be able to finally LEGALLY take your homemade beer and wine out of your house to enjoy privately with your friends, family, and very importantly, organized events like club meetings (and of course competitions or exhibitions). The constraint on only judges tasting the beer or wine is gone and the impossible restriction on returning beers or wines from competitions is gone. Also, very importantly, the limit of 1 gallon has been raised to 20 gallons which will mean that transportation in kegs will finally be legal.
Thank you to everyone who made the calls and sent the messages. Thanks to everyone's effort, we made this homebrewed bill successful.
Now that we are done with this effort, WE WANT YOU TO DO TWO LAST THINGS!!! First of all, none of this would have been possible without Senator Jacobsen agreeing to sponsor this bill and that wouldn't have been possible without Arlen Harris helping connect us. Please take a minute to either call (360) 786-7690) or e-mail (http://www1.leg.wa.gov/senate/Jacobsen) Senator Jacobsen and let him know how much you appreciate his sponsorship.
If you see Arlen around, please thank him for his help! (He always appreciates some good homebrew). Arlen has already helped changed the face of Washington craft brewing and through his help with connecting us with Senator Jacobsen has helped advanced our homebrewing community. Thanks, Arlen.
Also, more than likely your legislators voted for the bill (there were only three representatives who didn't, you can view the bill roll calls here: http://apps.leg.wa.gov/billinfo/Summary.aspx?bill=5060&year=2009). Take another minute and call or e-mail them to let you know that you appreciate their support. By letting them know that the homemade beer and wine communities noticed, they'll keep us in mind in future bills. They know we exist (and can be loud when we need to). Don't let them forget.
Congratulations again on gaining a new right. The right to bear homebrew!
WAHA Executive Chair