Beer Law: Drinking Home Brew With Friends? Thank WAHA.
If you are at home this evening, tasting a wonderfully hand-crafted ale provided to you by your neighbor – you can thank the Washington Homebrewers Association (WAHA). That’s right, shake their hand.
Washington state law (RCW 66.12.010) exempts home brewed beer from the restraints of licensing, as long as its used for personal consumption. Thus, home brewing is legal. But, Washington’s prior RCW 66.28.140 heavily restrained the use and consumption of that legally home brewed beer.
Without a license to produce and sell beer, your beer was only to be personally consumed. Furthermore, you could only transport a small amount of beer (1 gallon) for purposes of any home brewing competition. The worst part – only the judge could taste your beer!
But then came WAHA with a proposition: lets change the law. And so they did, pushing reasonable legislative language with the generous backing of Senator Ken Jacobsen.
In early 2009, language was proposed to change 66.28.140, under SB 5060. The proposed bill moved quickly through the Legislature and was signed into law in May 2009. The change went into effect on July 26, 2009.
The verdict is our new RCW 66.28.140 – a reasonable and fair home brew law. The new law allows us share home brew amongst friends, allow others to taste samples at events, and allow to wheel your keg over to the neighbors for Sunday’s big game.
Here are the technical permissions:
you can remove home brew….
(a) as long as the quantity removed does not exceed twenty gallons;
(b) as long as its not removed for sale; and
(c) as long as it for private use (which includes use at organized affairs, exhibitions, or competitions)
So, take a moment today and thank WAHA for ridding Washington of an old and archaic law that restricted the right to share your home brew. Thanks to a wonderfully driven group of normal citizens, I am sitting here this evening enjoying a nice glass of my neighbor’s IPA.