Cheers: Homebrew fetes are back in California

Local homebrew festivals are back on tap for California in 2015.

A law approved by the Legislature and signed by the governor this week makes it legal, once again, for homebrewing associations to host homebrew events in California.

These get-togethers were banned in the state last year by a technical cleanup bill intended, lawmakers said, to help home brewers share their products and increase awareness of small breweries.

But the legislative committee that wrote the bill didn’t foresee that the Department of Alcohol and Beverage Control would interpret its language as excluding local festivals.

In a statement to the ABC, Assemblyman Brian Nestande, R-Palm Desert, the vice chair of the Governmental Organizational Committee that authored the legislation, wrote: “It appears that there is a misinterpretation of the Committee’s intent with this bill.”

To rescind the unintended ban, Nestande authored AB 2609, which goes in effect Jan. 1, and will affirm the legality of such conventions.

That means the 37th annual 2015 National Homebrewers Conference, dubbed by the AHA as the world’s largest gathering of homebrewers, will be held in San Diego next June.

“We’re thrilled to be able to bring the 2015 National Homebrewers Conference to San Diego,” AHA Director Gary Glass said in a statement. “California has been central to the growth of homebrewing—as a hobby, a business and a community. The passage of AB 2609 provides homebrewers the opportunity to continue innovating, learning and sharing their craft through events organized by homebrewers for homebrewers.”

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