Pending changes to Georgia homebrewing laws

Beer! Beer! Beer!

Beer! Beer! Beer!

I know changes to laws aren’t generally in our favor but from all I’ve heard the pending changes are actually (mostly) good for us homebrewers.  Georgia HB737 has been approved by the Senate and the House and is now on its way to the governor for approval.

One of the positive changes to come of this is that GA homebrewers will now be allowed to legally transport up to 128 oz of their brews to non-homebrew events without a permit, provided you follow a few guidelines.   Some conflicting verbiage was removed and/or reworded.  Here’s the main bullet points of the law but please be sure to read it and understand the legal requirements for homebrewing.  As a disclaimer I have very little clue what the hell I’m talking about when it comes to laws and lawmaking, but I’ve made a solid effort to gather these details as accurately as possible.  If I misrepresented something please let me know.

Production/Consumption of Malt Beverages

  • Up to 100 gallons per calendar year if there is only one person of legal drinking age living at the residence
  • Up to 200 gallons per calendar year if there are two or more persons of legal drinking age living at the residence
  • No more than 50 gallons produced during any 90 day period
  • May only be consumed at the residence where produced by people of legal drinking age

Transportation to Homebrew Special Events

  • Up to 25 gallons may be transported to homebrew special events and must be labeled with the following information
    • The name of the producer
    • The address of the residence where it was produced
    • The name and address of the homebrew special event where it is being transported
    • The permit number under which the homebrew special event is being held
  • If transported in a motor vehicle, the containers must be sealed and placed in a locked glove compartment, locked trunk, or in the area behind the last upright seat of a motor vehicle not equipped with a trunk.

Transportation to non-Homebrew Special Events

  • Up to 128 oz may be transported, in sealed containers, to a location not licensed under this title (no transportation to a bottle shop, growler shop, brewery, bar, etc.) or issued a homebrew special event permit and must be labeled with the following information
    • The name of the producer
    • The address of the residence at which it was produced
  • If transported in a motor vehicle, the containers must be sealed and placed in a locked glove compartment, locked trunk, or in the area behind the last upright seat of a motor vehicle not equipped with a trunk.

Issuance of Permits for Homebrew Special Events

  • Local governing authority is responsible for issuing permits and passing ordinances that specify what homebrew special events are included
  • Cost of a permit will be $50.00, and shall not be valid for more than six events per calendar year
  • Homebrew special events shall not be held at any location licensed under this title
  • Malt beverages consumed at these events shall be limited solely to beverages produced pursuant to this code and shall only be consumed by participants in and and judges of the homebrew special event

Again, this still has to be signed into law but it’s passed the major hurdles.  A lot of this is already law (like brewing limits) with a few new additions.  We still have people fighting not only to help us keep the right to brew but to give us more freedom with the beer we brew.  With these laws it’s actually easier to carry a gun in your vehicle than it is a bottle of homebrew, at least we’re making some progress.

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