Urgent action needed to save the Southern CA Homebrewer’s Festival!

We need the help of all club members to save the SCHF from being shut down. The SCHF is held the first weekend of May every year, for the past 23 years. Over 40 homebrew clubs gather at Lake Casitas in Ojai to discuss the hobby and share their beers.

In October of 2013, bill AB 1425 went into effect to help non-profit organizations raise money by legally selling homemade wine and beer. However, there is a section which states that a non-profit established for promoting homebrewing or whose members is composed primarily of homebrewers shall not be eligible. This was not the intention of the Committee on Governmental Organization to exclude our event. The ABC has interpreted this to mean our festival is illegal, and they will not issue the permit required for the event.

So what can you do? I’m so glad you asked!

1. Go here to read the bill yourself and get a better understanding. AB 1425

2. Learn who your State Assembly Member and State Senator are by going here and entering your address. Go to their websites to get their contact info, and then write/call/fax them asking for help amending the bill and changing the ABC’s negative interpretation of AB 1425 so the festival may proceed as planned. A form letter is below, add your personal info in the first paragraph, and explain what homebrewing and/or the festival mean to you. Stay respectful and professional. It is their job to listen to their constituents,

3. Inform the California Homebrewer’s Association board whom you have contacted, so they know which state reps have been asked for help. Send an email to marlajo@calhomebrewers.org

4. Visit the California Homebrewer’s Association website to stay posted on the latest news and/or donate to the CHA legal fund.

Thank you in advance for your help! Time is short, so do not delay. Contact your reps right away!

Here is the form letter to use. The second one is shorter, since there is a limit on length when submitting on your reps website.

January 22, 2014
Honorable
«AddressBlock»
Dear   :
Subject:  Need immediate relief from ABC’s negative interpretation of regulations targeting homebrewed beer in AB 1425 for the Southern California Homebrewers Festival
I (work in/live in/am a member of a club in/support homebrew events in) the (Assembly/Senate) District you serve and am requesting your urgent attention to amending AB 1425 which was recently passed and signed into law.  This Committee Bill, introduced by the Committee on Governmental Organizations, establishes new statutes for home-made beer and wine. Subsequent to the Governor approving the bill on October 1, 2013, the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) has notified the California Homebrewers Association that our annual festival is now illegal.
The Southern California Homebrewers Association Festival has been held annually for the past 23 years and has become the premier event for awareness and attention to the hobby of homebrewing.  At the festival, Southern California homebrewing clubs come together to learn, discuss, and share our appreciation for the hobby. Sampling of different styles of brewing is imperative to learning the intricacies and science of homebrewing and allows homebrew clubs throughout the state to showcase their best artistry.
Our festival has grown to approximately 2,000 members and is scheduled to be held May 2-3, 2014 at the Lake Casitas Recreation Area outside of Ojai. Admission to the event is restricted to members only and has a 23-year track record of responsible citizenship. Our members are proud to help support the local community during their off-season, filling the Lake Casitas campsites on an off-peak weekend and spending well over $120,000 over the course of the event.
The California Homebrewers Association has been a non-profit organization in California since 1997. The California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control has interpreted the law to say that “personal use” and “exhibitions” do not apply to our festival. Further, they have determined that our annual membership dues should be viewed as purchased “tickets” to the festival. The rigid interpretation of AB 1425 describes our event as something it is not and was never intended to be. We do not sell tickets or solicit non-members to attend our event.  It is geared exclusively to enthusiasts.
We desperately need your help in repairing the damage inadvertently done by AB 1425 and with our event only 3 months away we need your intervention immediately.
Sincerely,
Name, address
 ——
Dear <Assemblyman/Sentaor>,
Relief from ABC’s interpretation of AB 1425 for the Southern California Homebrewers Festival
You are my state <Assemblyman/Sentaor> representing me in the <XX>th <Assembly> District and I need your help in amending AB 1425, which recently became law.  This Committee Bill sets new statutes for home-made beer and wine and since the bill became law, the California ABC has notified the California Homebrewers Association (CHA) that our annual festival is now illegal.
The Southern California Homebrewers Association Festival has been held annually for the past 23 years and is the premier California event for homebrewers.  Homebrewing clubs come together to learn, discuss, and share our appreciation for the hobby. Sampling of different styles is important to learning the craft of homebrewing and allows homebrew clubs throughout the state to showcase their best artistry.
Our festival has grown to ~2000 people and is scheduled to be held May 2-3, 2014 at the Lake Casitas. Admission is restricted to members only and has a 23-year record of responsible citizenship. Our members help support the local community during their off-season by filling the Lake Casitas campsites and spending well over $120,000 over the course of the event.
The CHA has been a non-profit organization in California since 1997. The California ABC has interpreted AB 1425 to say that ‘personal use’ and ‘exhibitions’ do not apply to our festival. Further, they have determined that our annual membership are purchased ‘tickets’ to the festival. This rigid interpretation of AB 1425 describes our event as something it is not. We do not sell tickets or solicit non-members to attend our event.  It is geared exclusively to enthusiasts.
We desperately need your help in repairing the damage inadvertently done by AB 1425 and with our event only 3 months away we need your intervention immediately.
Sincerely,
<Your name and address>

 

February 1st Meeting – Brewer of the Year Contest & California Homebrew Festival Update @ The Glendale Tap

 

When: Saturday, February 1st, 2pm – 6pm
Where: The Glendale Tap, 4227 San Fernando Road, Glendale, Ca, 91204

Dear Yeastsiders,

This Saturday, February 1st, we will be having our Meeting at The Glendale Tap.  I had planned to have our meeting at the Morrison, right down the street, but there was a change in management so we had to change venues.  Sorry for the last minute change.  Thanks to Louie for securing the new meeting spot, and Brian from Glendale Tap for having us!  Please limit the Homebrew you bring to 1 bottle, so we can partake in the 50 plus beers available.  The last meeting we had at the Glendale Tap was lightly attended due to a massive accident right up the street, hopefully we won’t have a repeat of last year!  Please plan your transportation responsibly.

Style of the Month is up for grabs! 

If anyone has a beer that they would like to share and talk briefly about for meeting announcements, please let me know.  The first person to contact me will have the honors of presenting the Style of the Month.  All you would need to do is bring two 22oz bottles or one 64oz Growler of your delicious beer.  Moving forward, if you know you will have a beer available for a future meeting, see me and I will assign you the Style of the Month for that meeting.

Things to bring to Saturday’s Meeting:

  • Tasting Glass (YSB glasses are for sale)
  • Homebrew
  • Snacks
  • Money or Credit Card for your Annual Dues

Competitions & Brewer of the Year Contest:

If you missed the first meeting of the year, then you may not know that we will be awarding an official “Yeastside Brewer of the Year” in 2014! This will be determined by ribbons won in 9 competitions throughout the year which we’ll refer to as “The Majors.” These are LA local or nationwide events. They are:
– The Doug King Memorial – Congrats to Jeff Koehler for his 1st Place Munich Dunkel and Ward Walkup IV for his 1st and 2nd Place Speciality Beer!  Looks like Ward is taking the early lead in the contest.
– America’s Finest City due Feb 12th
– AHA Nationals (which will earn points for ribbons in the first round and medals in the second round, see below for more info)
– Mayfaire due mid-April
– CA State Fair due May
– SoCal Regional due July
– LA County Fair due July
– Pacific Brewers Cup due late August
– CA State Homebrew comp due October.
These dates are approximate based on previous years. A 1st place ribbon earns 3 points, 2nd place is points, and 3rd place is 1 point. Best of Show gets an additional 3 points, and runner up BOS is 2 more points, 2nd runner up is 1 point. Start brewing now, and enter those beers under Yeastside Brewers!
The AHA National competition is changing up procedures this year to avoid the rush to enter. You can register to enter up to 6 beers between 1/25 and 2/2. It doesn’t matter when you enter during those 7 days, which will avoid their server crashing like last year. More info can be found HERE.

California Homebrew Festival: May 2nd – 4th – TBD

As some of you know, The California Homebrew Festival is a great event that brings together Homebrewers from all over California.  If you haven’t been, it is a truly great way to meet fellow homebrewers, try some really unique beers, and represent the Yeastside Brewers in a meaningful way. This year, however, the event is in Jeopardy, and not the good Alex Trebek type ofJeopardy!  Please visit the California Homebrew Association for further details.  We will have a separate email that will go into more detail about what you can do to help.  Moving forward, we have to plan like the event is going to happen!  Here is what we need from you.

  • RSVP with Josh Jensen if you want to go to the Festival – We will start a list of people going and reserve spots for our camping site.  We have room for 40 or so people.  Camping fees and parking are not included in the cost of the Festival ticket.
  • We are in the process of building a Serving Station to Debut at the Festival, and we need to fill it with your Homebrew.  Start thinking about what you can have brewed and ready for the Festival.  We are trying to have a wide variety to offer so feel free to push your boundaries!  The more Kegs the merrier!
  • Look for future communication about the event as it comes out.

We have a backup plan for that weekend if the Festival is cancelled.  Our May Meeting would be the 3rd, or the 10th if the Festival goes on as planned.  More details to come!

Membership Dues:

As we start the New Year, it is that time of the year to collect Membership Dues.  Membership for the Year, which is required to attend meetings and participate in Club events and contests, is $24 for one and $36 for a couple.  Gayle, our new Treasurer, has made paying dues and buying merchandise 100% easier!  We will always accept cash, but we can now accept credit cards with our Square Reader!  Here are some of the wonderful items you can buy!

YSB Logo T-Shirts and Glasses for Sale:

  • Yeastside Brewers logo Tasting Glasses are for sale, $8 each, 3 for $20
  • New Yeastside Brewers Logo T-Shirt, sizes M to XXXL, $25
  • Yeastside Brewers T-Shirt, sizes M to XXXL, $20
  • Neck Lanyard, $5
  • Combo Tasting Glass and Neck Lanyard, $10

March’s meeting will be at a local brewery, TBD

I look forward to seeing you all this weekend.  Happy Brewing to you all, and see you on Saturday!

Cheers

Dave Ochoa – Yeastside Brewers President 2014