Written by Barbara Rodriguez for The Associated Press
Madison, Wis. (AP) — About the only thing Kevin Flynn enjoys more than drinking his home-brewed beer is sharing it with fellow beer club members at festivals and tasting competitions. So Flynn and his buddies were shocked to discover that Wisconsin law prohibits sharing homemade suds anywhere outside the brewer’s home.
The law could “pretty much be the end of competitions in Wisconsin,” he lamented. “At least legal ones.”
An explosion of interest in home brewing is forcing lawmakers across the country to review long-forgotten alcohol laws, some of which date back to Prohibition. Although the old rules have rarely been enforced, beer enthusiasts fear they could criminalize the rapidly growing hobby and kill scores of annual tasting events that bring tourists to small towns and cities.
In Wisconsin, Flynn and other home brewers may soon be off the hook. The state Legislature last week passed a bill to allow them to transport homemade beer and wine and to share it with other adults. Brewers will still not be permitted to sell anything they make, and they will remain exempt from permit requirements and taxes.
Written by Dan Murphy for al.com and The Press Register
Editor’s Note: BW Beer Writer Dan Murphy and photographer Michael Dumas spent a weekend in early March touring all six of Alabama’s operating breweries. This is the first installment of a series of columns focusing on the state’s budding beer culture.
Two years ago, Stone Brewing Co. made a video announcing a new product called BrewDog/Stone Luciferin Golden Imperial Stout, a strong golden ale brewed with coffee and cacao nibs to mimic the flavor of a much deeper-hued beer. Only 2,000 bottles were packaged, each with a blindfold attached so buyers could conduct their own “blind” tastings and surprise their friends.
A few news services might have picked up the item, but if they had checked the dateline, April Fool’s Day, they would have known they were being pranked. A golden stout? C’mon.
Except that Barrett Lauer, head brewer at the District ChopHouse & Brewery, has actually crafted a beer along those lines: “a light-colored beer that tastes dark,” as he phrases it.