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Monday, June 28, 2010

OLCC Cancels Homebrew Contest at State Fair

The OLCC, apparently believing its approval rating was edging toward double digits, made sure it was still the number one most hated agency today, canceling competitions at the State Fair for homebrew and home-vinted wine. The wine competition has been going on for 30 years, the homebrew version for 22.
"The issue has to do with the judging," Bradley said Monday. "Judges are considered the public, and we cannot have the public tasting amateur wine or beer."

Earlier this year, we're told a county fair official asked the Oregon Liquor Control Commission about whether the 30-some-year-old Oregon law indeed made it illegal for members of the public to taste home-brewed beer. Over the past month, officials with the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department then worked with the OLCC and the Department of Justice to find a way to hold the event and still comply with state law, but were unable to so.... The irony is the Oregon State Fair has been holding this home brew competition for years under the same law that is now being interpreted to make the competition illegal.
To be clear: this is merely a re-interpretation of settled law that appears to bother no one. On the other hand, that KATU article was posted two hours ago, and there are already 19 comments. On the Brew Crew homebrew listserv, where I found out about the law, there have already been 18 emails. Clearly a LOT of people are going to be mightily pissed off about this.

Remind me once again--why do we fund the OLCC?

6 comments:

facesofdave said...

Call me a conspiracist, but re-interpretation without a clear public complaint motivating the act seems like an agenda waiting to happen.

Jon said...

Was "Jason Evers" involved somehow? ;)

dr wort said...

This is the stupidest thing I've ever heard! A new ass-backward low for the state of Oregon. Can Oregon look any more like a pathetic Nanny State? Will I have to call State Reps to come chew my food for me next?

I'm totally blown away! The law is 30 years old and the OLCC just figured it applies now!? Now, that is amazingly incompetent! Do they not even understand their own laws!!!

It's time to shut down the OLCC! State controlled Liquor is ridiculous and seems to benefit the state more than anybody else. Take Liquor out the States hands!!!!

Chris said...

Hey Jeff,

I agree that this is stupid, but frankly it's hard to hate the OLCC in this case because they simply interpret laws that the legislature passes.

Also, as for "why we fund them", it should be pointed out that the OLCC and the lottery commission are the only two agencies in OR (that I'm aware of) that are profitable. The OLCC brings in so much tax revenue that they disbursed over $155 million in 2008.

http://www.oregon.gov/OLCC/docs/publications/where_liquor_revenue_goes_09.pdf

OH, and the captcha thing I have to fill out to submit this reads "piraat", so maybe I'll have to revisit that one after work...

dr wort said...

@Chris

In regard to: ..."it's hard to hate the OLCC in this case because they simply interpret laws that the legislature passes."

Did you miss this statement?

"...the Oregon Liquor Control Commission about whether the 30-some-year-old Oregon law indeed made it illegal for members of the public to taste home-brewed beer."

This regulation (whatever) has been around for 30 years! Oregon has had wine and beer competitions for 30 and 22 years! So.... you're saying it's OK that it took the OLCC 30 years to decipher their own law??

Oregon gets plenty of revenue! Still trying to figure out what they do with it?! My kids schools are in horrible condition, I'm guessing education isn't on the top of the budget with all that revenue. ;-}

Rick said...

I hate to be this cynical, but the fact that the Parks & Rec got involved almost seems like sponsors of the fair (presumably hosted on P&R property) weren't keen on non-taxable beers being highlighted (promoted) for free... Why on earth would Parks & Rec have a say in interpreting Oregon alcohol laws? There's clearly a lot more to this story. Lame.

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