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Homebrew Rules Defy Common Sense

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After reading last week's Opinion-The Mailbox "The OLCC Still Doesn't Get It," I felt compelled to chime in on a related issue. As the Source printed several months ago, the Oregon home brewers are having their freedoms trampled on due to a recent OLCC/OR DOJ interpretation of an archaic liquor law. This has effectively forced Oregon's home brewers (and vintners) to keep their creations locked into the confines of their own households, with any off premise travel being prohibited, and punishable as a misdemeanor.

The latest casualty of this "interpretation" is the cancellation of COCC's fall and winter home brewing courses. Upon curriculum review, the OLCC has declared that the home brewing classes can only take place "in a licensed brewing facility." They suggested that the college obtain a production brewing license (several hundred dollars) for the Bend Senior Center, so that the instructors can teach and brew on those premises. The fact that the average 12-person class would be brewing a mere five gallons of beer was irrelevant. I believe that this most recent OLCC action has brought the integrity of their organization to a new low, highlighted by a nearly unfathomable lack of common sense, all the while knowing that our state taxpayer dollars are funding this madness.

- Brett Thomas

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