Brewing Round Table
Laurel’s Prize Tourney
November 7, 1998
Outline of topics to be discussed
Including excerpts of sections of these different laws, as well as letters from the different organizations that are responsible for them
Including a brewing handbook shell, as well as discussions about different methods to assist brewers/vintners and why they will benefit both existing brewers in addition to newcomers of the Art
All discussions are just that. Ideas are being presented and only will be acted upon given a consensus of the brewing/vintning community, not to mention volunteers. These discussions are to try and help the community grow and not to try and force change onto anyone since it would be very counter-productive. The panel is to try and guide the discussion to be productive, not to control it or to be the authoritative experts in anything ‘cause that would be stupid not to mention presumptuous.
I) Judging of Brewing, Vintning and Cordialing within Ansteorra
Recently the Laurelette tried to put together a standard format for judging and/or displaying within Ansteorra. Part of this endeavor was in association with the Gulf War guidelines. This format was meant to be used as guidelines and not hard fast rules as to what to look for when judging different art styles. The BVC mailing list - an email list for Brewers, Vintners and Cordialers within Ansteorra - took this guideline and started adding their own comments and guidelines to it. The reason for doing it in this method was that the Laurelette’s guidelines would not only be a good starting point for an SCA judging form, but it would also hopefully keep some consistency across the different Art styles.
The form on the following page is what came out of these endeavors.
This form is of course only a start, if it is thought appropriate. As you can see, there are two areas where it refers the individual to the appendix in order to determine what is and is not appropriate there. This appendix would have to have a wide variety of information contained within it with regards to what is and isn’t appropriate with regards to clarity, odors, colors, flavors, etc. While a quick brush over could cover the more popular styles, there are varieties of wines, meads and beers that would still need to be defined for.
This form is not meant to teach the non-experienced how to judge. Rather it is to help the experienced judge and/or brewer/vintner to judge appropriately and consistently. As well, the appendixes will help assist a judge when they run across a style that they do not have previous experience with.
In the additional handouts, there are copies of some other Kingdom’s guidelines. As well Pug has a folder with the American Home Brewers’ Association’s score sheets and other "large" printouts, such as some of the legal regulations. The AHBA guidelines were not only too restrictive, they included many modern variations which would then not get scored appropriately within an SCA arena.
Sample judging form
Category: Domestic Arts, Sub-category: Brewing and Vintning
Documentation 10 Points
Presentation/Display 10 Points
Is there a clear glass present in order to view the color and clarity as well as to smell the bouquet and aroma of the entry? Are crackers, bread and/or cheese present to help clear the palate before sampling to ensure a clean tasting of the entry? Are enough taster cups available to allow each individual judging to have his own? Are the bottles clean and labeled as to their content? Is it chilled to an appropriate temperature for the style, locale and season?
Complexity/Difficulty 10 Points
Includes consideration for level of involvement, creativity in project extrapolation, execution, etc. Is this from all-grain, fresh fruit and/or hops? Did the individual crack their own grain, pick or grow their own fruit, harvest their own honey, etc? Is this from wild yeast or cultivated? Was it aged in an appropriate container?
Workmanship/Technical Skill 20 Points - true to style 5, odor/clarity 5, taste 10
[See appendix regarding odors, flavors, carbonation, color, clarity, etc.]
Authenticity of Entry/Project 10 Points
Validity of entry/project as a period recreation. The authenticity of the entry/project should be adequately addressed and supported in the documentation. Are there examples of this specific style of entry within the time period addressed within the SCA or the competition?
Authenticity of Materials 10 Points
Were materials used to produce the entry that are appropriate to the entry's period? If non-period materials have been used, is there adequate justification for any such substitution or deviation? Materials authenticity should be adequately addressed and supported in the documentation.
Authenticity of Techniques 10 Points
Were techniques used to produce the entry appropriate to the entry's period? If non-period techniques were used, is adequate justification shown for any such substitution or departure? Technique authenticity should be addressed and supported in the documentation.
Quality of Finished Work/Aesthetics 20 Points primarily in taste
Overall Impression (Judges discretion)
II) Laws of the Society, the USA, Oklahoma and Texas
There are many laws running around. The strictest law is always the one you should follow when you are in any particular place.
The following information is not meant to be authoritative. Phelim "Pug" Gervase gathered this information for his own curiosity. He is not a lawyer. He is not an expert. He is not doing this for SCA, Inc. or Ansteorra. He was just trying to cover his own behind. It is recommended that if you truly wish to cover yours that you do the investigation yourself, perhaps with the aid of a lawyer.
Following these excerpts, there will be letters from Pug to different government organizations and their responses. Unfortunately the Oklahoma Tax Commission has not responded yet, but when they do Pug will make any information, in addition to these documents, available online athttp://southern.ansteorra.org/bvc.
Note: Even if you continue everything like you have in the past, it’s important to know what laws, if any, you are breaking. As well, these do not cover local county/city laws that might be in place for every person or every site. That would be impractical for someone of amateur and volunteer status.
Society and Ansteorran Law
While the Corporation allows alcohol purchases for cooking purposes, Ansteorra has stricter limitations. To quote Kingdom Law:
Article IX: Kingdom Operational Policies
Section 1: The Treasury
2. Withdrawals from SCA, Inc. bank accounts.
6. No funds from any SCA, Inc. account may be used to purchase ethyl (human consumable) alcohol for any reason. Nor can equipment and/or supplies be purchased that are intended to be used to make ethyl (human consumable) alcohol.
What does this mean for us? It means that we have to supply the equipment and materials for our own art. I don’t think this is a big issue, but it is important to remember, particularly within groups where Guilds can/are given money to get started or to continue prospering. It also means that those people wishing to do feasts that include alcohol, even if in the cooking, has to provide it themself, or even better for all involved, find a willing brewer to do so for them.
According to the Kingdom Seneschal, the Kingdom of Ansteorra also has the following policy:
The Kingdom of Ansteorra has a policy on the giving of brew or alcohol as prizes. It is allowed as long as the recipient is over 21 years in age and no SCA funds were used to purchase the beverage or the materials to make it. When ever possible with home brew it is best to have the person donating the beverage actually give the bottle(s) to the winner (i.e. call up lord so-and-so who is donating the prize). As to transportation of home brew across state lines, it is the responsibility of each individual to make sure they know and are not violating any Federal, State or Local Laws. [...] As to production of home brew, that happens in people's homes and not at SCA events, so the Kingdom of Ansteorra has no policy. If people want to discuss the merits of these issues as individuals they are free to do so.
This round table is but one instance of individuals choosing to discuss the issues regarding the laws that govern us. There are many other times and places that this occurs within and without the SCA.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms is the organization that regulates most activities involved around the production of alcohol by individuals and companies. They are fairly straightforward guidelines, although the state and local governments are allowed to have different and possibly stricter guidelines.
Excerpts of the statute information are as follows:
§ 24.10 Definitions
When used in this part and in the forms prescribed under this part, terms will have the meanings ascribed in this section. Words in the plural form also include the singular, and vice versa, and words indicating the masculine gender also include the feminine. The terms ``includes'' and ``including'' do not exclude items not enumerated which are in the same general class. The definitions in this section do not supersede or affect the requirements of part 4 of this chapter, relative to the labeling of wine under the provisions of the Federal Alcohol Administration Act (49 Stat. 981; 27 U.S.C. 205)
Agricultural wine. Wine made from suitable agricultural products other than the juice of grapes, berries, or other fruits.
Bonded wine premises. Premises established under the provisions of this part on which operations in untaxpaid wine are authorized to be conducted.
Fruit wine. Wine made from the juice of sound, ripe fruit (other than grapes). Fruit wine also includes wine made from berries or wine made from a combination of grapes and other fruit (including berries).
Grape wine. Wine made from the juice of sound, ripe grapes.
Wine. When used without qualification, the term includes every kind (class and type) of product produced on bonded wine premises from grapes, other fruit (including berries), or other suitable agricultural products and containing not more than 24 percent of alcohol by volume. The term includes all imitation, other than standard, or artificial wine and compounds sold as wine. A wine product containing less than one-half of one percent alcohol by volume is not taxable as wine when removed from the bonded wine premises.
Wine premises. Premises established under the provisions of this part on which wine operations or other operations are authorized to be conducted.
§ 24.75 Wine for personal or family use.
(a) General. Any adult may, without payment of tax, produce wine for personal or family use and not for sale.
(b) Quantity. The aggregate amount of wine that may be produced exempt from tax with respect to any household may not exceed:
(1) 200 gallons per calendar year for a household in which two or more adults reside, or
(2) 100 gallons per calendar year if there is only one adult residing in the household.
(c) Definition of an adult. For the purposes of this section, an adult is any individual who is 18 years of age or older. However, if the locality in which the household is located has established by law a greater minimum age at which wine may be sold to individuals, the term ``adult'' will mean an individual who has attained that age.
(d) Proprietors of bonded wine premises. Any adult, defined in Sec. 24.75(c), who operates a bonded wine premises as an individual owner or in partnership with others, may produce wine and remove it from the bonded wine premises free of tax for personal or family use, subject to the limitations in Sec. 24.75(b).
(e) Limitation. This exemption should not in any manner be construed as authorizing the production of wine in violation of applicable State or local law. Except as provided in Sec. 24.75(d), this exemption does not otherwise apply to partnerships, corporations, or associations.
(f) Removal. Wine produced under this section may be removed from the premises where made for personal or family use including use at organized affairs, exhibitions or competitions, such as home winemaker's contests, tastings or judgings, but may not under any circumstances be sold or offered for sale. The proprietor of a bonded wine premises shall pay the tax on any wine removed for personal or family use in excess of the limitations provided in this section and shall also enter all quantities removed for personal or family use on ATF F 5120.17, Report of Bonded Wine Premises Operations. (Sec. 201, Pub. L. 85-859, 72 Stat. 1331, as amended (26 U.S.C. 5042))
§ 25.11 Definitions
When used in this part, where not otherwise distinctly expressed or manifestly incompatible with the intent thereof, terms have the meanings given in this section.
Beer. Beer, ale, porter, stout, and other similar fermented beverages (including sake or similar products) of any name or description containing one-half of one percent or more of alcohol by volume, brewed or produced from malt, wholly or in part, or from any substitute for malt.
Brewer. Any person who brews beer (except a person who produces only beer exempt from tax under 26 U.S.C. 5053(e)) and any person who produces beer for sale.
Brewery. The land and buildings described in the Brewer's Notice, Form 5130.10, where beer is to be produced and packaged.
Brewing. The production of beer for sale.
§ 25.205 Production.
(a) Any adult may produce beer, without payment of tax, for personal or family use and not for sale. An adult is any individual who is 18 years of age or older. If the locality in which the household is located requires a greater minimum age for the sale of beer to individuals, the adult shall be that age before commencing the production of beer. This exemption does not authorize the production of beer for use contrary to State or local law.
(b) The production of beer per household, without payment of tax, for personal or family use may not exceed:
(1) 200 gallons per calendar year if there are two or more adults residing in the household, or
(2) 100 gallons per calendar year if there is only one adult residing in the household.
(c) Partnerships except as provided in Sec. 25.207, corporations or associations may not produce beer, without payment of tax, for personal or family use.
§ 25.206 Removal of beer.
Beer made under Sec. 25.205 may be removed from the premises where made for personal or family use including use at organized affairs, exhibitions or competitions such as homemaker's contests, tastings or judging. Beer removed under this section may not be sold or offered for sale.
§ 25.207 Removal from brewery for personal or family use.
Any adult, as defined in Sec. 25.205, who operates a brewery under this part as an individual owner or in partnership with others, may remove beer from the brewery without payment of tax for personal or family use. The amount of beer removed for each household, without payment of tax, per calendar year may not exceed 100 gallons if there is one adult residing in the household or 200 gallons if there are two or more adults residing in the household. Beer removed in excess of the above limitations will be reported as a taxable removal.
To find more information, you can reach the BATF at:
Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms
Office of Liaison and Public Information
650 Massachusetts Avenue, NW.
Washington, DC 20226http://www.atf.treas.gov/ http://www.atf.treas.gov/core/regulations/rules.htm – Sections 24 and 25 are the relevant ones
The Oklahoma Alcoholic Beverage Laws Enforcement Commission and the Oklahoma Tax Commission regulate most activities involved around the production of alcohol by individuals and companies in Oklahoma. Unfortunately the guidelines are a bit convoluted since they do not recognize the homebrewing of beer without a brewers’ permit which costs at least $1250 per year. To make your own wine and cider at home, up to 200 gallons, one must obtain a free license by simply filling out ABLE Form Lic-44 which is attached.
Excerpts of the statute information are as follows:
§ 37-505. Manufacture, sale, possession, etc. prohibited except as provided in act – Exceptions
No person shall manufacture, rectify, sell, possess, store, import into or export from this state, transport, or deliver any alcoholic beverage except as specifically provided in the Oklahoma Alcoholic Beverage Control Act. Provided, that nothing herein shall prevent the possession and transportation of alcoholic beverages for the personal use of the possessor, his family and guests, so long as the Oklahoma excise tax has been paid thereon, except for beer. Provided, that nothing herein shall prevent the making of cider or of wine, not to exceed two hundred (200) gallons in any one (1) year pursuant to a license first obtained from the Alcoholic Beverage Laws Enforcement Commission, by simple fermentation and without distillation, if made solely for te use of the maker, his family and guests.
§ 37-506. Definitions
When used in the Oklahoma Alcoholic Beverage Control Act, Section 501 et seq. of this title, the following words and phrases shall have the following meaning:
5. "Beer" means any beverage containing more than three and two-tenths percent (3.2%) of alcohol by weight and obtained by the alcoholic fermentation of an infusion of decoction of vegetable products. "Beer" includes, among other things, beer, ale, stout, lager beer, porter and other malt or brewed liquors, but does not include sake, known as Japanese rice wine;
7. "Brewer" means any person who produces beer in this state;
15. "Light beer" means a low-point beer controlled under this title;
16. "Light wine" means any wine containing not more than fourteen percent (14%) alcohol measured by volume at sixty (60) degrees Fahrenheit;
39. "Wine" means and includes any beverage containing more than one-half of one percent (1/2 of 1%) alcohol by volume and not more than twenty-four percent (24%) alcohol by volume at sixty (60) degrees Fahrenheit obtained by the fermentation of the natural contents of fruits, vegetables, honey, milk or other products containing sugar, whether or not other ingredients are added, and includes vermouth and sake, known as Japanese rice wine;
40. "Winemaker" means any person who produces wine; and
Please notice that the definitions for alcohol content for beer and wine use different measurements. To convert between Alcohol by Weight and Alcohol by Volume, you can use the simple formula of:
% alcohol by weight = (% alcohol by volume) x .8
As well, most hydrometers that people use will return % alcohol by volume. This means 3.2% alcohol by weight would be what most home brewers are used to seeing as 4% alcohol by volume.
To find more information, you can reach the ABLE Commission at:
State of Oklahoma
Alcoholic Beverage Laws Enforcement Commission
4545 North Lincoln Blvd., Suite 270
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73105
Or the Oklahoma Tax Commission at:
Oklahoma Tax Commission
2501 North Lincoln Boulevard
Okla. City, OK 73194
The Texas Alcohol and Beverage Commission regulates most activities involved around the production of alcohol by individuals and companies in Texas. Although the guidelines are fairly straight forward, there are areas that were asked to be clarified by the TABC and a letter is attached to help clarify these issues.
Excerpts of the statute information are as follows:
§ 1.04. Definitions
(15) "Beer" means a malt beverage containing one-half of one percent or more of alcohol by volume and not more than four percent of alcohol by weight, and does not include a beverage designated by label or otherwise by a name other than beer.
§ 109.21. Home Production of Wine, Ale, Malt Liquor, or Beer
(a) The head of a family or an unmarried adult may produce for the use of his family or himself not more than 200 gallons of wine, ale, malt liquor, or beer, per year. No license or permit is required.
(b) The commission may prohibit the use of any ingredient it finds detrimental to health or susceptible of use to evade this code. Only wine made from the normal alcoholic fermentation of the juices of dandelions or grapes, raisins, or other fruits may be produced under this section. Only ale, malt liquor, or beer made from the normal alcoholic fermentation of malted barley with hops, or their products, and with or without other malted or unmalted cereals, may be produced under this section. The possession of wine, ale, malt liquor, or beer produced under this section is not an offense if the person making it complies with all provisions of this section and the wine, ale, malt liquor, or beer is not distilled, fortified, or otherwise altered to increase its alcohol content.
(c) There is no annual state fee for beverages produced in compliance with this section.
§ 109.22. Delivery of Home-Produced Wine, Ale, Malt Liquor, or Beer for Certain Purposes
(a) This section applies only to a person who is authorized under Section 109.21(a) to produce wine, ale, malt liquor, or beer.
(b) For the purpose of participating in an organized tasting, evaluation, competition, or literary review, a person to whom this section applies may deliver wine, ale, malt liquor, or beer produced and manufactured by the person to locations that are not licensed under this code for the purpose of submitting those products to an evaluation at an organized tasting competition that is closed to the general public or by a reviewer whose reviews are published if:
(1) No charge of any kind is made for the wine, ale, malt liquor, or beer, for its delivery, or for attendance at the event; and
(2) The commission consents in writing to the delivery.
(c) Nothing in this section shall be construed to authorize an increase in the quantity of wine, ale, malt liquor, or beer authorized to be produced by a person under the authority of Section 109.21(a) of this code.
To find more information, you can reach the TABC at:
Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission
P.O. Box 13127
Austin, TX 78711
(512) 206-3333http://www.tabc.state.tx.us http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/statutes/abtoc.html http://www.tabc.state.tx.us/codepage.htm
Notes regarding attached letters
The letter from ABLE states that Oklahoma law does not allow for the homebrewing of beer if the alcohol content exceeds 3.2% alcohol. Unfortunately it does not say if homebrewing of beer below 3.2% alcohol is acceptable or not. I unfortunately never heard from the Oklahoma Tax Commission who appears to be responsible for this area.
Although the Oklahoma ABLE Commission allows each holder of the license to make up to 200 gallons of wine/cider per year, I would be careful since this is against the stricter BATF regulation with 2 or more in a household. Although the TABC states that 2 or more unmarried adults can produce 200 gallons each, I would stay with the stricter guidelines that the BATF provides of no more than 200 gallons of each wine and beer. In an informal phone discussion with the BATF, they stated that their definition of a household, although not legally defined, is a dwelling or single residence. As well, they stated that states could not make the limitations more lenient than the Federal guidelines.
The TABC also states that the restrictions for tastings, in their opinion, are for holders of brewpub licenses. Since the Texas statutes also states similar limitations for holders of brewpub and winery licenses, we can assume that this is the way as well. Since the TABC is generally the group that enforces these regulations, it is likely not to be a problem since we have heard from someone within their own organization who is responsible for answering questions like this.
Although TABC states that Meads would be classified as "specialty wines", they actually show up as a "Wine from other agricultural products" since it clearly states "honey wine" is one of these.
III) Kingdom-wide guild and other resources and methods
to assist brewers/vintners
It has been brought up a couple times in the past year or so on if there is interest in a Kingdom-wide brewing/vintning guild. A more important issue is if there is interest and support for creating an infrastructure to help our fellow brewers and vintners. A Kingdom-wide guild is just one method of achieving this goal. Other possible methods are: maintenance of a contact database of brewers/vintners; email lists; webpages with interconnection between them or a master page; support and promotion of local guilds; and Kingdom brewing/vintning handbook.
To cover the different methods, briefly here are their advantages/disadvantages:
A lot of people might be asking why it would be beneficial to do any of the above for them personally.
For the new brewer/vintner, it gives them methods of learning more from those who have been there. It helps them get started in the art or to learn better methods than they might be able to on their own.
For the experienced brewer/vintner or guild members, it gives them methods and channels to show off their expertise and to get recognition on a wider scale than just the "local" level. To be blunt, it gives them more chances at being recognized and to possibly receive awards because of their skills and contributions to the community.
The benefit it gives to all of us is a way to bring new people into the art in order to help it grow and flourish. The more brewers/vintners, and the better the brewers/vintners, the better for all of us who enjoy the labors of this art.
To be honest though, none of the above methods will be very successful if the brewing and vintning community do not wish them to be.