Apparently the NCABC saw the error in allowing the State Fair to hold a homebrew competition, but to not allow homebrew clubs to have them. The response I saw from Bob Hamilton (edited below) was:
The NC ABC Commission will not prosecute administrative violations as they relate to Homebrew Competitions (such as the one held by the NC State Fair) under the following conditions:
- The only attendees are the judges, stewards, event organizers and media
- The general public is not allowed
- Tickets cannot be sold nor can anyone be charged for beer
- Judges and stewards are the only people allowed to consume the product
- If the competition is held in a brewery’s retail area the area must be closed for alcohol sales
- Any homebrew held at the brewery or retailer’s site must be sealed, separated from stock and clearly marked as competition entries
- Once the competition is complete any open containers must be destroyed or removed before the brewery’s retails sales can resume
The NC ALE Director has been notified of this policy.
Please understand that this policy can and will change if there are future health, safety or welfare issues that we are made aware of.
There are some items in there which I find slightly disturbing such as “will not prosecute” and “this policy can and will change.” Please throw all your support behind Operation Liberate Homebrew once the legislation is introduced in the next session. We should not have to change because the wind blows in a different direction at NCABC and the only way to secure a future for homebrew competitions is to change the statutes.