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More on the OLCC

The DOJ has released their opinion on the OLCC homebrew issue from a couple weeks ago, and if you were looking forward to a beer or wine competition at this year’s state fair, you are sure to be disappointed:

In a legal opinion made public today, the Oregon Department of Justice has concluded that amateur home brewers lose their exemption under state law that they be licensed as a manufacturer when their home brewed alcoholic liquor is consumed outside the home.

The law in question is ORS 471.403(1), which states:

No person shall brew, ferment, distill, blend or rectify any alcoholic liquor unless licensed so to do by the Oregon Liquor Control Commission. However, the Liquor Control Act does not apply to the making or keeping of naturally fermented wines and fruit juices or beer in the home, for home consumption and not for sale.

Due to the DOJ’s lack of transparency, I’m having trouble finding the actual memo. has some more on the story, including some clarification on how the issue came to light. Also see this article from the Oregonian.

The law is vague, and was born out of a post-Prohibition era attempt to regulate the newly-legal booze flow. Legislators and law enforcers wanted to keep a close watch on the consumption of alcohol. They wanted to regulate it harshly. It isn’t that much different than what’s happening now, right? The OLCC wants to manage every drop of hard alcohol in this state, to, as they put it, prevent over-saturation. They claim to have the best interests of Oregonians in mind, all the while raking in $172 million for the state, most of which goes into the general fund. And let’s not forget last year’s Bend OLCC controversy.

A government organization with ultimate power over a popular commodity is dangerous, self-serving and a horrible precedent for the state of Oregon to set. Popular opinion is turning, though, was more and more people have been expressing their opinions. Maybe the revolution is starting. Maybe Oregonians are going to start fighting back, taking what’s been rightfully ours all along.

I don’t know, maybe I’m just drunk.

  1. UO Matters says:

    Oregon Attorney General John Kroger’s lack of transparency on this vitally important issue is deeply disturbing. What was the issue again?

  2. […] Lyzi Diamond is continuing the strong Oregon Commentator tradition of covering the Oregon Liquor Control Commission and its ongoing mission to suck the fun out of everything. […]

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