Home beer brewers seek changes to alcohol laws

BARBARA RODRIGUEZ Associated Press Published:

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- An explosion of interest in home beer brewing is forcing lawmakers across the country to review long-forgotten alcohol laws, some of which date back to Prohibition.

Although the old rules have rarely been enforced, beer enthusiasts fear they could criminalize the rapidly growing hobby and kill scores of annual tasting events that bring tourists to small towns and cities.

In Wisconsin, the state Legislature recently passed a bill to allow hobbyists to transport homemade beer and wine and to share it with other adults. Brewers will still not be permitted to sell anything they make. And they will remain exempt from permit requirements and taxes.

The American Homebrewers Association says at least 17 states have ambiguous laws on homemade beer and wine.