Could Nebraska's home-brew law change?

Beer samples at a Nebraska festival made by home brewers; picture courtesy of Paris Cunningham.

If you love home-brewed beer you won't find it at beer festivals right now even though it's been poured at them for years.

It’s something that’s making home brewers take their fight to lawmakers.

"I think we were all really shocked,” said Paris Cunningham who has been pouring her home-brewed beers at Nebraska festivals for 10 years.

"It's just the promotion of the home-brew hobby."

Cunningham usually brings a five-gallon keg filled with her own brew to beer festivals in the summer. It's something she won't be able to bring to festivals unless the home-brew law is changed.

It’s something that the Nebraska Liquor Control Commission cracked down on last summer after someone had made a complaint.

Cunningham said, "Nobody had really looked at the law. We thought that everything we were doing was fine because no one had said you can't do this."

However, that’s what people are saying now. It's why Cunningham and others are trying to make home-brewed beer at festivals legal.

Cunningham said, "Supporting home-brew is a big thing for them because that's the step that leads into, you know, professional breweries."

Phil Doerr, who is a co-owner of Farnam House Brewing Company, said, “That played a big part in what drove me to want to be a professional brewer and open my own brewery."

However, Diane Riibe, with Project Extra Mile, is worried about people's safety.

"You're looking at a complete lack of regulation so it's a bit like the Wild West...unfortunately we're past the time of one's word being sufficient to tell us that it's clean and healthy, and fine."

Cunningham said home brewers did have to follow festival regulations.

Senator Sue Crawford introduced the bill.

Other states have passed similar bills in the last few years like Minnesota and California.

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