Oct 3, 2013 7:41 PM by akeam ashford

Homebrewers Get The Green Light

There's a reversal tonight in Baton Rouge for homebrewers looking to participate in Lafayette's beer festival.

A group of homebrewers alerted us they were being denied permission by the Alcohol Tobacco Control (ATC) to participate at this year's Gulf Brew festival.

Brewers say they discovered the permit Gulf Brew had didn't cover them when several other festivals were denied home brewers at their events.

ATC called event organizers late this evening and said that if organizers applied for a new permit, then homebrewers could participate in the festival.

ATC's Commissioner Troy Hebert says the law is vague when it comes to how homebrewers can participate at festivals.

"I definitely think that the legislature should revisit the issue to clearly state the intentions of what they want homebrewers to be able to do, and not be able to do," says Hebert.

Hebert says one paragraph is at issue. Essentially, bars and restaurants can have homebrewers set up at their businesses, but Hebert says the law neither denies nor allows homebrewers to participate at festivals.

In 2010, then-state senator Hebert voted to pass the current homebrew regulation.

Homebrew supporters argue they've never had a problem with brewers participating at festivals until now.

"I don't think that's the case. I think we have always issued permits according to the law. Whether or not they were doing homebrew or not, whether not that came down intentionally, I don't know," says Hebert.

The Acadiana Center For The Arts hosts Gulf Brew. Director Gerd Wuestermann, says homebrew beer is an important part of the festival.

"They're really passionate about creating great beers. It would be a lost not to see them not being able to serve their beers. They will still be there, they will have a presence and they will bring their passion to the festival, but certainly it will be a shame if people don't get to sample their eccentric brews," says Wuestermann.



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