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February 28, 2020
By John Moorhead, American Homebrewers Association
House Bill 4158 (H4158) provides that a person at least 21 years of age may manufacture alcoholic liquor for personal or family use, with the household amount limited to 100 gallons per calendar year if there are two or more persons over the age of 21 years, or 50 gallons if there is only one person over the age of 21 years in the household. Any alcoholic liquor manufactured under this section may not be sold or offered for sale.
H4158 refers to “alcoholic liquors” and seeks to amend Chapter 60 of the West Virginia code to add the new section. “Alcoholic Liquors” includes alcohol, beer, wine, spirits, and any liquor or solid capable of being used as a beverage, but does not include nonintoxicating beer, which is defined as a beverage obtained by the fermentation of barley, malt, hops, or similar products or substitute and containing not more alcohol than 11.9% ABW (alcohol by weight) or 15% ABV (alcohol by volume), whichever is greater.
H4158 has passed the West Virginia House and has been introduced to the Senate Judiciary Committee. If it passes the Senate Judiciary Committee, it will move to the Senate floor for a vote.
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John Moorhead is director of the National Homebrew Competition, AHA competition coordinator, and lead AHA staffer for government affairs.