The following is a list of bills introduced recently in the California Legislature and some summary information about what they would do. Nothing as sexy as AB 647 growler labeling from last year’s session is on the docket. But coupon-users, underage students, retailers stuck with off beer, and manufacturers sick and tired of people mutilating their metal kegs may be interested. Oh, and then there’s the fact that it looks like April 2014 is “California Craft Brewery Month.” That’s fun.
I will try to keep information about them updated. And I will add links, too. They are easily searchable on http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/ using the keyword, “beer,” or of course, the bill number.
AB 2010–Introduced by Assembly Member Gray Feb 20, 2014
An act to amend BPC § 23104.2.
The bill would allow retailers to return beer with “product quality issues” to sellers (and those sellers to manufacturers or importers). This would extend a current exception for beer that is recalled or that presents a health or safety issue to the general rule permitting wholesalers or manufacturers to accept return of beer “only if the beer is returned in exchange for the identical quantity and brand of beer.” Returns are permitted in the case of erroneous deliveries or when packaging is broken/damaging before delivery.
After the amendment, sellers can exchange the beer with product quality issues for the same beer if “quality-controlled product inventory” is available. Otherwise, the sellers may issue a credit or deferred exchange. This bill has passed successfully through committees and has been ordered to the consent calendar.
AB 1928–Introduced by Bocanegra Feb. 19, 2014
Per the legislative council’s digest (to add § 25600.3 to BPC):
The definition of “Coupon” excludes mail-in rebates to obtain discounts from beer manufacturer or beer & wine wholesaler. It also excludes coupons funded by spirits manufacturers, winegrowers, and certain other licensees, so long as no “beer or malt beverages” are advertised in connection with the coupon.
A status update indicated the committee on governmental organization was to consider the bill on April 9.
AB 2203–Introduced by Chesbro Feb 20, 2014 (amends § 25202)
It is already illegal to obliterate, mutilate, or mark out a manufacturer’s name on “returnable beer containers … or cartons made of wood or fiber board” without written consent of manufacturer. This bill makes it also illegal to do so to metal kegs. In any case, the prohibition does not apply when the beer manufacturer has discontinued business and is no longer licensed to manufacture.
Assembly Concurrent Resolution 116–Introduced by Chesbro (Co-author Senator Corbett)
The resolution proclaims April 2014 “California Craft Brewery Month.” That would be great news. As of 3/10/14, it was passed on to the committee on rules. The committee on rules has it on their agenda for consideration on April 10, 2014.
The resolution has a number of WHEREAS clauses recognizing the importance and impact of the craft brewing movement in California. It also makes clear through historical references that California is where this movement got going back in the late 70s. It’s good to have that on the books, because a certain small New England-y state, probably because it happens to have the biggest craft brewery that has been around quite a while, has recently been calling itself the “epicenter” of the craft brewing movement in various news releases.
AB 1989–Introduced by Chesbro Feb. 20, 2014 (to amend §§ 25658 and 25662 and add § 25668 to BPC).
The bill would provide an educational exception to the prohibition on underage drinking.
The new section would permit “qualified students” to taste alcoholic beverages, without the student or the qualified academic institution being subject to criminal prosecution, if several criteria are met.
- Student must taste while enrolled.
- Institution must have AA or BA in enology or brewing.
- Tasting occurs as part of course required for enology or brewing program.
- Beverage remains in control of instructor, at least 21 years of age.
- Must be part of curriculum requirements.