Heady Times

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Short of the birth of my children and my marriage, one of the top days of my life was last Thursday as I attended a bill signing. Being a lobbyist, these are not new for me. I average 1 every other month or so. So the novelty of attending the bill signing isn't what made this special.

It wasn't a bill that ends hunger or homelessness.

It wasn't a bill that cured a social wrong or helps veterans open businesses or guarantees treatment for mental illness.

No, it was a bill for home brewers. And that is why it was so special.

The signed bill, with Special Pen!
It turns out, the massive home brew competitions I have adjudicated, with hundreds of entries covering every style recognized by the Americans Brewers Association, we're technically violations of Michigan's liquor control code. Fortunately, for the last 2 decades, nobody though to check or enforce this provision...but it was time to fix it.

And fix it we did! Breweries and restaurants with enough space and time can hold a homebrew competition either with clubs or statewide entrants with a simple written agreement, including that none of the beers are to be sold or distributed. In other words, pretty much what's been going on for years!
I am on the left, the Guv's right
Look!  The Governor is a leftie!

Home brew competitions are key; not only is it good for hobby home brewers who use the results and feedback from judges to motive their recipes and processes, but it's good for pro brewers who are entering test beers from small batches to see how they do. Today's gold medal is tomorrow's new brewery in your hometown. Today's silver medal is tomorrow's new release at your favorite brewery. HB 4061, now Public Act 219 of 2011, may just open the door for my Maple Syrup Porter (in dire need of a real name, by the way) to hit The Big Time!
Left to right:  Me, Phil Wilcox (owner of the brand new
Local Pub & Brewery in Jackson), Chris Frey (AHA)
Rep. Doug Geiss (homebrewer!).  The Guv is seated.

9 comments:

steves 11:19 AM  

Great news!

Smitty 11:50 AM  

Thanks! Big fun. My favorite bill signing so far!

UPDATE: I fixed the formatting issues from iPad app Blogsy.

Bob 12:25 PM  

Nice. Do you have that account now or still freelancing?

Bob 12:58 PM  

"Look, the Governor is a lefty."


Politicians, especially presidents have a larger proportion of lefties than the population as a whole.

Lefties:
Gerald Ford
Ronald Reagan
George H.W. Bush
Bill Clinton
Barack Obama
My daughter

Bob 3:40 PM  

I have one of those special pens too, but mine was used by the last gov to sign her first bill.

Monk-in-Training 10:40 PM  

Good for you!

My daughter is a leftie also.

Anonymous,  11:16 AM  

Dude in the pink jacket: Miami Vice went off the air in the 80's

Smitty 11:41 AM  

Dude in the pink jacket

That, apparently, is his "thing." And since he's on the governing board of the AHA, we give it a pass as an eccentricity.

steves 6:18 PM  

I didn't even notice that jacket. I had one of those and I think I last wore it in 1987. It was pretty bitchin'

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