BVC - Policy sent to the BoD (fwd)

Pug Bainter pug at
Thu Jun 17 12:58:26 PDT 1999

I am forwarding this with permission. This is under *review* by the
BoD and is not final policy. This is being forwarded to let people know
that progress is being made and what that progress is.

In Service,

Phelim "Pug" Gervase  | "I want to be called. COTTONTIPS. There is something 
Barony of Bryn Gwlad  |  graceful about that lady. A young woman bursting with 
House Flaming Dog     |  vigor. She blinked at the sudden light. She writes
pug at           |  beautiful poems. When ever shall we meet again?"
  Note: The views do not reflect the SCA nor the Kingdom of Ansteorra.

----- Forwarded message from Rurik <rurik at> -----

From: Rurik <rurik at>

I received this from  Duke Andrew this afternoon. So, I'm passing it on to
you. This has already been sent to the BoD for review. It is the results
of the research done by him and 3 lawyers, all of whom are SCA members.



RE:  Alcohol Policy

Important Note:

This entire discussion applies to the United States and its territories,
and not to any foreign country where the SCA has branches or other
subdivisions.  The laws of other countries must be addressed  on a
case-by-case basis.


Several weeks before the April 19, 1997 second quarter Board meeting
held in Rockville, Maryland, our insurance underwriters requested and
received one month's worth of all kingdom newsletters.  Upon review, the
underwriters expressed significant concern regarding the use of alcohol
within the SCA.  It was called to our attention that the general liability
policy does not offer coverage in the event of a loss of property damage
or personal injury should the SCA be found liable, if that damage or
injury results from our organization having been in the business of
"manufacturing, distributing, selling, serving, or furnishing alcoholic

Ultimately, after conferring with our attorneys and insurance agent,
this lead to the "Alcohol Policy" which was instituted at the July 26,
1997 third quarter Board meeting held in Calgary, Canada.  That policy
"prohibits in the United States and its territories, the use of any SCA
funds for the purchase of potable alcohol, except for such quantities
as may be necessary for cooking."

Although unpopular, the Board recognized the potential liability and
took the necessary steps to protect the SCA.

I Existing Interpretations of Policy

As a result of the SCA's insurance policy prohibitions and the existing
SCA alcohol policy, the following questions have been raised and have
long since been answered:

(1)  Can alcohol be purchased with branch or other SCA subdivisions' money?

No.  Absolutely not.  No SCA funds may be used to purchase alcohol,
except as a minor ingredient in cooking.  (Dropping a pear in a gallon
of brandy does not cut it.  Alcohol must be an incidental ingredient.)

(2)  Can funds be collected for the purchase of alcohol?

Yes, but it must be done as individuals.  An individual or individuals
may purchase alcohol, but neither the money nor the alcohol may ever
become the property of the SCA.  The person giving the money must be
completely clear the funds are not going to the SCA, and therefore will
not, in error, attempt to deduct on his/her taxes the amount given.

(3)  Can alcohol be donated to the SCA?

No.  Alcohol may not be owned by the SCA except when being used as an
incidental cooking ingredient.

(4)  Can an individual(s) bring alcohol to a feast or other event, and
     give it to those attending?

Of course.  In this case, individual(s) is acting as an individual(s),
and neither the SCA nor the SCA's money is involved, nor does the SCA
own the alcohol.

(5)  Can alcohol be donated to an auction, sold at auction, and the
proceeds kept by the SCA?

No.  Alcohol may not be owned by the SCA, nor may it be auctioned at an event.

(6)  Can an empty bottle be auctioned at an SCA event with the promise
that it will be filled by the purchaser's favorite brewer?

No.  This could run afoul of federal and/or state laws, let alone the
insurance policy.

(7)  Can SCA funds currently held by a brewers' guild be used to purchase

No.  SCA funds may not be used for the manufacture of alcohol.  It has
been argued that the purchase of honey, water, and yeast can be used to
bake bread; therefore, there should be no prohibition.  Unfortunately, if
the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms will not buy that argument,
and the SCA cannot be expected to do so.

(8)  Are brewing competitions still allowed?

Yes.  Provided no SCA monies are used in production, the alcohol never
becomes the property of the SCA, all involved parties are of legal age,
and all applicable federal, state, and local laws, rules, restrictions,
and ordinances are observed.

II New Interpretations of Policy

At the Seneschals' and Exchequers' Symposium held in Las Vegas on May 8
and 9, 1999, three new questions were raised.  At the time I answered,
I took a conservative approach.  Since then, I have spoken to three
attorneys, all of whom are SCA members and therefore are completely
familiar with our organization.  As a result of these conversations,
here are the answers to those questions.

(1)  Can officers serve alcohol, which is privately owned, at a feast
     or revel?

The attorneys observed a possible exposure exists if officers are
serving alcohol.  The question was what can be done to minimize that
level of exposure.

There are three possible ways to go: (a) prohibit officers from serving
alcohol, (b) allow officers to serve alcohol, but make it clear it must be
done as individuals and not as officers, and (c) allow officers to serve
alcohol without restriction.  I realize there does not appear to be much
of a distinction between (b) and (c), but in eyes of the law, there are.

After much questioning of the attorneys, the policy I intend to recommend
the Board of Directors is, "Officers are not prohibited from serving
alcohol; however, it must be done as individuals, and not as part of
their official duties as officers."

(2)  May alcohol be given as gifts?

Alcohol has been given as gifts for as long as I have been in the
SCA. Gifts to outgoing officers, gifts from a branch to the Crown, and
gifts from one Crown to another.  Again, it is a similar situation to
that immediately above.

Again, after much interchange with the attorneys, I intend to recommend
to the Board of Directors a similar policy, to wit, "Officers are not
prohibited from giving gifts of alcohol; however, it must be done as
individuals, and not as part of their official duties as officers."

(3)  If Brewers' Guilds already have funds collected in the name of the
     SCA and that money is being held or otherwise on the books of the SCA,
     may that money be spent on the publication of recipes?

The question arose because of the prohibition on manufacturing. Extensive
research on this topic was conducted to one of our attorneys in
particular, to whom we owe significant thanks.

Brewers' Guilds may spend funds on publishing articles on brewing,
provided they meet the same criteria and meet same policies as any other
SCA publication.  This is no longer an alcohol policy or insurance policy
question, but an editorial content question.  Articles on brewing should
follow the general SCA guidelines for being educational and focusing on
the pre-1700 timeperiod.

Brewers' Guilds may also sponsor other publications, such as the Kingdom
newsletter, regional newsletter, or A&S newsletter, or may use their
funds for non-alcohol-related purposes, such as donations to the Royal
Travel fund, or the Kingdom waterbearers.

<end of text>

*** Master Rurik Petrovitch Stoianov
*** mka Steve Harrett
*** rurik at
*** IRC name: RurikPS
*** ICQ#: 40843558

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