Why is Home Distilling Illegal?

To be honest… I don’t care why it is illegal. However, the reason is because the Federal Government makes a ton of money on taxes from booze. To allow the average Joe Moonshiner to make his own would be to remove a major por

tion of Federal income.

However, this reasoning leaves a lot to be desired from a government who promotes a land of the free and a home of the brave. While there are tons of brave men and women serving overseas and here at home, “the land of the free” has a little explaining to do. If I am so “free” why can’t I make a few gallons of hooch for my own consumption?

The State of Missouri had the same question. So they legalized the distillation of alcohol for personal consumption up to 100 gallons a year per adult in a household, with a maximum of 200 gallons per household. (Uhhhh… that’s a crap ton of shine!!!)

Here is my beef. People all over the country are distilling their own alcohol illegally. Why not add a little regulation on the federal level and give people permits for up to 100 gallons? Heck… 50 gallons would suffice! A yearly $50 permit to cover the loss from those who would be distilling, and all is well. Actually, for those who are already distilling, they are not paying any taxes to the Feds for alcohol so this would actually give the Feds a bump in income!

So I say all that to say this… CALL YOUR CONGRESSMAN! Email him and let him know what you are wanting to see done. Have them look into the MO state laws for a sample of what a law like this could look like. I live in Colorado, and apparently we have no problem over-riding Federal laws as we have legalized marijuana. There is no need for people to have to be doing this secretly. This is an American Heritage that is dying due to the legality of it all.

(Ok… I’m done ranting… for now)

5 responses to “Why is Home Distilling Illegal?

    • craftdistillingacademy

      I just don’t understand. Alcohol distillation is the next logical step in the game. Legalize beer and wine in ’78(?) and let them go at it. At some point people are going to get bored and want to do something else. Now couple that with a crappy economy and we have a good reason for people to be making their own whiskey.

  • Mike

    I agree completely with what you’re saying except the annual fee. I was recently in Germany and everybody makes some form of distilled sprits, be it schapps, brandy, cognac or whatever. Their belief is that it is every man’s God given right to make alcoholic beverages with his own labor. No taxes or fees are collected. This is how is should be if we are to be free. Freedom is something we are lacking in America and we are passing laws every day taking more of it away. Its encouraging to hear about Missouri, I didn’t know that. I’ll start packing tonight! :)

    • craftdistillingacademy

      I see where you are coming from Mike, however, when speaking to Reforming Tax and Trade Bureau Laws, you have to realize that sweeping change is HIGHLY unlikely. Instead, the idea should be to nudge the TTB and Regulators in the right direction, so that in 20 years we have gradually created the sweeping reform we all hoped for. The problem here is the government has created a dependency on our Alcohol Excise Tax. To just blanket remove that tax would be the demise of our nation financially. We all benefit from that tax, so it has to be handled with kit gloves.

      Dont get me wrong, I dont want to pay a permit fee either, but we have to work with the TTB, not just for ourselves.

  • Mike

    Today, we pay taxes on alcohol that we purchase in the liquor store and I’m fine with that and I’m fine paying taxes on product that is sold. However, if I purchase grain and sugar, I pay taxes on those products as well as the gas and energy to run a still. I can combine those ingredents and brew a beer without any fee or tax based on the 1978 law, so why should distilling for home use be any different? You pointed out the Missouri has done this with state legistation (311.055) and no fees are collected. Why should we accept a tax or fee just to get it legalized? I don’t agree and think it is a tax on my labor which belongs to noone but me.

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