If you or someone you know would like to make moonshine, it is important to understand what the state and federal laws are that help regulate the production and consumption of moonshine.
Only one state allows home distilling at the state level: Missouri. You can learn more about Missouri’s distilling law by reading the statute here. However, that doesn’t make it legal at the federal level, so the overall legality is still a bit murky.
In most cases, federal law aims to regulate the recreational production of moonshine and other spirits without the proper permitting. Exceptions to the rule exist if you live in certain states that allow home distillation. For example, in Missouri, anyone 21 or older can distill up to 100 gallons of moonshine per year for personal use, but you are still obligated to pay taxes on anything produced.
Federal Distilled Spirits Permit
When people ask, “Is moonshine legal?” they are often wondering whether or not moonshine is legal in their home state so that they can move forward with a still operation without breaking the law.
In the US, the TTB (Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau) regulates the production of moonshine through a permitting process. If you live in one of the many states that ban moonshine production outright, you can apply for a Federal Distilled Spirits Permit, however, hobby distilling is usually not permitted. We should note that this path is not an easy option for most people because it can be expensive and involves a complicated application process.
To learn more about the Federal Distilled Spritis permit, visit here.
Federal Fuel Alcohol Permit
The other most common avenue that home distillers utilize when looking to distill at home is the Federal Fuel Alcohol Permit. This permit allows you to product fuel alcohol without the intent to consume. Also administered by the TTB, this permit is free and allows you to produce moonshine without jumping through tons of hoops. You can apply for free and only need to fill out a simple application form. Once the government approves your application, you can begin distilling alcohol without trouble.
The alcohol you produce, however, is only legal if you use it as fuel.
So this might leave your wondering: “How the heck do you get started learning the distilling trade if I’m not allowed to do it anywhere except Missouri?”
That’s a great question! The truth is we cannot condone any activities that fall outside of federal and state regulations. Your best bet to learn the distilling trade is to visit commercial distilleries and take classes there.
For more questions about home distilling tips, get in touch with Hillbilly Stills today!