What are the laws governing homemade moonshine?


Quick Answer

Producing homemade moonshine is prohibited under federal law. Permits for distilling fuel alcohol at home are available, but producing moonshine or other products for human consumption with these permits is a felony offense.

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Full Answer

Commercial distilleries with the proper permits can legally produce moonshine and other alcoholic beverages. These permits are not intended for home distillers. They are intended for commercial operations that produce and sell large quantities of liquor.

Some state laws allow for the production of limited quantities of moonshine, but federal law always supersedes these laws. Even in states where local laws allow for moonshine production, such as Missouri, distilling alcohol without a permit remains a federal crime. While state authorities do not prosecute distillers who operate within state laws, the federal government does prosecute these distillers.

Owning distillation equipment such as stills and casks is legal under federal law. They can be used as decorative props or for legal production purposes. Stills can be used for distilling water and other nonalcoholic substances, and casks can be used to age purchased commercial liquors or wines. All of these uses are legal. Purchasers of distillation equipment should consult state and local laws prior to purchase to ensure that they comply with all ownership requirements.

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