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  • James Niekamp

Is Home-Distilling Legal? The Answer is Still "No".

Is Home-Distilling Legal?

TTB released an updated Newsletter today, reminding the public that home-distilling alcohol is not legal.

As the craft spirits industry continues to gain momentum, more and more individuals are intrigued by the movement, not unlike what we saw a decade ago with craft beer. However, unlike craft beer - in which many aficionados can legally home-brew for fun, the same rule does not apply to spirits.

Federal law prohibits anyone from producing distilled spirits at any place other than a TTB-qualified Distilled Spirits Plant (or "DSP"). Although Federal law allows for individuals of legal drinking age to produce wine or beer at home for personal or family use, it is still illegal to produce distilled spirits at home.

That being said, some narrow exceptions exist which allow for owning a small still and using it for other purposes. Under Federal law, a still or "distilling apparatus" that is not used for distilled spirits (but instead used to distill water or extract essential oils by steam or water extraction methods), may be exempt from TTB requirements, per 26 USC § 5179. However, there is no exemption for making alcohol.

For more information, TTB has an entire webpage dedicated to the topic of home-distilling.


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