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How Much Moonshine Is Legal To Make In Va? (Perfect answer)

Is it Legal to Distill Alcohol in Virginia? Yes, but you need a Distillery License that needs to be renewed annually. This license I will cost you $450 (if the production is less than 5000 gallons), and $3725 (if the production is more than 5000 gallons). There is a $65 non-refunable fee that must also be paid.

Is it legal to make moonshine in your state?

  • State Distilling Laws: Is it Legal to Make Moonshine in Your State? Is it legal to make moonshine in your state? If you are considering making your own moonshine whiskey, it would be a very good idea to make sure your state allows it. The thing to keep in mind is that there are federal and state laws regarding home distilling.


How many gallons of moonshine is legal?

According to federal law, It is legal to own a still larger than 1 gallon so long as it is not being used to distill alcohol or it is permitted to be used for distilling fuel alcohol or spirits.

Is it legal to make moonshine for personal consumption?

Moonshine is typically made out of some kind of corn mash. Today, people make artisan moonshine out of a sense of nostalgia and preference for taste. These can be sold in liquor stores or brewed just for personal use. However, distilling alcohol at home, even for personal use, is illegal under federal law.

How much trouble can you get in for making moonshine?

If you’re avoiding Johnny Law like most moonshiners, 26 U.S.C. § 5602 provides that you may face up to five years in federal prison and up to $10,000 in fines for distilling. Many states will grant licenses to “craft distillers” who wish to make moonshine for their own private consumption.

Can I distill alcohol for personal use?

Distilling in California is illegal, even if it would be federally legal. 23300. No person shall exercise the privilege or perform any act which a licensee may exercise or perform under the authority of a license unless the person is authorized to do so by a license issued pursuant to this division.

Is moonshine legal in Virginia?

And This Time, It’s Legal: The Salt While the revival has taken off around the country, it’s especially strong in Virginia, where many of the twists, turns and car chases that are a part of moonshine lore took place.

What happens if you get caught making moonshine?

Offenses under this section are felonies that are punishable by up to 5 years in prison, a fine of up to $10,000, or both, for each offense. 5601(a)(1) – Possession of an unregistered still.

How much whiskey can you make legally?

In general, most of the states hold distillation of whiskey (and other spirits) to be illegal, but there are some definite exceptions. Missouri, for example, allows residents to distill up to 100 gallons of spirits a year.

What states allow home distilling?

This tax is built into every bottle of spirits you buy so it’s not a special tax on home made spirits. If you do the calculations, you’ll find your favourite spirits cost up to 90% less when you take the tax off.

How much moonshine will a 5 gallon still make?

A 5 gallon run will yield 1-2 gallons of alcohol. A 8 gallon run will yield 1.5-3 gallons of alcohol. A 10 gallon run will yield 2-4 gallons of alcohol.

Is it legal to make whiskey for personal use?

No matter what you may have seen on the Discovery Channel, home distilling in the United States remains very much illegal. It’s perfectly legal to own a still, and you can even use it, as long as you’re not making alcohol – so, you can make essential oils without a permit, or perfume, or distilled water.

Why is homemade moonshine illegal?

So why is moonshine still illegal? Because the liquor is worth more to the government than beer or wine. Today, federal rules say a household with two adults can brew up to 200 gallons of wine and the same amount of beer each year. (A few states have their own laws prohibiting the practice.)

Is hooch illegal?

Moonshine is high-proof liquor that was and continues to be produced illicitly, without government authorization. The name was derived from a tradition of creating the alcohol during the nighttime, thereby avoiding detection. Distilling such spirits outside a registered distillery remains illegal in most countries.

Is home distilling illegal?

Distilling at home is a legal process in many countries. In other less forward thinking countries, it is still illegal to make alcohol by distillation if you’re not registered to do so with the relevant authority responsible for collecting Taxes and/or Excise.

Can you make moonshine at home?

While most states prohibit home moonshining, state laws sometimes conflict with federal law. But federal law trumps state law, and to the feds, distilling at home for personal consumption is illegal, period.

Is homebrewing legal?

July 1, 2013—Today, homebrewers can legally brew in every state in the country, as recently passed homebrewing legislation takes effect in Mississippi, according to the American Homebrewers Association (AHA). Homebrewing was federally legalized in 1978 for the first time since Prohibition made it illegal in 1919.

State alcohol laws for Virginia

It is prohibited to own a still, regardless of its intended use, unless you have obtained a license. A license will be required if you want to distill water, essential oils, or anything else. It is particularly prohibited to own a still in Virginia, regardless of how it is used, according to state law. 4.1-212. Permits are necessary in specific situations.

  • 5. Any person who keeps, stores, or has a still or distillation device is prohibited from doing so.

Code 4.1-200 (Virginia) (2014) The following occupations are exempt from the requirements of this chapter:

  • Manufacturing and selling food items known as flavoring extracts, which are created and marketed solely for use in the preparation of food for consumption in the kitchen or in the kitchen of a restaurant

The manufacturing of ethanol fuel is authorized provided you have been granted an ethanol distillery license as well as the necessary federal permits and permits. Virginia offers provide a distillery license that may be used for either a small-scale or large-scale operation. The costs are $65 for the fee plux. Less than 5,000 gallons per year: $450 per gallon. The cost of 5,001–36,000 gallons per year is $2,500. More than 36,001 gallons of water each year: $3,725 In order to lawfully make spirits, you must apply for a number of different permits.

There will also be additional state standards that must be adhered to.

Permission at the most basic level.

Also required is a license for the distillation equipment / distillery, which includes the following information: TTB 5100.24 TTB 5100.24 Plant that produces distilled spirit In order to manufacture ethanol fuel, you must file a request for aTTB 5110.74, which is a federal license application.

  • The following provisions apply: A. Except as otherwise provided in 4.1-200 and 4.1-201, no person shall manufacture alcoholic beverages in the Commonwealth unless such person has been granted a license under this chapter to manufacture alcoholic beverages in the Commonwealth. No one, other than a brewery licensee or a bottler’s licensee, shall bottle beer for the purpose of selling it. This section defines manufacture as the presence of mash in an unlicensed distillery
  • C. Any person convicted of violating this section is subject to prosecution for a Class 6 felony
  • D.

4.1-302 of the Virginia Code (2014)

  • It is a Class 1 misdemeanor for anybody who does not have a valid liquor license to sell alcoholic drinks in any other manner than that which is authorized by this Act. If you are convicted of a second or subsequent offense under this section, you will be sentenced to no less than thirty days in prison, which will never be suspended.

4.1-314 of the Virginia Code (2014)

  • Anyone who keeps, stores, or has in his possession a still or distilling apparatus without an authorization from the Board is in violation of the law. If you are found guilty of violating this clause, you will be charged with a Class 1 misdemeanor.

Current federal laws grant residents the freedom to possess and run a still for the purpose of producing something other than alcohol. This indicates that you are legally permitted to:

Each state and even counties havetheir own lawsthat may supersede federal laws.

It is your obligation to be aware of the laws that apply in your jurisdiction.

Busting Moonshine: Virginia Hates Competition

Here’s a piece from the Roanoke Times regarding the rise in moonshine busts in Southwest Virginia that was published recently. It has been reported by the Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (VABC) that the manufacturing of illicit booze is once again on the rise. During the fiscal year that concluded in June 2010, agents in Southwest Virginia seized a total of 22 stills. They have seized 5 stills in the last month alone, two in Franklin County and three in Henry County. Franklin County, Virginia is known as the “Moonshine Capital of the World” by people who are unfamiliar with the region.

  • The Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (VADBAC) is the only player in town.
  • The Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control is responsible for the sale of all alcoholic beverages in the state.
  • When I went to Virginia, I was completely unaware that there were no other liquor outlets in the state, which was a tremendous shock to me.
  • Control states are those in which a state has a monopoly on the sale of alcoholic beverages.
  • Virginia is one of just a handful of states that still owns and operates its own liquor shops, despite the fact that all governments control the sale of alcoholic beverages to some extent.
  • The VABC outlets generate $324 million in income for the state each year, according to the most recent figures available.
  • Their monopoly is so important to them that they maintain an armed security team.

(Another control state is North Carolina, which is also a member of the union.) Throughout the history of this country, federal agents have been largely responsible for enforcing anti-moonshine laws.

However, this is not the case in Virginia.

One item mentioned in the report is the seizure of three copper moonshine stills in Henry County from a Collinsville man who was selling them on eBay at the time.

The output of a 10 gallon still is significantly smaller than the production of 10 gallons.

There are strict laws against even owning a distillation apparatus in the state of Virginia.

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Although the Collinsville man was in possession of a distillation apparatus, it did not appear that he was actually producing alcohol.

Even federal law permits you to acquire a distillation apparatus as long as you do not intend to use it to distill alcoholic beverages.

(It’s possible that you won’t want to mail it to Virginia.

The two men detained were selling stills on Craigslist, which is considered a “crime” in certain jurisdictions but is not considered a felony in others.

Monopolists despise competition and will go to any length to eliminate it. Virginia is demonstrating this by going after both major, commercial moonshine producers and tiny hobbyists who distill for their own personal enjoyment.

Moonshine in Virginia

Here’s an item from the Roanoke Times regarding the rise in moonshine busts in Southwest Virginia that was published just recently: Manufacturing of unlawful alcoholic beverages, according to the Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (VABC), has resumed its upward trend. Agents in Southwest Virginia seized 22 stills for the fiscal year that concluded in June of 2010. Recently, they have seized 5 stills, two in Franklin County and three in Henry, all within the previous month. In case you’re not acquainted, Franklin County, Virginia is known as “the moonshine capital of the world.” The following are some of my views upon reading the article: The Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (VADBAC) is the sole player in town.

  • Everything sold in this state by the Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control is distributed by them.
  • When I got to Virginia, I was completely unaware that the state did not have any other liquor outlets, which was a big shock to me.
  • In the case of liquor, control states are those where the sale of liquor is monopolized.
  • Virginia is one of just a handful of states that still owns and operates its own liquor shops, despite the fact that all governments control the sale of alcoholic beverages in some capacity.
  • As of now, the VABC outlets generate revenues of $324 million per year for the state.
  • They even have an armed security team to safeguard their monopoly’s interests.
  • Other states that are part of the control system include North Carolina (another control state).

To the federal government, it is a matter of tax income, which is why the cops who raided moonshine enterprises were referred to as “revenuers” (tax revenue officers).

Virginia, on the other hand, is a different matter.

A particular item mentioned in the report is the seizure of three copper moonshine stills in Henry County from a Collinsville man who was selling them on eBay.

Ten gallon still produces far less than ten gallons of water every minute of operation.

A distillation apparatus is prohibited from being owned in the state of Virginia.

Although the Collinsville man was in possession of a distillation apparatus, it was not clear if he was actually distilling alcohol at the time.

A distillation apparatus is legal under federal law as long as it is not used to produce alcoholic beverages.

) You might not want to mail it to Virginia, for example.

On Craigslist, the two men who were detained were selling still photographs, which is considered a “crime” in certain jurisdictions but not in others.

Concentration of power aversively dislikes competition and will use whatever means necessary to eliminate it. By going after both major, commercial moonshine producers as well as tiny hobbyists who distill for their own enjoyment, Virginia is demonstrating its commitment.

The “ABC” of Legal Liquor in Virginia

  • There’s the A. Smith Bowman Distillery, Catoctin Creek Distillery, Chesapeake Bay Distillery, Cirrus Vodka, Copper Fox Distillery, Ferrum College – Blue Ridge Institute, and a whole bunch of other places to visit.
  • The reputation of moonshining is established on a lengthy history (August 27, 2012)
  • The history of moonshine in Franklin County is represented in a film (August 26, 2012)
  • Moonshine – Blue Ridge Style
  • North Carolina Moonshine
  • Prince William Reliquary
  • Moonshine – North Carolina Style
  • In this section, you will find information about Moonshine – Blue Ridge Style, North Carolina Moonshine, the Prince William Reliquary, and other topics.
  • Moonshine is now being produced in containers other than Mason jars.
  • There is a flurry of small booze distilleries springing up in Virginia (June 28, 2008)


(See “2012 Establishments by License Category – Cities” and “2012 Establishments by License Category – Counties,” 2012 Annual Report, Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control, accessed on October 27, 2013) 2. 2. “A spirited museum is in the works,” says the author. Fredericksburg Associated Press, October 3, 2010, accessed October 27, 2013) 3. “Nip Joints,” Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control, accessed on October 27, 2013); 4. Fourth, “The Whiskey Rebellion,” Mount Vernon (reviewed on October 27, 2013).

“Law’s Choice” is being offered as a sixth option.

The Roanoke Times (February 11, 2019; accessed April 5, 2020) – Virginia and AlcoholVirginia Tourist Attractions

State Distilling Laws: Is it Legal to Make Moonshine in Your State?

It would be extremely wise for anyone considering purchasing and running a still to first research the applicable state legislation in their area. What you should bear in mind is that there are federal and state rules in place that govern home distillation. For an excellent overview of federal distillation legislation, please see this link. See the list below for information on state laws. It’s not a particularly long list at the moment, but we’ll add to it as we have time. Also, we have a lot of knowledge about distillation, but we are not attorneys.

  1. To get help with this, consult with a legal expert who is licensed to practice law in your state.
  2. Our distillation apparatus is intended solely for legal reasons, and the information contained in this paper is intended solely for educational purposes.
  3. Is it legal to distill moonshine in this state?
  4. Florida Georgia Guam HawaiiIdaho Illinois Indiana Iowa Kansas Kentucky Louisiana Maine Maryland Massachusetts Michigan and Minnesota are two of the most populous states in the United States.
  5. New Jersey is a state in the United States.
  6. New York is the capital of the United States.
  7. North Dakota is a state in the United States.
  8. Ohio Oklahoma Oregon Pennsylvania Puerto Rico is a U.S.


South Dakota is a state in the United States. Tennessee Texas Utah Vermont Virginia The Virgin Islands are a group of islands off the coast of the United States of America. Washington West Virginia is a state in the United States. Wisconsin Wyoming


Ontario Check out the website of the American Home Distillers Association, as they have a wealth of legal material available on their website. It’s important to remember that distilling alcohol at home for personal consumption is against the law. This should not be done.

“Moonshine,” Like Everclear, Now Legal in Virginia

As of July 1, Vermont is currently the only state in the United States that does not allow the sale of grain alcohol products such as Everclear, which is a kind of grain alcohol. A bill introduced by Republican Delegate Barry Night of Virginia Beach was signed into law by Virginia’s governor in June, prompting the revision to the state’s statute. According to the new law, it is now lawful to sell and possess alcoholic beverages with proofs up to 151 proof in Virginia. Bars are also permitted to serve the beverage; however, some may choose not to do so due to the fact that it is seldom used in mixed beverages.

  1. A 151 proof liquor like Bacardi 151, which is distinguished by its color, taste, character, or scent before the legislation was changed, was already available to Virginians prior to the change in the law.
  2. The absence of odor, color, or taste in Everclear makes it simpler to take in huge quantities before feeling intoxicated or inebriated – which may be quite dangerous if used in big numbers.
  3. However, while the sale of moonshine is currently authorized in Virginia, grain alcohol with a level of up to 190 percent is permitted in various other states in the United States.
  4. Other states have followed suit.

Virginia ranks third in states with the worst drivers!

The moon rises above the sugar maples, locusts, elms, and sycamores of West Virginia as it flows through the cool stream (pronounced crick) and bounces off the copper twisting tubes of a still in the deep woods along the cool creek (pronounced crick). That was the start of a Mountaineer moonshiner’s workday. It is time to go to work! Moonshine mythology has been a part of West Virginia’s history for a very long time. Moonshine has played an important role in the history of the state, both in its legal and, well, criminal variations.

Many people recently commemorated the history of moonshine on National Moonshine Day, which took place last month.

Their customized vehicles zoom down back roads at great speeds, and they have played a role in the development of NASCAR and some of the sport’s initial drivers.

Despite the fact that they were unlawful, they were real events.

Take a moment to toast our state’s wild and amazing past by raising a glass of one of many commercial variations of legal Moonshines, learning about the history of moonshine, and celebrating this aspect of our state’s wild and beautiful heritage.


According to a letter written on Dec. 19, 1620, by a new colonist by the name of George Thorpe to a business associate in England, the colonist was doing well – despite rumours to the contrary. Thorpe makes reference of “soe delicious drinke of Indian corne” in his letter to the editor. The production of whiskey in the colony, and arguably in the whole United States, was a custom for settlers in the British Isles for centuries prior, according to certain historians. It was in 1791 that the nascent nation’s congress levied its first tariffs on stills and whiskey, which were later repealed.

  • President George Washington personally organized and led a huge militia in order to bring the battle to a close.
  • In preparation for their march to crush the Whiskey Rebellion in western Pennsylvania, George Washington inspects the men in Fort Cumberland, Maryland, before they leave for the field.
  • Unfortunately, this whiskey was made by six enslaved distillers.
  • During the following years, the whiskey tax was repealed and would not be applied again until 1862, with the exception of a three-year period during the Civil War.
  • As far back as anybody could remember, moonshiners were known to do their “business” by the light of the moon — hence the name.
  • According to the Register, “They (the moonshiners) awaken punctually at 7, as if summoned by a whistle.” They have breakfast and are at work by 9 a.m.
  • “A large number of moonshiners’ offspring have never seen the light of day.

There is less risk if everyone is awake at night beneath the moon, while the rest of the world is asleep.” The life of a West Virginia moonshiner was no different.

Many more arrests and reports of whiskey stills being “busted” may be found in the many other stories published during this period.

The event in Hinton, West Virginia, was covered by the Calhoun Chronicle on Nov.

After draining one of her “crocks” to its very last drop, Ida Reynolds flung it out the window with reckless abandon.

Cleet W.

The diamond jar (crock) was transformed into his crown.

It was discovered that she had been provided the firearm by a police officer. According to the newspaper, the officer was arrested and “detained pending the outcome of a federal grand jury investigation.”


According to a letter written on Dec. 19, 1620, by a new colonist by the name of George Thorpe to a business associate in England, he was doing well, despite rumours to the contrary. Thorpe makes reference of “soe delicious drinke of Indian corne” in his letter to his brother. Some historians think that this may have been the colony’s, and maybe America’s, first batch of whiskey, which had previously been a custom for settlers in the British Isles. The first levies on stills and whiskey were enacted by the nascent nation’s congress in 1791.

  • When the battle erupted, President George Washington personally recruited and commanded a considerable force to resolve it.
  • In preparation for their march to crush the Whiskey Rebellion in western Pennsylvania, George Washington inspects his men in Fort Cumberland, Maryland.
  • It is unfortunate that this whiskey was made by six enslaved distillers.
  • Whiskey taxes were eventually eliminated in succeeding years, with the exception of a brief three-year period in 1862, when they were reinstituted.
  • The Working Sunday Register published an article on July 26, 1896, headlined “Turn Day Into Night,” which highlighted the working hours of mash producers.
  • Their morning routine includes breakfast and arriving at the office by nine o’clock.
  • They don’t come to a complete halt until the moon sets and the sun begins to cast its first crimson streaks across the sky above them.
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All of us being awake at night beneath the moon, when most of humanity is asleep, poses less threat.

Increased anxiety and crackdowns on Mountaineer moonshiners as a result of Prohibition in the United States.

This period has one especially fascinating episode.

23, 1922.

” When one of Ida Reynolds’ crocks was nearly empty, she threw it out the window with reckless abandon.

Cleet W.

” His crown was made from the jewel jar (crock).

According to the newspaper, the officer was taken into custody and “detained before a federal grand jury.”


Individuals are prohibited from making distilled spirits at their residence under federal legislation. The manufacturing of these spirits at any distilled spirits factory that is not tax and trade bureau certified can result in significant government fines and penalties. Since the 1970s, arrests have continued to be made around the country. There are medical dangers as well as legal risks to take into consideration. Because of the high concentration of alcohol in moonshine when it is consumed unsupervised, it has been linked to medical complications.

Many distilleries in West Virginia and other states have gained permission to lawfully make spirits that are classified as moonshine in recent years, including a considerable number of distilleries in Kentucky.

The West Virginia Department of Tourism recommends a number of distilleries around the state that now sell the legal form of moonshine, according to the department.

These distilleries have contributed to the growth of new tourism.


Moonshine has persisted for a very long time throughout history. Today, the legal profession, like other companies, is confronted with the obstacles posed by the COVID-19 epidemic. Some distilleries, on the other hand, are figuring out how to adapt. It is located on a 200-acre farm in Chalkhill, Pennsylvania, approximately 85 miles from Wheeling and along historic U.S. 40. Ridge Runner Distillery produces whiskey. Wheeling is home to Ridge Runner Distillery’s owner Christian Klay and head distiller Andrew Hotlosz, who are both born and raised there.

“At first, it was a frightening experience; we had no idea how a firm that was mostly reliant on tourism would perform in the event of a pandemic.” As a result of Pennsylvania’s decision to shutdown its State Wine and Spirits outlets, we saw an inflow of new consumers to the point where we had to close for a week in order to catch up with inventory.” Because to the continued growth of COVID-19 cases, Hotlosz stated that “we are preparing for the possibility of another wave of closures.” Our inventory orders have more than doubled, and we’ve crammed everything we can into our facility.” Many distilleries, like Ridge Runner, were embarking on a new enterprise, which would be beneficial to many in this uncertain economic climate.

“At some time, we understood that we had the potential to make a significant contribution to the hand sanitizer problem.” So we started creating it right away, even taking some of our finished spirits and transforming them into hand sanitizer for the folks who were in desperate need,” Hotlosz explained.

According to a Facebook post on Ridge Runner’s page, the Fayette County Emergency Management Agency picked up 55 gallons of the distillery’s hand sanitizers in April to deliver to “ambulances, firemen, police officers, and other emergency responders.” When FEMA called to seek sanitizer, the enormity of the problem had already begun to dawn on us because to the influx of calls and messages from hospitals, nursing homes, police stations, and other institutions.

Although making a donation to FEMA wasn’t completely insane on our part, it was a wonderful feeling to be able to assist in any way.

During this period, Hotlosz noted that it has been a collaborative effort.

Their sibling firm, Christian W. Klay Winery, as well as other wineries from throughout the state, stepped up and contributed some of their wine, which was then made into sanitizer as well as other products.


Moonshine is an important element of the mythology and history of West Virginia. The preconceptions of long-bearded Mountaineers drinking from crock jugs of booze, as can be seen, are not the only thing at stake here, as can be seen. Tradition, struggle, and victory are all part of the story of the legal profession today, which if approached correctly, has the potential to be a source of significant economic opportunity. If you’re in the middle of a terrible situation, you can even use it to help other people.

  • Despite the fact that our illicit history is likely to be viewed as a humiliating element of our history, it is still an essential component of our history.
  • So raise a legal glass in celebration and honor!
  • He has worked at a variety of venues and events throughout the tri-state area.
  • Kyle formerly worked in the events sector in Pittsburgh before relocating to the Wheeling region in 2011.
  • He graduated from West Liberty University in 2013 and began working as a contributing writer for Weelunk the following year.

Moonshine Laws

When it comes to alcoholic beverages, the phrase “moonshine” can apply to a variety of distinct types of liquor. Historically, the term “moonshine” referred to whiskey that was produced and distilled in one’s own house. When alcohol was outlawed in the United States during the Prohibition era, the phrase “bathtub gin” was used to refer to home-brewed moonshine, which was produced in bathtubs. Moonshine is often created from a type of maize mash or a combination of corn mashes. People today manufacture artisan moonshine out of a sense of nostalgia and a desire for a particular flavor profile.

However, distilling alcohol in one’s house, even for personal consumption, is prohibited under federal law.

These facilities produced legal moonshine for the purpose of sale and distribution.

Because of its portrayal of cultural past, the product quickly gained popularity. Moonshine has always held a prominent position in the American imagination, and its resurgence in popularity in the twenty-first century has resulted in increased tourism revenue for local vendors.

Is Moonshine Illegal?

There are federal and state laws that prohibit the manufacture of alcoholic beverages for the purpose of distribution or sale to the general public. It is allowed under federal law to own a still of any size without obtaining a permission; nevertheless, a permit is necessary in order to make alcohol with the still. Regardless of how large the still is, it is still a still. Stills pose genuine dangers and concerns, which is why they are subjected to extensive regulation. A federal distilled spirits permit is required in order to lawfully manufacture and distribute alcoholic beverages for the purpose of sale and distribution.

They are both pricey and difficult to get by in large quantities.

Is Moonshine Illegal in my State?

State regulations on the legality of home distilling differ significantly from one another. The possession of a still is prohibited by law in certain states, although it is not prohibited by law in others. It is sometimes lawful to own a still, but you may be subject to a modest fine for the act of making and producing alcoholic beverages. If the Federal Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau demands them, still titles and permissions may be necessary. It is against the law in every country to sell alcohol to minors.

Do I Need a Lawyer?

If you have been charged with home distilling, you should speak with a drug attorney as soon as possible. A lawyer will assist you in determining your alternatives and developing your best case, as well as representing you throughout plea negotiations and in court. The most recent update was made on June 19, 2018. Disclaimer for the Law Library

How Can I Legally Distill at Home?

Clear Water Distilling provided the photograph. A lot of people ask us at StillDragon about the best ways to legally distill spirits in the comfort of their own homes. At the same time, home distillation is a topic that may be both complicated and clear. The authors of this essay are not attorneys by any length of the imagination, and they are certainly not licensed to provide legal advice, thus nothing in this post is meant to substitute for the counsel of a qualified legal practitioner. It is important to note that distilling spirits without a permit is prohibited on a national scale, and that this prohibition transcends any state laws that may exist.

  • Despite the fact that distilling spirits at home is permitted under federal law, several states would nonetheless prohibit it.
  • However, if you do not have a license, you may face legal consequences if you attempt to distill spirits at home.
  • If you’re looking to make alcoholic beverages at home, the rules are quite straightforward at the federal level.
  • This appears to be a rather easy situation, but one that is hypocritical.

For more information on how to manage the licensing procedure, check out our excellent blog post on it here. Along with federal requirements for distilling permits, each state has its own home distilling rules, with some being more distiller-friendly than others, which may be found here.

Florida Home Distilling Laws

For example, the laws of our home state of Florida (Title XXXIV: Alcoholic Beverages and Tobacco) expressly declare inTitle XXXIV: Tobacco that 561.17 that obtaining a license is necessary: Applications for licenses and registrations; individual who has been authorized A sworn application for an alcoholic beverage license must be filed with the district licensing personnel of the district of the division where the place of business for which a license is sought is located, in the format prescribed by that division, before engaging in the business of manufacturing, bottling, distributing, selling, or in any other way dealing in alcoholic beverages.

If you do not have a license, any property or raw materials utilized in the manufacturing and sale of materials for the aim of “evading tax” by making untaxed spirits may be seized and forfeited to the government.

The possession of less than a gallon of alcohol is considered a misdemeanor in the state of Florida, although the seizure of property is still possible.

“Legal” Moonshining

In contrast to Florida’s home distilling rules, certain states’ home distilling laws allow for “legal” moonshining, despite the fact that it is unlawful under federal law. Alaska, Arizona, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, Ohio, and Rhode Island are among the states that have ratified the treaty. Federal law does take precedence over state law, but because we are not attorneys, it is your responsibility to study your alternatives for distilling spirits at your residence. Each state is truly unique in its own way.

Options to Distill Spirits at Home

So, if you chance to reside in a state with more lenient regulations and are interested in getting started (and haven’t been scared off yet! ), there are a handful of alternatives for beginning home distillers to choose from. To get started distilling using a milk can kettle and either a copper helmet or a small column is a very affordable alternative for people who have obtained a distilling license but are new to the process or who reside in a state that allows home distillation of “water.” These are excellent systems for learning on since they are completely adjustable, and you may customize any system to meet your specific requirements.

  • The sort of equipment you pick will be determined by the type of product you intend to create.
  • They will also provide a purer result than if you were to pass it through a copper helmet first.
  • As a result, most vodka production systems include between 12 and 30 plates, depending on their size.
  • If you want to manufacture beautiful goods on stills made of glass, stainless steel, or copperso it’s up to you to determine how much money you’d like to set aside to spend on machinery.
  • Finally, whichever material you pick, be certain that you’re adequately cleaning your equipment after each use it.
  • Alternatively, you may reach us by phone at (561) 903-4689 if you have any questions concerning the equipment you’ll need.

If you have any doubts concerning the regulations in your region or the ramifications of home distillation, we recommend that you contact a local attorney, who will be able to assist you far more effectively than we can!

Local History: Franklin County – The Moonshine Capital

The era of illicit moonshine production is long gone. Are they, or aren’t they? If you travel to Franklin County, you will be visiting “the moonshine capital of the world” as well as “the wettest county on the planet.” Virginia now allows for the production of distilled spirits, although this requires the acquisition of a license and the payment of taxes. Follow along and learn a little something about bootlegging’shine as we go across the highlands and valleys of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains.

  • Distilleries in Franklin County, including Twin Creeks Distillery, the Blue Ridge Institute Museum, and the Franklin County Historical Society
You might be interested:  What Is The Strongest Alcohol In The World Moonshine?

Legal Now and Legal Then

Like a broken relationship, the legalization of alcoholic beverages has been on and off for a long time. Actually, distillation is more about tax avoidance than it is about being against the law. According to the Blue Ridge Institute and Museum, “The United States collected an excise tax on alcoholic beverages from 1791 to 1802, and then again from 1813 to 1817.” The tax on alcoholic beverages was collected from 1791 to 1802 and again from 1813 to 1817. During the following 45 years, alcohol was exempt from taxation, but in the midst of the Civil War, Congress approved yet another whisky tax.” In that period (1861-1865), the liquor tax reached $2 per gallon, which was “up to 12 times the real cost of producing a gallon of whiskey,” according to historians.

There were 77 licensed distilleries in Franklin County alone in 1893-94.”

But Then, Prohibition

Virginia became the first state to prohibit alcohol three years before the 18th Amendment made nationwide prohibition a reality. That occurred on November 1, 1916. The attempt to curb crime while also protecting the family flopped miserably. Instead, unlawful drinking and the production of illegal alcoholic beverages soared. It has been believed that binge drinking originated during the prohibition era, and chemicals like as creosote and embalming fluid were known to have been put into some batches to enhance the color and strength of the alcohol during that time period.

When you combine that with an increase in crime, it became clear that repeal was coming.

A new department was established in Virginia in March 1934, known as the Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control.

The Great Moonshine Conspiracy of 1935

During Prohibition, it is said that more sugar was supplied to Boones Mill, Virginia, than was delivered to New York City. So, what’s the deal? As a result, sugar is an essential element in the production of hooch. Firewater. White Lightning is a kind of lightning that appears white. Moonshine. Red flags drew revenuers to southwest Virginia, and sugar was eventually purchased by genuine enterprises such as bakeries to serve as a cover for the true activities in the area. Indeed, a significant section of the Franklin County population was engaged with moonshine, even if they were not active in the distillation or distribution of the liquor.

  1. By the 1930s, Franklin County had become so entwined with the moonshine industry that the county was thrust into the national limelight.
  2. It was a protracted trial, both in terms of time and number of defendants.
  3. Twenty of the accused were found guilty out of a total of 23.
  4. In its defense, the government claimed that officials had received “protection money” from still operators, and that Commonwealth’s Attorney Charles Carter Lee was the one who sparked the investigation.
  5. Hopkins, Lee was unfairly targeted because he was simply following orders that came directly from Virginia Governor John Garland Pollard at the time of the incident.
  6. The scope of bootlegging in Franklin County was revealed by the testimony of 176 witnesses during the 1935 trial, which was held at the county courthouse.
  7. It was estimated that authorities in Floyd County alone destroyed 3,909 stills, made 1,669 arrests, and seized more than 716 automobiles containing a total of 130.717 gallons of alcohol during Prohibition, according to the Blue Ridge Institute and Museum.
  8. Since then, there have been several large, prominent busts, the most recent of which happened in 2001.

“Operation Lightning Strike” was responsible for the destruction of two Franklin County stills. During a seven-year period in the 1990s, one of them had generated more than 213,780 gallons of product. The owner-operator of the business was sentenced to five years and ten months in prison.

The Bondurant Boys

The Bondurant Boys, who were depicted in the film “Lawless,” in which Shia LaBeouf portrays Jack Bondurant, were “rumrunners” in Franklin County during the 1930s. The television series “Lawless” is based on the bookThe Wettest County in the Worldby Matt Bondurant, who is the grandson of Jack Bondurant. When asked about his grandpa, the younger Bondurant characterizes him as “an intimidating guy” in a 2012Newsweek piece, adding that he once took stock of a pair of brass knuckles that hung on the wall of his grandfather’s storage room, which he later discovered.

Two of the three were shot, although none of them was seriously injured.

In response to Jack’s interrogation, “he just raised his shirt to reveal the gunshot hole.”

Today’s Franklin County Moonshine

Franklin County Distilleries became the first legally recognized distillery in Franklin County since Prohibition when it opened its doors in 2015. Their tasting location in Boones Mill is the best spot to try their white label corn whiskey, which is made from maize. A referendum that authorized liquor sales by the drink was passed in 2017, but only after gaining the backing of the local community during that year’s election campaign. FCD distills today’s booze using family recipes that have been passed down through generations.

  1. Twin Creeks Distillery, which started in 2015, was part of a veritable competition to be the first.
  2. If you’re going to a music at the nearbyHarvester Performance Center, their tasting room in downtown Rocky Mount is a nice place to stop for a beverage before the show.
  3. More information may be found at: Twin Creeks Distillery produces handcrafted spirits.
  4. ‘Capital of the World,’ according to Blue Ridge Outdoors Vimeo.

Explore the area around Rocky Mount, and consider taking a trip along The Crooked Road: Virginia’s Heritage Music Trail to have a better understanding of the culture of the region. For further information, please see our Franklin County section.

Author:Casey L. Higgins

Travel and small business are two of Casey L. Higgins’ areas of expertise as a writer, editor, content consultant, and social media strategist, all of which she combines in her work. She’s also a mother and wife who enjoys the mountains and valleys of Virginia, where she lives with her family. She previously contributed to Virginia is for Lovers and is delighted to share her excitement for family activities, the outdoors, and the culinary pleasures that can be found in Virginia’s Blue Ridge region.

Is Moonshiners real? Does the TV show make real moonshine?

Whether you came across this occurrence by chance while channel surfing or you’ve been a long-time fan of the Discovery Channel’s blockbuster television showMoonshiners, you may have wondered at some point: Is this something that actually happens in the real world? To summarize, the quick response is: “No, kid, it’s television.” This is not the case in reality. However, here’s the question you should be asking yourself: Is any of it genuine? When series like The Real World, Survivor, Fear Factor, and American Idol first aired on television decades ago, the notion of reality television was revolutionary.

Do we still believe that every person who brings an unusual item into Rick’s pawn store merely happened to walk in off the street to do so?

Do we believe that if the actors of the Discovery Network showMoonshiners had truly been sneering at the tax collectors for eight seasons, someone, somewhere would not have been nabbed for their crimes?

So isMoonshinersreal?

The answer to that question, my friend, is a sophisticated one that involves a discussion about the nature of reality, the interweaving of myth and legend with anticipation, as well as, of course, the degree to which people are willing to accept their own propaganda. Starting with the obvious, we’ll go on. The simple act of seeing reality has the effect of altering it. This is a television show, complete with cameras, producers, directors, and editors, among other things. Many of the cast members are referred to as “actors” throughout the film.

They’re most likely quite similar copies of themselves.


Are the moonshiners legal? What the law says about making moonshine

It’s also worth noting that, traditionally, the clandestine nature of the whiskey cooking hasn’t been the determining factor in whether or not moonshine is legal. It is a tax-free transaction. That is why, traditionally, moonshiners have taken on the IRS rather than, say, the ATF. As a result, if the moonshiners featured on the show secure the necessary permissions and pay the necessary fees, they will be able to stroll around in the woods and distill as much whiskey as they want without ever violating the law.

Many members of the Moonshiners cast have stated that television video is not admissible as proof in their efforts to maintain their status as genuine outlaws.

Members of the Moonshinerscast, whose apparent legal acumen is fairly remarkable, also empirically say that they must be caught in the process of making moonshine.

Moonshine isn’t a big deal in the highlands, and local law enforcement isn’t very concerned about it.

The occasional good gambling or moonshine bust will occur around election time, but the most of the time, the moonshiner will be engaged in some other activity — such as Tickle being nabbed for possessing a sawed-off shotgun – to avoid being apprehended.

The truth about moonshine culture in the Smokies

Finally, there’s one more layer of reality that we need to take into consideration. It is the result of the culture’s effect on itself. The Godfather movies, according to certain sources, caused a lot of mafia behavior to change in terms of their speech, actions, and overall behaviour. Is it true that these moonshiners are portraying the most authentic versions of themselves, or are they just behaving in the manner in which they have been taught a moonshiner should act? The first season of Moonshiners made extensive use of video of Marvin “Popcorn” Sutton, who committed himself after a series of run-ins with the authorities led to the prospect of genuine prison time.

He was from the mountains, of course, but I believe he realized that acting in a particular way boosted his renown and capacity to sell his products.

By the end, I’m not sure Sutton himself was aware of what had happened.

In this photograph, Popcorn Sutton is holding one of his moonshine stills (photo courtesy ofSucker Punch Pictures) How much is the way he speaks, the way he walks, and the way he behaves influencing the way others see him and his actions?

Also check out these 6 startling facts about Popcorn Sutton and his moonshine production.

I believe that the majority of moonshiners would tell you that they show their true selves to the world through their products.

Is this the actual world?

Is it possible that you’ve watched the show Moonshinerson Discovery Channel?

What did you make of it?

Disclaimer: While we make every effort to provide you with the most up-to-date information, please keep in mind that the attractions and pricing mentioned in this article may vary depending on the season and are subject to change.

If you have any questions or comments, please email us at [email protected]

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