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Why Is Moonshine Against The Law? (Correct answer)

So why is moonshine still illegal? Because the liquor is worth more to the government than beer or wine. Uncle Sam takes an excise tax of $2.14 for each 750-milliliter bottle of 80-proof spirits, compared with 21 cents for a bottle of wine (of 14 percent alcohol or less) and 5 cents for a can of beer.

  • The two primary reasons moonshine remains illegal are the tax consequences and the potential danger to human life. It may be a time-honored and traditional hobby in many parts of the world- including the US- but failure to comply with the law is likely to result in steep fines and jail time up to five years.


Is moonshine illegal for personal use?

The term “moonshine” is used to refer to several different kinds of alcohol. Historically, moonshine meant liquor that was made and distilled at home. 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.

Why was moonshine illegal back in the day?

Back In The Day Because Uncle Sam wants to get paid and distilled liquor was, and still is, taxed more than beer and wine combined at a rate of $2.14 for a bottle of 80-proof spirits, according to the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (moonshine hovers between 80-100 proof).

Why is distilling illegal?

Why is that? The government cites several reasons for keeping distilling illegal. First, it can be dangerous. Distilleries bring two materials into close proximity – alcohol vapor and heat sources – that can cause disastrous explosions when not managed correctly.

Is it legal to own a still?

“The process of breaking it down, when the molecule gets broken down, it turns into something that’s very, very dangerous to living cells.” Distilling spirits at home without a license is illegal, but it is legal to buy distilling equipment.

Why is moonshine illegal but not beer?

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.)

Why is moonshine called white lightning?

White lightning, a white whiskey made surreptitiously and illegally, was once produced in great quantities in South Carolina. It got its name from its color and the kick it delivers when consumed.

Why do they call it moonshine?

The term “moonshine” comes from the fact that illegal spirits were made under the light of the moon. In every part of America, early moonshiners worked their stills at night to avoid detection from authorities.

What states allow home distillation?

In contrast to Florida, some state’s home distilling laws allow “legal” moonshining, even though it’s considered illegal federally. Those states include Alaska, Arizona, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, Ohio, and Rhode Island.

Is moonshine illegal in the US?

The production of moonshine — or really any spirit — without a license is prohibited by the U.S. government and is very much illegal. Clear whiskey in the style of moonshine might be for sale, but technically speaking, moonshine is moonshine because it’s produced illicitly.

Does moonshine go bad?

Although different sources will say different things, the answer for whether moonshine can go bad or not is clear – a bottle of unflavored moonshine, much like other plain spirits, has an indefinite shelf life.

Can I 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 making gin at home illegal?

“The technical name for this is compound gin but it’s also sometimes called ‘bathtub gin’, in reference to the vessel in which batches were illegally made during American Prohibition in the 1920s. ” There’s nothing illegal about whipping up a bit of your own homemade gin – and it can be great fun.

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.

Why Is Making Moonshine Illegal? A Brief History with an Unexpected Bite

Moonshine has seen somewhat of a rebirth in recent years. Moonshine, the colloquial term for clear, non-barrel-aged whiskey — and, on occasion, other home-distilled spirits — has piqued the interest of a younger generation of drinkers, prompting the publication of books on the subject and the launch of upscale whiskey brands that use the term “moonshine” in their branding. In fact, there’s a Discover Channel show called Moonshiners that focuses on the American folk heritage of home-brewed handmade whiskey production.

The manufacturing of moonshine — or, for that matter, any spirit — without a license is strictly outlawed by the United States government and is considered to be highly unlawful.

Despite the fact that clear whiskey in the manner of moonshine is available for purchase, moonshine is still considered moonshine since it is created illegally.

Because of this, those who violate the federal law may face various federal offenses, including tax evasion, which may result in up to 10 years imprisonment on top of confiscation and forfeiture of the land that was utilized for the illicit activity.


Why is Moonshine Illegal?

“While many individuals are aware that distilling alcohol at home is against the law, many are unsure as to why or how these rules came to be,” says the author. According to Colin Spoelman, co-founder of Brooklyn’sKings County Distillery and author ofGuide to Urban Moonshining: How to Make and Drink Whiskey, Inverse is a great source of information. On the surface, the legislation appears to be illogical, but when you dive a bit further into its history, it becomes a little more evident. Instead than the government being concerned that you’ll go blind from drinking moonshine, the limitations on moonshine are mostly based on taxation.

Because, after all, they had recently won a battle against the British government’s tax duties, the American farmers who produce the grain used in moonshine were not going to take it lying down.

Fast forward to the age of the Civil War, when it was formally declared that creating moonshine without paying taxes was unlawful.

This legislation, among other things, formally put a tax on alcoholic beverages, making it much more difficult to get away with distilling without a permission.

Unfortunately, this included the production of homemade spirits, and it has been unlawful to produce spirits in private residences in the United States ever since.

Is It Actually Dangerous?

Despite the fact that many individuals are aware that distilling alcohol at home is against the law, they aren’t clear why or how these regulations were put in place,” says the article. Tells Inverse that Colin Spoelman, co-founder of Brooklyn’sKings County Distillery and author ofGuide to Urban Moonshining: How to Make and Drink Whiskey, is a co-founder of the distillery. It appears that the law is unjust on the surface, but when you dive deeper into its past, you will realize that it is not.

  • According to Spoelman, it all started shortly after the American Revolution, when the government began to levy excise taxes on alcoholic beverages in order to pay off its debt from the Revolutionary War.
  • In the end, this friction resulted in the Whiskey Rebellion, in which George Washington launched a crackdown on farmers who were making money by distilling their grain into moonshine for sale.
  • It was in 1862 that the ATF’s (Assistance to the Federal Government in the Fight Against Illegal Drugs) Revenue Act was ratified.
  • Taxes, especially extremely profitable duties on imported distilled alcohol and tobacco goods, are intended to be collected under the statute.

So How Come People Still Make Moonshine?

You might be thinking at this point if it’s really worth the effort to make your own moonshine in the first place. Despite the fact that moonshining is illegal, each state approaches the issue in a somewhat different way. As a result of their past with renegade moonshiners, states in the South, such as the Carolinas, Virginia, and Florida, tend to have stronger enforcement, according to Spoelman. In spite of the fact that you may reside in a state such as Missouri, where a person may legally create up to 100 gallons of spirits per year without obtaining a licence, Spoelman warns that distilling your own moonshine is still an extremely dangerous endeavor.

As it turns out, while it’s simple to acquire the equipment needed to produce moonshine online, the Tennessee Bureau of Liquor Control has been known to crack down on unregistered stills.

According to the providers, this is necessary in order to remain within the legal parameters. In other words, you should distill your moonshine according to your own preferences.

What is moonshine and why is it illegal?

  • You might be thinking at this point if it’s really worth it to go to the bother of brewing your own moonshine. Despite the fact that moonshining is illegal, each state approaches the issue in a unique way. State enforcement in the South is more stringent because of a history of rebellious moonshiners, according to Spoelman. States in the South include the Carolinas, Virginia and Florida. In spite of the fact that you may reside in a state such as Missouri, where a person may legally create up to 100 gallons of spirits per year without obtaining a licence, Spoelman warns that making your own moonshine is still a very perilous endeavor. Because federal law supersedes state law, you still run the possibility of being charged with the aforementioned offenses no matter where you live in the United States of America. The TBB has been known to clamp down on unregistered stills, despite the fact that it is simple to obtain the necessary equipment to create moonshine online. As reported by NPR, when providers do offer stills to amateurs, they “expect that buyers are interested in manufacturing fragrances, distilled water, or some other legal liquid,” rather than distilling anything. They claim that this is necessary to ensure compliance with the law. This means that you may distill your moonshine at your leisure.

MOONSHINE is a phrase that is frequently used to describe alcoholic beverages that are stronger than usual. Its origins may be traced back to the Prohibition era in the 1930s. Drinks labeled as ‘Moonshine’ are still often imitated and served in the southern United States, and the term has long been connected with the world of NASCAR racing. But what exactly is moonshine, and is it harmful? 2 Moonshine is a general slang phrase that refers to potently powerful and illegally produced alcoholic spirits, which are commonly prepared at home by inexperienced distillers and distillers.

What is moonshine?

Moonshine is a general slang phrase that refers to alcoholic spirits that are extremely powerful and are produced illegally. Bootleggers, who attempted to manufacture and sell alcoholic beverages during the Prohibition era, were the first to be connected with the term. Despite the fact that moonshine is still used to describe unlawful homemade alcohol in modern times, certain certified distilleries will frequently offer beverages that are labeled as moonshine for their novelty value or to explain their stronger than usual flavor.

However, the term “moonshine” may be used to describe anything that is considered to be powerful, handmade, and unlawful – such as strong varieties of whiskey or “bathtub” gin – without implying that it is illegal.

Why is making moonshine illegal in the US?

In slang, the word “moonshine” refers to alcoholic beverages that are extremely powerful and created illegally. Bootleggers, who attempted to manufacture and sell alcoholic beverages during the Prohibition era, were the first people to use the term. The term moonshine is still used to represent unlawful manufactured alcohol in current times, and certain recognized distilleries may frequently sell beverages that are labeled as such for the novelty factor or to describe a stronger than normal flavor.

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Although it is most commonly associated with powerful, handmade, and clandestine liquors, the term “moonshine” may refer to anything that is strong, homemade, and unlawful – such as strong whiskeys or “bathtub” gin.

What’s the penalty for making moonshine?

Section 5601 of Title 26 of the United States Code outlines the criminal penalties that can be imposed for a variety of acts. These are some examples of activities:

  • Possession of a still that has not been registered
  • Engaging in commercial activity as an uncertified distiller
  • The act of distilling spirits without obtaining a license The removal or concealment of distilled spirits on which no tax has been paid is prohibited. Selling unlawful spirits, which defrauds the United States government of “rightful taxes”
  • Selling illegal spirits to minors

Felonies under this section are punished by up to five years in prison, a fine of up to $10,000, or both for each offense.

Is moonshine dangerous?

Yes, moonshine – as well as other powerful, homemade alcoholic beverages – may be quite harmful. People who attempt to create and distill their own spirits without the required training and permissions are often unaware of the proper usage of the key component – ethanol – in the process. When alcoholic spirits are manufactured improperly, they can cause major illness, blindness, and even death in some cases.

If done incorrectly, the distillation process may be a risky technique to undertake. Not only may novice distillers mistakenly harm others, but stills are also very dangerous to handle.

Why is Moonshine Illegal, Anyway?

There are a variety of alcoholic beverages available for purchase, including whiskey, rum, gin, vodka, and cough syrup (hey, we don’t judge). So, what the hell is the problem with making moonshine illegal? It appears to us that acquiring a clear, unaged whiskey with a gasoline-like flavor and made using grains such as barley, wheat, and maize is a good idea. For years, it has been a part of American culture on par with porn and apple pie—albeit with the misconception that hillbillies are the hayseeds who produce it.

Back In The Day

Farmers who lived along the Appalachian Trail in the 1800s would distill their harvests into illicit moonshine to supplement their income and provide for their families. Eventually, in 1978, the regulations around alcohol were relaxed, making it lawful to homebrew beer and wine; nevertheless, home brewing moonshine remained prohibited; legitimate distilleries, on the other hand, can produce it after obtaining an expensive license. So what is it about making moonshine that makes it the lone boozy outlaw?

The Future of Hooch

However, times have changed, and eye-watering booze is now in high demand, largely due to the insatiable thirst of the man-bun sporting hipster. As a result, small startup distilleries in places like Tennessee and California have sprung up, selling their products both online and in liquor stores across the country. Furthermore, business is booming. According to Technomic, a food and beverage analysis firm, 200,000 more cases of moonshine were sold in 2012 than in 2011. This has prompted whiskey giants such as Jack Daniels and Jim Bean to experiment with producing their own brands of moonshine, which they call “Unaged Whiskey” and “White Whiskey.” There is some ambiguity around the definition of moonshine; formerly, any alcohol produced in an illicit still was termed moonshine.

However, the only real distinction between illicit moonshine (such as that produced during Prohibition) and legal booze is that legitimate enterprises are required to pay taxes.

All that remains is for you to worry about is going to the liquor shop before it shuts so that you can drink on the same booze that your great, great grandpappy has been swilling down the hatch for decades.

Also Read:7 Things You Probably Don’t Know About Moonshine

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?

Regulations governing the production of alcoholic beverages for public distribution and sale are in place at both the federal and state levels of government. Federal legislation permits the ownership of stills of any size without a permission; but, in order to make alcohol using the still, a permit is necessary. Regardless of how large the still is, it does not matter. Stills pose genuine dangers and risks, which is why they are under to stringent regulations and supervision. For the purpose of lawfully producing alcoholic beverages for the purpose of sale and distribution, a federal distilled spirits permit is required.

Obtaining them is both costly and time-consuming.

Do I Need a Lawyer?

Federal and state laws prohibit the manufacture of alcoholic beverages for the purpose of distribution or sale to the general public. Federal legislation permits the ownership of stills of any size without a permission; but, in order to make alcohol with the still, a permit is necessary. It makes no difference how large the still is. Stills pose genuine dangers and concerns, which is why they are subject to extensive regulation. A federal distilled spirits permit is required in order to lawfully manufacture and distribute alcoholic beverages for the purpose of sale or distribution.

They are both pricey and difficult to come by in sufficient quantities.

Why Is Moonshine Illegal and what you need to know Alcohol Laws

In recent years, there has been a resurgence in the popularity of moonshine. Even the Discovery Channel has capitalized on the moonshine obsession by airing the famous television show ‘Moonshiners,’ which follows the lives of moonshiners. This show has been successful in raising awareness of illicit moonshine and encouraging viewers to purchase their own home distilling equipment and materials in order to manufacture their own moonshine.

However, before you attempt to make moonshine at home, consider the following: Unless you have the right authorization, it is unlawful to manufacture any spirit (even moonshine). When distilling any type of alcohol, make sure to verify your local regulations first.

So Why Is Moonshine Illegal?

It is allowed to possess and operate moonshine stills, and you may even use them if you are not manufacturing alcoholic beverages. You do not need a license to make essential oils, perfume, or distilled water. You can do it in your home. The process of producing your own ethanol for use as a fuel is likewise totally lawful, provided you obtain a TTB authorization. Even if obtaining home fuel permits appears to be straightforward, TTB employees might visit your home to guarantee that you are not consuming so-called white lightning.

According to federal rules, distilling alcohol at home is unquestionably prohibited, regardless of the amount of alcohol produced.

According to federal law, those who operate home distilleries may be charged with a variety of federal offenses, including tax evasion, which can result in a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison, as well as the seizure and forfeiture of the property and land that was used for the home distilling operation.

Check your Alcohol Fedral or State Laws

Even while many individuals are aware that it is illegal to make alcoholic beverages at home, many may not comprehend how and why these regulations were put into place. The legislation may appear odd at first glance, but a look back in time helps to make things lot more reasonable. Instead of issuing a warning that you will go blind if you consume your own moonshine, the government’s restrictions on the booze are based on taxation. Things began to deteriorate following the American Revolution, when the government began to levy excise taxes on alcoholic beverages in order to pay back the debt incurred as a result of the conflict.

  • During the American Civil War, the distillation of moonshine and the sale of moonshine without paying taxes were both proclaimed illegal.
  • This bill established the formal imposition of excise taxes on alcoholic beverages and other “sin” commodities.
  • Although it has been around for a long time, knowing how to produce moonshine has become increasingly popular throughout the United States, particularly in southern states such as South Carolina and North Carolina as well as Tennessee, Kentucky, and Virginia.
  • While it is now legal to create your own beer or wine for personal consumption, the manufacturing of spirits for personal consumption is still illegal by federal law.

The excise tax that so many moonshiners dreaded is still much too profitable for them to ignore. So if you’re thinking of creating moonshine, make sure you have all of the necessary licences. Otherwise, home distillation might result in major legal repercussions if not done properly.

Is Moonshine Really Dangerous?

Even while many individuals are aware that it is illegal to make alcoholic beverages at home, many do not comprehend how or why these rules were enacted. A look at the law’s history makes it far more intelligible, even if it appears ludicrous at first. Instead of issuing a warning that you will go blind if you consume your own moonshine, the government’s restrictions on the booze are based on taxation…. It was only after the American Revolution that things began to deteriorate, as the government began to levy alcohol excise taxes in order to pay back the war-related debt.

  1. During the American Civil War, it was made unlawful to manufacture moonshine or sell it without paying taxes.
  2. Alcohol and other “sin” commodities were subject to excise taxes under this legislation.
  3. Although it has been around for a long time, knowing how to produce moonshine has become increasingly popular throughout the United States, particularly in southern states such as South and North Carolina as well as Tennessee, Kentucky and Virginia.
  4. However, while it is now legal to create your own beer or wine for personal use, it is still illegal to produce spirits for personal consumption.
  5. The excise tax, which many moonshiners dreaded, is still much too profitable for them to ignore it.
  6. Distilling at home, on the other hand, can result in significant legal repercussions.

What Is Moonshine & Why Is It Illegal? How To Drink Moonshine

What Exactly Is Moonshine? What Makes It Illegal in the First Place? How to Prepare and Consume Moonshine Charles-Philippe 2020-12-08T09:15:08-05:00

Learn All About Moonshine With Bespoke Unit

Take a look at the top moonshine brands.

What Is Moonshine?

Moonshine is most often recognized as a slang phrase that refers to powerful alcoholic spirits that are illegally produced. As a result, it is commonly connected with bootleggers during the Prohibition era in the United States of America. Moonshine is still used to denote illicit homemade alcohol, although reputable distilleries may frequently sell products that are labeled as moonshine in order to attract customers. Officially, the United States government considers moonshine to be a “fanciful phrase” and does not regulate its production or use.

The goal for some moonshine producers will be to recreate the clear, high-proof homemade booze that was popular during the Prohibition period. Moonshine, on the other hand, may legally be anything!

Why Is Moonshine Illegal?

Distilling alcohol at home is not only allowed in certain areas of the world, but it is also regarded as a cultural tradition in others. In fact, some historians say that distillation is a vital sign of the development of civilizations throughout history. Distilling, on the other hand, is against the law in the United States and much of Europe. There are a variety of reasons why governments prefer to prohibit its citizens from manufacturing their own alcoholic beverages at home. In fact, in many nations, even the act of purchasing or owning any form of still is prohibited.

  • People might quickly become ill, become blind, or even die as a result of consuming alcoholic spirits that have been improperly prepared.
  • Additionally, distillation may be a harmful procedure when carried out incorrectly.
  • Finally, taxes is a crucial consideration, which many proponents of home distilling claim is the root cause of the practice’s illegality in the first place.
  • Once upon a time, peasants would distill their excess crop residues for the purpose of earning a little more money for the winter.
  • For example, there are brandies made from grape pomace, such as grappa, that are made from the leftovers from winemaking.
  • As a result, licenses ensure that manufacturers will be required to pay taxes on the goods they make.

Moonshine History

Although moonshine is commonly linked with the Prohibition era, it has a far longer history than that of the 1920s. Indeed, the name is British in origin, having been coined in 1785 to refer to alcoholic beverages. According to legend, the term was chosen because of the possibility of hallucinogenic side-effects from the alcohol’s impurities. Moonshine, on the other hand, is known by a variety of different names, including hooch, white lightning, and mash liquor, among others. A number of components were used to make different varieties of moonshine by various cultures throughout history.

  • While illicit alcohol manufacturing was rather frequent, it did not become well known until the passage of the aforementioned Revenue Act, which was passed in 1862.
  • Despite crackdowns, its manufacturing grew particularly concentrated in the East-Coast Appalachia region, where it was easier to escape authorities than in other regions.
  • Prior to Prohibition, spirits accounted for less than 40% of all alcoholic beverages consumed in the United States.
  • Bootleggers who smuggled alcoholic beverages discovered that transporting spirits was significantly more profitable than transporting wine or beer.

They discovered, as did the 16th-century Dutch traders who distilled French wine into cognac, that greater proof alcohol was simpler to transport since the amounts were smaller than lower proof alcohol. As a result, it resulted in a shift in the products that were offered on the market.


In the late nineteenth century, the majority of moonshine produced in the United States was delivered by horse and cart. The emergence of the vehicle, on the other hand, marked a significant shift in the dynamic. The moonshine was carried to its different locations by bootleggers or runners once it had been manufactured and packaged. The runs, like the manufacture itself, took occurred at night, and the smugglers began to use automobiles in order to evade the cops as rapidly as possible. As officials began to modernize their automobiles, bootleggers quickly followed suit and began to alter their own vehicles.

  • The automobiles were also equipped with strong engines that allowed them to outpace the authorities, as well as enhanced handling.
  • Although it was critical that the automobiles be completely unnoticeable from the outside in order to avoid arousing suspicion, this was not always possible.
  • Despite the fact that Prohibition came to an end in 1933, illicit moonshine enterprises continued to operate in order to escape new taxes.
  • Stock car races gained popularity in the 1940s, and as a result, bootleggers found themselves with less employment, which finally led to the formation of the National Association of Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR).
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How Does Moonshine Taste?

Because of a lack of regulation and standardization, there is a wide range of legal moonshine available to consumers. As a result, they can all produce flavors that are quite distinct from one another. Some argue that a high-quality traditional moonshine should have a strong aroma of maize on the nose and on the taste in order to be considered authentic. It is possible that it will have slightly fruity flavors that are reminiscent of cider or perhaps grappa from time to time. Other types of moonshine, depending on how it was distilled and the resulting alcohol percentage, may have a flavor that is similar to vodka.

This results in a high concentration of potency and a significant amount of alcohol bloom.

Apple pie moonshine is a popular variation, which is prepared by blending the distillate with cider or apple juice, as well as sugar and spices such as cinnamon, to create a syrup.

Some of them may contain fragments of fruit that have been kept in the alcohol, although this is not common.

These are technically liqueurs, however they are far weaker in flavor. Typically, they contain roughly 20 percent alcohol by volume (ABV) or somewhat more. Because they’re sweeter, they’re frequently more enjoyable on their own, although they may also be used in cocktails.

How To Properly Drink Moonshine

We believe that there is no “wrong” way to consume something as long as you like it, and we are proponents of this belief. This proverb holds true in particular when it comes to moonshine! Indeed, there aren’t any conventional ways to consume moonshine, and there isn’t any sort of specialized glassware that is used to do so. Because there were few alternatives to moonshine in the nineteenth century and before, it was frequently taken neat. The alcohol was seldom kept in huge pottery jars, which kept it cold and made it easier to consume when the weather was hotter.

Despite the fact that cocktails were initially made with more traditional beverages, they were extremely popular in speakeasies during the Prohibition period.

Today, you may drink moonshine as you want and not have to worry about receiving negative feedback from purists.

Consider checking out our guide to the top 10 best moonshine cocktail recipes if you’re looking for some drink ideas or inspiration.

Similar DrinksMoonshine Substitutes

As we discussed above, there are many distinct kinds of moonshine available for purchase. As a result, you’ll most likely have a variety of alternatives for combining it with other beverages when ordering it. For starters, clear moonshine occasionally has a faint similarity to vodka in appearance. As a result, if a drink calls for one ingredient, you may substitute the other. Because moonshine has more flavor and clout than regular whiskey, the end outcome may be slightly different. It is likely that grappa bianca is the ideal choice for you because it has a comparable amount of personality as moonshine.

Gin is another possible substitution, although it does have a distinct juniper flavor, which can alter the outcome of the experiment.

Although both have strong herbal flavors, keep this in mind when experimenting with different recipes and combinations.

Fruit juice may be combined with a beverage such as vodka at any time.

What Are The Benefits Of Drinking Moonshine?

However, moonshine is not one of the historical alcoholic spirits that were initially designed to provide herbal advantages, as is claimed by many other historical alcoholic spirits. Despite the fact that it may help with digestion, it will not be as effective as brandies such as cognac and grappa. Indeed, moonshine is typically made from maize and is known for being quite harmful.

However, it is probable that the majority of the historical allegations made against it were manufactured in an attempt to put a halt to illicit manufacturing. When used safely and in normal quantities, it should not have a significant detrimental impact on your health.

Gluten, Carbs,Calories In Moonshine

Corn is inherently gluten-free due to its genetic makeup. Consequently, any clear moonshine produced from it should be suitable for persons who are allergic to or sensitive to the protein in question. Meanwhile, moonshine manufactured from barley may not be as harmless as it appears to be on the surface. Despite the fact that distillation generally removes gluten from grain, there have been instances of it having an adverse effect on humans. The fact that it has been distilled several times does not rule out the possibility of it being safe.

In the same way, it will not include any carbs.

There may be gluten-containing items in the recipe, and the carbohydrate and calorie counts might vary greatly.

What Next?

Now that you’ve finished reading our introduction to moonshine, let’s go a little deeper and discover even more!

  • What are the best moonshine cocktails? What are the best moonshine brands? How does moonshine get made? Armagnac Guide
  • Cognac Guide
  • Best SpiritLiquor Glassware
  • Alcoholic Spirit Homepage
  • Armagnac Guide

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Is It Illegal to Make Moonshine?

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Federal Excise Tax

One of the reasons that manufacturing your own booze is unlawful is because the federal government charges liquor makers $2.14 each 750 mL bottle of 80-proof whiskey, which is a significant amount of money. The tax on a gallon of liquor with a 50 percent alcohol content is approximately $13.50, rounded up. This does not include the state excise tax you would be required to pay, which may be as high as $12.80 per gallon in Alaska. Taxpayers may lose money if you make and sell your own moonshine since you might be stealing up to $25 per gallon.

Federal Punishments for Distilling

In theory, because the federal rules against distillation are based on tax fraud, it is not unlawful to distill moonshine if the necessary licenses and taxes have been obtained and paid on time. If you’re attempting to escape Johnny Law, as most moonshiners do, you might face up to five years in federal prison and up to $10,000 in fines if you’re found guilty of distilling under 26 U.S.C. 5602.

Private Distilling in Your Home State

Many states may provide permits to “craft distillers,” who are individuals who seek to produce moonshine for their own personal enjoyment. Even in places like Oregon, however, you will not be awarded the necessary permissions to lawfully run a still until you first seek permits and licenses from the federal government, which can take several months. These licenses are also subject to special federal occupational taxes, which include a $500 annual fee for any distiller who makes less than $500,000 in revenue in a given calendar year.

Resources that are related to this topic:

  • Obtain the services of Criminal Defense Attorneys in your area (using FindLaw’s Lawyer Directory)
  • What is the legal basis for prohibiting moonshine? (Slate)
  • Questions and Answers on Distilled Spirits (Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau)
  • Indian Tribe Loses Lawsuit Against Beer Makers for Alcoholism (FindLaw Has Been Decided)
  • Do you think the Budweiser lawsuit is about more than just booze? The Free Enterprise of FindLaw is a good example of this.

Is Moonshine Illegal?

Many developments in popular culture have left some questioning if moonshine is still illegal. It was formerly believed that moonshining was a criminal activity that could only be carried out under the cover of darkness, however it appears that this is no longer the case. Quality moonshine is still being produced today, and it is widely accessible online.

Some commercial spirits even go by the moniker of’moonshine,’ thanks to shows like Discovery Channel’s Moonshiners, which highlights the world of home brewing. Is it unlawful to make moonshine, or is it not? The quick answer is that sure, it is possible. The long and the short of it is yes, but.

Is Moonshining Illegal?

Possessing a still of any size is permissible in the United States. This is due to the fact that stills are capable of producing much more than simply moonshine. Stills may be used to create a variety of products, including essential oils, distilled water, perfume, and fuel. Many people are under the impression that possessing a small still is legal, while owning a larger still is not. This simply isn’t accurate in any way. The government is more interested with how you intend to use your still than with whether you have one.

It makes no difference whether the alcoholic beverages you are producing are just for personal consumption and not for sale.

How to Legally Distill Spirits at Home

In the United States, it is possible to legally distill spirits in one’s own house. In reality, there are two distinct permission alternatives available to ensure that you may produce your own spirits at home without having to worry about getting into issue with the authorities. The first step is to apply for and get a Federal Distilled Spirits License. A licence that states that you wish to start your own distilling firm is what this is essentially all about. This is the same permit that would be in the possession of large liquor corporations such as Jack Daniels.

  • This permission is completely pointless unless you are truly going to start a distillery and sell your product to the general public, which is not the case most of the time.
  • What you can do is apply for a permit to consume alcohol while operating a motor vehicle.
  • In fact, by obtaining this licence, all you are indicating to the authorities is that you intend to use the alcohol you produce to fuel your lawnmower rather than use it yourself.
  • The only situation in which this permit will protect you is if you are producing ethanol for the purpose of powering your gas mower.
  • The purchase of a still without the goal of producing alcohol does not necessitate the acquisition of a permit.
  • You only need to look at these possibilities if you want to use your still to distill spirits in the near future.

While you may be lawfully producing moonshine in some cases, you are not technically creating moonshine because the term refers to only the criminal manufacture, transportation, and distribution of spirits. Once you have a distilling permit in your possession, you are officially a distiller.

What are the Moonshining Laws in my Area?

While it is critical to be aware of the rules regulating moonshine, it is equally critical to be aware of the laws that apply in your particular location. Many states have special regulations governing the distillation of alcohol. Unfortunately, federal law will always take precedence over state law. However, several states have regulations in place that, if moonshining were not prohibited by federal law, would potentially make it permissible. It’s critical to understand what is and isn’t lawful in your jurisdiction.

In Missouri, you have the potential to produce 100 gallons of alcoholic beverages every year.

Take a look at this website, which breaks out the distillation legislation according to state.

Still Registration and Reporting

According to the Federal Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau laws, still makers are required to retain the information on their customers. This is necessary because the Federal Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau may ask for this information at some point in the future. To read the exact federal legislation on the issue of distillation, please visit this link.

Why is Making Moonshine Illegal?

Moonshine production was not always prohibited by law. In truth, the production of moonshine is entirely legal in many parts of the world. In 1996, New Zealand became the first country to legalize the distillation of moonshine for personal use, making it the first country to do so. In 1997, Russia reduced the punishment for creating moonshine from a criminal infraction to a misdemeanor, thus abolishing the crime. As of 2002, it is no longer even deemed a misdemeanor in the state of California.

While the government frequently places a high emphasis on health and safety concerns, the origins of these worries may be traced back to money.

A Drink Rich in History

Many early American pioneers practiced moonshining, which was not only legal, but also a way of life for them. Farmers quickly learned that fermenting their extra grains was a cost-effective solution to not only reduce waste but also to generate additional income. For one thing, a farmer could make far more money selling whiskey than he or she could make selling maize. In reality, during this time period, it was rather usual for whiskey to be used as a type of money to facilitate trade. Take a look at our delectable Corn Whiskey Recipe.

  1. Hamilton’s plan was to use the debt to fund the American Revolution.
  2. Of course, not all of the farmers were on board with the plan.
  3. The Whiskey Rebellion was the culmination of this buildup of animosity.
  4. The Revenue Act of 1862, enacted by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF), made the production of moonshine a criminal offense in the United States.

Since then, it has been prohibited to distill spirits in private residences in the United States.

Is it Illegal to Brew Beer and Wine at Home?

Until the legislation was officially altered in 1978, homebrewing was considered a federal crime. In contrast, it wasn’t until 2013 that homebrewers were granted the right to brew their own beer in each of the 50 states. Because the regulation of alcoholic beverages is primarily left to the discretion of individual states, residents of Alabama and Mississippi were among the last to profit from the repeal of this statute. Despite the fact that the regulations surrounding winemaking are somewhat vague, this legislation does not apply to the manufacturing of spirits.

You might be interested:  How Do You Make Moonshine Still?

It is reasonable to assume that the method of making each sort of alcoholic beverage is comparable.

How Much is Moonshine Worth?

According to the United States Government, when it comes to the amount of money that each form of liquor is worth, spirits vastly surpass beer and wine in terms of value. Excise taxes on 80-proof spirits in the United States are $2.14 a bottle, compared to 21 cents per bottle of wine (with no more than 14 percent alcohol content) and 5 cents every can of beer in the country. While it is not clear how much money the government stands to lose as a result of moonshining, the amount is significant enough to merit further inquiry.

It seems likely that tax income will continue to be a strong motive for the United States government to pursue moonshiners for the foreseeable future, given the current state of affairs.

Is Making Moonshine Safe?

There is a safe method to create moonshine and a harmful way to manufacture moonshine, just as there is with any other practice. Making moonshine is a three-step procedure that necessitates meticulous attention to detail on the part of the distiller or producer. In many ways, making moonshine is analogous to carrying out a scientific project in high school. You’re dealing with high temperatures and combustible stuff. The maker must pay strict attention to the passage of time, the temperature, and the components.

  1. As a result, while the process of creating moonshine is quite basic, it is time-consuming and must be done correctly.
  2. Moonshine must be produced using clean equipment and with food-grade components in order to be considered safe.
  3. Of course, failing to adhere to appropriate protocol might result in potentially disastrous circumstances.
  4. This can result in a potentially perilous situation.
  5. This is true whenever you are working with high temperatures.
  6. Failure to exercise caution can result in potentially hazardous circumstances.
  7. Alcohol has a high flammability rating.

Furthermore, moonshine contains a significant amount of alcohol with a high alcohol by volume (ABV) (alcohol by volume). It is suggested that you dilute your moonshine before consuming it and that you drink it slowly and carefully.

Is Drinking Moonshine Safe?

The drinking of moonshine is a major source of concern when it comes to moonshine production. This makes sense since, when you homebrew beer or wine, you are producing a product that will most likely include an alcohol content ranging between 5 and 14 percent by volume. Making moonshine may result in yields of more over 50%, which is a good thing! (100 proof). In addition to the hazards connected with consuming high-proof alcohol, there are additional concerns linked with the possibility of eating methanol, which is a chemical compound with a toxic effect.

When distilling moonshine, the amount of product you get will vary based on the temperature of the still you use.

Ingesting excessive amounts of methanol is extremely dangerous to your health.

If you want to learn more about how to fractionate moonshine, check out ourHow to Make Moonshineguide.

Output Temperature Fraction Keep or Toss?
Acetone 134°F or 56.5°C Foreshots TOSS
Methanol 147°F or 64°C Heads TOSS
Ethyl Acetate 171°F or 77.1°C Heads Keep for a second distillation or toss
Ethanol 172°F or 78°C HEARTS KEEP
2-Propanol 207°F or 82°C Tails Keep for a second distillation or toss
1-Propanol 207°F or 97°C Tails Keep for a second distillation or toss
Water 212°F or 100°C Tails Keep for a second distillation or toss
Butanol 241°F 116°C Tails Keep for a second distillation or toss
Amyl alcohol 280°F or 137.8°F Tails Keep for a second distillation or toss
Furfural 322°F or 161°C Tails Keep for a second distillation or toss

Making spirits at home with the intention of consuming them is against federal law. Only with the proper permissions can a person manufacture ethanol, whether for personal consumption or as part of a commercial enterprise — such as founding a craft spirits firm, which has sprung up in droves throughout the country in recent years, for example. Aside from the legal challenges that are involved, there are also health risks to be concerned about. Moonshine may get contaminated with hazardous substances, particularly methanol, a type of alcohol that is known to cause blindness and death at high concentrations.

Home moonshining is illegal in the majority of states; nevertheless, state legislation may clash with federal legislation.

However, federal law takes precedence over state law, thus distilling at home for personal use is considered unlawful by the federal government.

TTBGov – Penalties for Illegal Distilling

Individuals of legal drinking age may make wine or beer at home for personal or family consumption, however the production of distilled spirits at home is absolutely prohibited by federal law (see 26 United States Code (U.S.C.) 5042(a)(2) and 5053(e)). It is possible that producing distilled spirits in any location other than a TTB-qualified distilled spirits plant could subject you to Federal prosecution for severe violations and will result in a range of repercussions including but not necessarily limited to the following:

  1. Section 5601 of Title 26 of the United States Code establishes criminal penalties for a variety of crimes, including the ones listed below. Offenders who commit offenses under this section face up to five years in prison, a fine of up to $10,000, or both for each violation.
  • 5601(a)(1) – Possession of a still that has not been registered
  • Engaging in the business of distilling without first filing an application and getting a notice of registration is prohibited under Section 5601(a)(2). 5601a)(6) – Distilling on a forbidden location (1)(B) A distilled spirits facility may not be placed within 100 feet of a dwelling or within 100 feet of sheds, yards, or enclosures that are attached to a residence. The provisions of 5601(a)(7) and 5601(a)(8) are as follows: 5601(a)(7) – Unlawful production or use of material suited for the manufacture of distilled spirits
  • And 5601(a)(8) – Unlawful production of distilled spirits. If the person making the purchase, receiving, and/or processing of distilled spirits knows or has reasonable grounds to suspect that the Federal excise tax on the spirits has not been paid, he or she is in violation of Section 5601(a)(11). The violation of Section 5601(a)(12) is the removal or concealment of distilled spirits on which no tax has been paid.

Engaging in business as a distiller with the purpose to defraud the United States of tax is a crime punishable by up to 5 years in jail, a fine of up to $10,000, or both under 26 U.S.C. 5602, the Internal Revenue Code. Transporting, possessing, buying, selling, or transferring any distilled spirit without the container bearing the closure required by 26 U.S.C. 5301(d) (i.e., a closure that must be broken in order to open the container) is a felony punishable by up to 5 years in prison, a fine of up to $10,000, or both for each offense under 26 U.S.C.

According to 26 U.S.C.

Furthermore, pursuant to 26 U.S.C.

In accordance with Section 5615(3) of the United States Code, whenever any person engages in the business of a distiller without first obtaining the required bond or with the intent to defraud the United States of the tax on distilled spirits, the personal property of that person located in the distillery, as well as that person’s interest in the tract of land on which the still is located, shall be forfeited to the United States of America.

Having liquor or property intended to be used in violation of the law is a misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail, a fine of up to $5,000, or a combination of the two punishments, according to 26 USC 5686.

5688 apply to the seizure and forfeiture of such alcoholic beverages and property, among other things.

A person who has property subject to tax, or raw materials and/or equipment for the production of such property, in his or her possession for the purpose of selling or removing it in violation of the Internal Revenue Code may be arrested and have that property forfeited to the United States under the provisions of 26 U.S.C 7301.

The legislation further states that it is prohibited to hold any property that is intended for use, or that has been used, in violation of the Internal Revenue Code, and that no property rights shall exist in any property that falls under this category.

Is Making Moonshine Legal?

If the idea of digging ditches while wearing shackles around one’s ankles appeals to you, you should read this article on the laws of manufacturing moonshine very carefully before proceeding. Home distillation is governed by federal and state statutes, respectively. Distillers must adhere to all applicable federal, state, and local rules and regulations, as well as any local laws, in order to prevent encounters with federal, state, and municipal law enforcement agencies and authorities. In this essay, we’ll go over some of the most significant federal laws you should be aware of.

Federal Distillation Laws

It is permissible to own a still of any size, according to federal regulations. It makes no difference if a person has a 1 gallon still or a 100 gallon still in his or her possession. According to federal legislation, it is permissible to own a still for decorative purposes, distilling water, distilling essential oils, and other similar purposes. As long as it is being used for the aforementioned objectives, it is not required to be registered with anybody or to get any licenses or permissions.

It makes no difference whether the alcohol is for personal consumption exclusively, is not for sale, or is otherwise prohibited.

This isn’t correct at all.

The possession of a still greater than one gallon is permissible under federal law, as long as it is not used to distill alcohol or is authorized to be used for distilling fuel alcohol or spirits, which are both prohibited under state law.

Federal Distilled SpiritsFederal Fuel Alcohol Permits

In order to legally distill alcohol, a person must follow one of two procedures. The first step is to apply for and get a Federal Distilled Spirits License. This is the permission that industry heavyweights such as Jack Daniels and Makers Mark distilleries hold, which allows them to legally distill and distribute their products to the general public in the United States. Obtaining this authorization, as one might expect, is quite difficult to do. Shortly put, unless a person is planning to start a distillery with the goal of selling their product in liquor shops, they should not even bother looking into acquiring their own distillery license since they will find it to be far too expensive and hard for them to get on their own.

The second option is to get a Federal Fuel Alcohol Permit (link below). Please be warned that the restrictions of the permission only authorize a distiller to utilize the alcohol they manufacture for the purpose of fuel production, not for consumption.

Federal Fuel Alcohol Permit

In the event that you build a copper still kit or purchase a stainless distiller from Clawhammer Supply, you’ll need to write down the manufacturer line and your order number for the serial number (e.g. “6601”) on a sticker that will be provided with the equipment in order to be eligible for the federal fuel alcohol permit: “Pot still” should be included as the kind. The capacity of a boiler is the size of the boiler (i.e. 1 gallon, 5 gallon, 10 gallon, etc.). In this case, it will serve as the still’s identifying information It should be noted that people who do not intend to use their still to produce alcohol are not required to get a permission or register the still with the federal authorities.

Those who intend to use the equipment to distill alcohol, on the other hand, must provide their order number (which is also their serial number) on any permission documents.

State Distillation Laws

Every state has its own distillation legislation, which varies from one another. Several jurisdictions allow the ownership of a still but forbid the distillation of alcohol (for example, Colorado, which imposes a minor fine if anybody is discovered doing so), while other states restrict the possession of a still save for the purpose of fuel alcohol production (such as North Carolina, which requires a state fuel alcohol permit). Some states may outright outlaw the ownership of distillation equipment, as well as the practice of distilling.

Also, be certain that you follow all applicable rules and regulations.

Still Registration and Reporting

According to federal Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau laws, still makers are required to retain consumer information. Moreover, these documents may also be sought by the federal TTB, and manufacturers are still compelled to provide them if they are requested to do so.

How to Stay Out of Trouble

Exemptions from federal law are not available for the manufacturing of distilled spirits for personal or family consumption. Individuals should never distill or sell alcohol without first obtaining a permit from the appropriate authority. Anyone who want to distill alcohol should ensure that they have obtained the necessary fuel and spirit permissions before starting (listed above). Additionally, verify your state regulations to ensure that owning and/or running a still is legal in your area.

More information on the laws of distillation may be found in our comprehensive legal overview.

To read the exact federal legislation on the issue of distillation, please visit this link.

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