hist-brewing: Re: distillation

Laura Barrowman emmasmum at bellsouth.net
Tue Jul 22 05:59:35 PDT 2003

Regarding the following message:  I am a bit confused by your language.  

I am familiar with the 1986 federal law which made is legal to homebrew both wine & beer.  BUT it is a federal law and individual states could still disallow homebrewing.  I am unaware of the current states that still won't allow homebrewing, (I haven't followed this in years).  I do know that Michigan was one of the few, until very recently, that allowed homebrewing of wine but not beer.  I understood that most of the state laws regarding homebrewing were not anti-beer as much as beer-clueless.  I'm guessing the persons responsible for writing these laws just didn't think you could homebrew beer.  The federal law passed in 1986 was meant to clarify 'Homebrewing' so that the homebrewing of beer is the same as the homebrewing of wine.  [Hope I have made a little bit of sense.  If this is really important to anyone I can hunt through my ancient issues of Zymurgy.  The AHA was VERY interested in the 1986 law.]

I am very interested to know about the legality of home distillation.  I have been told it is way extra illegal, legal to produce 5 gallons and all sorts of things between.  It is too bad the government thinks modern day 'Cooter & Burnie' are inspired (& smart) enough to produce enough 'shine' to put a dent in their treasury.  My 90-year-old grandmother has told me about helping her aunts use a modified pressure cooker to make 'whiskey' during prohibition.  She said it was a huge pain and they only did it for special occasions.  She recalled them only getting a few bottles for a days labor.  She didn't recall what they boiled but her father did make wine & beer.


Date: Fri, 18 Jul 2003 23:16:13 -0400 (EDT)
From: pngwen at acm.org
To: AlannnnT at aol.com
cc: hist-brewing at pbm.com
Subject: Re: hist-brewing: distillation

Ah, but there is a bill brought before the 107th congress to legalize home 
distilling for personal consumption.  It strikes the limitations of set forth
in the 1986 IRC (which is what keeps us from brewing at home).  Basically
the paragraphs it strikes are the ones which sets up the taxes for home 
distilled spirits.  Still, the paragraphs pertaining to the excise on sales
of the product remain.  So in effect, this makes it pretty much like home

The bill in question is HR3249 (house resolution 3249).

The summary of this bill is as follows:

"Amends the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to allow distilled spirits to be 
produced in dwelling houses, other connected structures, and certain other 

The bill was referred to the House Committee on Ways and Means on November 7,

This bill was introduced by Rep Bart Stupak from MI.

Anyway, if you want to see this legalized (as I do), write your congressman

Remember, it's HR3249 introduced in the 107th congress.  If some of your
congressmen are on the ways and means commitee, please, write them and let them
know it's important.  Even New Zealand let's their people brew, we should
at least be as free as they are!

The full text of the bill can be found by searching the bills of the 107th
congress on www.house.gov

Happy politicing!

The ever vigilant watcher of his governmen

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