Is it Legal to Own a Still According to Federal Law?
According to federal regulations, the ownership of stills of any size is legal as long as they are not being used or intended to be used for alcohol production. In other words, if a still is only used for distilling, filtering, or purifying water, or for making products like essential oils, and does not involve the distillation of alcohol, then it is legal to own.
In order to comply fully with laws related to operating a still for the production of consumable alcohol, one would need to obtain a Federal Distilled Spirits Permit. Additionally, distillation equipment can be legally used for producing fuel alcohol if the owner possesses a Federal Fuel Alcohol Permit.
Is it Legal to Own a Still According to State Laws?
In addition to federal regulations, there are also state-specific laws governing still ownership. The regulations regarding distilling and distillation equipment vary from state to state, and there is no general rule for how states treat distillation equipment that could potentially be used for alcohol production. We have not compiled detailed information on state distillation laws. Please search the statutes in your particular state to determine the legality of owning and operating distillation equipment and whether a permit is required. If you have any questions, consult an attorney who is licensed to practice law in your jurisdiction.
Furthermore, all state statutes and regulations are subject to existing federal law. Some states explicitly require applicants to have obtained the necessary federal permits and licenses and comply with federal reporting requirements, while others do not. If applicable, federal requirements still remain in effect regardless of whether the individual state law mentions them.
When is it Illegal to Possess a Still?
It is illegal for individuals to produce alcohol for consumption without the proper permits. The only federal permit that allows for the production of distilled spirits for consumption is a commercial federal Distilled Spirits Plant (DSP) permit. Federal law does not provide any exemptions for the personal or family production of distilled spirits.
As mentioned earlier, state laws also apply to the ownership and operation of distillation equipment. Generally, the production of distilled alcohol for consumption or fuel is not allowed unless permitted by state-level rules, regulations, and permits. Make sure to review your state’s laws regarding the ownership and operation of distillation equipment before purchasing parts and manufacturing a still. If you have any questions, consult an attorney who is licensed to practice law in your jurisdiction.
The information provided on this website was gathered through online research. It should be noted that statutes can be amended, modified, or repealed at any time, and there may be a significant delay before the amendments and modifications are reflected online. Additionally, license and permit fees listed above are subject to change by the licensing board or agency, and updated fee changes may take substantial time to be posted online. When applying for a particular state license or permit, paying a state licensing or permit fee, or relying on other information contained herein, it is recommended to thoroughly check the state’s records for updated information (see below).
The information primarily focuses on the legality of stills and distillery equipment, as well as the availability of licenses or permits for their use. No detailed research or references were made regarding other requirements that a state may impose after issuing a license or permit, such as annual report filing, tax payments, bond or license renewals, deadlines, inspections, etc. When applying for a particular state license or permit, paying a state licensing or permit fee, or relying on other information contained herein, it is recommended to thoroughly check the state’s records for updated information.
Copper Distillation Equipment
The above information, data, and references are provided for informational purposes only and should not be relied upon as a legal basis for any action or decision by any person or entity. None of the information provided above is intended to offer specific legal advice to any person or entity residing in any particular state. Anyone wishing to obtain or apply for any of the permits mentioned above or to own, possess, purchase, or construct stills or other winemaking equipment should seek the services of an attorney located in their state. The attorney should search state records for the latest and current statutory provisions, existing tax and licensing regulations, and other information.