Alabama has always been strict with its laws concerning moonshine. It was a staunch supporter of the Prohibition Law. Even before the federal prohibition was ratified, Alabama was officially a dry state. But this did not stop the underground network from growing and flourishing. After the first year of Prohibition, Alabama had the most number of discovered stills (383) throughout the country. Organized crime and corrupt officials hindered the efforts made by state to be clean of moonshine. Realizing the effects of prohibition, Alabama supported the 21st amendment which repealed the prohibition. Moonshine was still not legal and its consumption and production mostly remained the same even after the efforts of law enforcement agencies to counter it. Even after prohibition was repealed, it has been a long road to the legalization of moonshine: it took about 90 years for the first legal distillery to be opened in Alabama named High Ridge Spirits.
- Is owning a still legal?
The laws of Alabama regarding moonshine are split into two categories pertaining to dry counties and wet counties.
Dry Counties: It is illegal to manufacture moonshine or to possess still in these counties as stated in Section 28-4-24.
Wet Counties: Code of Alabama Section 28-1-1states that it is illegal to possess any kind of still or apparatus which is to be used for making legal or illegal beverages without the permission of the state in wet counties. Hence, a still can be possessed since no law states otherwise but it cannot be used to manufacture any sort of alcoholic beverage without the approval of the state.
Code of Alabama Section 28-3A-3 (a) (1) states that a license is required to manufacture any sort of alcoholic beverage including moonshine.
Code of Alabama Section 28-3A-6 states all of the conditions and requirements for a license to be issued. It can be found here.
No exception has been made for distilling moonshine for personal use.
- Is it possible to get a “student permit” to distil ethanol as a part of school science assignment?
The state of Alabama does not require any special student permit for distilling ethanol at educational institutes, although an education institute can acquire an ‘Alcohol Fuel Plant Permit’ from TTB for distilling ethanol only in the institutes premises. For that, an institute representative has to fill out the application and wait for required approval.
Distilling ethanol at home for any purpose is illegal in accordance with the federal Law as well as the state Law.
- What kind of a permit do I need to distill ethanol in Alabama?
– A License Type 200 – Manufacturer’s License with a license fee of $500.
Adhere to the rules and regulations mentioned on the Pre-Application Kit found here. All details regarding the procedure are also mentioned in it.
A federal TTB Distilled Spirit plant and a TTB Basic Permit for adherence with federal law.
If you want to manufacture ethanol fuel , submit a free TTB form 5110.74 and get a federal license. Also read the guidelines for registration process.
- Is distillation of essential oils or water legal in Alabama?
Since no law prohibits the owning of a still not being used to make alcoholic beverages, it is legal to distill non-alcoholic products such as distilled water and essential oils. Please note that you should inform the authorities before continuing distillation of non-alcoholic products without a license.
For more information or for contacting the Alabama Alcoholic Beverage Control Board , visit their website: http://www.abcboard.state.al.us/
Finally, we are not lawyers, this info is for your entertainment only, so be sure to consult a crafty moonshine laws lawyer before spending any monies on your own distillation plant!
“Remember, the distillation of ethyl-alcohols is illegal without a permit per federal moonshine laws and is inherently dangerous because of ethanol’s flammability (never operate a homemade still indoors). For more moonshine laws and other moonshine still permit information, visit: http://www.ttb.gov/spirits/faq.shtml.”
http://www.ttb.gov/spirits/index.shtml – Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, Distilled Spirits
http://www.abcboard.state.al.us/ – Alabama Alcoholic Beverage Control Board