Vermont Moonshine Laws

Vermont is famous for being the largest producer of maple syrup in the United States of America. The key source of income for a large number of people in this state is dairy farming which is also a symbol of pride in the state’s official seal. Moonshiners in Vermont produce white vodka by distilling milk sugar and black beer through maple syrup. Moonshine is a business adopted by many in this state but it is not legal to brew unaged beverages and sell them without the consent of the local authorities. Federal as well as state laws apply to moonshining in Vermont for manufacturers and the retailers. The State also educates its alcohol manufacturers, sellers and buyers through seminars as well as online trainings which the Department of Liquor Control organizes.

1. Is owning a still legal?

It is legal to own a still in Vermont unless it is used to concentrate or distill alcohol. It is permitted for brewing the traditional sap bier, bier, and wyne without a permit from the Federal Tax and Trade Bureau for home use. And bier or wyne for personal and family use is exempt from the law as defined in section 24.75 of the Regulations.

2. Is it possible to get a “student permit” to distill alcohol as part of a school science assignment?

Students above the age of 21 are required to apply for a permit for carrying out scientific projects by the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau. They need to specify the details of the project and the steps that they will take during the distillation process. However, the teachers and school authorities of the students under the age of 21 must to inform the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau and explain to them the safety measures that they will be taking during the distillation process.

Note: A student aged 18 or older, enrolled in a post-secondary education culinary arts program which has been accredited by a commission recognized by the U.S. Department of Education, is exempt from the provisions of this title while attending classes that require the possession or consumption of alcoholic beverages. (Added 1985, No. 99 (Adj. Sess.) § 2.)

3. What kind of permit do I need to distill ethanol in Vermont?

Ethanol distillation for the purpose of producing alcohol and fuel are both not permitted without a license issued by the Federal Tax and Trade Bureau of 26 U.S.C. 5601. An individual has to apply 90 days prior to starting for carrying out ethanol distillation. A license is required for this purpose which the Federal Tax and Trade Bureau provide with for Fuel plants which however cannot be operated within the living premises. For a manufacturer’s or rectifier’s license to manufacture or rectify malt beverages and vinous beverages or to manufacture or rectify spirituous liquors, the fee is $285.00 for either license. Title 07: Alcoholic Beverages S561 states that liquor control investigators may arrest persons for unlawfully manufacturing, possessing or transporting alcoholic beverages; property may be seized.

4. Is it legal to distill essential oils and water?

Apart from producing maple syrup, Vermont is known for its production of cedar oil in the United States also. A permit from the Federal Tax and Trade Bureau is not needed for the distillation of essential oils and water in the state. However, for producing saleable essential oils, the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) ask for the seller’s personal information and the information about the equipment he will use.

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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!

vermont“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:





Links: – Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, Distilled Spirits – Vermont Department of Liquor Control