Georgia has a long history of moonshine dating back to the Civil War. Moonshine was legal then, though its operations were rather limited due to the lack of regulations. But after the Civil War when it was illegalized and taxed, people saw it as a way out of poverty since Georgia’s resources were severely depleted after the war. Making moonshine under the cover of night and then selling it without paying taxes undoubtedly contributed to the people’s income but high risks associated with illegal business prevented it from spreading vastly as it was during the prohibition era, when moonshine operations grew with over 1000 gallon stills being used. It is said that every other citizen in Georgia was somehow involved in the moonshine business as a manufacturer, seller, consumer or even as sugar supplier.
Nowadays, with the legalization of moonshine, much of the illegal moonshine business is dead and law enforcement agencies keep on cracking down on stills.
1. Is owning a still legal?
Yes, you can own a still without a license provided it is not being used for manufacturing alcohol or moonshine as states in the State Statutes Section 3-3-27(b). Additionally, you need to have a license in order to manufacture ethanol or your apparatus can be seized and heavy charges will be levied according to Section 3-3-27(b).
Since owning a still without using it for producing alcohol is legal, it is also legal to use the still for distilling essential oils or other non-alcoholic liquids without a license. But keep in mind that you will have to follow the federal regulations as well.
2. Is it possible to get a “student permit” to distil alcohol as a part of school science assignment?
The state of Georgia does not issue any special permits to distill alcohol for educational purposes but TTB does. Your educational institute can contact TTB for either an Alcohol Fuel Plant (Find the relevant form here) or for permission to visit certified distilleries to carry out the procedure. Only after issuance of license can distillation within school premises be started.
3. What kind of a permit do I need to distill ethanol in Georgia?
You need to get a commercial distillery license for distilling ethanol. It can be obtained by filling the ATT-6 Form which can be found below. The cost of this license is $1000 dollars.
All of the instructions on filling the form or obtaining the license can be found here:
Please note that you will also need to co-operate with federal agencies by obtaining the Basic TTB license and TTB Distilled Spirits license. The forms can be found below
If you intend to manufacture ethanol fuel, you will have to submit a copy of your Federal permit to state authorities and also obtain non-beverage alcohol manufacturer’s license and a motor fuel distributor’s special fuel license. Only upon obtaining these permits you can start manufacturing ethanol fuel. State of Georgia also requires you to meet ATSM volatility requirements.
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
https://etax.dor.ga.gov/BusTax_Alcohol.aspx – Georgia Department of Revenue