Iowa Moonshine Laws

Iowa is known as the “Hawkeye State” and its motto is “Our liberties we prize and our rights we will maintain”. The name Iowa derives from the name of local Native American tribe, the Ioway people. The flag of Iowa is basically the French tricolor. It is the only state that is bordered on 2 sides by rivers: the Mississippi on the east, and the Missouri and Big Sioux on the west. It is sometimes referred to as “The American Heartland” – the Midwestern United States.
The state of Iowa was convinced that alcohol was the cause of nearly all crime, so it instituted its own Prohibition in 1916, a full 4 years before National Prohibition was established. One Iowan town even sold its jail, only to find that crime and violence flourished.
Brewing alcohol became big business, which led to lead, creosote, and even embalming fluid being found in the illegal alcohol. Paralysis, blindness and painful death were unavoidable! So too, was bribery of the police and other officials. Eventually there was growing support for Repeal, but not from John Brown Hammond, Smith Wildman Brookhart, and Ida B. Wise.
Prohibition with all its good intentions, threatened health and didn’t reduce crime. It only increased crime and corrupted morality.

Today in Iowa the manufacture, distillation and retail activities are governed by the provisions of Chapter 123, Alcoholic Beverage Control Division, Iowa Administrative Code – 08/20/2014; General Provisions Relating to Alcoholic Beverages; Iowa Alcoholic Beverages Control Act.

1. Is it legal to own a still?

Yes it is legal to own a still in Iowa without using it for making distilled spirits such as moonshine. While the state statues do prohibit manufacturing alcoholic beverages without a license, they do not say anything about the provisions regarding owning a still hence it is legal.

Chapter 123.2: General Provisions relating to Alcoholic Beverages stipulate that manufacturing any alcoholic beverage is unlawful in Iowa, excepting for those provisions listed in the Chapter. It defines “Alcohol” as the product of distillation of any fermentation and includes synthetic ethyl alcohol, whereas “Alcoholic Beverage” refers to as being one half of 1 percent of alcohol by volume, and it includes alcoholic liquor, wyne and bier. “Alcoholic Liquor” means beverages containing more than 5% of alcohol by weight.

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

The state statutes do not mention any student permit for distilling ethanol for school assignments. Although under the state law it is legal to distil ethanol but not alcoholic beverages. But still, your institute can obtain an AFP permit from TTB which will allow distillation on school’s premises under supervision. Secondly, you can also contact TTB and get permission to visit certain certified distilleries for distillation.

3. What kind of a permit do I need to distil ethanol in Iowa?

You need a Distillers Certificate of Compliance, a Manufacturer’s license and TTB Basic Permit.
The Distillers certificate costs $50 while the manufacturer’s license costs $300 which can be paid electronically to the division. (Chapter 23.19:1). Chapter 123.41 states the requirements for obtaining a manufacturer’s license.

If you want to manufacture ethanol fuel through distillation, you can do so without any additional state license. Although, you will have to follow the state regulations and volatility requirement. You will also need a federal permit.

4. Is distillation of essential oils or water legal in Iowa?

Since owning a still is allowed in Iowa, you can also distill other non-alcoholic liquids such as essential oils and distilled water. No chapter in the state statute prohibit their production without a license hence you do not need any license for doing so.

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!

iowa“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.”

 

 

 

 

Links:

http://www.ttb.gov/spirits/spirits-regs.shtml – U.S .Department of the Treasury, Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau

moonshinelawsdirectory.com
http://iowaabd.com/alcohol/licensees/licensing – ABD, Licensing
http://iowaabd.com/alcohol/features/alcohol_laws – State of Iowa, Alcoholic Beverage Division

Disclaimer:
“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”