Maine Moonshine Laws

Moonshine production is a multi-million dollar industry which is tacitly operating all over the US. One major reason behind it is that despite the restrictions imposed by federal laws, which condemn the deed, some states have a more allowing policy regarding moonshine and home distilling of alcohol. Moreover, the distill manufacturers are never hesitant to mix some distinct native flavors to localize the beverage. Maine is no different.

Moonshiners in Maine, tend to use barley, maple syrup, and wild blueberries, to enhance and localize the flavor with some Maine twist. They also prefer using wooden fermenters and copper stills for the production. A ‘Blue-shine’ is a perfect example of a customized moonshine prepared by producers in Maine. It has become extremely popular overtime. Some say, “it tastes like liquid pancakes…with a kick” – which is obviously a compliment.

Blues-shine is a Maine take on the renowned Appalachia spirits. The only difference is that it is manufactured out in the sticks, unlike typical moonshine which is traditionally manufactured at night.

  1. Is owning a still legal?

Maine is an alcoholic beverage control state. According to NABCA, the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Bureau (TTB) investigators have conducted collaborative operations with outsourced agents from the Florida Division of Alcoholic Beverages and Tobacco in order to get to criminals who indulge themselves in illicit distill of moonshine and spirits and own stills outside the legal framework. Henceforth, possessing a still is a crime punishable by imprisonment.

A liquor license is issued in accordance to the administrative laws and municipal ordinances. Title 28 A sections 651 2A states that all individuals bearing a financial interest in alcoholic products, need to file for a license. To obtain this license admittance of complete documents is required.

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

It is a Class E crime according to Chapter 83 Section 2079 of the Maine Legislature for any individual to involve a child younger than 16 years of age in alcohol possession, distillation or sale. So, in order to carry out a school science assignment for students, the teachers and school officials involved should first apply for a permit. The state officials will then view the procedure and apparatus being used for the assignment and reject or accept the application.

  1. What kind of permit do I need to distill ethanol in Maine?

Maine is one of the 19 states that maintain an internal network of the supply of spirits. Recently a contract has been signed to seal naming Pine State spirits the sole provider to businesses across the state. This decision was propelled by the bureau to open new avenues for prospective ventures for the valued business partners, Agency Liquor Store. It also limits the available market for sale and purchase of spirits, making the under the table production of moonshine or home-brewed wyne and bier more than a difficult task. However, compliance to rules and regulations both state and federal can reduce the risk of being taxed or confiscation of permits. You need to apply for a Class I license for producing spirit at your still through ethanol distillation. The relevant information for obtaining this license can be found here:

http://www.mainelegislature.org/legis/statutes/28-a/title28-Asec1001.html

For selling your home brewed alcoholic beverages from ethanol distillation, you can find the guidelines here:

http://www.mainelegislature.org/legis/statutes/28-a/title28-Asec652.html

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

Maine Moonshine Still ConstructionIt is legal to distill essential oils and water for personal use only. If you want to sell the oils that you produce at your still, you need to apply for a permit from the state officials. If granted, you may be asked to pay taxes on your produce. Moreover, you may also be asked to get licensed labels for the oil containers or jars.

The state of Maine Bureau of Alcoholic Beverages and Lottery Operations (BABLO) is the central regulatory organization which has a number of rules concerning beverages, brewing, consumption, sale, permits and licenses, etc. These are the headquarters that residents need to visit to get all about distilling moonshine and home brewing of bier;

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.”

Links:

http://www.ttb.gov/spirits/index.shtml – Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, Distilled Spirits

moonshinelawsdirectory.com

http://www.maine.gov/dafs/bablo/ – Maine Bureau of Alcoholic Beverages & Lottery Operations

http://www.mainelegislature.org/legis/statutes/28-a/title28-Ach0sec0.html – Maine legislature