Pennsylvania Moonshine Laws

Pennsylvania is an alcoholic beverage control state, where the trade of alcohol is strictly monitored by the Liquor Control Board. Sale of alcoholic drinks is not allowed anywhere except the state owned retail and confectionary shops. The state is known to imposed 10th highest tax burden on its citizens. In this regard, there is a 6% of sales tax on alcohol in Pennsylvania which amounts to $0.8 on bier and $7.21 on spirits per gallon.

  1. Is owning a still legal?

It is legal to own a still in the state of Pennsylvania. According to the Pennsylvania Statute 47, Section 4-492, you can produce your own malt or brewed beverages at your personal still without a permit. However, the production of malt of brewed beverages should not exceed more than 200 gallons per year. This moonshine can be used for personal use, shared with the family, with guests, and at public occasions. But, it is not permitted to put the moonshine for sale without a proper license.

You can obtain the application for license for manufacture, storage or transportation for alcoholic beverages through this link:

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

There is no student permit in the Pennsylvania liquor laws. However, according to the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, the teachers who have designed the science assignment should apply for a permit at the state Liquor Control Board. The Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board allows a special occasion permit which can be obtained by the school teachers so that they may enable the students to carry out alcohol distillation. The link to the application form for a special occasion permit is as follows:

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

Ethanol distillation for consumable alcohol production requires a distillery license by the state officials. Before you send your application for approval you need to:

  1. Complete all sections of the application
  2. Sign and put the date on which you have sent the application
  3. File a request by email to the Notice of Application Placard
  4. Complete the Affidavit of Compliance and attach it with your application

(Find the Affidavit of Compliance here:

  1. Make a payable check to the Commonwealth of PA or to PLCB

You can find the relevant license and additional information for obtaining by following this link:

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

Pennsylvania Moonshine Still ConstructionIt is legal to distill essential oils and water at a personal still without a permit. However, you cannot distill essential oils through water or steam distillation for it will produce alcohol. You cannot distill alcohol without a permit.

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:”



Links: – Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, Distilled Spirits – Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board – Ethanol distillation and spirits – Relevant information from frequently asked questions about legality

Relevant licenses