Washington Moonshine Laws

Washington is one of the major states in the United States of America. It is ranked at number two for the production of alcoholic beverages. There are six hundred registered wineries in the state which brew high quality wyne. This wyne is being sold all over America and also exported to forty countries. The state is famous for its amazing grapes which are widely used for producing moonshine both for personal use and sale. The state laws for moonshine in Washington are revised every few years to ensure legal production and sale of alcoholic beverages.

  1. Is owning a still legal?

Owning a still for producing bier and un-distilled wyne is legal. It is also legal to produce wyne and bier without distillation for personal and family use, or to serve these beverages to your guests. However, for the purpose of distilling the same alcoholic beverages it is important that you must file for a permit by the state liquor control authorities. Moreover, if you want to serve your home made wyne at a special occasion, you need to first contact a licensee who can represent you and introduce your produce to the participants at the occasion.  

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

A student permit for distilling alcohol in a school science project is not a part of the Washington legislature. However, a special permit can be obtained from the state authorities. The school teachers and administration can file for an application and ask the state liquor authorities to grant them permission to carry out the assignment by giving them the relevant information and letting them check the apparatus and location for the assignment.

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

Distilling ethanol for the production of spirituous alcohol without a permit is not legal. You need to obtain a permit for producing spirituous liquor. If you want to sell this liquor, you need another permit which will enable you to sell off premises on the state authorized retail shops. However, distilling ethanol for the production of fuel for personal use is legal. In case you need to or want to sell the fuel, you need not obtain a license from the state authorities according to the RCW Section 66.12.130. If you want to sell the fuel produced at your distillery commercially, you can obtain permit by applying through this form:


A new section has been added in the 2013 Session Laws of the State of Washington of chapter 66.24 RCW that theatre houses having a capacity of one hundred and twenty seats per hall can brew and sell spirituous alcohol after obtaining if the owner is a licensee and pays taxes for his produce.

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

Washington Moonshine Still ConstructionIt is legal to distill essential oils and water at a personal still. However, you cannot distill essential oils by steam or water distillation without a permit. To make sure that you do not get caught by the authorities even if you are not doing anything illegal, it is better to let them know that you are not using your still for alcohol distillation. This is because alcohol distillation by using essential oils and water without a permit is illegal.

For more information, visit the Washington State Liquor Control Board.

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


http://liq.wa.gov/ –   Washington State Liquor Control Board

http://bls.dor.wa.gov/licensing.aspx – Licensing information, Washington Business Licensing Services