According to French Moonshine laws, production of moonshine is illegal. Making moonshine without obtaining any license was allowed in France till 1958. Right from 1959, moonshine making is illegal in France. However, those who own a few orchards in France who are not selling peaches or apricots that are produced in the orchards are allowed to carry out distillation by appointing a licensed distiller. However, they are not entitled to any tax exemptions. As per the distillation laws, for the first 10 liters of alcohol they have to pay 7.50 € per liter as excise duty and for the quantity above 10liters, they should pay at the rate of 14.50 € per liter. In France, one can find a wide variety of strong alcohols depending on the variety of ingredients as well as the recipes.
Home-brewing of beer and wine
Home-brewing of beer as well as wine is not completely banned in France. According to the home distillation laws, the beer or wine must be distilled either by a licensed professional distiller who meets the conditions set by the Customs and Excise departments or the distillation must be carried out on behalf of the producer in a public workshop. The farmer’s unions and municipal councils in France will try to establish at least one public workshop for distillation in their locality.
The new law for home-distillation of alcohol
While introducing the new home-distilling law in France in the year 2003, exemptions were granted to the brewers who were aging and were retired. The privileged distillers have the right to distil up to 10 liters of pure alcohol free of excise duty. Earlier, it was decided to do away with the privilege from 1st January 2008. But, instead of completely removing the privilege it was only reduced by half. Instead of the privilege, a 50% concession in excise duty was given to them for an upper limit of 10 liters of pure alcohol produced by them in a year. Since the current rate of excise duty is 14.50 euros per liter of pure alcohol, the affected distillers have to pay only 7.25 euros per liter of pure alcohol. The affected distillers are not very big distillers. Most of them are pensioners, small-scale farmers or military service veterans over 75 years of age.
History of Moonshine
Unlicensed production of moonshine was allowed in France up to 1958-59. In the year 1959, the French government brought the rule that prevents the transfer of the right to produce moonshine to the descendants. As a result, now there are only a few people who have the right to produce moonshine in France.