In Poland, moonshine is known as “bimber” or “Samogon”. Poland has the tradition of producing moonshine right from the Middle Ages. A ruling by the Supreme Court in the year 2004 confirmed that according to the moonshine laws in Poland it is illegal to manufacture moonshine in this country. According to the home distillation laws of the country, selling of home-made alcohol is an offense in Poland. For selling of alcohol in Poland an excise duty is to be paid. However the Poland laws do not allow making of illegal alcohol legal by paying the excise duty. The distillation laws in Poland are not enforced strictly by the authorities and as a result large-scale manufacture as well as selling of alcoholic drinks is common in Poland. Small equipments for home distillation are available in the chemical glass shops in Poland. ‘Sliwowica’ is the well known vodka made in Poland. Though this product is illegal as per the distillation laws in Poland, it is very popular in Poland as well as abroad. Hundreds of home distillers in Poland small quantities of ‘Sliwowica’ and the authorities are unable to curb the production.
Though illegal, the production continued
In the year 2011, the local fruit farmer’s association managed to register the product ‘Sliwowica lacka’ as a trademark. After that the police stopped chasing the producers of Sliwowica. However, according to the home distillation laws in Poland, the manufacture as well as sale of Sliwowica still remains illegal. Farmers can apply to a board permission to use the name. Since the board is yet to start functioning the home distillers are carrying out their manufacturing activities as before.
Home brewing of beer and wine for personal use is legal in Poland. However, just like UK and unlike various other European countries, limits per household per year for brewing of beer and wine are not fixed in Poland.
Brief history of moonshine
The Polish moonshine is known as “bimber”. In the Middle Ages, moonshine was produced in Poland from fruit and grain. The other methods prevailed in Poland include fermentation of sugar by yeast and distilling plums. The plum moonshine that was produced in Sothern Poland was known as Lacko Sliwowica and was very popular. The simplest method was fermentation of sugar. The process was also known as “1410” since it required 1 kilogram of sugar, 4 loiters of water and 10 dag of yeast.