According to home distilling laws of Russia, if it is for personal consumption home distilling is legal. XXX Russian laws permit home distilling without obtaining a license. Hence making moonshine is very common in Russia. The traditional Russian moonshine is known by the name Samogon. Making Samogon is a traditional activity in Russia. The Samogon-like drinks that are produced legally are very common even in the bars in Russia.
There are online shops in Russia that are selling stills to the moonshine makers. Kosogorov Samogon is the legalized variety of Samogon that is available in Russian bars. In the rural parts of Russia even now one can find home-made stills. In alcohol consumption Russians are at the 4th place in the world according to data provided by the World Health Organization. For all Russian governments, alcohol consumption had been a difficult issue.
Production of beer is legal in Russia. However, Russian President Vladimir Putin brought changes in Russian laws pertaining to beer. Now the sale of beer in plastic bottles with capacity above 1.5 liters is banned in Russia. This rule will come into force from January 1, 2017.
The economic crisis in the country, the rules that restrict advertisements for beer, the taxes levied by the state and the ban on plastic bottles are likely to push up the price of beer in Russia. The latest changes in Russian laws brought by the Russian government are with the intention of reducing the overall consumption of alcohol in Russia. Sale of alcohol in stores after 11pm is banned in Russia.
Home brewing of wine as well as home distillation is legal in Russia if it is only for personal use. Though the moonshine laws in Russia facilitated a moonshine boom, all the moonshine that is produced in Russia is not cheap or of poor quality. However, since the home distillation laws in Russia permit distillation at home for personal consumption without obtaining a license, illegal production of alcohol became very common in the country. The distillation laws of Russia made the entire industry to concentrate on production of moonshine.
Curb on beer
The latest Russian laws are intended to curb the consumption of beer which was the most popular drink in Russia. According to the new law, beer is classified as an alcohol and as a result, there are restrictions for the sale of beer. The new rules helped to bring sea changes in the drinking habits of Russians.
Brief history of Russian moonshine
Samogon is the most popular homemade alcoholic beverage in Russia. In ancient times Samogon was made from malted grain and in modern times table sugar is used as the ingredient for Samogon. Other ingredients that are present in Samogon are potato, bread, beets and various fruits. When compared to Vodka, Samogon is cheaper. Till Mikhail Gorbachev came to power in 1980s, there had been no restriction in production as well as sale of moonshine in Russia. In fact, many rulers encouraged the production of drinks like Samogon and Vodka as it could provide more revenue to the state. After The Russian Revolution, in 1917 Vladimir Lenin banned Vodka but, Stalin identified vodka sales as a potential source of revenue. During the regimes of Krushchev and Brezhnev also, there were no restrictions for Samogon and Vodka. In 1985, Mikhail Gorbachev implemented rules to control production and sale of Vodka. After the collapse of Soviet Union, the states monopoly over alcohol was lifted and afterwards taxation on alcohol had been low and the production increased.