The Ukraine laws permit home brewing. However, the moonshine laws of Ukraine make it illegal to make moonshine in Ukraine. Though in the year 2011 a bill was introduced in the Ukrainian parliament to cancel the legal liability of the moonshine business, the parliament voted down the bill. Article 176 of the home distillation laws in Ukraine recommends a penalty in the range 51 – 170 Hryvnias for the offenses of production and storage of moonshine and relevant devices. This rule is applicable to all fortified spirits that are home-brewed. The prevailing distillation laws in Ukraine make moonshine production a prohibited business activity. So far there is no clear data about moonshiners in Ukraine since the prevailing home distilling laws of the country do not differentiate those who make moonshine for personal consumption and those who make it for business. As a result, those who want to produce moonshine in Ukraine are in fact carrying the activity without any problem.
Home distilling laws and domestic brewing
Home distilling for personal use is not legal in Ukraine. Those who want to produce alcohol for sale have to obtain the license. Those who produce and store alcohol in Ukraine for business will be fined. However, the home distilling laws of Ukraine failed to produce the desired effect. Since sugar is very expensive, people in Ukraine prefer vodka over homemade alcohol.
Domestic brewing of beer and wine is legal in Ukraine. In Ukraine, beer is sold in bottles. The drinking age in Ukraine is 18 and there are no separate laws in Ukraine for public consumption. The Ukrainian beer varieties are considered cheap as well as of good quality. The alcoholic drinks of Ukraine include beer, wine, mead, horilka, nalyvka and nastoyanka. The alcohol content of the products depends on the method of production.
History of moonshine
In Ukraine, an alcoholic beverage is called Horilka. The home-distilled variety of Horilka is the Ukrainian moonshine and is known as Samohon. In earlier times it was distilled from rain and now it is also distilled from potato, sugar and honey also. Traditionally, Ukrainians had been producing various derivatives of the homemade moonshine. Horilka is served in traditional Ukrainian weddings. It is believed that the ancient Ukrainian moonshine was not as strong as today’s Horilka. The ancient Ukrainian moonshine had only 20% of alcohol by volume whereas the industrially produced modern Horilka has 40% of alcohol by volume. The traditional Samohon of Ukraine is almost identical to the Polish Samogon.