Is Home Brewing Beer Illegal?

Techniques

When you hear about people who brew their own beer it can easily conjure up prohibition images of speakeasies and moonshine distilleries. Perhaps it’s the puritanical past of American liquor laws that make many of us wonder about the legality of homemade beer in the USA.

Tthe 18th amendment to the US Constitution was passed in 1919 and made beer brewing illegal. The bill was enough to cause the prohibition era and also erupt an underground thriving black market of homemade brew. When President Carter signed H.R. 1337 in 1978 it officially ended the restrictions of the 18th amendment and allowed citizens to brew homemade beer without fear of taxation.

The official statute that outlines federal laws regarding home brewing is United States Code of Federal Regulations Title 27, Part 25, Subpart L, Section 25.205 and Section 25.206. It’s an interesting document to read as it outlines how much beer an individual or family of two adults can produce in a year as well as what they can do with the beverage once it is made. In general, you can rest safe and sound that brewing beer for personal use is completely legal.

Even though the federal government legalizes home brewing, individual states still have a say as to any specific laws. The only state left to completely ban home brewing is Alabama. Mississippi was also on this list until March 2013. So, unless you live in Alabama it’s best to research the legality of homemade beer in your specific state.

If you currently live in Alabama, or you strongly believe in the legalization of homemade beer in the USA, you can take action steps to let political leaders know you want the laws to be changed.

Some of the arguments against home brewers revolve around taxes and underage drinking. The reality is that there are not enough home brewers to even put a dint on the amount of taxes received from the sale of beer. It’s almost a non-issue to think that home brewers cause any type of financial crisis. Those saying that home brewers promote underage alcohol consumption do not comprehend the slow-moving, constant process of brewing a batch of beer. If minors are ready to discover alcohol, chances are they will not wait 3 weeks until the beer is ready!

For most of you, rest assured that you are safe and protected under US law to brew your own beer at home. If you still have questions after reading this article then do your homework to make sure you understand any expectations when making homemade beer.

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