Home distilling to produce potable spirits (not oil, water, or diesel) is a federal class B felony...basically a legacy of prohibition.
I suggest that home distilling is a very natural extension of home brewing, and a great many of us brewers would love to test the waters of distilling without threat of fines, a criminal record, or worse.
There is currently a piece of legislation (Senate Bill 1562) which could solve this. Some features:
- It enjoys broad bipartisan support...20 Dems and 18 GOP co-signers.
- It could also favorably simplify the taxing structure and cost for small commercial producers.
- It's stuck in the Senate Finance Committee.
- Obama is still in office - I assume that he would support it.
Think about it - ingredients, equipment, expertise...this could be great for homebrew shops because it could expand the range and depth of items they sell. It could expand the types of club and class events they hold. This could be good for consumers, because who wouldn't love to perfect a small batch rye whiskey. Who wouldn't love to take a stab at an Islay style whisky? Who wouldn't love to see Drew make a Ruben flavored Rum? This could be good for commercial brands in the same way that homebrewers are good for local/craft breweries. Who would loose by leagalization?
What can I do about this?
- Contact your Congressman
- Contact your Senator
- Denny - congratulations on your recent election to the AHA Governing Committee! What are the chances that the AHA would take this up?