"May I Produce Spirits for My Personal or Family Use?"
Posted 09/21/2012 (Updated 10/16/2012)
UPDATED: This news story has been updated to provide the most recent information about the feasibility of producing spirits for personal or family use.
The short answer? Not without paying federal excise tax and filing federal paperwork.
You cannot produce spirits for beverage purposes without paying taxes and without prior approval of paperwork to operate a distilled spirits plant. And there are numerous federal requirements that you must meet that make it impractical to produce spirits for personal or family beverage use (see TTB's General Alcohol FAQ #1).
Some of these requirements are:
You can find all of the requirements listed in 27 CFR Part 19.
Spirits may be produced for nonbeverage purposes for fuel use only without payment of tax, but you also must file an application, receive TTB's approval, and follow requirements, such as construction, use, records and reports.
There are significant civil sanctions and criminal penalties for the unlawful production of distilled spirits. (See 26 U.S.C. 5601 for some of the criminal penalties!)
In addition, you should check with your state alcohol regulator to determine the applicable state law requirements. A federal qualification to produce distilled spirits does not exempt you from complying with state law requirements.