Are Stills Legal in Virginia

There is a seemingly endless debate about how much copper is the right amount on a distillery, and while there are many benefits, the law of diminishing returns also applies. You can make wonderful products on glass, stainless steel or copper stills, so it`s up to you to decide how much you want to budget for the equipment. A good rule of thumb is that glass is cheaper than stainless steel and stainless steel is cheaper than copper. Whichever material you choose, make sure you clean your equipment properly. Spectators watch dressed men stand in front of a large copper kettle that still illegally produces alcohol, with boxes of bottles and funnels spread out in front of them for the production of alcohol around 1900. Buyenlarge/Getty Images Hide the caption Yes, it`s legal to own a distillery in Virginia, but not for the purpose of making alcohol. If you want to make alcohol, you will need a distillation license. Amos Law trained his twins in the moonlight industry. His son Henry eventually decided to obtain the necessary state permits and open a legal distillery in Franklin County and produce Law`s Choice wheat whiskey. Moonshining occurs both in urban cellars and in mountain caves.

However, there are more job opportunities in the cities, so there are fewer incentives for people in urban areas to tackle the hard work of making illegal whiskey there. 4.1 – Alcoholic Beverage Control ACT (Code of Virginia) states that the production of alcohol, unless a license is obtained, is illegal. In 2012, the Virginia Department of Liquor Control issued licenses for legal distilleries in Albemarle, Culpeper, Fairfax, Franklin, James City, Loudoun, Norfolk, Richmond, Spotsylvania, and Virginia Beach counties.1 Illegal distilleries, or «stills,» are concentrated in rural mountain districts. For years, Franklin County sold far more sugar than residents could ever eat. Whisky produced in «moonlight» and not with government approval is not taxed and is therefore considerably cheaper. Some moonlight can be shared with trusted friends, families and customers near the place of manufacture. However, customers are mostly «nip joints» (unlicensed bars) in urban areas like Richmond, Baltimore, and Philadelphia.3 At the federal level, it`s pretty dry when it comes to distilling spirits at home. The U.S. Website of the Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) states: «While people of legal drinking age can make wine or beer at home for personal or family use, federal law strictly prohibits individuals from making distilled spirits at home (see 26 United States Code (U.S.C.) 5042 (a) (2) and 5053 (e). Unlike Florida, home distillation laws in some states allow «legal» moonlight, even though it is considered illegal at the federal level. These states include Alaska, Arizona, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, Ohio, and Rhode Island. Federal law replaces state law, but since we`re not lawyers, it`s up to you to research your options for distilling spirits at home. Every state is really very different.

Here`s a great resource for reviewing your state`s laws regarding distillation. Kyle, a home distillation enthusiast who wished to remain anonymous, said home distillation has gained popularity with the artisanal brewing trend. The difference, he explains, is that distillation is still very illegal and remains a very word of mouth and a person-to-person hobby. Of course, state and federal governments are trying to stop the illegal production of alcohol, in part to ensure that alcohol is safe and taxed. Back when car coolers were used to condense evaporated alcohol into the liquid phase, enough lead could end up in the moonlight to dazzle or kill the end user. The origins of NASCAR are linked to the development of skilled driving to evade tax officials and transport illegal untaxed alcohol from the mountains to the final market of coastal cities. Bowman Distillery in Spotsylvania County is the oldest legal distillery in Virginia. The original distillery was built in 1935 at the end of Prohibition on the Sunset Hills family farm. As Reston grew and land values increased, the Bowman family moved the distillery to Spotsylvania County in 1988.

It now produces Virginia Gentleman Bourbon as well as other spirits at a converted garment factory (the former FMC Cellophane factory that once produced the lining of men`s suits) downstream of Fredericksburg.2 The money led to crimes, which in turn led to the dramatic law enforcement raids, prosecutions, and prosecutions that so many Americans associate with the moonlight of the Prohibition era. The Moonshiners were forced to operate in remote Appalachian areas like Franklin to avoid detection, and they went to great lengths to hide their efforts — including burying their statues under fake cemeteries in the mountains. Henry Law was a third-generation distiller, but the first to produce legal and taxed alcohol. The name Law`s Choice reflected a decision he made after asking his father to teach him the moonlight craft, which led him to prison at one point. Amos Law warned his son Henry of the risks of violating the state`s alcohol laws:6 Several states have home distillation laws that are worded in such a way that if they were legal at the federal level, they would be legal there. But some states would still ban the distillation of spirits at home, regardless of federal law. Some local law enforcement agencies ignore small still images for personal use, as laws were introduced primarily to ensure that taxes are collected. However, if you don`t have a license, you may be penalized for distilling spirits at home. Please research your own home distillation laws and/or seek legal advice before distilling spirits or even purchasing distillery equipment, as it is illegal in some states to own a still. It is a Class 6 offence to produce illegal moonlight without a licence. However, beer and Wyne cannot be produced without a license for home use, as stated in § 4.1-200 At StillDragon, we receive many questions about the best ways to legally distill spirits at home. Home distillation is a subject that can be confusing and simple at the same time.

We are far from being lawyers, and we are certainly not allowed to provide legal advice, so nothing in this article is intended to replace the advice of a licensed lawyer. The short answer is that distilling spirits without a license is illegal at the federal level and replaces the laws of your state. Because HB 37 eliminates the need for a license to distill things other than alcohol, ABC must distinguish between people`s intentions with their stills. Currently, it is illegal to own and operate a distillery in Virginia, regardless of what the owner produces with it. If someone wanted to distill water or vinegars, they would have to go through the same processes to get permits as those who want to distill spirits. A distillery licence is required to file an application fee of $195 for the production of spirits. Then, a permit for the beverage distilled spirits plant must be obtained from the Bureau of Alcohol and Tobacco and Commerce, and finally the CBA issues a distillery`s license. It is illegal to own a distillery without a license, regardless of its purpose. To distill water, essential oils, etc., you need a license. Virginia explicitly states that it is illegal to own a still image, regardless of its use. Before Prohibition, «it wasn`t much different in areas like Franklin County than buying eggs or milk,» says Matt Bondurant. Bondurit`s novel, Wettest County in the World, is based on his grandfather`s exploits in the moonlight in Franklin County.

Matt`s brother, Robert, now runs the Bondurant Brothers distillery, which distills unripe whiskey not far from Franklin. «But when prohibition came, it became a potential way to make money,» Bondurant says. Belle Isle Moonshine has its own connection to the history of moonlight. Belle Isle Island is located in the James River, near downtown Richmond, and was once home to Old Dominion Iron and Nail Works. During the Civil War, when the distillation of bourbon was temporarily banned, the company produced copper stills that allowed southern soldiers to continue distilling illegal corn whiskey. Franklin County in the Blue Ridge is traditionally considered the center of Virginia in the moonlight. Moonshining is concentrated in the mountains for a variety of reasons, but mostly because there is a centuries-old tradition of converting corn seedlings into whiskey to simplify transportation for sale outside the region. Riders now touring NASCAR tracks can trace the sport`s legacy back to drivers carrying moonlight from mountain stills to market and using cars that have been bolstered to overtake state tax officials.

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