Is It Legal to Make Your Own Beer?
You see beer kits and instructions to make your own beer all of the time, but you may have chosen not to attempt this because you believe it is not legal to make your own beer. Some people will tell you that it is legal to make your own beer and wine, as long as it is only served in your home, not distilled, and not sold. However, this isn’t actually the case in all states. In some states it is still illegal to make your own beer, and even in states where it is legal to make your own beer, there are limits to the amount that you can make per year.
For example, it is legal to make your own beer or wine in the state of Arkansas, but you can only brew 100 gallons per year if there is one adult in the home, or 200 gallons per year if there are two or more adults in the home. In the state of Alabama, it is illegal to be in possession of home brew. The state of Idaho allows for the brewing of ‘native’ wine or beer for personal use, which means that you can only brew beer using native grown products. In Georgia, you can brew just 50 gallons per year. All states that allow you to make your own beer will have a limit to the amount of beer that you are allowed to brew under the law.
Before you decide to make your own beer, you simply need to use the Internet to find out if it is legal in your specific state. Do not take the word of private citizens. You want confirmation from people who are authorized to give you this information. You can also call your County Extension Service to find out this information, in most places. If they don’t know the answer to your question, they can direct you to the authority that has the answer.
It is legal to make your own beer in the majority of states in the US, however, there are stipulations in each state, and each state’s rules and laws are different. The law in your state may stipulate that only the head of the household is allowed to brew beer for consumption by the family only. In this instance, it would be illegal for your twelve year old to help you to make your own beer.
It is also interesting to note that if a state does not have a law specifically prohibiting the brewing of your own beer or wine, the law defaults to the federal law on the topic. By federal law, it is legal to make your own beer and wine, for your own consumption, including consumption by your family and guests in your home. So, if your state has no law regarding whether or not you can make your own beer, you can.