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TomToro

Is Brewing Beer Legal?

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My buddy has been joking about the law calling and telling me to stop. Is brewing beer in these small batches for personal use legal in the U.S.? I'd never sell the stuff and give most away anyway to family/friends.

Is there a limit as to how much we can brew ourselves?

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Feds say 100 gal/year per household adult, up to 200 gallons. But you also may want to check your state laws. Oklahoma requires a permit and limits the beer to 4% ABV.

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Do you think you'd be able to buy a beer making kit if it was illegal?

The only law about it is the 100 gallon/year limit. But, who is gonna know how much you brew?

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Tom, this is your lucky day. It is very illegal, but if you can hurry up and ship us all of the beer you already made, we'll make sure it is properly disposed of.

Seriously though, what state are you living in? It should be easy enough to find the law for your state online. As Packer said, feds say 100 gallons per person in household up to 200 max per year, I think.

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I dont exceed 200 gallons per year but if someone were to exceed that how would they know?

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"meopilite" post=252303 said:

Do you think you'd be able to buy a beer making kit if it was illegal?

The only law about it is the 100 gallon/year limit. But, who is gonna know how much you brew?

Actually, as mentioned prior, you need to check your state's laws. For instance, it's still illegal in Alabama (ironically, I've seen a Mr. B kit at the local KMart and BB&B ).

Here's what we have to deal with...

and, the classic... it isn't about homebrew, but rather hi-gravs, but it's symptomatic of our issue...

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last one was a rhetorical question (on a side note im proud of myself I spelled rhetorical right and on the first try!!!)

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"meopilite" post=252303 said:

Do you think you'd be able to buy a beer making kit if it was illegal?...


Actually, yes. I was brewing long before it was legal to do so in Oklahoma, and I didn't even know it. No problem whatsoever buying ingredients/equipment/kits, etc. When the law was passed making it legal to brew beer, it was a surprise to me.

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"meopilite" post=252303 said:

Do you think you'd be able to buy a beer making kit if it was illegal?

The only law about it is the 100 gallon/year limit. But, who is gonna know how much you brew?

I figured it was legal, but wondered what the volume allowed was. Now that I know it's 100 gallons per adult, I'm pretty darn safe.

As to your second question, I was 'stupidly' posting my progress on Facebook, lol.

Thanks for the help, Everybody!

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"TomToro" post=252315 said:

"meopilite" post=252303 said:

Do you think you'd be able to buy a beer making kit if it was illegal?

The only law about it is the 100 gallon/year limit. But, who is gonna know how much you brew?

I figured it was legal, but wondered what the volume allowed was. Now that I know it's 100 gallons per adult, I'm pretty darn safe.

As to your second question, I was 'stupidly' posting my progress on Facebook, lol.

Thanks for the help, Everybody!

100 gallons per year is surprisingly not that much! Lets do the math, shall we?

Each Mr Beer batch is approximately 2.13 gallons if you follow the proper directions.

100/2.13 = 46.95 batches (Let's just say 47, huh?)

47 batches / 12 months = 3.92 batches/mth (lets just say 4?)

So, really, you are only allowed to brew a little less than 4 batches of Mr Beer sized batches per month.

For many of us, who brew and bottle once per week, this works out pretty well, but it also puts us pretty close to the "breaking the law" side of things.

For any of us that might be doing a 5 gallon batch mixed into his or her rotation, there's a pretty good chance you are going to run over!


I'll tell ya...its a good thing I'm Canadian, because I just don't think I'd like to have to worry about that 100 gallon limit! ;):blink: :barman:

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At the risk of sounding political, it sounds like the collective IQ of the Alabama house is under 10. "Whas wrong wi' tha beah we got?" Sheesh, who votes for these cretins? :popbeer: I suspect their reluctance has got a lot more to do with political corruption and payola/tax revenue than anything else.

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"oly" post=252322 said:

At the risk of sounding political, it sounds like the collective IQ of the Alabama house is under 10. "Whas wrong wi' tha beah we got?" Sheesh, who votes for these cretins? :popbeer: I suspect their reluctance has got a lot more to do with political corruption and payola/tax revenue than anything else.

:pound: plus being dead square in the Bible Belt. The got areas where it's not legal to even have beer. :huh:

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Manosteel, it's 100 gallons per adult of legal drinking age in a household (up to 200 gallons).

So, since my wife is also of legal drinking age (even though she doesn't drink), I can brew 200 gallons a year. I use 2 LBKs and a five-gallon carboy, rotating them every three weeks. So, that's roughly 9.5 gallons every three weeks. Fifty-two divided by three is 17.3, and 17.3 times 9.5 is 164 and some change. Nowhere near the 200 I'm allowed by federal law.

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if you recycle your bottles, and dump yer trash, how they gonna know? I ain't tellin.

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"oly" post=252322 said:

...Sheesh, who votes for these cretins?...


Therein lies the problem. ;)

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Imagine how foolish I felt after inviting my wife's family to come and stay with us for a year so I could brew hundreds of gallons before they left, only to find out the limit is two.

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"oly" post=252322 said:

At the risk of sounding political, it sounds like the collective IQ of the Alabama house is under 10. "Whas wrong wi' tha beah we got?" Sheesh, who votes for these cretins? :popbeer: I suspect their reluctance has got a lot more to do with political corruption and payola/tax revenue than anything else.

That was my thought, too, Oly. At the same time, I wouldn't overestimate their intelligence, either. After all, they probably got into politics because they weren't qualified for the job they really wanted.

When I first listened to their comments, the only thing I could think was that if ignorance was potato chips, these guys would be Frito-Lay.

It's obvious they haven't done anything to educate themselves on homebrewing, and yet they're legislating on it. Makes you wonder what else they're voting on with their eyes wide shut.

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"FedoraDave" post=252335 said:

Makes you wonder what else they're voting on with their eyes wide shut.

hey at least they havent made it legal to marry your cousin yet :sick:

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Ahh... Alvin Holmes. Love that guy. My fam in Alabama does as well (sigh...). My favorite part of that "what's wrong with the beer we got" speech is his buddy/sidekick answering "what are somma them other beers?" with "millah"... Classic... Opie and Anthony had a fun time with that clip...

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Iguess my brother will have to help me brew when he comes in town to help work on my house..If he takes some back with him does that count as his home brew or illegal transportation? :unsure:

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"packerduf" post=252314 said:

"meopilite" post=252303 said:

Do you think you'd be able to buy a beer making kit if it was illegal?...


Actually, yes. I was brewing long before it was legal to do so in Oklahoma, and I didn't even know it. No problem whatsoever buying ingredients/equipment/kits, etc. When the law was passed making it legal to brew beer, it was a surprise to me.

The situation in Utah was similar. It was legal to buy, sell and possess brewing equipment, as well as the ingredients. But it was illegal to brew beer until 2009. Ironically, the ingredients could be taxed at a lower rate since they are considered food items (yeast, malted barley, hops, etc).

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"jhough" post=252383 said:

Iguess my brother will have to help me brew when he comes in town to help work on my house..If he takes some back with him does that count as his home brew or illegal transportation? :unsure:

Depends on the law in your state. In Utah, I can transport up to 72 oz (6 12 oz bottles) of home brew that is more than 3.2% ABW (4.0% ABV) outside my home, but only if it is to be consumed by adults in my family who are over 21 years of age (with certain exceptions for competitions).

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"onefatgerman" post=252403 said:

distilling spirits is illegal still (maybe in all states), yet you can buy a still from eBay.


For consumption it is, but you can legally distill alcohol for use as fuel. Gotta have proper govt permits though.

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"Elsteve-o" post=252307 said:

I dont exceed 200 gallons per year but if someone were to exceed that how would they know?


Don't forget "1984"


[attachment=7738]thumbnailCAJSQ106.jpg[/attachment]

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No worries in Washington state...

The law allows us share home brew amongst friends, allow others to taste samples at events, and allow you to wheel your keg over to the neighbors for Sunday’s big game.

Here are the technical permissions:
you can remove home brew….
(a) as long as the quantity removed does not exceed twenty gallons;
(B) as long as its not removed for sale; and
© as long as it for private use  (which includes use at organized affairs, exhibitions, or competitions)

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