Ohioans could soon produce moonshine for personal use — but there’s a few things you should know before starting on that batch of bathtub gin.
A new state bill proposal introduced in Ohio last week could make legal home distilling in the state a reality, according to a Jan. 12 article from Cleveland.com. Republican Senator Frank Hoagland proposed Senate Bill 13, which could allow residents to produce as much as 200 gallons of personal booze each year without a permit.
“If you can make beer or wine, why can’t you make whiskey?” said Hoagland of his reasoning for the bill, according to Cleveland.com. “Why is one OK and not the other?”
If accepted, the bill could allow households with at least one of-age person to distill 100 gallons of liquor annually. In households with two or more people over 21, that limit rises to 200 gallons. The bill also strictly forbids selling the liquor or shipping it outside of Ohio.
Home distillers could also send the hooch to “family, neighbors, co-workers, and friends,” provided that the shipping location is the recipient’s main address. The bill would also allow residents to give the alcohol away or serve it to guests on private property.
While this might sound like an exciting opportunity to try your hand at some DIY moonshine, it’s important to note that the practice is still federally illegal. Under U.S. law, residents are only allowed to use distillation stills to create fuel, perfume, or other legally-permissible products, according to NPR. Wine and beer homebrewing is federally legal, but at-home spirit distillation could come with hefty health or legal consequences.
Some states, however, have pushed back on the federal regulation. In Missouri, state laws (passed in 2014) outline that residents are not required to obtain a permit when producing up to 200 gallons of booze for personal use.
The proposed Ohio bill does not address conflict with federal law.