New Hampshire Legislature Introduces Bill to Legalize Home Distilling


A bill was recently introduced in the New Hampshire legislature that would legalize home distilling in the state. Even if the bill passes, however, hobby distillers in the Live Free or Die state won't be able to start making spirits right away. That's because home distilling still remains illegal at the federal level, which means the Hew Hampshire law would only take effect if the feds also legalize home distilling. According to the Hobby Distiller's Association, 8 other states currently have similar laws that would allow home distilling if the feds ever give it the green light.

R Street's Jarrett Dieterle has has written about home distilling in the past and the federal efforts to legalize it:

In the aftermath of its failure to pass a health-care overhaul, Congress appears poised to turn to tax reform. While income and corporate tax rates will likely garner most of the attention, alcohol producers are also hoping for changes to booze taxes. Specifically, brewer, vintners, and distillers have been pushing on Capitol Hill for the Craft Beverage Modernization and Tax Reform Act, which would lower federal excise taxes on alcohol.

Despite attracting nearly 300 co-sponsors in the House and more than 50 in the Senate, the bill has failed to get a vote in recent sessions of Congress. There’s renewed hope for the act this year—perhaps as part of a larger tax overhaul—but the current version of the bill is missing a key feature of previous iterations: the legalization of home distilling. Whereas the 2015 version of the act included a provision that would have permitted distillation of up to 24 proof gallons per year for personal consumption, that provision has been stripped from the new version of the bill.

Dieterle points out that home brewing and winemaking is already legal and argues that home distilling should be too (full article here).