It's Time to Legalize Home Distilling

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R Street's Jarrett Dieterle takes to The Federalist to argue in favor of legalizing home distilling. He argues that doing so would simply place distilling on par with home brewing, which has been permitted since 1978 at the federal level:

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.

Treating home distilling as illegal makes little sense, given that homebrewing and wine making have been legal at the federal level since 1978, when President Jimmy Carter signed legislation allowing Americans to produce limited amounts of beer and wine for personal consumption. Nearly 40 years later, many beer industry analysts have argued that Carter’s home brewing reform was a key factor in the meteoric rise of the craft beer movement...

Read the whole article here.