Is Brewing Beer Illegal — Licenses and Regulations

If you just started brewing your beer, you’ve probably considered selling it, too.

You’re probably thinking now, “Is brewing beer illegal? Do I need a permit?” 

Don’t worry; In all 50 states, making your beer at home is permit-free and legal (but feel free to call your attorney if you’d like – that’s our CYA!)

Local laws may limit how much you can make and whether or not you can sell it. 

Continue reading; this article will answer these questions and give you more details regarding these laws.

A Woman Pouring Beer For A Customer Into A Glass.

Homebrewing Legalities 

Many people don’t know the rules about brewing alcoholic drinks at home, which may not have been legal until recently.

Is brewing beer illegal? Have things changed, though?

In the United States, it is legal for people to make their beer at home.

But this doesn’t mean you can start your brewery and make as much beer as you want.

It is also legal to make wine at home, but there are some rules, and don’t even think about the strong stuff.

People in the US are not allowed to make spirits like whiskey at home.

Related Reading: Is Brewing Cheaper Than Buying? – Find Out Here.

Beer Selling License

Depending on your state, you won’t be able to sell your beer to anyone else without a license or several licenses.

In some cities, you might go where no homebrewer has before.

In America, it is against the law to sell beer you made at home.

You could get a permit to sell your beer at craft beer fairs and other similar events. 

But you would have to be registered as a craft brewing company.

This makes it less like “homebrewing” and more like a business.

Remembering this will be a long and expensive process is also essential.

Therefore, if you aren’t serious about it, saving your homebrew for parties and nights with friends is best.

Laws on Homebrewing at the National and State Level

Homebrewing is legal all over the country because of a federal amendment.

Still, the state governments are responsible for figuring out the finer points. 

Because of this, the laws about making beer at home can vary depending on where you live.

We could discuss every state law on homebrewing beer or wine, but let’s look at a few unusual ones.

  • Homebrewing was a source of trouble in Utah for a long time. The state proposed a bill to make homebrewing legal. 

It sat in the Utah Senate for a few years before it finally passed in 2009.

  • In most states, some laws say how much alcohol can be in a batch of homebrew. For example, you can make anything in Washington with up to 14% alcohol. 

Still, you can’t make anything in Oklahoma with more than 3.2% alcohol, and that’s if you have the proper permit.

  • South Carolina is one of the states that lets you drink a bottle of homebrew with an alcohol by volume (ABV) of 17.5%.
  • In most states, there is a limit on how much homebrew you can make; it usually depends on how many adults live in the house. However, in Delaware, there is no such limit. 

You can make up to 200 gallons of beer a year, alone or with twenty other adults.

All state laws say you can’t mail homebrewed beer through the US Postal Service.

However, you could use an independent courier like UPS.


Homebrews Stay Home

Under the Code of Federal Regulations, you can take a homebrewed beer from where it’s brewed.

This can only be for “family use, including organized affairs, exhibitions, or competitions such as homemaker’s contests, tastings, or judging.” 

But some states have laws that say homebrew can only be drunk in the house where it’s made.

Related Reading: How To Brew Beer At Home Without A Kit – Learn More Here.

Homebrewing License

An Antique Minature Stature Of Lady Justice.

You don’t need a license to brew beer at home unless you want to start a business out of it. 

There are some exceptions to this rule.

Oklahoma requires a permit to brew anything with an alcohol by volume (ABV) of more than 3.2%.

When Homebrewing Became Legal

Over the last 100 years, the laws about making beer and wine at home have changed a lot.

This left home brewers needing clarification about what they could and couldn’t do.

During prohibition, laws made it illegal to produce, transport, or sell alcohol from home.

When the Prohibition Act was signed into law in 1919, it made it illegal to make alcohol.

But the 21st Amendment, which the government passed in 1933, got rid of these old laws. 

Even after the repeal, homebrewing beer was still technically against the law because it was left out.

Don’t worry; People back then were just as confused.

Fortunately, today, the law is evident.

In 1979, President Jimmy Carter repealed alcohol prohibitions and allowed Americans to produce beer and wine at home.

Related Reading: Is Brewing Beer Bad For The Environment? – Read More Here.

Final Thoughts

Is brewing beer illegal? No, it is an entirely legal and fun hobby.

Just remember to check on your local laws about homebrewing, as different states have different regulations regarding beer.