Owning a still is legal in the state of Montana as long as it is not used to manufacture moonshine. Montana even allows the manufacture of non-consumable ethanol which means not only can you use a still for distilling water, essential oils, etc. But you also will not need a license from the state to manufacture ethanol fuel though you still need a federal license.
Montana liquor control
You can legally manufacture ethanol fuel for personal use in the state of Montana. To sell this fuel you need to apply for a license as well as pay a yearly fee and setup a bond.
Montana does offer a distillery license for $600 per year. They also recently added the ability to operate micro distilleries in the state.
Montana liquor licenses
There are several licenses you need to request to legally manufacture spirits. Below are the federal licenses only. Additional state requirements will need to be followed as well.
You must submit a request for a license to manufacture spirits: TTB 5110.41 Basic permit.
This license only allows you to produce spirits. You also need a license for the distilling equipment / distillery: TTB 5100.24 Distilled spirit plant
For manufacturing ethanol fuel you will need to submit a request for a TTB 5110.74 for a federal license.
It is illegal to own or transport moonshine in the state of Montana
6-6-301. Transfer, sale, and possession of alcoholic beverages -- when unlawful. (1) Except as provided by this code, a person or the person's agents or employees may not:
- (a) expose or keep an alcoholic beverage for sale;
- (b) directly or indirectly or upon any pretense or upon any device, sell or offer to sell an alcoholic beverage; or
- (c) in consideration of the purchase or transfer of any property or for any other consideration or at the time of the transfer of any property, give to any other person an alcoholic beverage.
- (2) A person may not have or keep any alcoholic beverage that has not been purchased within the state of Montana.
- (1) For the purposes of this section "person" means an individual, partnership, corporation, company, firm, society, association, joint-stock company, trust, or other entity capable of holding a legal or beneficial interest in property, but does not include a state or agency of a state.
- (2) A person who has not been issued a license under this code who sells or keeps for sale in Montana any alcoholic beverage commits a criminal offense and upon conviction is punishable by a fine not to exceed $5,000 or by imprisonment in the state prison for not less than 1 or more than 5 years or by both the fine and imprisonment.
- (3) A person in the business of selling alcoholic beverages in another state or country who imports or distributes alcoholic beverages in violation of this code commits a civil offense.
- (4) A person convicted under subsection (3):
- (a) for a first offense, must be mailed a certified letter by the department ordering that person to cease and desist any shipments of alcoholic beverages to any person in Montana;
- (b) for a second offense, shall be fined a civil penalty not to exceed $5,000;
- (c) for a third offense, shall be fined a civil penalty not to exceed $10,000; and
- (d) for a fourth or subsequent offense, shall be fined a civil penalty not to exceed $50,000.
Current federal laws allow citizens the right to own a still and operate it for non-alcohol production.
This means legally you can: