State Overview state laws

It is illegal to own a still regardless of its purpose without a license. To distill water, essential oils, etc. you will need a license. Virginia specifically states it is illegal to own a still regardless of its use.

4.1-212. Permits required in certain instances

  • 5. Any person to keep, store or possess any still or distilling apparatus.

VA Code 4.1-200 (2014)

The licensure requirements of this chapter shall not apply to:
  • 5. The manufacture and sale of food products known as flavoring extracts which are manufactured and sold for cooking and culinary purposes only and not sold as beverages.

Fuel manufacturing state laws

The production of ethanol fuel is legal if you are licensed for an ethanol distilleery license and all federal licenses.

Legal manufacturing licenses & regulations

Virginia does offer a distillery license that allows for small sale distillery or large scale. Costs are $65 fee plux Less than 5,000 gallons annually: $450. 5,001–36,000 gallons annually: $2,500. More then 36,001 gallons annually: $3,725

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.

Posession stills & moonshine

VA Code § 4.1-300 (2014)

  • A. Except as otherwise provided in §§ 4.1-200 and 4.1-201, no person shall manufacture alcoholic beverages in the Commonwealth without being licensed under this title to manufacture such alcoholic beverages. Nor shall any person, other than a brewery licensee or bottler's licensee, bottle beer for sale.
  • B. The presence of mash at an unlicensed distillery shall constitute manufacturing within the meaning of this section.
  • C. Any person convicted of a violation of this section shall be guilty of a Class 6 felony.

VA Code § 4.1-302 (2014)

  • If any person who is not licensed sells any alcoholic beverages except as permitted by this title, he shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.
  • In the event of a second or subsequent conviction under this section, a jail sentence of no less than thirty days shall be imposed and in no case be suspended.

VA Code § 4.1-314 (2014)

  • No person shall keep, store or have in his possession any still, or distilling apparatus, without a permit from the Board.
  • Any person convicted of a violation of this section shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.

Federal laws

Current federal laws allow citizens the right to own a still and operate it for non-alcohol production.

This means legally you can:

Each state and even counties have their own laws that may supersede federal laws.

It is your responsibility to know the laws in your area.