Why Can You Brew Your Own Beer, But Not Moonshine?

Slate investigates, and the short answer is, because the government stands to lose too much money on lost sales of spirits, which are taxed far higher than beer: the U.S. “takes an excise tax of $2.14 for each 750-milliliter bottle of 80-proof spirits, compared with 21 cents for a bottle of wine (of 14 percent alcohol or less) and 5 cents for a can of beer.”

The article provides a lot of other useful information for the DIY liquor-store-enthusiast. For instance, it was illegal under federal law to brew your own beer or wine until 1978, but now a household with two adults can brew up to 200 gallons each of wine and beer, unless you live in a state that says you can’t. Also, moonshine drinkers tend to have lots of lead poisoning, which is why ’round these parts we call it “Chinese Import Tea.”

“Why Is Moonshine Against the Law?” [Slate]

Laws for Homebrewing [Beertown]
(Photo: Getty)

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