Favorite

Still illegal 

Short answer: Leave the ’shining to Granny Clampett.

While the law is a bit cloudy on whether it is legal to own a whiskey still as a display or object d'art – they can also be used to distill water, aromatic oils and alcohol for fuel, which makes things even more murky — the law on actually getting down to making some sippin' whiskey is perfectly clear: Don't even think about it.

Though a distillery license is available through the state of Arkansas if one wants to wade through copious amounts of paperwork and red tape, the would-be home distiller faces a raft of charges if caught brewing up the hooch. Under sections 3-3-402 and 403 of the Arkansas criminal code, owning, possessing or knowingly transporting any part of a still designed for the unlawful manufacture of liquor is a Class D felony, as is manufacturing or transporting distilled spirits. Any vehicle used to transport the still or liquor is subject to seizure and forfeiture to the state.

Yeah, you're saying: Those laws probably haven't been dusted off in most Arkansas counties since Al Capone was taking the waters in Hot Springs. But don't kid yourself. They're still very much in effect, said Michael Langley, director of Arkansas Alcoholic Beverage Control. Though there are laws on the books that allow you to make a small amount of beer, wine or brandy for personal use, distilled spirits are a no-no. “You can't make whiskey,” Langley said. “There's a relatively difficult permitting process for a wet county where you could probably do it in a commercial sense. But unlike beer, you cannot brew your own whiskey. That goes all the way back to the moonshine days.”

Art Resnick, spokesperson for the federal Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, which oversees the production of distilled spirits, said that there is no provision in the federal code for the production of whiskey for personal use, and that the penalties involved for doing so are “stiff.” One can become licensed to produce whiskey, he said, but the hurdles are a bit high for someone looking to make a gallon or two for the holidays.

“There are numerous requirements that must be met that really make it impractical to produce spirits for personal or beverage use,” Resnick said. “That includes paying the taxes, filing a bond, providing adequate equipment to measure the spirits, providing tanks, pipelines, separate buildings, filing reports, all kinds of things. … There are provisions for becoming an alcohol fuel producer, which requires a still and is done on a small basis. A lot of farmers do it. But that requires a registration with us, and it requires that something be added to the distilled spirits to make them non-potable.”

Favorite

Comments

Showing 1-1 of 1

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-1 of 1

Add a comment

More by David Koon

  • Arkansas Circus Arts: under the big top

    Group helps keep the three-ring arts alive for a new generation.
    • Jul 28, 2016
  • 2016 Best of Arkansas editors' picks

    A few of our favorite things.
    • Jul 28, 2016
  • 1995: When even the thought of 'Madam President' was offensive.

    Following Hillary Clinton's historic selection as the presidential nominee of the Democratic Party last night in Philadelphia, Jezebel.com makes note of just how far we've come: a 1995 story in which discount behemoth Walmart pulled t-shirts from their stores because they featured the words "Someday, a woman will will be PRESIDENT!"
    • Jul 27, 2016
  • More »

Readers also liked…

Latest in Cover Stories

Event Calendar

« »

July

S M T W T F S
  1 2
3 4 5 6 7 8 9
10 11 12 13 14 15 16
17 18 19 20 21 22 23
24 25 26 27 28 29 30
31  

Most Viewed

Most Recent Comments

 

© 2016 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation