There are many who wonder if it is illegal to make moonshine. Unfortunately, the rules regarding the legality of distilling moonshine vary from state to state, so we can’t really do this for every state… but since we are located in Colorado, here is a summary of the Colorado distilling laws regarding home distillation of alcohol spirits, fuel alcohol, essential oils, and water.
Can you legally own a moonshine still in Colorado?
The State of Colorado does not prohibit ownership of a still.
Can you distil alcohol for fuel purposes in Colorado?
According to distilling alcohol laws, it is not legal to distil alcohol for fuel and no fuel alcohol permit exists.
So, what can I use a still for in Colorado? Distilling water? Essential oils?
Yes and yes. It is legal to distil water and it is also legal to distil essential oils, so long as you do not use alcohol as a solvent.
Can I distil for personal consumption in Colorado as long as I am not selling it?
Colorado distilling laws state that it is not legal to distil alcohol for personal consumption, but through all the doom and gloom there is an upside (see below).
What happens if I get caught? Are there fines/penalties/jail time?
This is the good news! Distilling alcohol for personal consumption in the State of Colorado is considered a fairly minor offense. It is not a felony or even a misdemeanor. The charge actually falls in a category called “Petty Offenses.” For those who love it when I speak geekily, distilling alcohol in Colorado is a Class 2 Petty Offense. Other violations that share this category are those such as littering, skiing on a “closed” trail, leaving a campfire unattended, water skiing without a life jacket, and riding a dirt bike that is louder than 96 decibels. If one does get caught distilling alcohol for consumption, they are subject to up to a $250 fine.