Monday, January 8, 2018
New Hampshire House lawmakers are expected to vote on a bill that would legalize home liquor distilling. Booze enthusiasts are currently allowed to make up to 200 gallons of beer and wine at home - depending on the size of their household, but distilling liquor at home is against state and federal laws. As of today, I haven’t been able to find the results of the vote last Wednesday.
That doesn't make sense to Representative Scott Wallace of Danville. "The natural progression of the hobby is you make some wine, if you'd like to turn that into brandy, that's not currently lawful. This bill would allow for that." Wallace says it could also help entrepreneurs who want to try their hand at distilling on a large scale - but are overwhelmed by the high cost of licensing a liquor distillation business.
The bill is part of a trend across the country pushed by hobbyists who are trying to change both state and federal laws to allow for small batch, artisan distilling. The Hobby Distiller’s Association was formed with the initial intent of working as a strong, unified voice in an attempt to change federal legislation in the United States, finally getting hobby distilling recognized and given the same legal standing that are afforded to hobby brewing and wine making.
In the past there have been several failed attempts at legalization of hobby distilling. This is in great part due to the lack of support, lack of direction, and lack of unity. Too many previous movements have been derailed because of another small group of people competing for support. This results in too little support for any one group. The Hobby Distiller’s Association aims to change that as the first fully organized and fully financially supported organization to press for legalization of hobby distilling. Yes, it is unfortunate that money talks, but I am sure that you are not shocked to hear that. This is where the HDA stands out. We have a lobbyist in Washington, DC on our side. This is something that none of the small groups has been able to fund, and as we have found over the past couple of years, it is most likely the only way for us to win this fight.