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Why Is Moonshing Against The Law ?

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

It's one of those cold winter's days and I'm sitting here waiting for a shipment of hops to arrive so that I can make a batch of beer. I was out of hops and had to order them online. (see why at Beer Recipes) So beer making has been put on hold. Instead, I went surfing and found this article and thought that I would share it with you.

You can make your own wine and beer, can't you?
By Michelle Tsai
Posted Thursday, Oct. 18, 2007, at 6:50 PM ET

Two Georgia men pleaded guilty on Wednesday to charges of operating a moonshine still in the Chattahoochee National Forest. One of the bootleggers faces up to 35 years in prison for his crimes: making the brew, selling it, and not paying taxes on the proceeds. Back in college, the Explainer had friends who brewed their own beer, and that wasn't against the law. So why is moonshine still illegal?

Because the liquor is worth more to the government than beer or wine. Uncle Sam 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. No one knows exactly how much money changes hands in the moonshine trade, but it's certainly enough for the missing taxes to make a difference: In 2000, an ATF investigation busted one Virginia store that sold enough raw materials to moonshiners to make 1.4 million gallons of liquor, worth an estimated $19.6 million in lost government revenue. In 2005, almost $5 billion of federal excise taxes on alcohol came from legally produced spirits.

You can read the entire article at



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