The Hobby Distiller's Association is working towards the legalization of hobby distilling.
Unless you live in New Zealand it is most likely illegal for you to distill alcohol at home, even if it is purely as a hobby. This is in contrast to making beer or wine, which is legal in most countries without permits, licenses, or payment of tax. It is time for change!
The hobby distiller is not a backwoods hillbilly distilling for profit. He often uses sophisticated equipment, distilling mainly for enjoyment, and often as the next step in the legal hobby of wine or beer making.
But in the United States, distilling alcohol without proper permits is illegal. And although there are permits for distilling alcohol for use as a fuel, there's no such license for distilling small amounts of beverage alcohol. That leaves the hobbyist with two options- distill as a hobby illegally, or don't distill. The HDA is pressing to change to this by forming the first single, unified, consistent, and strong voice for the hobbyist.
We absolutely do not support ‘moonshining’ activities where individuals sell their shine for profit.
Those who wish to sell should get licensed as a commercial distilled spirits plant. As noted in the name of the organization, we support the legalization of distilling as a hobby only.
Got Bill Rolled into Larger Bill & Introduced in Congress
Our lobbyist and HDA leaders have worked with Legislative Council to include our bill in the Craft Beverage Modernization and Tax Reform Act of 2015 and has been introduced in both the House and the Senate (S1562 and (HR2903).
Worked With Legislative Counsel To Draft a Bill
HDA leaders have worked with Legislative Council to draft a bill that would legalize home distilling as a hobby, giving hobby distillers parity with hobby brewers and winemakers.
Met with Senators, Representatives, Treasury, and the TTB
HDA leadership have taken multiple trips to Washington DC for meetings with influential individuals such as Senator Cruz, Senator Cornyn, Representative Burgess, the head of the TTB, and the Department of Treasury.
*Note that all travel costs were paid independently without compensation from the HDA. Membership dues fund the cost of our lobbyist at about $3000 per month.
Hired a Lobbyist in Washington, DC
The HDA's lobbyist operates as our representative, meeting with members of Congress and arranging meetings with key people and agencies to further our action. Our lobbyist has experience (and has had success!) in similar efforts.
We Need Your Support To Get This Done
Not only do we need help to fund our effort, but we also need the support to give a strong showing to our representatives in Congress. Remember, there's strength in numbers.
If you're a hobby distiller, retailer, wholesaler, or producer of distillation equipment, please sign up to help fund our efforts. If you can't afford membership, sign up for free as a supporter. We all know people that agree with our cause but don't partake in the hobby. They can sign up as a supporters, too. We need to show Congress that we have strong support.
Let's get this done together!