A man in Alabama recently got in trouble for home brewing beer. You see, home brewing is illegal in Bama. This guy was trying to raise awareness of this lunacy in order to get the law changed and made some enemies in the process. Isn’t also illegal to sell sex toys in Alabama? Why the hell would you want to live in such a backwards state?

The “Yellowhammer State” is not the only state that doesn’t want you to get your brew on. These states have laws against it:

  • Delaware
  • Iowa
  • Kentucky
  • Mississippi
  • Ohio
  • Oklahoma

These states have laws that are ambiguous at best:

  • Louisiana
  • Maine
  • Nevada
  • New Hampshire
  • New Mexico
  • New York

Bottling my homebrew beerFermentarium.com has a good rundown of this anti-home-brewing idiocy.

What about you? Are you making hooch on the sly? I’m legal but I would probably do it anyway.


  1. Jimmy Carter signed legislation legalizing home brewing in 1979. I suspect most of these state laws are legacies of Prohibition and could be shot down by a good lawyer. Unfortunately many homebrewers don’t have deep pockets.

    Me? I would brew anyway, legal or not.

  2. Luckily here in good ‘ol Cali it’s legal, but even if I did ever end up living in those states I would brew anyways. I’m saving up for a nice setup right now. Can’t wait for it!

  3. I live in Massachusetts, where it’s legal to brew, but I had no idea that Kentucky had a law against it. My uncle lives there, and he’s the one who got me into homebrewing.

    I’m with you guys, if it was illegal where I live, I’d still be doing it.

  4. I saw at the top of page that states its illegal to homebrew in Ohio. Thats not true. You are allowed 100 gallans of brew per legal adult for personal comsumption and another 100 gallons for a spouse or adult living in your home.
    Let me know if this is not correct as you can check it out at

  5. Thanks for commenting, rob. I am not a lawyer but my reading of the page you link to is that home brewing is not protected by law but it is not explicitly prohibited either. It doesn’t mention the 100 gal limit. That doesn’t necessarily mean you can or cannot brew your own. Since there appear to be home brew supply stores in Ohio, it’s pretty safe to assume you won’t get in trouble for it. Then again, there are home brew stores in Utah where it is currently illegal.

  6. I know Puerto Rico is not a state, but it is still subject to federal law. That said, I can’t really say for sure if it is allowed here home brew, but I will anyways. I have scrounged every website I know and could find on local law and could not find anything against it or in favor of but if I were to judge for local government reaction to independent rum makers, even for personal use, I would say that my little island is not a good place to home brew. Which I find very vexing, since one of the main calling cards for tourism is rum, as in: “Puerto Rico, the rum capital of the world” But if you dare make your own you are a lunatic-baby- seal-killer-with-a-prejudice-against-small-dogs… Weird, but true. Did you know that if you are a brewery here and make more than 31k gallons of beer a year you have to pay a tax per gallon of a whooping $4.05 or $00.3375 per 12 ounce bottle? Crazy stuff.


  7. Hey Alberto,
    I’ve been brewing in PR for the last 6 months, don’t know if it’s legal or not. I suspect that federal law goes above any local law so you should be allowed to brew up to 100 gallons per year for personal use, just don’t quote me on that. By the way, I’m brewing an IPA as I type.

  8. I own a Homebrew Shop in Kentucky and before I opened it I check on the laws governing the legality of a retail store that sold homebrewing equipment and ingrediants. There was no license required and the state even sales a license for homebrew shops to allow people to brew their beer at the home brewshop with the assistance of the homebrew shop employees. If it was against the law to make beer at home why would they issue this permit?

  9. I am sure glad to find this.

    From what I have found, homebrewing is legal in PR. My wife and her best friend are both laywers here and a few years back they researched this. Here in PR they said the laws are more for saying what you cannot do, and there is nothing about brewing beer. So that is what i go with.

    I am interested in starting a homebrew club here in PR, so I don’t always have to brew alone.
    If there is any others interested, respond to this posting.

  10. In Delaware it is legal to brew beer or wine as long as you produce no more than 200 gallons a year, and do not sell it.

  11. Ohio does not have any laws than ban homebrewing. See: http://www.homebrewersassociat

    However, there is some confusion about whether or not the distillation laws can apply to making beer at home.

    It's unfortunate that the legality is unclear and not protected, but I think if anyone cared we would not have homebrew shops and competitions.

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