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Ulysses101, Lawyer
Category: Canada Law
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Experience:  11 years experience in Canada family law, plus criminal, civil, and employment
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If you make homemade wine from a kit, then distill it to around

Resolved Question:

If you make homemade wine from a kit, then distill it to around 80%, is it ellegal to own... not sell, just own?
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Canada Law
Expert:  Ulysses101 replied 8 years ago.

OK, Dave. This is a good question.


Where do you live?


Are you wondering if you can sell your wares?



Customer: replied 8 years ago.

williams lake, B.C Canada. Assuming I have a liquor licence, could it be sold (and if so, up to what percentage)? Is it also legal to make moonshine for personal consumption without a licence? I have a distiller, and I want to know if I can use it legally in any manor regarding alcohol.

Expert:  Ulysses101 replied 8 years ago.

The simple answer is "no", I'm afraid.


It's legal to make beer and wine for your own consumption, but even that industry is heavily regulated. To distill the product isn't illegal per se, but to own the equipment to distill it is, and sell the final product is absolutely against several laws.


And there's good reason for this. As you say, it's not hard to get it up over 80 proof.


Many people have literally killed themselves and others with home distilled alcohol. It's dangerous and you can wind up sued and at the wrong end of some serious legal proceedings.


Having a liquor license, as in if you own a bar, does not give you the right to sell your own home made distilled spirits.


Stick to the home made beer and wine. You can't sell that either, but it's a fine hobby. Good luck.




please accept this answer so that I may receive credit for the time and attention I've put into your matter.

Customer: replied 8 years ago.

It is near impossable to kill or blind your self in home distilling as only drinking the first few drips will blind/ kill you. if you remove the first few drops, it's safe. I've drank my stuff before and i'm only blind in one eye... joking. yes i'll accept your answer, but the reality of it is, that it is safe. what licence do you need to distill vodka or even 151 rum? i know it is possible, as the BC liquor store sells it. What licence do I need to make it. After this question is answered, I will accept it, even if it's an answer I don't want to hear.

Expert:  Ulysses101 replied 8 years ago.

Deaths by moonshine aren't that uncommon when the ingredients used have been less than ideal. A fella in NB killed himself and some others by using too much wormwood in his homemade absinthe. While that's uncommon, the risks are there. As well, stills can blow up and are considered dangerous and a fire hazard. And when you do your own, it's not always easy to tell without special equipment what the alcohol concentration is.


As I said, distilling itself isn't illegal but owning the equipment to do so is.


As well, liquor sold in Canada goes through the provincially owned liquor stores, and they only buy from distillers with the proper licenses and quality control mechanisms in place. If you have a liquor license, that allows you to resell alcohol that you buy from legitimate sources only, not homebrew.


It's certainly possible to make alcohol as strong as you wish, up to and including 100% if you distill it enough times. The point is that it's illegal to own and operate the equipment necessary to distill, and it's illegal to sell.


If you want to open up your own distillery, that's a separate issue. The rules and regulations on small vintners are already mind boggling. To distill your own would be a major commercial venture, I'm sure.


Dave, this is just a bad idea all around. I hope you believe me.



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