Dry laws prohibit selling and buying alcoholic beverages during a specific day and/or time. They vary from state-to-state. For example, no alcoholic beverages may be sold on Sunday in certain states. Many people choose to avoid these laws by making their own beer at home instead of buying it from a store. They are called homebrewers.

Are Homebrewers Considered Moonshine Makers?

No. Homebrewers are individuals who make beer at home. Moonshiners are people who make hard alcohol, such as whiskey and gin, in a noncommercial setting. In most jurisdictions, making moonshine is prohibited. 

Is Making Beer at Home Legal?

The answer depends on the state where the individual resides. Federal law makes it legal to make homemade beer. However, each state does have its own specific rules regarding the homebrew method used and ingredients. For example, Idaho does not allow residents to brew homemade beer using hops from another state.

Can I Sell My Homemade Beer?

A homebrewer cannot sell any of their homemade beer without a license to sell it. In fact, some states require several licenses to sell homemade beer. 

Am I Liable If Someone Becomes Sick After Drinking My Homebrew?

Yes. A homebrewer is liable for any food contamination claims that arise after people become sick from their homemade beer. The foodborne claims may include bacteria, toxins, and salmonella.

What Kind of Lawsuit Can They Bring Against Me?

A person who is harmed by consuming beer made by a homebrewer can sue them for negligence. A lawsuit involving negligence asserts that the defendant failed to provide the amount of care that an ordinary person in the same or similar circumstances would use to avoid harming others. To prove that a defendant is liable for causing a foodborne illness with homemade beer, a plaintiff must show:

  • The homebrewer owed a duty to the plaintiff
  • The homebrewer breached that duty
  • The homebrewer was the actual and proximate cause of the plaintiff’s illness
  • The plaintiff suffered damages such as lost wages and medical bills because of the illness

Do I Need to Talk to an Attorney before Making Homebrewed Beer?

Brewing beer at home can be a fun activity. However, it can also be a dangerous activity because there are not as many restrictions placed on homebrewers as commercial brewers, which can lead to a homebrewer making a dangerous product. To understand the laws related to homebrewing in your state and the risks of lawsuits, contact a personal injury attorney.