Want to make whiskey? Better pay the feds and the state, a few times.


“How do you make bourbon? You take some moonshine, put it in a barrel, and add a bunch of federal regulations.”

80 years after prohibition, just producing a good rye is still a huge hassle. The rules distillers produce under favor the big guys, the little guys must slog through red tape for their grog.

(From The Atlantic)

Scarano unlocked an inside barn door to show me the horse-stall-size space where his rye was aging in small casks. “When you put it in, you have to pay an intake fee, and then you have to pay a storage fee, and then you have to pay an outtake fee,” he said. Transporting the liquor—which in Scarano’s case involves moving the whiskey from this stall to a retail counter about 50 feet away—triggers a minor avalanche of additional notifications and paperwork, exacerbated by the fact that Ohio, as a “control state,” holds a monopoly on the sale of liquor. This means Scarano has to “buy” the liquor he’s made himself from the state before he can resell it to customers.

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