Individual states remain free to restrict or prohibit the manufacture of beer, mead, hard cider, wine and other alcoholic beverages at home. For example, Ala. Code § 28-1-1 addresses the illegal manufacture of alcoholic beverages in Alabama, and no other provision of Alabama law provides an exception for personal use brewing.
However, most states permit homebrewing, allowing 100 gallons of beer per person over the age of 21 per year and up to a maximum of 200 gallons per household annually when there are two or more adults over the age of 21 residing in the household. Because alcohol is taxed by the federal government via excise taxes, homebrewers are restricted from selling any beer they brew. This similarly applies in most Western countries. Many homebrewing related articles and books[who?] mistakenly claim that, in 1979, President Jimmy Carter signed into law a bill explicitly allowing home beers and winemaking, which was at the time illegal as a holdover from the prohibition of alcoholic beverages (repealed in 1933). In fact, the U.S. Congress passed an Act in 1978exempting a certain amount of beer brewed for personal or family use from taxation.
The change also exempted home brewers from posting a "penal bond" (which is currently $1000.00) which had the prohibitive effect of economically preventing brewers of small quantities from pursuing their hobby. President Carter signed the Act, which addressed other issues as well.
Regulated at the National level under USC Title 26 subtitle E Ch51. Production of distilled alcohols for consumption carries an excise tax and numerous requirements must be met to legally produce.
Owning or operating a distillation apparatus without filing the proper paperwork and paying the taxes carries federal criminal penalties.
Hope that helps. Regards, GF.