Working from Home in the Alcoholic Beverage Industry

You won’t find alcoholic beverage manufacturing or sale on a list of top home business. While most of the regulated activities are prohibited at home, there are some ways to work from home in the alcoholic beverage industry.

Alcoholic Beverage Activities You Can’t Do at Home

Most aspects of the alcoholic beverage industry cannot be done at home. In Florida, don’t attempt the following activities in your home or apartment:

  1. Distilling spirits or owning a still (it’s a crime).
  2. Blending or repackaging spirits like limoncello, liqueur, or rum punch for sale.
  3. Brewing beer or alcoholic kombucha for sale.
  4. Making wine, cider, or mead for sale.
  5. Making more than 100 gallons of beer or wine per year for personal use (200 gallons if you don’t live alone).
  6. Selling beer, wine or spirits to retailers or consumers.
  7. Holding beer, wine, or spirits for sale to manufacturers or distributors.
  8. Operating a bottle club.

These activities are all prohibited under either federal law, the Florida Beverage Law, or both. In addition, city and county zoning laws can limit what businesses can be done in the home.

Florida’s cottage food law does not apply to alcoholic beverages. The cottage food laws allow small-scale operations to sell bread, jams, and honey (among other products), but not beer, wine or mead. And moonshine making moonshine at all–whether for sale or personal consumption–is strictly prohibited under Florida law.

Home Isn’t Just the Place you Sleep and Eat

The federal and state laws prohibiting alcoholic beverage activities applies to more broadly than just the inside of a personal residence. Federal alcoholic beverage regulations counts the following in the meaning of home:

  1. Enclosures connected to a residence, including porches, garages, and carports.
  2. The yard surrounding a residential building.
  3. Sheds or similar structures on residential property.

In addition, the federal TTB or the Florida ABT can deny alcoholic beverage licensing for any premises that could jeopardize excise tax revenues or hinder effective administration alcoholic beverage regulation. In other words, federal and state inspectors must be able to enter the licensed premises for purposes of inspection.

Activities That Don’t Involve Alcoholic Products are OK at Home

There’s still plenty of business that can be done at home, as long as the alcoholic beverage products are somewhere else. Alcoholic beverage manufacturers, distributors, and retailers have plenty of administrative work to keep them busy, and there’s no problem doing it from a home office or kitchen table.

Certain licensed activities can also be done entirely from home. In Florida, this list includes:

  1. Operating a Broker-Sales Agent business.
  2. Importing beer, wine, or spirits from outside Florida, as long as product shipments are made directly to a licensed manufacturer or distributor.
  3. Serving as a registered manufacturer’s representative or distributor’s salesperson.
  4. Operating a non-profit organization that gets a special license for the sale of alcoholic products at events.

In Florida, it’s even possible to get a special license to sell wine from a home by a bona fide wine collector.

Do you have questions about alcoholic beverage activities at home? Contact us at to schedule a consultation with a beverage attorney.

Because we’re attorneys: This blog post is provided on an “as is” and “as available” basis as of the date of publication. We disclaim any duty to update or correct any information contained in this blog post, including errors, even if we are notified about them. To the fullest extent permitted by law, we disclaim all representations or warranties of any kind, express or implied with respect to the information contained in this blog post, including, but not limited to, warranties of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title, non-infringement, accuracy, completeness, and timeliness. We will not be liable for damages of any kind arising from or in connection with your use of or reliance on this blog post, including, but not limited to, direct, indirect, incidental, consequential, and punitive damages. You agree to use this blog post at your own risk. Regarding your particular circumstances, we recommend that you consult your own legal counsel–hopefully BrewerLong.

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