How Many Homebrewers under 1 Roof Does it Take to Violate State Law?

How many people in your household are home-brewing beer?   If it’s more than one, and if you live in Colorado, you may be in violation of Colorado state law.

While home-brewing has been legal in Colorado for decades, there is a funny interpretation of the state law that could mean only one person per household may home-brew beer or home-ferment wine. Colorado state law (C.R.S. 12-47-106) allows tax-free home-brewing of beer only by a “head of a family” and it has to be made “for family use.”

The problem is the law does not define what a “head of a family” means, so for now, the likely legal interpretation limits this to only one individual.

A bipartisan bill seeks to clarify this issue, and would update the current law to state that an “adult” may home-brew beer, and to expand the practice from “family use” to “personal use.” With that, homebrewing spouses, partners, roommates, and families may be able to breathe a little extra sigh of relief – until then, the real battle may be determining who is the “head” of the family.


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