Brew Beer at Home


Pass Me a Cold One

Few things are as enjoyable as a beer with your best friend after a hard day of honest work.

Have you ever considered brewing your own beer? Worried that it’s illegal? Let’s discuss the legalities of brewing beer at home, as well as how much you can brew.

“The great point is to bring them the real facts, and beer.”

—Abraham Lincoln

Actually, even though beer is more popular, we’re going to talk about much more than just beer!

Wine, Ale, Malt Liquor, and Beer

What kind of ale, malt liquor, and beer? Today, we’re only discussing ale, malt liquor, and beer that is made from the normal alcoholic fermentation of malted barley with hops, or their products, and with or without other malted or unmalted cereals.

What kind of wine? Today, we’re only discussing wine made from the normal alcoholic fermentation of the juices of dandelions or grapes, raisins, or other fruits.

—See Tex. Alco. Bev. § 109.21(b)

Some Restrictions

The Texas Alcohol and Beverage Commission can restrict the types of ingredients used in this process to prohibit any ingredient it finds detrimental to health or susceptible of use to evade this law.

Just for your peace of mind, possession of wine, ale, malt liquor, or beer produced under this section is not an offense if the person making it complies with all provisions of this section and the wine, ale, malt liquor, or beer is not distilled, fortified, or otherwise altered to increase its alcohol content.

—See Tex. Alco. Bev. § 109.21(b)


Head of the Family

According to Texas law, the head of a family, or an unmarried adult, may produce for the use of his family or himself not more than 200 gallons of wine, ale, malt liquor, or beer, per year.

—See Tex. Alco. Bev. § 109.21(a)

Who is the head of a family? And why must the head of a family be a “he”? Unfortunately there is no case law in this area to guide us. But have no fear ladies, despite this law apparently appearing to be sexist, women may also be the head of a family. It appears that the intent was for each family to have one producer instead of each member being allowed 200 gallons.

Additionally, you should know that no license or permit is required for you to produce your family’s 200 gallons of wine, ale, malt liquor, or beer.

—See Tex. Alco. Bev. § 109.21(a)

What About State Fees?

It is commonly known that it wasn’t the crime that landed Al Capone in jail, it was the tax evasion. Well have no fear! Despite the state collecting heavy fees on most alcohol, your home brewed wine, ale, malt liquor, and beer aren’t subject to these fees.

—See Tex. Alco. Bev. § 109.21(c)


Something to be Thankful For

With Thanksgiving being just a few days away, we each take a moment to reflect on what we’re thankful for. If nothing more, you can always be thankful for beer. However, on behalf of all of us at Matthew Harris Law, we are thankful for our loyal weekly readers, patient clients, and extremely supportive families that make it possible for us to do what we do.


–Authored by Matthew L. Harris, Esq.,


Matthew Harris Law, PLLC – Civil Litigation Division

1001 Main Street, Suite 200, Lubbock, Texas, 79401-3309

Tel: (806) 702-4852 | Fax: (800) 985-9479

[email protected]