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Production facilities Whiskey -Destillerie Jameson Distillery in Midleton , Ireland

A distillery (also distillery ) is

  • a production company for spirits,
  • a building in which the equipment necessary for the distillation is located.

A distillery is used to produce high-alcohol spirits from raw materials that are only slightly alcoholic . The concentration of the alcohol takes place according to the principle of distillation , in this context one speaks of burning .


A distillery in the 18th century. Bitburg-Prüm District Museum

Usually, a distillery not only distills, but also carries out all the steps in the production of spirits. These are:

  • Acceptance of the delivered raw materials, quality control, storage
  • Processing to the mash
  • Fermentation of the sugar in the mash to alcohol
  • Burning the mash
  • Storage of the distillate for maturation
  • Dilute to drinking strength, filter
  • Bottling and distribution

The operation of a distillery is subject to the alcohol tax regulation in Germany.

Tax classification

Spirits are subject to the spirits tax in Germany . The scope of taxation is determined differently depending on the installation, the structure and distribution of the distilling rights have strong historical roots. The 29,000 severance payment distilleries in Germany, which are particularly widespread in south and south-west Germany, are taxed on the basis of the amount of raw materials processed and the amount of alcohol that can be expected from them; the annual amount is limited to 300 liters of pure alcohol. Fabric owners are people who are allowed to burn up to 50 liters of alcohol from self-produced fruit in severance distilleries. 100,000 to 200,000 people use this privilege annually. In the case of closure distilleries , which are not limited in size, the amount of alcohol actually produced is taxed.

Illegally operated distilleries, to be paid in taxes, hot Schwarzbrennerei . Your business is being prosecuted as tax evasion .

Raw materials and products

Distilleries process a large number of raw materials containing sugar and starch , but the operations mostly specialize in processing one raw material or a group of raw materials into certain products. Among the companies that produce goods for direct use as luxury goods, there are, for example, potato distilleries and fruit distilleries (for fruit brandies ), as well as distilleries for whiskey and absinthe .

For companies that produce agricultural alcohol (ethyl alcohol of agricultural origin), the end product is at least 96% pure ethanol and has a neutral odor and taste. The majority of the agricultural alcohol produced worldwide is used as biofuel under the name bioethanol . In addition to further processing into spirits such as liqueurs or vodka , agricultural alcohol is also used in the manufacture of pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, cleaning agents, disinfectants, antifreeze, paints and varnishes. In Germany, a significant part of the agricultural alcohol is produced by small agricultural distilleries. The bioethanol production for fuel production takes place largely in large industrial bioethanol plants, but there are also regional producer structures with agricultural distilleries in the biofuel sector.

Web links

Commons : Distillery  - collection of images, videos and audio files
Wiktionary: Distillery  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. Text of the Alcohol Tax Ordinance
  2. Federal Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Consumer Protection: Small and fruit distilleries in Germany, accessed on February 24, 2010
  3. E85 Regionol ( Memento of 4 June 2008 at the Internet Archive ), accessed February 24, 2010
  4. Agricultural alcohol ( Memento from July 22, 2012 in the web archive archive.today ) Federal Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Consumer Protection: Agricultural alcohol, accessed on February 24, 2010