History of Powdered Alcohol:
1969 -- Harold Bode of the Sugar Research Foundation was issued a patent for the “preparation of an alcoholic dry beverage powder” to be used in “novel food products.”
Early 1970’s – Japanese company Sato Foods began to sell alcoholic capsules as a food additive on products like fish and meat in order to mask the food’s odor and help retain their natural juices.
1976 – General Foods patent for an “alcohol-containing dextrin powder” intended for use in food and as a “high ethanol-containing powder which can be used as a base for alcoholic beverages” was approved; however, the product was never sold.
1978 – California Regulation 2557, pertaining to “powdered distilled spirits,” went into effect. According to the National Alcoholic Beverage Control Association’s (NABCA) 2015 Powdered Alcohol: An Encapsulation, the regulation created rules on trade practices, and the conversion of powdered alcohol weight to volume as measured in wine gallons; and was one of the first state measures to address powdered alcohol.
1980 – Alaska enacted a statute to prohibit the sale of an alcoholic product “unless in liquid form.” Alaska §04.16.110 was updated in 1995 to specifically prohibit the sale of powdered alcoholic beverages for human consumption.
1986 – Delaware title 4, §101 was amended to include powders or crystals in the definition of a concentrated alcoholic beverage.
2005 – German product called Subyou, containing 4.8% dried alcohol or 1.5 standard serving drink, was initially sold online, then available in stores. By May 2015, German news media reported the product Subyou called “Alcopops in powdered form,” had sparked local concern due to marketing aimed at teenagers and growing popularity with those under 18. Despite its early success, Smithsonian.com reported in May 2014, Subyou had disappeared from the market and its website had been taken down.
2010 – Pulver Spirits sought approval from the U.S. Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) on an alcoholic powder, but decided not to proceed due to “regulatory hurdles.”
April 2014 -- The U.S. Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) approved labels for a product called Palcohol that can be added to water to make an alcoholic beverage. Within two weeks of approving the labels, the TTB issued a statement that the label approvals were issued in error.
November 2014 – Senator Schumer introduced legislation to ban powdered alcohol as part of the Sober Truth on Preventing Underage Drinking Reauthorization Act (The S.T.O.P. Reauthorization Act). If enacted, the S.T.O.P. Reauthorization Act would prohibit the “manufacture, sale, distribution, or possession of powdered alcohol.”
February 11, 2015 – The Kentucky Senate passed S.B. 81 (‘Amends KRS 241.010 to define “bed and breakfast,” “discount in the course of business,” and “marina”; expands the definition of “alcohol beverage” to include a powder or crystal containing alcohol.’), but the measure failed to pass the House.
March 11, 2015 -- The U.S. Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) approved four labels for a powdered alcohol product called Palcohol, which allowed the product to be sold in the U.S.
March 24, 2015 – The Kentucky Senate passed H.B. 71 (‘Amends alcohol statutes, including expanding the definition of “alcoholic beverage” to include a powder or crystal containing alcohol.’) with amendments, but the Senate version failed to pass the House.
June 2015 – According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 89 bills in 40 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico have been introduced in the 2015 legislative session.
September 4, 2015 - Kentucky Representative Jody Richards pre-filed BR1 for the Kentucky General Assembly 2016 Regular Session relating to powdered or crystalline alcoholic beverage products. ("Create a new section of KRS Chapter 244 to prohibit powdered or crystalline alcoholic beverage products; amend KRS 241.010 to include powdered or crystalline alcohol in the definition of an alcoholic beverage.")
November 2015 – According to the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) and the National Alcohol Beverage Control Association (NABCA), 30 states have banned powdered alcohol through state statute or agency policy.
December 23, 2015 -- Lipsmark, the Arizona-based company that makes Palcohol, reports on their website they are working on getting the production facility up and running, and expect to have the product available soon.
April 2016 -- The Kentucky Governor signed SB11 into law banning powdered alcohol.
July 2016 - Powdered Alcohol is Banned in Kentucky KRS 241.010; KRS 244.652 (effective 2016-07-15)
- Powdered or crystal alcohol is illegal. Powdered alcohol is similar to "Kool-aid" or "Crystal Light" as it is a powder that can be mixed with water to produce an alcoholic beverage drink. Kentucky, like many other states, has now banned this product.