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Gov. Whitmer Signs Bill Allowing Expanded Tasting Rooms for Craft Distilleries, Microbreweries

Winemakers, microbreweries, and spirits makers can hold an additional permit  

Bottles of spirits and liquor at the bar
Michigan is home to one of the fastest growing spirits industries in the country.
Salivanchuk Semen/Shutterstock

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer today signed a bill that allows small distillers, winemakers, and microbreweries to simultaneously have on-premises and off-premise tasting room permits.

The bill amends the Michigan Liquor Control Code to allow a company to hold both licenses at the same location.

“Michigan is home to some of the best microbreweries and craft distillers in the country, and this bill makes it easier for these businesses to create and operate tasting rooms,” Whitmer said in a news release. “I’m proud that this bipartisan bill will make it more convenient for Michiganders to sample fine spirits and delicious micro-brews, while also creating jobs and helping grow our small businesses and economy faster.”

Whitmer signed legislation on May 24, allowing distillers and retailers to distribute and sell a wider range of mixed alcoholic drinks with a higher alcohol content. Canned cocktails represent a small but growing share of Michigan’s booming alcohol industry.

Metro Detroit’s distilleries transitioned to hand-sanitizer production at the height of the pandemic last year to meet the needs of health care facilities and municipalities facing shortages.

The bill signed Thursday was sponsored by Sen. Kim LaSata, a Coloma Republican, and lauded by spirits makers.

“We are grateful for this legislation that will allow us to expand services to our customers after a very difficult year,” David Ringler, director of Happiness Cedar Springs Brewing Co. in Cedar Springs, said in a statement. “As a destination location in a small town it is key for us to be able to serve all of our product lines to our guests.”