Wednesday, 24 September 2014 11:44

Booze-itics: Updates in Michigan beer laws

Written by  Nick Manes
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The growth of craft beer in Michigan has legislators taking a break from being scared of the word ‘vagina’ and looking at the state’s antiquated laws for production, distribution and consumption of God’s Nectar.

Many of the laws regarding alcohol in the state date back to Prohibition. As the craft beer, wine and spirit industry has become established, many of the booze-hound entrepreneurs are asking if the laws are still relevant. Turns out, Lansing is largely saying “no.”

Below, REVUE provides you with a brief run-down of changes in booze policy, that will make Michigan feel like less of a teetotaler state.

Self-distribution

Small craft brewers — those producing less than 1,000 barrels per year — can now distribute to customers on their own, rather than going through a middleman. Rockford Brewing is reported to be delivering to a dozen or so accounts in the city’s downtown area.

Size Matters

Recent legislation changed the definition of a “microbrewer.” Now, under the current language, a brewer can produce up to 60,000 barrels per year, rather than the pitiful 30,000.

Pubs

Brewers like Eastown’s Harmony Brewing have the definition of a “brewpub” in the eyes of Johnny Law, also limiting what they can and can’t do. However, HB 4710 allows for a brewpub owner to now own five locations — up from three — and more than triples the amount they can brew annually to 18,000 barrels.

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