In July of 2020, Governor Gretchen Whitmer of Michigan approved a 16-bill package for the hospitality industry, impacting the daily operations of restaurants, bars, and brewing industries throughout the state. The package revises provisions of Michigan’s immensely thorough and extensive liquor control regulatory regime. These bills are also transforming the Michigan Liquor Control Commission code to preserve Michigan’s local breweries and craft beer industry during the pandemic.
The novel laws authorize the delivery of mixed drinks and to-go cocktails and give the green light on patio dining without establishments needing to acquire additional permits. Correspondingly, the package lets cities create “social districts” for outdoor drinking and offers restaurants and bars significant discounts on liquor, temporarily augmenting their profit margins on liquor sales.
Various other sections of the new package include revising ancient distribution regulations and boosting the amount of beer a brewery is allowed to self-distribute to a retailer, such as a liquor store or a restaurant, from 1,000 barrels to 2,000 barrels. What’s more, the liquor law overhaul package allows Michigan Brewers Guild to launch beer festivals without tickets or tokens, permits out-of-state breweries who signed on with a distributor and sell their product in Michigan the ability to switch distributors—as long as the establishment’s beer is not sold in Michigan for two years— and relaxes regulations on registering beers with the state for both in-and-out-of-state breweries.
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