Distilleries to Sell Their Own Brews

30 07 2008

Now here’s a law that makes sense.

State distilleries can now sell their brews on site thanks to a new law.

In the past, distillers could only sell their products through a middleman. Now that they can sell the alcohol themselves, they will make more money which in turn means they will be able to try different products and offer more varieties.

Public Act 218’08 was passed by the Legislature on June 27th.  Governor Granholm signed the bill into law on July 24th.  The Michigan Brewing Company was on hand for the bill signing and sent the following press release.


Webberville, MI – July 30, 2008

Michigan Brewing Company Founder/President Bobby Mason, Michigan State Rep. Barb Byrum, Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm and MSU Professor Kris Berglund at signing ceremony for Public Act 218.

Michigan Brewing Company Founder/President Bobby Mason, Michigan State Rep. Barb Byrum, Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm and MSU Professor Kris Berglund at signing ceremony for Public Act 218.

On Thursday, July 24th, 2008, Michigan Brewing Company was well-represented as Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm signed Public Act 218 allowing, for the first time in the state of Michigan, small distilleries to market and sell their distilled grain-based spirits onsite. The law is expected to help bolster the state’s sagging economy by providing new markets for Michigan-grown agricultural crops and by creating new jobs.

Public Act 218 creates a new license class that allows distilleries that manufacture less than 60,000 gallons a year to sell their goods onsite. The license costs $100 annually.

The move to create these “micro-distilleries” is based on years of research by Kris Berglund, a Distinguished Professor of forestry and chemical engineering at Michigan State University and many months of concerted effort through Michigan Brewing Company. Professor Berglund has been studying distilling processes and conducting how-to workshops since 1997. For the past two years he has been working with Michigan Brewing Company, Michigan State Representative Barb Byrum and a number of other stakeholders to bring this legislation forward.

“The new law gives distillers more options,” says Berglund. “In the past, distillers could only sell their products through the liquor distribution system. Now they can set up retail operations onsite, much like breweries or wineries do.”

Literally dozens of meetings and caucuses, often with politically diverse groups, have taken place at MBC’s brewery and Pub in Webberville, Michigan. MBC’s partnership with Michigan State University also helped to support both Representative Byrum and local businesses in their effort to pass this legislation.

Since the beginning of 2007, Michigan Brewing Company in Webberville has been the site of a series of distilling classes and the latest computer generated chemical analysis infrastructure – also through its alliance with MSU. Mason sees that infastrucutre paying dividends for all disitllers and brewers starting to build this new Michigan industry.

“I see this facility and our partnerhip with MSU becoming a hub for this new distilling industry. For the foreseeable future, any new microdistillery can access full analytical services at MBC. This really has been an amazing example of collaboration for a positive economic outcome for all concerned. We plan to try to keep that open culture as this new local industry begins to take hold,” says Mason.

”As one of our stakeholders has repeatedly said about this effort, “’It’s not just about business, it’s about creating an industry” in economic times that desperately need new industry. Breweries and distilleries need to be seen as another piece of growing Michigan’s bioeconomy – which has to be a big part of Michigan’s economic rebound,” he added.




2 responses

28 08 2008
The Agitator » Blog Archive » Say yes to Michigan distilleries

[…] good news is that the proposed new license passed the legislature and was signed by the governor last month. This will put micro-distilleries on an even footing with the state’s breweries and wineries […]

27 09 2010

Yes Great Law!!!!!!!! but they havnt figured out how to allow you have more than 120 gallons indoors.. Stupid fire codes are putting tremendous pressure on survival for all of us.. This is an outrage and a receipe for eventual failure.. You simply can grow and meet your high investment financial needs at this low capacity..
the state promoters for economic growth and its codes are at odds .. they need to figure out how they can help those small companies grow.

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