The Omnibus Liquor Bill that was vetoed earlier this fall has finally been signed and put into action. This is great news for anyone involved in the wine and spirits industry as the bill has many benefits. Read below to learn more about the bill from our managing partner Don Coe, who was instrumental in getting this bill on the table and passed.
What is this bill called and where can others find information on it?
It is the Omnibus Liquor Bill and the actual bill number is HB 6224. Information about the bill can be found on the Michigan Information (MIRS) website.
How long have you and others been advocating for this bill?
What exactly does this bill permit?
There are several different provisions to the bill they include:
- The ability for MI wineries to charge for tastings at their tasting rooms, without a food requirement.
- The ability for MI wineries to host off-site tastings at retail stores across the state.
- The ability for MI wineries to apply for a license for Sunday morning and Christmas sales.
- MI distillers being able to sample and sell spirits at offsite tasting rooms.
- Allowing MI restaurants to provide the spirits at a catering event.
Why did the governor originally veto the bill?
The governor opposed the amount of wine poured at the off-site retail tastings, that being 3 three oz samples. This is a large amount that she would like to see made smaller. She also opposed the provision which would have allowed MI restaurants to provide spirits at a catered event. She felt that this provision impacted upon the business of MI retailers who supply the spirits and would like the individual who is hosting the event to have to purchase the spirits directly from a retail store.
After 3 years of commuting to Lansing from Traverse City to advocate for this bill, Mr. Coe is no doubt very pleased and eager to see these provisions put into action. The one he is most excited about pertains to small Michigan distillers having the opportunity to introduce their products to consumers at offsite tasting locations. “This will lead to increased exposure of the spirits as well as an increase in the demand for them at independent retailers. This is very exciting for all of us involved in the spirits industry,” notes Coe. On the homestretch, we are now waiting for approval from the township and county governments where our tasting rooms are located to begin sampling the spirits at all of our tasting rooms. For now if you are interested in trying any of our spirits they are available at our Old Mission tasting room only. Stay tuned for an update on when they will be at all of our sites.