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Craft Distilling Legislation

Beauport Bob

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There are several out there who have participated in the change of their states laws to allow for craft distilling in a more agreeable environment. Is there a listing of these efforts and could we post their bill numbers? This would be for others to draw from if we were interested in drafting our own legislation? Also, a question for all, what elements would your "Dream Bill" have to ease the restrictions of ancient laws.



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There have been a few attempts to change regulations in my state (Wisconsin) but so far they have all been unsuccessful. The Wine and Spirits Wholesale lobby is very powerful here and the people who i thought would be good allies in the fight (our state wine producers) were too bogged down in their own legislative fights to really get behind any distillery legislation.

An ideal change for us in order of importance would be;

1. Sampling within our distillery (can't do in WI)

2. Selling our packaged product from the distillery (cant do in WI)

3. Being able to own/operate a retail bar/restaurant/store (distillery pub) (can't do in WI)

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I have drafts of about 4 different options - but they all hang on existing WI law, so I don't know how useful they'd be to others.

I also have learned more about alcohol politics in WI than I want to know. I've been working on this for two sessions now, and have pumped the person before me for info, too.

Some parties who have shown interest (mostly negatively) in WI: wine & spirits wholesalers, beer wholesalers, tavern league, grocers association, DISCUS, sheriffs and deputies association.

And Guy is right, the Winery Association and Brewers Guild have had their own fights with the wholesalers that have consumed their attention.

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  • 1 month later...

This bill should be signed into law in the next several weeks, no group opposed it in Michigan. Will help us gain the same advantages as wineries have in Michigan.


[Please see the PDF version of this analysis, if available, to view this image.]

House Bill 5925 (Substitute H-1 as reported without amendment)

Sponsor: Representative Barb Byrum

House Committee: Regulatory Reform

Senate Committee: Economic Development and Regulatory Reform


The bill would amend the Michigan Liquor Control Code to do all of the following:

-- Require the Liquor Control Commission to issue a small distiller license to an applicant who annually manufactured not more than 60,000 gallons of spirits and paid a $100 license fee.

-- Allow a small distiller to sell spirits at retail from its licensed premises for consumption either on or off the premises.

-- Allow a small distiller to offer samplings or tastings on the licensed premises.

-- Require a small distiller to comply with server training requirements.

The bill would not allow the sale of spirits transacted or caused to be transacted by means of any mail order, internet, telephone, computer, device, or other electronic means.

MCL 436.1111 et al. Legislative Analyst: Patrick Affholter


The bill would permit eligible small distillers to obtain a small distillers license at a fee of $100 per year, a reduction from the current fee of $1,000 per year for distillers. The potential reduction in revenue is estimated to be approximately $5,000 per year. The revenue from all nonretail license fees collected by the Liquor Control Commission goes to the Michigan Grape and Wine Industry Council. This revenue totaled $517,233 in FY 2006-07.

Date Completed: 6-12-08 Fiscal Analyst: Elizabeth Pratt Maria Tyszkiewicz

Analysis was prepared by nonpartisan Senate staff for use by the Senate in its deliberations and does not constitute an official statement of legislative intent. hb5925/0708

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  • 3 months later...
  • 1 month later...

thank you texas, ohio, michigan, washington, and montana

here in maryland the wine people are on our side and have thus far gotten the right to distill tiny amounts of grappa from their grapes

the biggest problems are zoning laws put all stills except that mini-grappa still into heavy manufacturing zoning only

and alcohol distributors want all distilled products to go through their warehouses first.

anyone else face the zoning issues?

ben of gunpowder still, maryland

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