Sunday, February 14, 2016

beer samples at Bell's Brewery, Kalamazoo, MI (Eric Strader)
Michigan farmers markets may soon offer beer samples

Posted on March 25, 2014 at 2:40 p.m.

Last year, Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder signed into law the ability for small wineries to offer samples and sell their products at farmers markets.  Now, a similar measure introduced by Reps. Andy Schor, D-Lansing and Marcia Hovey-Wright, D-Muskegon, would allow microbrewers to serve up to three, 3-oz. beer samples per over 21 age customer within a 24-hour period.

"Allowing local brewers to provide their product at a farmer's market to a high volume of foot traffic would create an immediate economic benefit for our state," Hovey-Wright said in a statement. "Giving these brewers every chance to succeed can do nothing but help Michigan."

Participating craft brewers would have to pay a $25 permit fee and get approval from the farmers market and local police department.

In addition, Michigan lawmakers recently approved a proposal that would allow Michigan microbrewers to brew more beer under their current microbrewers license.  The limit has been lifted from the current 30,000 barrels annually, to 60,000 barrels.  Supporters of the bill say that this will be good for Michigan's craft beer industry and promote economic growth around the state.

Other changes could also allow brewpubs to be in partnership with five other brewpubs instead of the current limit of two, as long as the combined production does not exceed an annual volume of 18,000 barrels.  Brewers and microbrewers would also be able to sell their products for on-premise consumption at multiple brewery locations, depending on their size.

There is an additional bill that would allow small startup microbreweries to self-distribute their beer under certain circumstances.

Snyder is expected to sign several of these bills that change restrictions on breweries and microbreweries in an effort to boost Michigan's craft beer industry.