Craft Brewing Bills From Rep. Wendzel Headed To State Senate

A package of bills aimed at helping Michigan’s craft beer industry is headed to the state Senate. The House approved the bills, spearheaded by Representative Pauline Wendzel of Watervliet, on Thursday. She says it will double the amount of beer that breweries can self-distribute without having a distributor from 1,000 to 2,000 barrels a year and will exempt taproom sales.

“None of them want to self-distribute once they get to a certain level,” Wendzel told WSJM News when the bills were introduced in January. “It’s too much work, and they’re not distributors. But in order to get their brand name out there enough, they have to have a little more than 1,000 barrels.”

Additionally, the package gives more flexibility to beer festivals conducting licensed events, clarifies regulations surrounding the manufacturer and wholesaler relationship, reduces the frequency of when beer and wine taxes are paid from monthly to quarterly, and eliminates redundant product registration requirements. The Brewer’s Guild testified in favor of the changes, and Round Barn Brewery and Public House also announced its support of Wendzel’s bills.