Every little bit helps now, and lawmakers in Michigan have finally done a little bit for craft breweries in the state by passing legislation to raise the self-distribution cap from 1,000 bbls to 2,000 bbls annually, according to the News-Herald:
Lawmakers and brewers said the changes give Michigan’s fast-growing craft beer industry more flexibility and profit potential. The measures were a result of agreements among elected officials, wholesale distributors and the Michigan Brewers Guild. Small brewers will continue to distribute products through wholesalers, but will have more latitude to sell more beer direct to retailers.
The change comes in a package of more than a dozen bills that were signed by the state governor on July 1 (as part of Michigan Beer Month, I assume). Another nice little nugget is streamlining the process to obtain licensure for festivals (previously a cumbersome deal with multiple licenses needed).
Unfortunately, that festival provision is fairly useless this year, especially considering the Michigan Brewers Guild just canceled the Upper Peninsula Fall Beer Festival, originally scheduled for Saturday, September 12 in Marquette. This is the third of five festivals that the Guild has had to cancel this year, the others include the Spring Festival in Traverse City and the Summer Festival in Ypsilanti.
“We are disappointed that we will once again be unable to gather and celebrate local beer with friends and family, but it is for their safety and that of our communities that we made this decision,” says Scott Graham, Guild Executive Director. “We look forward to next year’s U.P. Fall Beer Festival on September 11, 2021.”