Governor Whitmer signs bills benefitting craft distillers and other important news for craft beverage

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May 2021


Governor Whitmer Signs Bills Benefitting Michigan Craft Distillers

Governor Whitmer signs bill benefitting Michigan craft distillers

The Michigan Craft Distillers Association (MCDA) is proud to share that on Monday, May 24, Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed four bills benefitting Michigan craft distillers. She was joined by the sponsors of these bills (SB 141, 142, 143 and 144) Senator Curt VanderWall, Senator Wayne Schmidt, Senator Jeremy Moss and Senator Winnie Brinks. Executive Board members of the MCDA and leadership of the Michigan Beer and Wine Wholesalers Association were also in attendance at the signing was held at Long Road Distillers in Grand Rapids.

  • SB 141: Allows as Qualified Small Distillers to self-distribute up to 3,000 gallons per year of product direct to retailers of any product not listed in the ADA Price Book. Also allows qualified retailers to ship directly to consumers.
  • SB 142: Allows a Mixed Spirit Manufacturer the ability to self-distribute up to up to 31,000 gallons of mixed spirit drinks directly to retailers.
  • SB 143: Updates code related to branded logo merchandise. 
  • SB 144: Will expand definition of Mixed Spirit Drink to allow ABV% to increase from 10 to 13.5% ABV as long as it is packaged in a metal container (can) of less than 24oz. It also reduces the tax on mixed spirits from $0.48 per liter to $0.30 per liter. It also expands the retailers who can sell Mixed Spirits to allow all retail license types to sell them, not just SDD as is the current law.

Read the full press release. 

Michigan Brewers Guild Summer Announcements

The Michigan Brewers Guild is sad to announce that the Summer Beer Festival at Riverside Park in Ypsilanti will be cancelled for the second consecutive year due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic but are excited to announce other plans for this summer. As an alternative to the July event, the Michigan Brewers Guild is developing plans for two festivals in August (on the 14th and 28th). The Guild is also gearing up to celebrate July as “Michigan Beer Month,” with special promotions throughout the month.

Read the full press release from Michigan Brewers Guild.

Learn more about the Michigan Brewers Guild at

Michigan Cider Association Seeks Volunteers

Great Lakes Cider and Perry Competition logo

The Great Lakes International Cider and Perry Competition will take place in Grand Rapids this July. The event features the judging of thousands of hard ciders from all over the world, including many from Michigan’s excellent hard cider producers. Volunteers are needed for many different aspects of the competition, including pourers, stewards, and administrative support. If you are interested in volunteering, please visit and complete the questionnaire or email with questions.

More information about GLINTCAP can be found at

MDARD’s Fresh from the Field Podcast Features St. Julian Winery

Fresh From the Field podcast logo

Fresh From the Field podcast host Ken Nelson speaks with Nancie Oxley, vice president and Winemaker at St. Julian Winery, in celebration of the winery’s 100th anniversary. Learn the history of Michigan’s oldest operating winery, the scope of their production, what goes into their winemaking operation, and their vision for the next 100 years. Nancie tells us what inspires her to work with Michigan agriculture at the winery.

Download the podcast here.

Fresh From the Field is produced for the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.

American Cider Association Releases Antiracism Newsletter

The American Cider Association publishes a monthly antiracism newsletter to share information around racism, diversity, equity, and inclusion. Not everything they share is about the cider industry, but they do believe there are meaningful parallels to draw and lessons for the cider industry to learn from others.

Read the most recent antiracism newsletter and view past issues.

View American Cider Association’s list of antiracism resources, including articles, podcasts, movies and more related to the topic of racism in the food and beverage industries here.

Food Export’s Branded Program Spotlights Alcohol Beverages

International sales are important for growing a business and diversifying risk from the U.S. domestic market. Marketing support is essential to grow those international sales. Food Export’s Branded Program recognizes marketing’s essential role and helps make it possible by reimbursing Midwest and Northeast food and agricultural suppliers for 50% of their international marketing expenses.

Learn more about Food Export’s Branded Program.

Another great resource for companies that are looking to export is MDARD’s International Marketing Program. Learn more and connect with program staff here.

MSU Releases 2021 Hop Management Guide

In an effort to assist hop growers in making pesticide and nutrient management decisions, the 2021 Michigan Hop Management Guide has been completed and is available for free at the Michigan State University Extension Hops page. The guide includes an updated list of registered pesticides, nutrient management recommendations, and a guide to seasonal pest occurrence and management activities. 

Michigan Wine Country Magazine is Now Available

Michigan Wine Country Magazine Cover 2021

Now in its 31st year of publication, Michigan Wine Country is the essential guide to 177 wineries in Michigan (up from 164 in 2020), including maps and locations of tasting rooms and others who are making and offering their wine for tasting and purchase in Michigan. The magazine also has articles on Michigan’s wine trails, winery food experiences, tasting room gift items, trailblazing winemakers, vineyard stays, biking and road trips, and much more.

Michigan Wine Country is available free at Michigan wineries and visitor bureaus, as well as select hotels, B&Bs, and wine shops. Magazine copies may also be purchased at View the digital edition here.

Michigan Brewers Guild Releases Annual Magazine

The Michigan Brewers Guild has released the 2021 edition of its annual publication, Michigan. The Great Beer State, with 75,000 copies of the 60-page magazine being distributed to member breweries, Michigan welcome centers, chambers of commerce and visitor bureaus, retail locations, and other beer-supporting businesses around the state.

Featured articles include “Glass Half Full,” which is about how Michigan’s beer industry has been weathering the pandemic, and a story about how the Guild’s podcast “Great Beer State ” and its book A Rising Tide have helped document and tell Michigan’s beer story while also supporting members and the industry. Readers will also find the detailed listings for member breweries, as well as information about the upcoming “Great Beer State Golf Outings,” Enthusiast Membership, logoed MiBeer merchandise, and more.

View the full press release.

Vintage Michigan Features Winery Events

Vintage Michigan is Michigan's premier wine club from the Michigan Wine Collaborative, offering discounts and perks at wineries, restaurants, and lodging throughout the state. This program is now listing member winery event information. To be included in the event listings and learn more about Vintage Michigan or the Michigan Wine Collaborative, visit

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PO Box 30017
Lansing, MI 48909


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