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Gov. Whitmer signs mixed spirits bill package into law

Whitmer signs distillers bill.jpg
Posted at 2:13 PM, May 24, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-24 14:13:56-04

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed a package of bills Monday at Long Road Distillers aimed at making it easier for distillers and retailers to distribute and sell mixed spirit drinks.

The bills are intended to offer consumers more choices.

SB 141-144 will allow for an expanded array of canned cocktails to be sold in the state. Prior to the signing of these bills, canned cocktails were capped at 10% alcohol-by-volume. These bills will allow for private wholesalers—often distilleries based in Michigan—to distribute canned cocktails up to 13.5% alcohol-by-volume.

The goal of the bills is to cut red tape, support spirit manufacturers and create good-paying jobs in Michigan.

"This is a great example of bipartisan legislation that will create jobs and help our small businesses grow, and shows what we can do when we work together," said Governor Whitmer. “Distillers are a growing industry in Michigan, and these bill make it easier for distillers to distribute their products. These bills will make canned mixed spirits more affordable and accessible, creating jobs and helping Michigan small businesses.”

“Ready-to-drink cocktails have experienced massive growth in the marketplace over the last few years and this legislation is a critical piece in ensuring that these products are able to compete on a level playing field,” Sen. VanderWall said. “These bills help our local distillers by removing tax barriers and giving them the ability to get their products in front of consumers easily and quickly.”

The Michigan Beer & Wine Wholesales Association praised Whitmer for signing the bills into law.

“Ready-to-drink cocktails are one of the fastest growing segments in the spirits industry, but in Michigan they fall under several different categories and are taxed differently — creating confusion for distillers, retailers and distributors,” said MB&WWA President Spencer Nevins. “These bills will streamline how ready-to-drink cocktails are taxed and classified, which will provide a boost to Michigan’s flourishing craft distilling industry.”