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A package of bills could change how Michigan beer festivals operate

Michigan Brewers Guild push for token-less system
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Posted at 9:56 PM, Feb 22, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-22 23:44:09-05

LANSING, Mich. — A package of 19 bills could change how beer festivals operate in Michigan.

Right now, Michigan is one of a few states that requires the exchange of tokens or tickets for pours of alcohol at festivals.

House Bill 5437 targets the token system.

Under Michigan law we have to price, based on the value given to the token, for the cost of the beer, we can't sell beer at less than cost,” Michigan Brewers Guild Vice President David Ringler said.

“The object for brewers is for people to actually taste their beer and if they charge more than one, two or three tokens because of the expense of the beer it ends up being prohibitive to people actually sampling and that’s the whole idea of being here, Ringler added.

The Michigan Brewers Guild is hoping the law gets change, they put on four large beer festivals every year including the Winter Beer Festival in Comstock Park.

“It makes it more consumer friendly. Most states that have large draw festivals that bring in tourism and tourism dollars operate under a one-price system so people can go in and people can get samples throughout the day,” Ringler explained.

Ringler believes by making their popular festivals token-less, it will help put them on par with large beer festivals in other states.

“[Winter Beer Festival] typically sells out every year and a lot of them do, I think it’s really a way to set apart the guild festivals,” he said.

It will also save them money, the Michigan Brewers Guild says they spend upwards of $10,000 on tokens each year, many of them never get returned.

The bills wereas passed in the house on Thursday and are now in the hands of the senate.