Growler Fill Bill Introduced In MI Senate

In Beer News, Beer Politics by Ryan

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Not a MI growler, but you get it…

Being big fans of beer produced in the Mitten state, we like to check in on legislative happenings there on occasion and happened across a bill that caught our eye; Senate Bill 1290.

The legislation would allow for growler fills at more establishments in Michigan, something we – and I would suspect the vast majority of us craft beer fans – can get behind.

Specifically the bill would allow brewpubs and restaurants who have a Class C liquor license and an SDM “take out” license to fill and refill growlers to go, according to Senator Dave Hildenbrand (R-Lowell), who’s sponsoring the legislation.

Interestingly this was already happening, legally, at some restaurants until the Michigan Liquor Control Commission reviewed their rules and put a stop to it.

As someone who somewhat frequently travels to central Michigan I have had my fair share of growlers filled at Dusty’s Tap Room in Okemos. There is something particularly awesome about getting a growler filled at a bar, what with all the options and rotating styles and breweries.

Not quite believing what we were reading I made a quick phone call to Dusty’s last week and they confirmed that they are no longer allowed to fill growlers.

Phooey.

Here’s the full text of the bill:

AN ELIGIBLE MERCHANT MAY REFILL GROWLERS WITH BEER FOR CONSUMPTION OFF THE PREMISES UNDER THE FOLLOWING CONDITIONS:
(A) THE PREMISES WHERE THE REFILLING OF GROWLERS TAKES PLACE COMPLY WITH THE REQUIREMENTS FOR FOOD SERVICE ESTABLISHMENTS UNDER THE FOOD LAW OF 2000, 2000 PA 92, MCL 289.1101 TO 289.8111.
(B) THE GROWLER IS CLEARLY LABELED AND SEALED IN A MANNER THAT COMPLIES WITH EXISTING REQUIREMENTS FOR LABELING AND SALE FOR CONSUMPTION OFF THE PREMISES.
(C) THE ELIGIBLE MERCHANT COMPLIES WITH ALL APPLICABLE RULES PROMULGATED BY THE COMMISSION.
AS USED IN THIS SECTION:
(A) “ELIGIBLE MERCHANT” MEANS A PERSON THAT HOLDS A SPECIALLY DESIGNATED MERCHANT LICENSE AND A CLASS C LICENSE.
(B) “GROWLER” MEANS ANY CLEAN, REFILLABLE, RESEALABLE CONTAINER WITH A LIQUID CAPACITY THAT DOES NOT EXCEED 1 GALLON.

The bill is currently parked in the Committee For Regulatory Reform.

Don’t expect any immediate action on this bill. The Michigan legislature won’t be back in Lansing until October 17th.

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About the Author

Ryan

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Equal parts beer nerd and policy geek, Ryan is now the curator of the Guys Drinking Beer cellar. The skills he once used to dig through the annals of state government as a political reporter are now put to use offering unique takes on barrel-aged stouts, years-old barleywines and 10 + year verticals.