Michigan Growler Legislation Passes Senate ***UPDATED***

In Beer Politics by Ryan

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The legislation passed the Michigan Senate today, on a vote of 158-37, and moves to the Michigan House.


A proposal to once again allow bars and restaurants in the state of Michigan to fill growlers (64 ounce clean, refillable containers) is finally on the move.

A substitute bill was filed on SB 0027 and cleared the Committee on Regulatory Reform last week. The legislation now goes before the full Senate.

Added to the original language were provisions requiring the growler to be filled from a container that holds five gallons of beer or more, the beer purchased to have a registration number and be approved for sale by the Liquor Control Commission and stipulates the growler can’t be filled prior to a sale occurring.

The legislation doesn’t, however, require bars and restaurants to clean their tap lines. According to MLive, that was of particular concern to Bell’s Brewery Owner Larry Bell.

“It’s about quality,” he told MLive. “We see it happening already. I’ll go out and have a beer and it’ll taste like butter, and I know it didn’t leave the brewery like that. I know that’s an infection in the line. We see all sorts of things.”

Despite his concern Bell supports the legislation.

We would like to think bars and restaurants that carry quality craft beer in Michigan would make it a point to clean their tap lines on a regular basis, even though they don’t have to. That being said, I am sure we have all had a similar experience as Bell in Michigan or elsewhere.

According to analysis filed by the Senate Fiscal Agency the following establishments could legally fill and sell growlers under the proposed legislation, “a person that holds a specially designated merchant license and a Class C, Tavern, Class A Hotel, Class B Hotel, Club, Class G-1, or Class G-2 license.”

The substitute language would also have these new rules take effect immediately once the bill is signed into law.

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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.