LANSING, Mich. — Legislation to help grow Michigan’s craft beer industry was granted final approval from the state Legislature Tuesday afternoon.
“This legislation will allow Michigan breweries to expand their business operations and offer more unique products to consumers,” said Sen. Jon Bumstead, R-Newaygo “We need to limit the layers of government bureaucracy and allow small businesses like La Colombe to flourish and focus on serving their customers.”
La Colombe opened a manufacturing facility in Norton Shores in 2015. The company, known for its coffee products, later teamed up with Miller Coors to develop the “La Colombe Hard Cold Brew Coffee.” La Colombe purchased a bulk beer product from out of state and blended the beer with its coffee product in Norton Shores. The final product is then sold to Miller Coors for distribution.
Currently, the Michigan Liquor Control Commission (MLCC) does not expressly permit makers to transfer beer from one brewery to another brewery or further process beer that was initially made by another brewery. La Colombe was granted a one-time exception, which is set to expire next month, to complete the order they had already invested time and resources in.
Bumstead was approached by the company, and after conversations with company leaders and MLCC officials, he introduced Senate Bill 711. The bill would codify into law a licensing process, giving companies like La Colombe the ability to import beer and further manufacture it in their facility. The legislation outlines additional guidelines for such collaborations.
“La Colombe has been part of Norton Shores since 2015. They employ over 100 people, give back to the community, and function as a textbook example of how businesses can benefit their communities,” Bumstead said. “As we work to get these reforms signed into law, La Colombe is already looking at ways to expand their operations in West Michigan over locations in other states. This means more jobs and more growth here in Michigan, especially in our district.”
SB 711 now moves to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer for final approval.