Bumstead legislation to expand brewery collaboration earns unanimous committee approval

LANSING, Mich. — The Senate Committee on Regulatory Reform on Tuesday unanimously approved legislation introduced by state Sen. Jon Bumstead that would create a new license for limited production of beer.

“The craft beer industry has been a major driver for Michigan’s economy and is certainly considered to be part of Michigan’s comeback,” said Bumstead, R-Newaygo. “Breweries across my district and the state deliver a service to their customers and often give back to their communities. We should allow the industry to expand responsibly and continue growing Michigan’s economy.”

Senate Bill 711 was introduced after the senator held discussions with a brewery from his district that was having an issue with the way state law currently addresses collaborations between breweries. It was brought to Bumstead’s attention that the state of Michigan 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, a coffee company with a manufacturing facility in Norton Shores, 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.

However, this specific issue is not addressed in state law, resulting in a gray area that could force legal troubles for companies. Because of this, La Colombe was granted one-time permission to complete the order they had already invested time and resources in. Bumstead’s legislation would allow companies to receive such a license and would clearly outline the guidelines within statute.

“This will surely be an exciting development for the Norton Shores community,” Bumstead said. “Mindful reforms like this are good for local businesses like La Colombe and allow them to expand and grow. Getting government out of the way of Michigan’s small businesses will allow entrepreneurs to build their companies, provide jobs and benefit local economies.”

SB 711 will now move to the Senate floor for further consideration in the coming weeks.

###