Michigan grocery stores can now give free samples of wine and beer

Apr 24, 2011

Free wine and beer samples may soon be regular features at Michigan grocery stores. A law passed last November allows businesses already licensed to sell wine and beer for take-out to apply for an additional license to distribute free samples. This includes supermarkets and party stores.

Sharon Martin is the Director of Licensing for the Michigan Liquor Control Commission. She says stores will have to use specially trained staff when they hold samplings:

“The employee that is conducting the sampling, has to complete a server training program that’s approved by the commission, that gives them the ability to check for intoxication levels or check the age of the consumer that’s going to be doing the tasting.”

Martin also says there's a limit to how much alcohol stores can give to each patron:

“You can do three servings of up to 3oz of beer or 2 oz of wine within a 24 hour period. It’s highly unlikely, with the limited ounces and servings they get that it’s going to cause intoxication by anybody.”

So far, over 200 Michigan businesses have applied for the sampling license.

-Bridget Bodnar, Michigan Radio News