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Plan to expand craft brewing in Michigan clears state House

Morgue File

Michigan microbreweries would be able to produce twice as much beer every year under legislation that cleared the state House Thursday. The bills would also allow more brew pubs and tasting rooms.

State Rep. Kevin Cotter (R-Mount Pleasant) sponsored one of the bills. He says current limits on brewers are “arbitrary” and out-of-date.

“I think we can all really be proud of the microbrewery industry we have in Michigan,” said Cotter. “And this will allow them to continue to grow, get the government out of the way.”

Considering the amount of craft brewers in Michigan, Cotter says they should be making up a much larger share of the state’s beer market.

“We have a good number of microbreweries, but they’re not yet putting out the production that we’re seeing across the country,” he said. “And so this is a step in trying to help them do that.”

Some brewers told lawmakers they’re purposely holding back production to avoid going over state-imposed limits.

House Bills 4709, 4710 & 4711 now go to the state Senate.