Not All Craft Brewers Excited About Bills To Lift Restrictions

Sep 10, 2013

State lawmakers opened discussions Tuesday on legislation to ease restrictions on Michigan’s craft brewers.

Credit WKAR File Photo

But as The Michigan Public Radio Network’s Jake Neher reports, not all brewers are sold on the plan.

The legislation would double the amount of beer microbreweries could produce each year. It would also allow larger breweries like Bell’s and Founders to open more than one location in the state.

But Bell’s founder Larry Bell says some of the measures would hurt his company’s ability to compete with smaller brewers in Michigan. For example, they would let more restaurants brew their own beer, instead of buying it from others.

“That means it takes away the number of people that we can actually market to in the state,” he says.  “And it sort of forces us to take our business out-of-state.”

On the other hand, Short’s Brewing Company in Bellaire says the legislation would allow the brewery to create more than a hundred jobs and invest over $10 million dollars in Michigan over the next five years.