State Senate passes bill to allow permanent sale of to-go cocktails in Michigan

Cocktails To Go
Posted at 10:01 AM, Nov 11, 2022
and last updated 2022-11-11 11:22:25-05

The Michigan Senate passed a bill that allows the sale of to-go cocktails from restaurants, bars and distilleries with tasting rooms.

SB1163 passed 37-1 in the State Senate with bipartisan support, and will now go to the State House for consideration. It will have to be approved by the House and signed by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer to take effect.

In July 2020, Whitmer signed a House bill that allowed cocktails to-go in sealed containers through Jan. 1, 2026.

“Cocktails to-go continue to provide a stable source of revenue as Michigan businesses cope with the lasting challenges related to the pandemic, including staff shortages, supply chain disruptions and inflation,” said Andy Deloney, Distilled Spirits Council Vice President of State Government Relations. “This is a great step towards offering increased support for Michigan’s hospitality businesses.”

"Cocktails to-go were instrumental in helping many Michigan distilleries navigate and survive the challenges of COVID," said Jon O'Connor, owner of Long Road Distillers and president of the Michigan Craft Distillers Association. "Making permanent cocktails to-go will allow consumers to enjoy safely, comfortably and responsibly from home, the amazing spirits made here in Michigan and will help Michigan distilleries to recover and thrive as hospitality trends continue to change with consumer demands. "

The original bill came during the COVID-19 pandemic so that restaurants could make more money with takeout cocktails, and since then, 18 states have allowed permanent to-go cocktails.