MSA

Michigan House Passes Bill Allowing Cocktails To-Go

LANSING, Mich. – The Michigan House today passed a bill, HB 5811, to allow restaurants and bars to sell cocktails to-go in sealed containers.

“Bars and restaurants in Michigan were forced to close their doors in response to COVID-19, and now they are beginning the slow process of recovery,” said David Wojnar, Distilled Spirits Council of the United States vice president of state government relations. “Cocktails to-go can provide a critical lifeline to these local businesses as well as added convenience for consumers. We urge the Senate to take up and pass this bill as soon as possible to provide much-needed stability to Michigan’s hospitality industry.”

“Allowing bars and restaurants to sell drinks to go will help many establishments rebound while facing an industry landscape that will be very different from normal for a long time,” said Scott Ellis, Michigan Licensed Beverage Association executive director. “Looking forward, it will also help expand the craft cocktail scene in Michigan – something that was already growing pre-pandemic.”

“The Michigan Spirits Association has been working on cocktails to-go for months and is hopeful that Michigan will be the next state in the country to join this national trend,” said Sam Awdish, Michigan Spirits Association president. “This measure has the potential to offer a needed alternate revenue stream for Michigan’s struggling hospitality industry as some have to reinvent themselves to accommodate today’s guests.”

Under the legislation, restaurants and bars will be able to sell cocktails to-go until December 31, 2025.

Currently, 33 states plus the District of Columbia are allowing restaurants and/or bars to sell cocktails to-go, bottled spirits to-go or both. Some states, including Texas, Florida, Ohio, Oklahoma, Iowa and the District of Columbia, are considering making these policies permanent.

The distilled spirits industry is committed to responsibility and encourages moderation for adults who choose to drink alcohol. To-go alcohol beverages are intended for home consumption. Laws governing alcohol consumption must always be observed.