LaSata Tasting Room Rule Fix Passes MI Senate, Advances to State House

State Senator Kim LaSata’s bid to resolve issues with tasting room legislation that cropped up in the last session of the Michigan Legislature gained approval today as her colleagues voted to remedy the unintended consequences of that legislation last year.

LaSata, from Bainbridge Township, says, “My bill provides an important fix to ensure that our local producers of wine, beer, and other spirits may sample and sell all of their offerings at the same location,” and adds, “I appreciate the Moersch Hospitality Group for bringing this issue to my attention.”

Senate Bill 897, passed this morning in the State Senate, would reform the law to allow wineries, breweries, and distilleries to operate both an on-premises tasting room and an off-premises tasting room at the same location, under certain conditions.

During committee testimony last week, Matt Moersch, who is the CEO and partner of Moersch Hospitality Group, said his operation is one of a few in Michigan that manufactures Michigan-made wine, spirits, and beer. He said that not being able to sell all of their craft beverages at their Round Barn Filling Station in Coloma, like they do at other locations licensed before the 2018 legislation was passed, has prevented them from growing their business at that site just off of I-94 at Friday Road.

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LaSata argued, “The unintended consequence of the prior law is preventing companies like Moersch from creating more jobs and, perhaps worse, the Michigan Liquor Control Commission is holding up the approval of license applications until the problem is corrected.” She concludes, “I appreciate the support of my colleagues in getting this bill approved quickly, and I am hopeful the House of Representatives will do the same.”

SB 897 now advances to the State House for their consideration.

The photo of the Round Barn Filling Station in Coloma accompanying this story on Moody on the Market is courtesy of the Moersch Hospitality Group.