Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer (D-Mich.) today signed HB 5811 into law allowing restaurants and bars to sell cocktails to-go in sealed containers.
“Cocktails to-go have been a crucial economic lifeline for hospitality businesses across the nation hit hard by the pandemic,” said David Wojnar, Distilled Spirits Council of the United States Vice President of State Government Relations. “Michigan’s restaurants and bars have been struggling to cope with the economic hardships of COVID-19. Cocktails to-go will provide increased stability and cash flow to help offset these negative impacts. We thank Governor Whitmer and the legislature for supporting this revenue-boosting opportunity for local businesses.”
“The MLBA, its members and all 8,500 licensees throughout the state have something to be excited about today,” said Scott Ellis, Michigan Licensed Beverage Association Executive Director. “We would like to thank Governor Whitmer and Representative Anthony for their focus and hard work for bringing these ideas to fruition in a timely manner. Cocktails to-go will be critical to the survival of the hospitality industry because we don’t know how long we will be operating at this reduced capacity while many bars are continuing to accrue debt and face financial hardship.”
“The Michigan Spirits Association has spent quite a bit of time working on cocktails to-go along with several others issues that were sent to the governor’s office, and we are thrilled that Governor Whitmer has signed these into law,” said Sam Awdish, Michigan Spirits Association President. “These new laws not only provide needed relief and new revenue sources to the hospitality industry, but they offer fun and safe alternatives for their guests to enjoy hand crafted cocktails in a comfortable setting of their choice – once again putting Michigan in a position to be a leader in the Midwest’s cocktail scene.”
Under the law, restaurants and bars will be able to sell cocktails to-go until December 31, 2025.
Currently, more than 30 states plus the District of Columbia are allowing restaurants and/or bars to sell cocktails to-go, bottled spirits to-go or both. Iowa became the first state to make the cocktails to-go measure permanent on June 29. Other states, including Texas, Florida, Ohio, Oklahoma, and the District of Columbia, are also considering making their policies permanent.
The distilled spirits industry is committed to responsibility and encourages moderation for adults who choose to drink alcohol. Cocktails to-go are intended for home consumption. Laws governing alcohol consumption must always be observed.