Michigan Craft Beverage Council Opens Small Distiller Program Applications

If you dream of producing the next Hennessey or Jack Daniels, the Michigan Craft Beverage Council (MCBC) has an opportunity to fulfill it.  

The organization announced yesterday the opening of the application period for the new qualified small distiller program. The online application is open from May 15, 2023 to June 16, 2023. 

Michigan’s small distillers, or an out-of-state entity that is the substantial equivalent of a small distiller, may file an application with the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) to be certified as a qualified small distiller. Qualified distillers applying for this certification will be eligible for a reduced mark-up beginning January 1, 2024. All current Qualified Distiller Certificates must be renewed by July 1, 2023. 

PA 135 of 2022, signed into law by Governor Whitmer, aims to assist Michigan’s growing craft distillery industry by lowering mark up costs associated with the purchase of Michigan grain, while allowing them to invest back into their companies to help create jobs and strengthen small businesses.  

“Michigan is currently seventh in the nation for craft distillers and is poised for continued growth with many distillers utilizing Michigan-grown grain in their production,” saidJenelle Jagmin, executive director of MCBC. “The Michigan Craft Beverage Council supports our burgeoning craft distilling industry by funding research projects which develop our distilling grain inputs and helps to connect growers with producers.” 

To view the online qualified small distiller application and learn more about the qualified small distiller program, including fees and frequently asked questions, go to   michigan.gov/mdard/business-development/qualified-small-distiller-certificate. Questions about the qualified distiller program can be directed to MDARD-QualifiedDistiller@michigan.gov. 

More information about the Michigan Craft Beverage Council, including research grants and industry communications, can be viewed at michigan.gov/mdard/about/boards/craftbeverage.

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