Farmers markets now accepting small winery applications

Because of the growing number of wineries in Michigan, many markets have embraced the PA 100, and are excited to work with small wineries and cideries.

Farmers markets now accepting small winery applications

The recent passage of Public Act 100 (2013) sponsored by Senators Hansen, Walker, Jones, Robertson, Booher, Proos, Nofs and Marleau, allows small wine makers to offer samples and sell wine at Michigan farmers markets. Because of the growing number of wineries in Michigan, many markets have embraced the PA 100, and are excited to work with small wineries and cideries. Wine and cider sampling provides an opportunity for small wineries and cideries to diversify and expand sales. If other farmers markets around the country offer any indication, wine and hard cider sales will also contribute to the overall experience for Michigan farmer’s market customers as well.

As with any alcoholic beverage, there are guidelines and eligibility rules that must be followed. Currently only small wine makers that manufacturer under 5000 gallons/year at all locations are eligible to apply for a permit from the Michigan Liquor Control Commission (MLCC). Tasting and sales are limited to an exclusive, clearly-marked area and the MLCC application must be signed by the local sheriff or police chief and the Farmers Market manager. Applicants must also include a $25 Permit fee and a $70 inspection fee in addition to any farmers market vendor fees.

By law only one permit can be issued for each 1500 of population in the county where a market is located. For more information on the MLCC licensing process, please visit the MLCC Farmer’s Market Permit Application (LCC-3020).

For those brewers out there thinking that wineries and cideries get all of the perks, you may not have to wait long to join in the fun. State Reps. Andy Schor (D-Lansing) and Marcia Hovey-Wright, (D –Muskegon) have introduced a bill (HB 5427) that would also allow samples and sales of craft beer from micro-brewers.

For more information please visit the Michigan Farmers Market Association Website or contact your local Michigan State University Extension office.

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