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House bill to legalize self-serve wine and beer machines

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Posted at 7:48 PM, Feb 26, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-26 19:48:17-05

LANSING, Mich. — A house bill has been introduced to legalize beer and wine dispensers in bars and restaurants across Michigan.

Michigan is one of five states that doesn't have the dispensers legalized.

For the bars that have the dispensers, customers would need to purchase a wristband to use it, which essentially acts as a credit card.

Customers have a limited number of ounces they can pay for, they tap their wristband against the dispenser and it will recognize their account.

Then, the can choose the beverage they want and it will dispense the drink into a provided cup.

Customers can get up to 48 ounces of beer and 15 ounces of wine.

Once they max out their limit through the dispensers, they will be responsible to get their drinks through their waiter or bartender.

The dispenser only gives out wine and beer.

Mixed drinks will be provided by the bartender and not the machines.

A local bar manager said he thinks the dispensers would be a good idea for clubs or sports bars.

"For establishments that are more of a club venue or events that are outdoor events or along those lines. I could see that being more appropriate," said Douglas Mulkey, Claddagh Irish Pub.

Mulkey said his restaurant is more intimate and doesn't need a self-serving machine.

"I don't think there will ever be a substitution for the perfect pint poured at your local pub by your favorite bartender," Mulkey said.

However, lawmakers said this would be a great investment for Michigan.

State Representative Rodney Wakeman said, "Including specialty beers, the craft beer industry too is going to be one of those that really enjoy the opportunity to provide an environment folks can go up and pour their own."

Wakeman is the one who proposed the bill.

It was introduced Tuesday and is being sent to the committee to review.

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