Monday, July 30, 2012

State of the Great Beer State

Michigan Expats - Commentary - See All Commentary
By Doctor

Below is the exclusive (fictional) transcript of MichiganBrewers Guild Executive Director, Scott Graham’s State of the Michigan Craft Beer Industry address at the Summer Beer Festival this past weekend in Ypsilanti:

My fellow Michigan Craft Beer Enthusiasts.

Thank for joining us on this beautiful summer day in Michigan here in Ypsilanti for the 15th Annual Summer Beer Festival. We’re here to celebrate Michigan Craft Beer and discuss the state of the craft beer industry in the great state of Michigan. And my fellow Michiganders and beer enthusiasts, the State of Michigan craft beer is strong. (Queue applause)

The strength of the industry is on display here in Ypsilanti. We had another sold out festival here at Riverside Park featuring over 545 beers from over 60 Michigan Brewers Guild member breweries.

And our industry continues to grow. In 2012, we’ve seen numerous new breweries open their doors including Harmony Brewing Co. in Grand Rapids, The Filling Station in Traverse City, and White Flame becoming the first brewery in Hudsonville.

These new breweries are strong additions to nationally recognized beer cities. Grand Rapids now shares the title of “Beer City U.S.A” (applause) thanks to an overwhelming online campaign by Michigan craft beer enthusiasts – give yourselves a round of applause (more applause)…It was a remarkable display of the unification of our breweries and enthusiasts. The breweries of Grand Rapids celebrated the honor and thanked their supporters through collaboration in creating the Beer City U.S.A Pale Ale available at most breweries in the city.

Recently, Grand Rapids received another accolade by making Drinking Made Easy’s Zane Lamprey’s list of Top 25 Beer Cities in the World. But Grand Rapids is not alone. Kalamazoo and Traverse City have been nationally recognized as beer enthusiast destinations, and Michiganders would well point out that Detroit and Ann Arbor are also excellent beer cities.

As Michigan craft beer has gained recognition, awards, and popularity, Michigan breweries continue to expand to meet the increased demand:

Those are merely handful examples of the growth currently ongoing in the Michigan craft beer industry which contributes $133 million annually tothe Michigan economy. More importantly, our industry has been a source of pride and a leader in Michigan's economic resurgence.

Pride that is rooted in the passion and innovation of those in our industry; the unity and collaboration amongst the industry to see it grow; and the enthusiastic support of better beer drinkers. 

The state of Michigan now has 118 active brewer licenses - an increase of 27% from just last year - and the Michigan Brewers Guild remains committed after 15 fantastic years to continues to support Michigan breweries grow and be a national and world leader in the craft beer industry. 

Take your glass of one of the 500+ Michigan beers available tonight and let us toast to Michigan Breweries, Michigan Craft Beer Month, 15 years of the Michigan Brewers Guild and the Summer Beer Festival, and finally, to you, the Michigan craft beer enthusiasts. Cheers.

And don't forget, tickets are now on-sale at for the 4th Annual  Fall U.P. Beer Festival coming up in Marquette on Saturday September 8th!  

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