Michigan Expats - Commentary - See All Commentary
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:
- Arcadia Ales just announced a new brewpub in downtown Kalamazoo. (Arcadia constituency cheers)
- Brewery Vivant (Grand Rapids) is already expanding having been open less than two years to meet increased demand and an expansion into the Chicago market. (Brewery Vivant constituency cheers)
- Frankenmuth Brewery is expanding distribution throughout Ohio. (You get the idea)
- Right Brain Brewery is moving to a larger facility in Traverse City allowing them to serve more customers in the brewpub and meet demand to distribute across the state. (Now available at BWW's in Michigan)
- Short’s Brewing Co. is underway on a $2 million expansion to boost production. (
Hanging FrankControversial Ale for everyone)
- New Holland Brewing Co., continues to add production capability and celebrated 15 years with a street festival in Holland. (Wooden shoes stomping)
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.