In honor of Michigan Craft Beer Month, guest blogger Dianna Stampfler fills us in on our state’s beer industry and some upcoming Michigan beer festivals you don’t want to miss!
From coast to coast to coast, Michigan’s craft brewing industry is growing like a fast-acting yeast – with some 100 active breweries – with dozens of expansions and new brewery projects in various stations of development.
Michigan has a long history of brewing – dating back to the 1800s around mining, lumbering and industrial towns throughout both the Upper and Lower Peninsulas. At one time, there were nearly 40 breweries operating in and around Detroit’s Eastern Market. Grand Rapids – recently named “Beer City USA” following a nation-wide online consumer poll – was home to a large number of beer barons throughout the 19th Century.
In recent years, Michigan beer has become even more local. Of course, water is a primary ingredient and being surrounded by the Great Lakes gives brewers access to some of the freshest tasting water to begin their brewing process. Add to that locally-grown hops and barley, as well as the addition of unique herbs, fruits – like beet sugar, cherries and apples, among others, and even vegetables, and the result is a pint-full of freshly fermented goodness! In fact, Michigan craft brewers produce more than 100 distinct styles of flavorful, award-winning beers.
Today’s breweries have become an active part of Michigan’s thriving tourism and culinary industries – under the guidance of the Michigan Brewers Guild, which was founded in 1997. A growing number of beer dinners, tours, festivals and other events are focused on this exciting brewing culture, collectively tapping into tens of thousands of fans from all walks of life.
July is Michigan Craft Beer Month – a time to celebrate these small, community-based businesses rich with passion and pride. There’s even a Michigan Beer Fight Song – a rallying tune sung at every Michigan Brewers Guild festival:
UPCOMING MICHIGAN BREWERS GUILD FESTIVALS
- July 27-28 – Michigan Summer Beer Festival, Ypsilanti
- September 8 – UP Fall Beer Festival, Marquette
- October 27 – Detroit Fall Beer Festival
- February 23 – Michigan Winter Beer Festival, Grand Rapids
Dianna Stampfler is a long-time promoter of Michigan and a supporter of the state’s vast culinary and agricultural offerings – including, but not limited to, craft beer!