Craft beer fuels Michigan hops binge

By JOSH BENDER
Capital News Service
LANSING — Michigan’s hop industry has exploded into the nation’s fourth-largest, according to a Michigan State University study. Renewed hop production in the state began in response to a crop shortage elsewhere between 2007 and 2008 and to the growing popularity of Michigan’s craft beer, said Rob Sirrine, a MSU Extension expert. Michigan is home to between 60 and 90 commercial hop farms, Sirrine said. Grand Traverse County grows close to 300 acres of hops, the most in the state, according to a June 2016 survey by MSU. Leelanau County is second, growing close to 150 acres, followed by Barry and Kent counties.

DeWitt’s economy is doing great. Beer is a part of that

By Holly Osmer
Bath-DeWitt Connection Staff Reporter

DEWITT — DeWitt’s economy has been thriving. Its unemployment rate is 5.6 percent, 0.7 percent less than the national average, with a job growth of 2.82 percent, and a future job growth predicted to be 40 percent over the next 10 years, according to Sperling’s Best Places. Families are moving here for the city’s schools, parks and developing downtown. Part of this development is an incoming microbrewery. “We are working with a developer on locating a microbrew in the downtown; Looking Glass Brewery,” said DeWitt City Administrator Daniel Coss.

Grand Ledge excited for new brewery

By Peter Nuttall
Living In The Ledge staff reporter
Grand Ledge’s former City Hall at the corner of East Jefferson and Taylor streets is getting a makeover. The building that was once known as the headquarters of Grand Ledge’s administration and City Council will now be the place of a new establishment called BrickHaven Brewing Company. Brothers Ed and Ben Huston purchased the property a couple months ago. Together they’ve been working with the Grand Ledge government to get the brewery up and running as soon as possible. “It’s going to bring in more people and vitalize the downtown in an additional way,” Grand Ledge Mayor Kalmin Smith said.

State may encourage industry by easing limits on breweries

By ASHLEY WEIGEL
Capital News Service
LANSING — The explosion of craft beer in Michigan has the Legislature hoping the industry could benefit from relaxed regulation. Numerous bills related to the beer and wine industries were passed in the House recently, many of them designed to encourage the industry to expand. The legislation would raise the limit of barrels produced by a microbrewery from 30,000 to 60,000. As of now, a brewer that produces more than 30,000 barrels can no longer be considered a microbrewery. Microbrewers are given some tax breaks and have some flexibility in the rules of the industry, such as the ability to sell growlers, or containers that can be filled to go.

Made in Michigan proposal could save breweries money

By ASHLEY WEIGEL
Capital News Service
LANSING — Let the Germans make our beer? Michigan legislators say “no thanks” with a proposal to support the state’s own talented brewers. Rep. Doug Geiss, D-Taylor, introduced a bill in the House recently, nicknamed the “Michigan farm to glass” bill, which could give Michigan brewers, winemakers and mead makers a tax credit for using crops grown or produced in the state. The goal is to usher in a closer association between the farmers who grow the ingredients and the brewers who use them, Geiss said, and to help encourage use of Michigan crops with the surge of beer, wine and mead makers. Other states have proven that promoting the use of their crops increases the use of local hops, mead, wheat and other alcohol-related crops, said Geiss, a home brewer and a member of the House Agricultural Committee.

Craft beer brews economic growth

By CELESTE BOTT
Capital News Service
LANSING – Want to boost Michigan’s job growth and economy? Treat yourself to a cold craft beer. Michigan’s craft beer industry grew by 20 percent in 2012, according to a “state of the industry” report from the Demeter Group Investment Bank of San Francisco. Michigan added 17 breweries last year, and outpaced the average national industry growth rate by 12 percent. New breweries opened in Big Rapids, Grand Rapids, Marquette and Lake Leelanau, for example.