Even if you’re not from Michigan, you’re probably familiar with some of the state’s beloved beers. Michigan breweries like Founders Brewing Company in Grand Rapids and Bell’s Brewery in Kalamazoo are getting national (and even international) attention for their craft and dedication. So, let’s celebrate National Michigan Day (January 18) by enjoying one of the state’s award-winning and flavorful brews!
Michigan’s Beer Industry Is Booming
In 2007, Michigan was home to 34 breweries. Just 10 years later, the state had 283 commercial breweries. According to the Michigan Liquor Control Commission, Michiganders increased their consumption of local beer from 2% in 2007 to an impressive 10% by 2017.
There’s a good reason why Michiganders and beer lovers nationwide have embraced the state’s breweries: the beers are world-class. According to the American Homebrewer’s Association, six of the organization’s top 10 favorite brews for 2018 hailed from Michigan. Those beers included:
- Bell’s Brewery, Two Hearted Ale (#1)
- Bell’s Brewery, Hopslam (#4)
- Founders Brewing Company, Kentucky Breakfast Stout (#5)
- Founders Brewing Company, Canadian Breakfast Stout (#5)
- Founders Brewing Company, Breakfast Stout (#9)
- Founders Brewing Company, All Day IPA (#10)
Other Michigan favorites like Bell’s Oberon, Founders Dirty Bastard, New Holland Dragon’s Milk, and Old Nation M-43 N.E. IPA all made the organization’s list of top 50 beers.
In addition to pioneers like Founders, Bell’s, and New Holland, many younger Michigan breweries are gaining acclaim. For example, it’s relatively easy to find highly regarded bottles and cans from Short’s Brewing Company and Arcadia Brewing, even out of state. And if you’re lucky enough to reside in Michigan, you’ll be amazed by the rich variety of local beer in our stores’ aisles.
Want to go old school? Michigan’s original widely available beer, Stroh’s, sells a Bohemian-style Pilsner that’s still made in Detroit.
And if you’re not a beer drinker, don’t fret — Michigan’s hard cider industry is producing exciting beverages too. Michigan is the country’s third-largest apple producer, which gives the state’s cider makers access to some of the freshest and best fruit in the country. Check out Blake’s Hard Cider Co., Virtue Cider, and Vander Mill Cider for sterling examples.
Grand Rapids, MI: Beer City, USA
Michigan’s second-largest city, Grand Rapids, has proudly carried the title of Beer City USA ever since it won online crowdsourced polls in 2012 and 2013 to gain the moniker. With more than 80 breweries in the Grand Rapids area, the region is seeing a surge in beer-related tourism. If you’re looking to visit Grand Rapids and you love craft beer, consider planning your trip around one the Michigan Brewers’ Guild’s beer festivals, which take place throughout the year.
On Sale This Week: Founders Solid Gold Lager
Solid Gold Lager from Founders Brewing Company is a classic, easy-to-drink lager made with premium ingredients. It’s a crisp example of the style that delivers refreshment and full flavor while stretching the boundaries of what a lager can accomplish. We think you’ll love Solid Gold Lager, whether you’re already a Michigan beer lover or it’s your first taste.
2018 Best Beers in America (2018). American Homebrewer’s Association. Retrieved from https://www.homebrewersassociation.org/best-beers-in-america-2/
Mack, J. (2018, July 9). Compare beer production at Michigan microbreweries and brewpubs. MLive. Retrieved from https://www.mlive.com/news/index.ssf/2018/07/who_produces_the_most_liquor_i.html
Greg VanOverloop, Beer & Wine Specialist
- Started in the Grocery business bagging at D&W in 1975. Worked at D&W for 30 years in various departments.
- Worked at SpartanNash for 11 years. Currently the Category Manager for Wine/Beer/Spirits for SpartanNash East.
- Have been a category manager since 1990 and a category manager of beer since 1997. CM of wine and spirits since 2007.
- Have traveled extensively which provided the opportunity to taste many foods and beverages from Hong Kong to Caribbean, from California to Maine.
- Love to cook, grill, and bake, snow ski, sail, and read books. Best baked item – a bourbon pecan pie with rum crust. Best grilled item – salmon with blueberry onion wine sauce and goat cheese. Best cooked item – Squash Apple soup with bourbon. Best ski slope – Go Devil at Keystone. Best book – Wonder.
- 1 wife, 3 children, 7.3 grandchildren.