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July is Craft Beer Month in Michigan

Bernt Rostad
Bell's Beer Sampler

This 4th of July weekend, there’s a good chance that you or one of your (adult) family members or friends looks forward to sipping a nice cold brew while watching fireworks or enjoying a barbeque.

If you’re in Michigan, you have the opportunity to buy from one of the many microbreweries operating across the state.

Craft brewers or microbrewers are defined by the American Brewer Association as small-scale brewery that is "independent and traditional" - meaning the brewer is largely unaffiliated with a major alcohol corporation and that they brew beer with traditional malt beer recipes.

Over the last few years, microbreweries have been popping up at lightning speed, especially in Michigan.

According to an article by The Center for Michigan and Bridge Magazine, the beer industry in Michigan is a $6.1 billion industry that employs 64,500 people. They estimate that there are 261 brewers and wholesalers in the state.

Pure Michigan has taken notice – the website dedicates a page to Michigan brewery where they tout a full list and map of Michigan breweries and suggest beer tour routes.

If you’re interested in finding a microbrewery where you are spending the holiday, you can download the Mi-BREW app available on iTunes or a map compiled by the Michigan Brewers Guild.

Some of the more well-known microbrewing companies in Michigan include Bell's in Kalamazoo, Founder's Brewing Co. in Grand Rapids, and  the Jolly Pumpkin with locations in Traverse City, Ann Arbor, and Dexter.

So if you decide to kick back with a Michigan microbrew, the Founding Fathers would likely approve. According to a report from CBSNews, Thomas Jefferson, George Washington, and Benjamin Franklin were all brewers themselves.

Interested in trying to recreate a revolutionary beer? You can find a recipe, here.


-Julia Field, Michigan Radio Newsroom