You don’t even have to travel far, as right here in Grand Haven there are several breweries, and many others are within an hour’s driving distance.
With the popularity on the rise, the Michigan Brewers Guild has once again designated July as Michigan Craft Beer Month — this year, celebrating the 20th anniversary of the non-profit organization dedicated to representing more than 220 member breweries, microbreweries and brewpubs throughout the state.
According to proclamations from the Michigan House and Senate celebrating Michigan Craft Beer Month, Michigan craft brewers are a vibrant affirmation and expression of Michigan's entrepreneurial traditions, operating as community-based small businesses and providing employment for more than 5,000 workers.
The Legislature notes that the state has craft brewers in every region of the state and more than 220 craft brewers statewide, and Michigan ranks sixth in the nation for overall number of breweries, microbreweries and brewpubs.
Other noted facts about Michigan craft brewers from the House and Senate proclamations include:
— Craft brewers in Michigan support state agriculture by purchasing hops, malted barley, wheat, beet sugar, cherries, apples, and numerous other fruits, herbs, and vegetables grown in Michigan.
— Michigan craft brewers promote Michigan’s spirit of independence through a renaissance in handcrafted beers like those first brought to Michigan by European settlers and produced here by our forefathers, including Bernhard Stroh, for the enjoyment of the citizenry;
— Michigan craft brewers convey awareness about the differences in beer flavor, aroma, color, alcohol content, body, and other complex variables, beer history, and gastronomic qualities of beer.
— Craft brewers in Michigan produce more than 100 distinct styles of flavorful beers, the quality and diversity of which have made Michigan the envy of many states, contributing to balanced trade with increased Michigan exports and promoting Michigan tourism;
According to the West Michigan Tourist Association, Michigan craft brewers contribute more than $144 million in wages with a total economic contribution of more than $600 million.
The association also notes that craft brewers provide a diverse array of quality local jobs, are contributors to the local tax base, and are committed sponsors of a broad range of vital community institutions and philanthropic causes, including not-for-profit housing development associations, chambers of commerce, humane societies, athletic teams, and medical research.