He enacted a bipartisan nine-bill package that allows microbrewers to double their production to 60,000 barrels of beer per year. Start-up craft brewers will also now be allowed self-distribution as long as they limit their production to 1,000 barrels of beer per year.
More than 140 breweries operate in the state, providing a boost to an economy that long ailed in the wake of a traditional manufacturing pullout.
According to Michelle Grinnell, spokeswoman for the Michigan Economic Development Corp., the state's craft beer industry has grown by 20 percent in the past year, pouring $133 million into the state's economy. That’s a whole lot of money, and that flow of funds will certainly grow as limitations on brewers are lifted and more microbreweries bubble up.
Grand Rapids, Holland, Spring Lake and Grand Haven will all benefit from the bills that were ushered through the state House, in part, by the Michigan Brewers Guild. Statewide, breweries have multiplied in recent years from just four in 1993 to about 70 in 2003 to the more than 140 we now have in operation.
Some of those businesses have been homegrown right here in the Tri-Cities, and include such popular establishments as Odd Side Ales in downtown Grand Haven and Old Boys’ Brewhouse in Spring Lake.
The bills create opportunities for our local beer crafters to grow, develop and improve their business prospects. That is worth raising a pint in celebration.
Our Views reflects the majority opinion of the members of the Grand Haven Tribune editorial board: Kevin Hook, Cheryl Welch, Matt DeYoung, Alex Doty and Fred VandenBrand. What do you think? E-mail us a letter to the editor to firstname.lastname@example.org or log-in to our website and leave a comment below.