The biggest area of expansion is in hop farming. Since 2007, the state has gone from zero acres of commercial hop farms to about 400, according to Michigan State University Extension educator and hops expert Rob Sirrine.
But the past three years have also seen the arrival of Michigan’s second malt house and its first liquid yeast lab.
Michigan Brewers Guild president Eric Briggeman said consistent growth in the industry — Michigan ranks fifth among states in the number of breweries, with well over 100 — has encouraged Michigan farmers and other producers. The craft brewing industry in Michigan supports more than 7,000 jobs and its economic impact is more than $600 million a year, according to the Michigan Brewers Guild.
A friend of mine decided to grow hops, just for kicks. He was stunned at how many bushels he was able to produce with just a little effort. He has no idea whether they’re any good and he has no interest in selling them. Last I knew, he was contacting some local hobby brewers and seeing if they wanted them.
I found this passage from the end of the article pretty interesting:
“Through history, before Prohibition, there’s been breweries on every street corner,” she said.
“Then it went to the domestics, like Budweiser and Miller, taking over. Then that bubble popped and now we’re back to microbreweries.”
I endorse a free market that lets businesses grow huge, thereby giving everyone the price benefit of economies of scale, but I love to see those huge businesses eventually implode under their own weight.Bookmark it: del.icio.us | Reddit | Slashdot | Digg | Facebook | Technorati | Google | StumbleUpon | Window Live | Tailrank | Furl | Netscape | Yahoo | BlinkList