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| 2 min read | by Doug Marrin, dmarrin@thesuntimesnews.com |

The Michigan Craft Beverage Council (MCBC) has launched its official website, MichiganCraftBeverage.com. The site features explores the booming craft beverage industry, including a detailed research finder, an industry marketplace, and business development and support information.

“The Council is very excited to see the new site go live and to share it with Michigan’s booming craft beverage industry,” said MCBC Chair Gary McDowell, who is also director of the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development. “The energy and vision of the Council has been tremendous, and the new website is going to be a reflection of that, offering information, resources and opportunities not found in most other states.”

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The MCBC was established in 2018 to provide research, support and promotion for the craft beverage industry and the agricultural inputs that are used in production.

The Michigan Craft Beverage Council replaced the Grape and Wine Industry Council last year in order to include the state’s burgeoning craft beer business. Both industries have seen a lot of growth in recent years.

When the council was first established 30 years ago, Michigan had 14 wineries. The state now has 145. The wine industry along creates $5.4 billion in economic impact to Michigan including $253 million in tourism spending.

Photo by Evan Dvorkin on Unsplash

Michigan’s craft beer business continues to boom in spite of a decline across the rest of the country. Last year, federal data shows, 1,387,343 barrels of beer were produced statewide. That is a 10% increase from 2017. Nationally, U.S. beer production has dropped 12% since 2007, according to data from the federal Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau. About half of Michigan’s craft beers were produced by Bell’s Brewery based in Kalamazoo and Founder’s Brewing Co. out of Grand Rapids. The other half was produced by 380 microbreweries and brewpubs throughout the state.

The website is designed to help producers and consumers alike navigate the growing world of Michigan craft beverages. MichiganCraftBeverage.com is organized by four main categories: Research, Grow, Craft, and Drink, representing four critical components of the craft beverage supply chain:

  • Research – MCBC manages an annual research grant program and makes past research available with a new, easily searchable research database. The site also provides a survey link encouraging stakeholders to submit research ideas.
  • Grow – The website provides numerous resources for growers, including an industry marketplace that connects Michigan growers and craft beverage processors.
  • Craft – MCBC provides information and support for the industry, including links to agricultural business development support, licensing requirement information, and numerous connections to organizational partners.
  • Drink – The website leverages a natural connection between tourism and craft beverage producers, encouraging consumers to experience flavors that are uniquely Michigan. The site links to numerous regional transportation services, highlights recent award winners, and includes popular, annual festival information.

Michigan’s craft beverage industry now boasts 3,050 acres of wine grape vineyards, approximately 900 acres of hops, and numerous varieties of hard cider apples. Michigancraftbeverage.com seeks to make connections and enhance consumer pride for the next chapter of this thriving industry.

The Michigan Craft Beverage Council is a 10-member, governor-appointed board that is advisory to the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, and was established to provide for research, marketing and promotion of Michigan agricultural products that are used in the production of Michigan craft beverages.

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