According to the Michigan Brewers Guild, the Great Lake State should also be known as “The Great Beer State.” Home to world-famous breweries such as Bell’s in Kalamazoo and Founders in Grand Rapids (which brews the seasonal bright red cherry ale, using only Michigan cherries, pictured above), and with the fifth most breweries, microbreweries, and brewpubs (80+) per capita in the nation, the state has earned its reputation.
HopCat, a brewpub in Grand Rapids, has 48 taps, around 60 percent of which are stocked with Michigan beers at any time, and 150 bottles, 35% from MI, and has become a destination in its own right. They have recently started bottling their own beer, an IPA called Oil Rigger. And it makes sense for brewpubs like HopCat to make bold new steps like this because the beer industry in Michigan, unlike many others in the state, is growing.
On February 27, the Michigan Brewers Guild is hosting the 5th Annual Winter Beer Festival, the perfect way for craft beer fans to sample tons of Michigan beers in one location, on one day. The event will be held in Fifth Third Park (home of the Grand Rapids minor league baseball team, the Whitecaps) which is in Comstock Park, just north of the city. More than 35 microbreweries and brewpubs are expected, and over 200 beers will be available to sample. The cost is $35 in advance and includes 15 drink tokens, each good for a 3 oz. beer sample. Tickets can be purchased here.
Here at IT, we often encourage travelers to have a sustainable experience by shopping locally during trips, but it’s also something you can do in your home state. Check out your local microbreweries and brewpubs–you may discover your new favorite fermented beverage!