When I was writing about Larry Bell last week - the video posted of him tasting a long lost bottle of beer that was brewed in 1987 - it hearkened back to a different time in Michigan craft beer history. What's happened since those early days, it certainly is a incredible success story, and some recently release figures back that up.
The numbers served up here by the Michigan Beer Wholesalers Association and the Beer Institute say that Michigan Beer is now a $10 billion dollar business. The report claims that beer had an "overall economic impact of $9.9 billion in 2020 and supported more than 66,000 jobs at breweries, distributors, retailers and more." Digging a little deeper into that, this report says the state’s entire beer industry — that's brewers, distributors, retailers and supporting industries like agriculture, transportation and manufacturing — had a $9.9 billion economic impact on Michigan’s economy. The report also says beer distributors employ almost 5,000 people and combined with those who work at breweries, and places that serve beer, they were compensated to the tune of $2.6 billion in wages in 2020.
That's quite a rosy picture given the stories of doom and gloom from during the pandemic. Some of this is, of course, self serving spin, (you have to ask yourself how many restaurants and bars either closed or are hurting as we emerge from the pandemic) but it does point up that Michigan has become a force to be reckoned with both within the state, and in the beer world. This explains the claim that Michigan is a top ten beer producer, and apparently, the immediate future is quite positive looking.