Want Beer – Will Travel

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September 6, 2012 by kkeerr

You may have noticed that the “About” section and subtitle of this blog have been updated.  If you hadn’t noticed let me catch you up, I have decided to visit (and drink at) every craft brewery in Michigan.
I am sure I am not the first to chronicle this adventure but I am doing it any.  And it will be no easy task.

My preliminary research indicates there are between 103 and 123 breweries in Michigan and I am not automatically crossing the ones I have already visited off the list.  Everything will be visited again.
I am looking at lists compiled by the Brewers Association, Craftbeer.com, Michigan.org, and others to try to make the most complete list possible.  I was originally going to visit all the “microbreweries” but after reading exactly what qualifies as a microbrewery I expanded to craft breweries.  The Brewers Association defines the craft beer industry as such;

The craft beer industry is defined by four distinct markets: brewpubs, microbreweries, regional craft breweries, and contract brewing companies.

Microbrewery: A brewery that produces less than 15,000 barrels (17,600 hectoliters) of beer per year with 75% or more of its beer sold off-site. Microbreweries sell to the public by one or more of the following methods: the traditional three-tier system (brewer to wholesaler to retailer to consumer); the two-tier system (brewer acting as wholesaler to retailer to consumer); and, directly to the consumer through carryouts and/or on-site tap-room or restaurant sales.

Brewpub: A restaurant-brewery that sells 25% or more of its beer on site. The beer is brewed primarily for sale in the restaurant and bar. The beer is often dispensed directly from the brewery’s storage tanks. Where allowed by law, brewpubs often sell beer “to go” and /or distribute to off site accounts. Note: BA re-categorizes a company as a microbrewery if its off-site (distributed) beer sales exceed 75%.

Regional Brewery: A brewery with an annual beer production of between 15,000 and 6,000,000 barrels.

Regional Craft Brewery: An independent regional brewery who has either an all malt flagship or has at least 50% of it’s volume in either all malt beers or in beers which use adjuncts to enhance rather than lighten flavor. [Source]

Instead of limiting my journey to mircos all of those types of breweries are on the table.  And, because this is really all about the beer, I am also going to include nanobreweries if I can find them.  Hess Brewing maintains a list of nanobrewers.  They currently list one in Michigan and in my hunt for a complete list of the Great Lakes State’s breweries I found another.
I am posting the list, which I am organizing into 5 regions (SW, NW, SE, NE, & UP), to a new tab at the top of this blog.  Please let me know if I am missing any.  I don’t have a travel plan (I am hoping to meander and see some interesting parts of the state along the way) or a time frame.  I do have a husband and friends on board and ready to try some new beers so the journey starts this weekend.

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