rss icon


As the craft brewing industry continues to grow in West Michigan, several higher education institutions have begun to take action to address brewers’ talent needs. Community colleges and universities in Grand Rapids and Kalamazoo are in various stages of developing training programs that aim to establish a talent pool of qualified brewing professionals.

A group of local government officials and economic developers in Kent County wants to develop new strategies to grow the area’s agricultural and food-processing industry. With the results of a new study conducted by the Kent County Agribusiness Community Workgroup, they’re now armed with the data to help inform that process.

Would-be brewery owners Edwin Collazo and Dave Petroelje plan to leverage their individual skills to launch a new craft brewery in Grand Rapids. Collazo, a former financial adviser, and long-time brewer Petroelje plan to open City Built Brewing Company LLC next summer in a mixed-use building in the city’s burgeoning North Monroe neighborhood, just north of downtown.

Craft beer tourism contributes more than $12.2 million to the Kent County economy. That’s according to a new study from a trio of economics professors at Grand Valley State University’s Seidman College of Business that was commissioned by Experience Grand Rapids, the convention and visitors bureau for Kent County.

West Michigan craft brewers could be on the hook for thousands of dollars in testing expenses as a result of federal regulations that will require nutritional information for beer and other alcoholic beverages to be included on menus at chain restaurants.

As ArtPrize visitors begin streaming into downtown Grand Rapids for the competition’s seventh year, the city’s tourism-based businesses already have plenty of good news to celebrate.

The Fennville-based maker of hard cider launched in 2011 with a massive PR blitz focused mostly on its high-profile founder, Chicago brewer Greg Hall, whose family had just sold its Goose Island Beer Co. to Anheuser Busch LLC for a reported $38 million. At the time, Hall promised to make exceptional products and to turn Michigan into a Napa Valley type region for hard cider.

As a small producer of craft beverages, Sietsema Cider LLC often faces challenges when it comes to finding ways to package its line of hard ciders. Owner Andy Sietsema found that bottling his products yielded inferior results and proved to be a hassle for the company and its customers. However, as a startup, the company wasn’t in a position to invest in its own canning line.

Craft beverage producers agree that federal regulations have not kept pace with the rapidly evolving industry, but help could be on the way.

KALAMAZOO — Instagram offers businesses a platform to share whimsical photos of their products or operations, but a Southwest Michigan pub alleges there’s nothing funny about the similarity between its trademarked name and the handle a software company is using on the social-networking service.

Michigan-based craft brewers want to change state law so the annual licensing fees they pay can go to benefit research and promotion for their industry rather than support a competing craft beverage sector.

With an overhaul of its sales team, facilities and marketing strategy, the Kalamazoo Wings are looking to breath new life into its storied semi-pro hockey organization.

When fans attend an NBA Development League game, they aren’t just potentially seeing the next crop of NBA players. They’re also getting a glimpse of the coaches, refs, rules and even uniforms that might someday make it to the big stage.

A decades-old provision in Michigan’s liquor laws has many of the state’s craft brewers crying in their beers. Their license fees, however nominal, go to fund agricultural research and promotion of the state’s grape and wine sector — not the beer industry or its agricultural supply chain of hops and barley.

While athletes for West Michigan’s semi-professional sports teams compete for dominance on the court, field or ice, each organization’s front office is doing the same in the sales game, chasing sponsorship dollars that account for a crucial piece of their annual budgets.

Page 1 of 7

Breaking News

November 2015
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
8 9 10 11 12 13 14
15 16 17 18 19 20 21
22 23 24 25 26 27 28
29 30 1 2 3 4 5

Follow MiBiz