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Joe Boomgaard

Joe Boomgaard

Managing Editor

jboomgaard@mibiz.com

In launching a monthly beer series for 2016, Big Rapids-based Cranker’s Restaurant and Brewery wanted to package its specialty beverages in 22-ounce bottles for distribution throughout Michigan.

While EV and hybrid sales continue to be a challenge in the era of sub-$2 per gallon gasoline, some automakers say the cheap gas has also forced them to re-evaluate their strategy for small sedans.

A Northern Michigan craft brewer has decided to expand the distribution footprint of its products to out-of-state markets for the first time.

Industry watchers expect some of the same consolidation activity that’s taken the craft brewing industry by storm in recent years to spread into its agricultural supply chain, particularly for hops.

Despite a long career in the beer distribution business, Keith Klopcic lacked expertise in making the beverages he sold to bars and retailers around the state of Michigan. So when the opportunity arose to buy Comstock Park-based Perrin Brewing Co. last year, he tapped a partner with extensive craft brewing resources who had the know-how to help him continue scaling up the business.

Grand Rapids-based Windquest Group Inc., the family office for Amway scion Dick DeVos and his wife, Betsy DeVos, that invests in a portfolio of companies, is getting into the booze-making business, MiBiz has learned.

The readers of MiBiz.com seem to have an unquenchable thirst for stories related to craft beer and retail. That’s the takeaway as we look back on the most-read stories published in 2015.

Grand Rapids-based Varnum LLP has undergone some changes that will position it for the future, says Executive Partner Tom Kyros. The law firm opened a Detroit office in September, hired an attorney with a national practice in data security and on Jan. 1 will bring on 16 attorneys from Law Weathers.

Investments in renovations at stores in East Grand Rapids (Breton Village), Holland, Zeeland and Petoskey show SpartanNash remains focused on the customer experience, according to COO and interim CFO Dave Staples

In many ways, Amway’s independent business owner model foreshadowed the development of the many companies today that allow people to work on their own schedule and pace, according to President Doug DeVos and CEO Steve Van Andel.

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