Joe Boomgaard

Joe Boomgaard

Editor, covers craft beverage industry.
Twitter: @jboomgaard
Email: [email protected]

GRAND RAPIDS — In its first five years, The Mitten Brewing Co. mostly brewed beer to serve in its Grand Rapids pub and a satellite taproom in Northport on the Leelanau Peninsula. 

The craft brewing industry continues to evolve at a rapid pace. As breweries strive to stay relevant in the eyes of thirsty customers, they also need to find ways to keep their distributor and retail partners happy. Companies need to balance all those demands and more if they plan to grow beyond the taproom model, which still provides their most lucrative sales.

Stroll through the beer aisle at some West Michigan grocery supercenters and you might notice a bit of gold tucked between the red, white and blue cases of Budweiser and MillerCoors brands. 

Muskegon’s Pigeon Hill Brewing Co. is embarking on ambitious expansion plans as the company wrestles with how best to compete in the highly volatile industry.

Explosive growth in Michigan’s craft beer industry has created hundreds of new companies over the last decade. As a result of all those new entrants, competition in the industry has ratcheted up to an all-time high, testing the industry’s collegiality and owners’ appetite for risk. Even so, many executives still see opportunities to expand their companies. In this comprehensive special report, MiBiz explores how savvy companies are adapting their business models to thrive in an increasingly volatile market.

A West Michigan cider producer plans to open a satellite tasting room in northern Kent County.

PLAINFIELD TOWNSHIP — Three Michigan natives plan to open a new microbrewery in the Rockford area.

A West Michigan distributor of gases for the food and beverage industry has been acquired by Radnor, Pa.-based Airgas Inc.

Two craft distilleries have agreed to a negotiated settlement in a trademark dispute stemming from a November lawsuit.

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