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FoodBiz

When Bill Welter was searching for a location to start a distillery in 2010, he chose a site in Three Oaks, Mich. over his home state of Indiana.

SAWYER — When Greenbush Brewery Co. needed to expand its production facility, co-owner Scott Sullivan faced a conundrum. 

GRAND RAPIDS — SpartanNash Co. has to overcome a key hurdle in attracting craft beer shoppers to the retailer’s high-end D&W Fresh Market Breton Village store. 

The retail landscape is changing for Michigan’s largest craft beverage producers, which continue to grow at a rapid pace. In this comprehensive special report, MiBiz examines the opportunities, challenges and strategies these companies are deploying in an ever-changing market.

new law passed earlier this month modernizes a provision in Michigan’s liquor control code that many craft beverage producers were unknowingly violating in recent years. 

A year and a half after launching Railtown Brewing Co. in Dutton, Justin Buiter and Gim Lee realized their craft brewery needed to expand well ahead of schedule. 

If ever there was a sign that the craft beer business has matured, it’s that the money has finally showed up and taken an interest in the industry.

The craft beer industry in Michigan essentially started with Larry Bell in 1985 launching what would become Bell’s Brewery Inc. Since then, and especially over the last decade, the industry has taken off in West Michigan and beyond. 

In an attempt to differentiate themselves from their competition, craft breweries in Michigan and nationwide have started to infuse various combinations flavors into their beers. 

As the craft beverage industry matures, it’s attracted new entrants who may be more concerned with making a quick profit than with the quality of the liquid. 

Pioneers of the craft brewing industry face a steep challenge from the growing market they helped establish. 

A West Michigan attorney is among a group of legal professionals nationwide hoping to raise the bar for advising the growing craft beverage industry.

While the challenge of finding talent makes headlines in the manufacturing and high-tech industries, similar struggles in West Michigan’s agricultural sector have the potential to hit even closer to home: the dinner table. 

KALAMAZOO — Ernie Pang’s goal to produce healthier snack foods didn’t quite pan out at first.

As craft beer exports present consistent growth opportunities for American producers, internationally-distributing companies such as Grand Rapids-based Founders Brewing Co. note that overseas markets are making up an ever-increasing portion of their sales.

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