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Beer and wine (62)

“It’s definitely not easy anymore.”
— Jason Spaulding, Brewery Vivant

As Michigan’s craft beverage industry matures and gets more competitive, it’s causing more than a few growing pains to emerge. Additionally, the pace of growth has slowed, forcing producers
to rely on solid business practices to succeed. In this comprehensive special report, MiBiz examines how these companies are adapting their strategies to survive in the ever-changing market.

Thirsty Michigan craft beer consumers bought the equivalent of around 59,000 more pints of Brewery Vivant’s beer in 2016 than they did the year before.

Saugatuck Brewing Co. thought it was being edgy in 2011 when it coined the name “Hop on a Blonde” for its new blonde ale.

As the craft brewing industry grows in Michigan and beyond, it has been met with a continual skepticism about whether the market can support even more producers. Every industry hiccup stirs talk of a craft beer bubble that’s on the verge of bursting. In separate interviews, MiBiz brought that discussion to three professional advisers to get their take on the state of the industry.

Dynamics within the maturing craft beer industry are creating new growth opportunities for suppliers.

Proposed federal budget cuts have the potential to wipe out key hop and barley research programs that have helped improve the quality of the raw material supply chain for craft brewers.

Michigan craft breweries have only just started to sell their beer in international markets, but many in the industry believe exporting could soon become an important diversification strategy.

ROCKFORD — When Seth Rivard and his partners opened Rockford Brewing Co. in 2012 along the White Pine Trail about 15 miles north of Grand Rapids, they turned to a federal lending program that backs bank loans for small businesses.

With more than 5,300 craft brewers already on the market, and many more scheduled to open in the near future, the craft brewing industry has started to mature.

Changes to the federal tax code implemented at the beginning of the year could alleviate burdensome financial and bureaucratic rules for many craft beverage makers. 

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. 

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