Michigan Beer: A Heady History

By David Fleet
Brandon Twp. — They sport names like Six Pointer, Soft Parade and All Day IPA, the pride of Marquette, Elk Rapids and Grand Rapids—Michigan beers have flooded coolers and taps from Ishpeming to Monroe.
From 6:45-7:45 p.m., Aug. 9, the Brandon Township Public Library, 345 South St., will host Michigan Beer: A Heady History (registration required). Michigan author Patti Smith will provide an interactive look with stories from local brewers, and early immigrants brought their distinctive beer styles from their home country. From ales to lagers, Smith will discuss the current state of local craft breweries.
“Today there’s a taste for better beer,” said Smith, an Ann Arbor resident. “The laws changed and in the 90s and beer could be sold on the premises thus, a new wave of brewers.”
In a state with the sixth-most breweries 408 in 2022 in the United States, according to the Brewers Association, local swill reflects the creativity, quality and identity of brewers.
“Local food started to be popular, that certainly did not hurt the beer industry,” she said. “Michigan’s beer history is as diverse as the breweries themselves, and the stories behind them are as fascinating as their tasty concoctions.”
Today, statewide beer production has boasted tourism including walking beer tours, she added.
“Communities are proud of their beers,” said Smith. “You could drink a beer a day from around the state.”

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