Finishing a story for Beer Advocate on the sexiest craft beer topic of all — legislation! Don’t get too excited. Fortunately, I find this stuff interesting. Until you talk with brewers about what it’s actually like to start a brewery from the ground-up, you never quite realize just how much blood, sweat, and tears go into that first batch. A beer doesn’t happen overnight. And without the support of the federal, state, and local governments’ regulations and authority, many of these breweries wouldn’t exist.
Case in point: Michigan. The Mitten State has the fifth-largest number of breweries in the country, a fact that surprised most of my friends and family. We often think of Colorado (my home state), California, and New York as brewing conglomerates, but fail to recognize the exciting beer scenes across the country. (Unless you live in New York City, where long-awaited distribution of Bell’s Brewery was shouted from the rooftops.) It was a pleasure to meet the men (and women) behind some of Michigan’s microbreweries, and, obviously, drink a lot of beer. And I crossed a brewery off my bucket list, Short’s Brewing Company in Bellaire, Mich. That brewery alone makes me want to pack up my bags and move to the Mitten State.
Photos from my trip (sadly just from my phone, as I’m still editing a few of the more professional shots):