Mid-MI breweries gearing-up for busy holiday weekend, resurgent demand

BAY CITY, Mich. (WJRT) (7/2/2021)–A lot of folks, celebrating the fourth with a cold one this weekend.

Michigan is now behind only a handful of other states in terms of the size of its beer industry, specifically, craft beer. A fact crystalized in a set of startling new numbers that have Michigan brewers raising a glass.

Kevin Peil showed ABC12 around his Bay City bottling operation ahead of one of the beer-drinkingest holidays on the federal calendar Friday.

The owner of Tri-City Brewing Company, a former engineer who ditched the rat race to join forces with his chemist business partner to brew-up a different kind of experiment. 14 years later, he’ll tell you his hands and kegs are full just getting back into the swing of things.

“It’s long overdue,” Peil said. “We were partially open for several months, but now that we’re fully open with no restrictions, it’s really refreshing.”

Relatively speaking, Peil got in on the ground floor. A study just out from the National Beer Wholesalers Association pegs the value of Michigan’s beer industry at just under $10-billion dollars. In other words, the size of the whole economy of countries like Mongolia or Madagascar.

Between breweries, distributors and retailers, the same study also found some 66-thousand Michigan residents now depend upon beer to earn a living.

“Michigan is one of the top five or six craft beer industries in the nation,” Peil related. “There are, I think there’s something like 500 McDonald’s and there’s like 450 craft breweries in the state.”

Since those capacity caps lifted, Peil told ABC12 thirsty crowds now even turn out on in force on weekdays. At his hometown hop house, Peil said, there’s a little something on tap for everybody.

“Whatever city you’re in, you’ll find a craft brewery that’s making beer that you will like, it’s very interesting,” he explained. “We’re very proud to be part of that community.”

Copyright 2021 WJRT. All rights reserved.

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