Craft Distilleries in Michigan

. October 23, 2012.

With a strong and well-known presence in the craft beer scene, it seems only natural that Michigan be at the forefront of the craft distilling boom that’s taking place all over the country.  Just over a decade ago, there was only one legally operating craft distillery in the state, according to The American Distilling Institute (ADI).   Last year, there were 11 (and I expect that number may be doubled by now).  

By contrast, in 1896 there were over 8,000 licensed distilleries in the U.S.  Nationally, ADI counted 234 distilleries in 2011 up from just 24 in 2000.  Michigan’s 11 craft distilleries rank us around in the top ten nationally in this growing industry.

Michigan’s abundant agricultural resources and a strong farm-to-table culture play a key role in the distilling renaissance. In addition, 2008 changes to state laws lowered the license fee from $10,000 to $150 and softened requirements on production and distribution.  Some of the first to strike out into the unknown were the micro-breweries and wineries that already had the base knowledge and equipment necessary to get going. Today, however, we see more fruit farms and independent operations focusing solely on spirits production making adventurous headway into the market with more surely to follow.

Distilleries to Watch

  • JourneymanDistillery- Three Oaks,MI
  • Ugly Dog Distillery- Chelsea, MI
  • Black Star Farms- Suttons Bay, MI
  • Grand Traverse Distillery- Traverse City, MI
  • New Holland Brewing & Distilling- Holland, MI

All of these distilleries make quality unique spirits that have garnered local and national awards.  Many offer tours and tasting rooms for a start to finish experience. For more info on America’s distilling past and future check out: Distilled Spirits Council of The United States-
www.discus.org or The American Distilling Institute www.distilling.com

Trending

Artist Spotlight: Kenyatta Rashon Sparks Self-Confidence through Song

We spoke with Ypsi-based artist Kenyatta Rashon about imbuing her lyrics with self-confidence and inspiring her fans to trust in their abilities and assertiveness.

Vibe over Genre: May Erlewine & the Woody Goss Band’s ‘Anyway’

We chatted with Woody Goss and May Erlewine about the creative process, and about how vibe supersedes genre. Plus the premiere of their newest single, “Anyway”

Venue Spotlight: The Ann Arbor District Library

The Ann Arbor District Library’s staff observed the progressing spread of COVID-19 with a keen eye towards optimal safety measures. Like all libraries, it remained closed for the duration of the three-month period of Michigan’s shelter-at-home executive order, to curtail the spread of the virus. But Sherlonya Turner says that while their staff certainly considered

Venue Spotlight: Ziggy’s in Ypsi

While Ypsilanti’s beloved Ziggy’s isn’t quite ready to open, we talk to David Jeffries about the recent bit of good news about reopening when the timing’s right.