Beer was already an important part of society by the time the written language appeared on Babylonian tablets around 4,000 B.C. It kept the workers content while building the pyramids during the days of the Pharaohs in Egypt. In North America, the native Indians practiced the art of brewing and even our founding fathers including George Washington and Thomas Jefferson were brew masters.
Here in Michigan, the brewing industry dates back to the 1830's, years prior to statehood, and now we rank 5th in the nation in numbers of breweries. In 1991 there were three breweries in the state and through June 2016 the number is somewhere north of 250. According to the Brewers Association, the brewing industry contributes nearly 12,000 full-time jobs and over $1 billion to the economy.
It's true Martin Luther said, "Beer was made by men, wine by God." But it was another founding father, Benjamin Franklin, who said, "Beer is living proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy."
With the success of MICHIGAN's HOLY WATER: The Great Lakes Wine Bible, it seems only natural with the booming success of the beer brewing industry that an alcohol sequel should be named MICHIGAN's HOLY HOPS: The Great Lakes Beer Bible.
Statistically, 9 out of 10 brewery owners got their start as home brewers. In 2015, Michigan will become only the fourth state to offer brewing education, including a fermentation science program at Central Michigan University, Ferris State University and a Sustainable Brewing degree at Western Michigan University. Michigan breweries are not just winning local craft brewing contests, they are grabbing gold medals at the Great American Beer Festival and the World Beer Cup, competing against the best brewers in the world. One of the state's micro-brewing meccas, Grand Rapids, has even captured the title of Beer City USA.
This book offers brewery owners and brew masters an opportunity to tell their stories. It is not meant to create brewing experts but rather craft beer enthusiasts with an insider's look at why every resident and every tourist should never pass up an opportunity to visit a brewery tasting room.
Beer is not the answer. Beer is the question. "Yes" is the answer. And people are saying "YES!" to Michigan beer.