Woman Visits 323 Michigan Breweries in One Year
A Michigan woman, Emily Bennett, 42, recently traveled the entire state to visit and sample every
single craft beer brewery, according to the Michigan Brewer's Guild — and she's the only known
person to have accomplished the feat inside a calendar year.
"To my knowledge, no one has successfully completed such a task, and certainly not
to her level," said Dianna Stampfler, publicist for the Michigan Brewer's Guild.
When Bennett wasn't working (she's a full time nurse practitioner),she'd plan out her off days and
used them to tour the state and visit as many breweries as she could."If you time it right, you can
successfully go to a number of places in one day," added Bennett
"A friend of mine figured out a way to go to 12 different locations in Grand Rapids with a $3 bus
pass." Bennett says she made several spreadsheets of names and addresses of all the different
locations."Over this amount of time, I can safely be expected to drive this distance and go to this
many places in a day," Bennett explained, as she described her plan of attack.
Bennett ended up purchasing a teardrop camper to haul around with her as she made her
brewery trips. This way she could save money on hotel costs, which helped keep her expenses
down overall."My trip was not sponsored and I don't work in the beer industry," said Bennett. "This
entire endeavor was self-funded."
Bennett called her year-long beer adventure, "Mitten Beer Quest 2017." She also came up
with some guidelines to follow so if she were fortunate enough to make it to the end, she could
declare success."Establishments needed to be open as of Jan. 1, 2017; Locations need to
brew and serve their own beer; and for it to count, I must have at least a 4-5 ounce pour
at the actual location," said Bennett.
the crossroads of the beer world
|Goodbye Anchor Distilling
Last year, when Anchor Brewing announced its
sale to Japanese beer giant Sapporo, the fate of
Anchor Distilling — the company’s quieter side,
known for spirits like Junipero gin and Old
Potrero whiskey — went conspicuously
unexplained.Anchor Distilling, both a producer
and an importer of high-end spirits, was not
acquired by Sapporo in the beer deal, but its
building was. So, too, was its name: Sapporo got
the Anchor trademark. Soon, Anchor Distilling
learned, it would have to vacate the only building
it has ever known, on Mariposa Street in Potrero
Hill, and change its name.
Now, five months after news of the sale, Anchor
Distilling has announced its new moniker,
rechristening itself as Hotaling & Co., a nod to a
notorious 19th century whiskey warehouse in
Dogfish Head’s newest beer is made with the
ingredients in Mace pepper spray. “In Your
Mace!” , the beer’s name, is a stout brewed with
coffee, chicory, milk sugar, and the two active
ingredients in Mace brand pepper spray.
Brewers had to wear HazMat respirators when
brewing the beer keep from inhaling the fumes.
Not to worry drinkers won’t have to do the same.
|Bad Brewery Buys
Constellation Brands has proven that craft-beer
acquisitions are not always a good move. In
2015 it bought Ballast Point Brewing for $1
billion, and it used to extol how fast the
acquisition was growing, though that seems
to have been more about its being distributed
to more markets than it was about
actual organic growth.
That realization hit hard last year, as sales
suddenly slowed and forced
Constellation to write down the carrying
value of the brand by $86 million.
That's a clear indication it overpaid for the
brewery, but that didn't stop it from also buying
Florida-based craft brewer Funky Buddha
Brewing. While the purchase price was cheap
compared with the Ballast Point acquisition --
Funky Buddha and limited-production fine-wine
vintner Schrader Cellars together went for $130
million -- virtually all of the purchase price was
assigned to goodwill, which means it basically
paid for the names of the company and not
any real sales.
On the bright side, because of the strength of its
Modelo portfolio, Constellation was the only beer
company among the top five to post increases in
both dollar sales and volume sales, rising 14.1%
and 12.5%, respectively in 2017.