Lisa Katz| Crain’s Detroit Blog

On Aug. 31 a new batch of students began their first class at Schoolcraft College in Livonia. They did not, however, attend English 106 or Business 122. Instead, this group of students’ first class is BDT 101 (Brewing Science) and they will receive an undergraduate certificate in Brewing and Distillation Technology in May, just months from now.

According to Schoolcraft’s website, “The curriculum has been designed with direct input from brewing professionals and owners of breweries, brewpubs, and distilleries in order to meet industry talent needs and to address the issues faced by aspiring entrepreneurs in this growing industry.” And the numbers show that the brewery industry in Michigan is growing at an astonishing rate.

Michigan ranks No. 1 among the top beer producing states for job growth in the industry. In just five years, the number of jobs in Michigan’s brewing industry has grown from just 391 in 2010 to 1,478 in 2015, an increase of 278 percent. Job growth is projected to continue to rise rapidly over the next decade. The closest state in terms of job growth rate is Oregon, where the brewing industry has seen the number of jobs increase by 180 percent since 2010. Michigan’s breweries are projected to have 443 percent more workers by 2025 than they had in 2010.

While Michigan lags behind the top five craft beer producing states (California, Pennsylvania, Texas, New York and Colorado), it continues to shrink the gap and ranked 10th in production volume in 2014. Last year, production in Michigan increased to 825,103 barrels of beer, a 41.5 percent increase from the 582,909 barrels produced in 2013. For more information and statistics on Michigan and other states brewing industries, check out the Brewers Association website.

As the number of and employment at Michigan breweries continue to grow, so too will the economic benefits. Breweries are spread across the state.

Michigan’s craft beer industry ranked ninth in the nation in terms of economic impact, contributing $1.85 billion to the economy in 2014. That ranking should continue to rise as production growth continues and as Michigan breweries become more popular throughout the nation. Founders Brewery, based out of Grand Rapids, tied with a San Diego-based brewery as the fastest growing microbrewery in the nation in 2014. Both recently sold stakes of their company to investment groups in order to fuel further expansion. To learn more about investment expansions in the craft beer market read this Crain’s article.

The concentration of breweries in Michigan increased from 46 percent lower than the national average in 2010 to 17 percent higher in 2015. The only other states to see positive growth in location quotients over the same time period were Oregon and California.

Total employment in Michigan still lags other states, but, as noted above, growth has been strong and is growing in Michigan. Schoolcraft College is now well poised to train the future workforce in this burgeoning industry.

This blog was prepared with research and content from Hector Acosta, research and policy junior analyst, Workforce Intelligence Network.

Share On