Microbrew culture is spreading across Northern Michigan

Craft beers are highlighted at Summer Microbrew and Music Festival.

Michigan's economy has certainly taken a few hits, but there is an industry that is not only booming, but also brewing, resulting in more jobs and more business: Microbreweries are popping up across Northern Michigan.

According to the Travel Channel, Traverse City is one of the top seven beer destinations in the entire country.

People are realizing that beer can have different flavors than what the major bottling companies have to offer.

The popularity also has a lot to do with craft breweriesâ?? local commitment.

â??People enjoy the fact they're coming and enjoying beers that are made by businesses in Traverse City or wherever their community is,â?? said Todd Klepper, General Manager at The Filling Station Microbrewery. â??They feel like they're putting money back in. It's just like buying local produce. Everything all ties together.â??

The secret is out: Traverse City is a beer town.

â??Draft Magazine named us one of the top three up-and-coming beer towns,â?? said Matt Cozzens, co-owner of 7 Monks Taproom. â??Now it's really filling that quota with all the breweries that are now here and coming.â??

With at least eight breweries already established and a couple more on the way, folks coming to the area have options.

â??The strength of the region helps us all. So the fact that we have more to choose from and a variety of different breweries. We're already starting to see people choosing Traverse City as a destination to come and try new beers and experience the craft brew culture,â?? said Klepper.

The local brewers say they are putting stress on the major bottling companies, like Budweiser, showing them it is time to reconsider how they approach brewing.

â??The craft brewers absolutely are competing with the big three breweries. I do think the big 3 breweries are feeling the pressure. 98% of breweries out there are craft breweries although the big three produce the most amount of beer,â?? said Cozzens.

Events like the Summer Microbrew and Music Festival help generate excitement for the local companies.

â??It certainly promotes the craft beer culture as a whole. No doubt about it. The new breweries that formed, they're there now,â?? Cozzens.

7&4 News is told Michigan is a growing market for hops as more and more farmers are choosing to grow them because of the demand.

â??I know on the west side of Michigan more and more acreage is being brought up on the west coast of this state at least for that endeavor,â?? said Cozzens.

The hops will take time to cultivate.

â??Thereâ??s some small oneâ??s that arenâ??t on anyoneâ??s radar yet that in the next five or six years will be producing quite a bit of hops,â?? said Klepper.