Archive for June 2012

What does Michigan Brewing's closing teach us?

What does Michigan Brewing's closing teach us?
A long chapter in Midwestern craft brewing came to an end last Wednesday when the entire assets of Michigan Brewing Company of Webberville were put up at a foreclosure. ALL the assets: equipment, buildings, contracts with distributors, brand names, even the company’s web domains and phone numbers. At this writing, the buyers of most of MBC’s assets have not identified themselves. Except for the Celis beer brand, which was purchased by an Austin, TX based startup, Craftbev International, Inc., with the support of the Celis family. The late Belgian brewer Pierre Celis had started making Celis White in Austin in 1992, after reviving the Belgian witbier beer style with his Hoegaarden. Celis' Texas brewery was bought out by Miller and shut down in 2000, so he sold the brand to MBC in 2002...

Regional brewing digest: Michigan Brewing in trouble

Still trying to pace myself to keep up with my notes, I present a quick roundup of beer news from our neighboring states. Michigan Brewing Company in Webberville, MI (just east of Lansing) was evicted from its headquarters in May. Over the weekend, Kid Rock's beer company, American Badass beer, announced they were seeking another contract brewing partner. The venture by Kid Rock was intended to create up to 400 jobs in the singer's native state, and Michigan Brewing received over $720,000 in state tax credits. The Detroit Free Press reports that Michigan Economic Development Corp. spokesman Mike Shore said the company never collected on it. Michigan Brewing had also been dropped from a bid to redevelop The Old Fire Hall in Fenton Michigan as a brewpub. Their website, Twitter and Facebook pages have not been updated since April. Although the Kid Rock beer does indeed taste, according to reports, like badass, MBC has also been making Celis White, the beer by Belgian brewer Pierre Celis that introduced the Belgian White Ale style in the U.S., after he had brought the style back from history with his Hoegaarden. When I wandered by in 2003, the owners were very hospitable to this novice beer geek, pouring samples of everything they had on tap, and then giving bottles of beers that weren't on tap. However, they were never able to achieve distribution in the Chicago area. Update: The auction house Williams & Lipton of Farmington, MI, has scheduled a June 20th auction for all of MBC's assets, including Brewing equipment, packing and filling, the restaurant, names and rights to MBC and Celis brands, even the phone number)...