Fruity, sour and barrel-aged craft beers sourced from Michigan will help Meijer surpass an earlier expectation that it would do $90 million in craft beer sales in 2016.
“Our target goal for Michigan craft breweries represents an annual economic impact of more than $100 million across the Midwest,” Meijer’s senior beer buyer, Rich O’Keefe told SN via email. “Meijer has more than 40 Michigan brewers represented and we are always looking for the smaller microbreweries that are local to each Meijer locations.”
Meijer has seen a 20% increase in sales of Michigan brews across its six-state footprint so far this year.
“We attribute this growth to establishing a great dialogue with craft beer breweries throughout Michigan and cultivating their popularity,” O’Keefe said. “We made a commitment earlier this year to take six Michigan breweries across our footprint and work together to grow awareness, which has paid off. Ultimately, we have our customers to thank for that. They are incredibly thirsty for Michigan craft beer, and not just in our Michigan stores. Michigan craft beer is increasingly popular throughout all the states where we do business.”
Meijer gathered together several Detroit and Michigan-based brewery owners and founders at Atwater Brewery to discuss product trends and the state of the local craft beer industry. The event kicked off local in-store tasting events with area craft “brewlebrities” on site at select Meijer stores.
- Joe Short: Founder/owner of Short’s Brewing Company
- Mark Reith: Owner of Atwater Brewery
- Eric Briggeman: Vice president/general manager of Rochester Mills Brewery
- Kyle VanDeventer: Sales manager of Griffin Claw
- John Leone: Owner/president of ROAK Brewing Company
- Tony Grant: Owner of Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales, North Peak Brewing Company and Northern United Brewing Company
- Chase Kushak: Co-founder/CEO of Founders Brewing Company
- Matt Moberly: Director of business insights of Bells Brewery
“Being in the same room with this group of craft 'brewlebrities' – knowing their histories and the how far they’ve come is truly amazing,” said Shannon Long, producer and co-host of Pure Brews America, who moderated the roundtable discussion, in a statement. “I think what makes them great is that they are focused on their core and not the next hot thing. They don’t need to follow a trend because they are the trend. ”
In this Meijer video, Detroit craft brewers shared their perspective on craft brewering and their relationship with Meijer.