Craft distilleries boosting Michigan’s economy

HOLLAND, Mich. (WOOD) – Michigan ranks sixth in the country for craft distilleries, according to the American Distilling Institute.

Documents through the Michigan Liquor Control Commission show 32 licensed small distilleries in our state.

The first-ever Michigan Distillers Guild is scheduled to be up and running in April.

One of the newest players amongst Michigan distilleries, Coppercraft Distillery in Holland, opened in November 2013 and already has more plans for expansion.

Coppercraft’s gin, vodka and rum will soon be sold in bars and stores all across the state, with Illinois and Colorado soon to follow in distribution.

“We’re really excited. We’ve been blown away with the initial reaction and had to ramp up production to meet that,” Walter Catton of Coppercraft Distillery told 24 Hour News 8.

Right now the distillery is producing and filling five barrels of bourbon a week, but by this summer it plans to triple its bourbon production.

“What the brewers saw 25 to 30 years ago, we’re seeing that same growth rate,” Catton said. “It’s just on a much smaller scale.”

Craft brews, now spirits, are gaining popularity in our state.

“The grains we grow here in Michigan are differentiators for us,” Cattan attributes to the success. “We have an amazing water source obviously.”

It’s not just Michigan seeing growth in the distillery industry. According to the American Distilling Institute, there are currently more than 630 distilleries in the U.S., with at least 100 under construction.

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