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School for beer

On Behalf of | Dec 1, 2015 | Business Formation & Planning |


The craft beer market is a growing industry. From new breweries opening throughout Michigan to the international brewing conglomerates buying regional brewers, as with Heineken’s purchase of a 50 percent stake in Lagunitas Brewing or the more recent announcement that Constellation Brands will buy Ballast Point Brewing for $1 billion. Founders Brewery was among the fastest growing in the nation and likewise sold a 30 percent share to Spanish brewery Mahou San Miguel, to obtain an international market for their beer.

These transactions and the consolidation of AB InBev with SABMiller reinforce the growing value and influence craft brewing is having, even on the global brands. The craft beer market is now a $19.6 billion industry and increased by 18 percent last year while the massive international brewers only grew by 0.5 percent.


And Michigan has shared in that growth. The state now ranks ninth in the U.S., at $1.85 billion, and importantly, it ranks number one in job growth, with a five-year increase of 278 percent. This growth is expected to continue and that means these breweries will need employees.

So, a different business has begun to help with that supply. The Schoolcraft College in Livonia has begun teaching the skills that breweries need. The school will produce students with an undergraduate certificate in Brewing and Distillation Technology. Craft brewing has been a do-it-yourself business, but growing breweries will appreciate the ability to hire knowledgeable workers.

Because many breweries begin as small entities and often are made up of friends, when growth comes, they may be somewhat unprepared for dealing with the complexities of a formal business organization plan or the bureaucratic necessities that accompany hiring employees.

Such growth is exciting, even intoxicating, but if you need sober advice, an attorney can help you sort out all of the details. From drafting organizational documents, reviewing contracts and helping with your hiring process and to ensuring compliance with all tax and employment laws.

Source:, “Certificate in beer brewing is a buy in Michigan’s bullish market,” Lisa Katz, November 11, 2015


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