Is Michigan Among The Top States For Beer Lovers?

Fact Checked by Peter Mooney

This Friday is National Beer Day and a survey showed that Michigan is the No. 1 state in the country for beer. That means Michigan sports betting isn't the only passion in the state.

Stroh’s began brewing beer in Detroit in 1850, but it shut down in 1999 and sold its labels to Miller. Now the oldest continually brewing brewery in the state is in Frankenmuth, a small city between Flint and Saginaw, with German heritage and Bavarian architecture. They started making beer there in 1862 and named it, you got it, Frankenmuth. The microbrew has been going strong for 160+ years and now brews 36 different types of craft beers throughout the year and serves a rotating mix of flavors on tap in its restaurant.

While Frankenmuth may be Michigan’s oldest brewer, its most popular home brewer – there are close to 400 to choose from – may be Founders Brewing in Grand Rapids. And according to their website, they’re hiring. Founders was founded in 1997 and is now available in all 50 states. This year the company became part of Mahou USA.

Other popular Michigan beers include Kuhnhenn in Warren, Bell’s in Kalamazoo. Dark Horse in Marshall, Transient Artisan in Bridgman, Schramm’s Mead in Ferndale, and Perrin in Comstock Park. This year the Detroit Beer Company, downtown near Comerica Park, celebrates its 20th anniversary. Some of the craft beers will be available at Michigan casinos

Best States For Beer Lovers

Overall RankStateQuality Ranking Quantity RankingAffordability RankingTotal Average
T6New York1230315
T8Rhode Island2222416
T8North Carolina2318716
15New Hampshire3481318.3

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Hardware To Prove It

Last year six Michigan breweries won seven medals at the 2022 World Beer Cup. Mitten Brewing of Grand Rapids won a gold with its Triple Crown Brown and took home a silver for its imperial red IPA, Rye Baby. Other silver medalists were Schaendorf Brewing for its rye beer Ryetail, Brewery Vivant for its historical beer Lange Wapper, and Territorial Brewing for its fruit beer Berry, Berry Quite Contrary. Bronze medals went to Urbanrest Brewing for its strong pale ale Easy Button, and to Dragonmead Microbrewery for its chili beer Ring of Fire.

There are brewery tours throughout the state, but if you want to get the most bang for your buzz, Kalamazoo, Grand Rapids and Royal Oak in Michigan are among American cities with the most breweries per capita. Grand Rapids is considered by many to be the state’s beer capital. The Michigan Brewers Guild claims the state ranks 6th in the nation in breweries, microbrews and brewpubs.

The state also keeps beer prices reasonable with a 6% sales tax on the price of beer and a state excise tax of 20 cents per gallon. As of a few years ago, the state ranked 10th in the nation in craft beer production. More than 65,000 Michiganders work in the beer industry and the foamy stuff produces nearly $10 billion for the state’s economy.

How About That High Tolerance?

Folks in Michigan also seem to know how to drink the brew without feeling drunk – or at least they claim to. A survey by ranked Michigan drinkers second behind Arizonans in beers that can be imbibed before one starts to feel a little tipsy. 

With the national average around 3½ beers, Michiganders came in slightly over four beers. 

On the other side of the bar, 12% of Michigan residents surveyed said they felt drunk after only one beer, one of the lowest rates in the country. 

Last year, Michigan’s Liquor Control Board reported that the average Michigander drinks 23 gallons of beer per year, more than all other forms of alcohol combined. That’s good news if you’re worried about bringing an expensive red wine to an Ann Arbor dinner party.


With National Beer Day arriving on April 7, we decided to look at the best states to celebrate in if you are a big fan of beer. When it comes to determining the best, we looked quality, quantity and affordability. utilized 3 combined data points to develop the ranking of the 50 US States from best to worst states for beer lovers. We utilized to get the average rating of beers brewed in the state (ratings given out of 5), to get the amount of breweries per capita (per 100,000 residents) and for the average price of a 24-pack per state. Once acquiring that information, we averaged out the ranking of the states to get our final rankings. 

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Joss has over a decade of experience in the US online gambling market. His analysis and writing cover every aspect of the business. After a career as an Army officer, he spent time in business, then took up online poker. Joss lives in Peru with his family. Joss is globally considered one of the leading voices in the gambling industry, especially North American sports betting.

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