Craft beer makers in Michigan need a good source of hops with which to brew.  The MEDC and "The Right Place" economic developers helped a new hops industry association  get itself organized because, ultimately, their new industry hopes to help the new microbrew industry make its mark on beer drinkers.

"Their ultimate customers are the craft brewers, the hundreds in the midwest," The Right Place's Tim Mroz told WOOD Radio. "These brewers demand the best.  That's how they separate themselves from the macro brewers out there."
Mroz says the new Michigan Hop Network also hopes to help commercial growers establish best-practices, as many farmers' groups do.  "The purpose is to ensure that, as this industry grows in Michigan,  they're doing the right things," said Mroz.

This week, the group came up with its bylaws, elected a board of directors and applied for official non-profit status. 

Mroz expects there will be more hops growers getting into the business. He said there were 200 acres of commercial hops being grown in Michigan. For the next year, he says there already are plans for another 100 acres to be put in.