The state of Michigan’s tourism tagline, “Pure Michigan” is ubiquitous enough that it’s been printed on the state’s license plates since 2013.
Now, it is also going to be the name of a craft beer, and the state will promote it on its official travel and tourism website.
“To commemorate the first official day of fall and inspire travel during the season, Pure Michigan and Short’s Brewing Company have teamed up to create Pure Michigan Autumn IPA, a first-of-its-kind IPA [India Pale Ale] that highlights the state’s agricultural bounty and nationally recognized craft beer industry,” read a press release issued by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC), which also runs the tourism department.
The beer lives up to its name. It’s totally made from Michigan ingredients, with three local maltsters, two local hops suppliers, and a yeast supplier from Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.
Not all of Short’s beers are that local, a spokeswoman says. “Pure Michigan Autumn IPA pays homage to them and their products, and our brewery staff, and what great flavors can come when we work together,” says Joe Short, the founder of the brewery.
The IPA will first be available at Short’s Pub, in the town of Bellaire, and the beer will be featured at upcoming beerfests in Chicago and all around Michigan.
The state’s press release is providing lots of free advertising for Short’s. It also lists the stores that will be selling the beer. Starting Oct. 4, those locations will be available on an interactive map via Michigan’s travel website, too. The beer carton will also include an official Pure Michigan logo.
Pure Michigan Autumn IPA is a limited brew that won’t be around much after October.
The publicity seems like a good thing. “Even though this is just one beer from one brewery, the partnership is good for craft beer overall in Michigan, as MEDC is able to put the resources behind promoting it,” said a publicist for the Michigan Brewers Guild. “Consumers will head to the stores to look for this beer, and may find others on the shelves nearby that interest them as well.”
The website has an area marking the state’s other “great breweries.” At least 20 are listed. Some, like Bell’s and Founders, are well known nationally, and Stroh’s is an old beer label that has been around for generations.
The state has 357 craft brewers, fifth highest in the nation, and the industry provides a nearly $2.5 billion economic impact on the state’s economy, according to the Brewers Association.
“With their taproom in Bellaire, Michigan, and passion for local flavors, Short’s has been a pioneer in Michigan’s evolution as a craft beer destination, making them the ideal partner for a Pure Michigan-themed beer to toast the fall season.” said Dave Lorenz, vice president of Travel Michigan, a part of MEDC.
Other states, including New York, take an active role in promoting homegrown brews as the craft beer movement expands. But naming one after a state’s well known tourism tagline is a bold step beyond.
The corporation came to Short’s with the proposal, the Short’s spokeswoman said, and the brewery created the recipe with its help.
Short’s, which has been listed as the 65th largest regional brewer in the U.S. by the Brewers Association, is 20% owned by Lagunitas US Holdings, a California brewer that in turn is wholly owned by Heineken.