Michigan artisan distillers: We're No. 2!

From the Lansing, MI, State Journal:

A handful of Michigan entrepreneurs are sobering up to the business potential of hard liquor.

From building small-scale distillers that use Michigan agricultural products to exporting and distributing spirits, industry experts and business owners say booze could be a niche industry in areas that need a shot of economic growth.

A recent Michigan law change makes it easier and less expensive for the state's microbreweries, wineries and others to start distilling liquors. So far, there are 11 distilleries in Michigan, including Michigan Brewing Co. in Webberville, Uncle John's Cider Mill in St. Johns and a research distillery run by Michigan State University.

The Distilled Spirits Council of the United States expects U.S. revenue to spirits makers to reach $19 billion this year. Revenue rose 5.6 percent to $18.2 billion in 2007, the Washington-based group reported earlier this year. ...

Michigan has more artisan distillers than any state but California, which has 22, according to a directory published by the American Distilling Institute, a California-based trade group.

[Go here for the full story.]

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