Cannabis and craft beer are two peas in a pod. They both intoxicate, rely on small business imagery, produce handmade products, and are often backed by corporate dollars they’d rather have their customers ignore. They also find solace in the same locations, with the microbrew hubs of Colorado, Oregon and California being some of the first to welcome legal weed. In Michigan, where craft beer has long been big business, and legalization could come as soon as 2018, local breweries are unsure of the effect another readily available intoxicant might have on their business. But instead of campaigning against cannabis, they are welcoming the new industry and the economic boom it is expected to bring.
According to Revue West Michigan, Great Lake State brewers are happy to discuss the similarities between the people attracted to both industries, and, in addition to the prospect of collaboration with cannabusinesses, readily admit that they won’t stand in the way of legalization because, well, they make a product decidedly more dangerous than weed.
“I don’t believe it will have any immediate profound effect on our business or industry directly, but in the long run may add to it as opposed to take from our industry,” Seth Rivard, co-founder of Rockford Brewing Co, told Revue. “In my personal experience, there is a ‘high’ correlation of crossover in the demographics between craft-beer lovers and pot lovers. If pot use does grow over time because of legalization, we’ll probably see an uptick in craft beer fans as well.”
Rivard said marijuana is “safer than beer, hands down” and hopes that down the line Rockford Brewery “would consider a 420 happy hour with half-off munchies and dank brew! The craft beer industry is already well connected to the Mary Jane culture.”
In places like Colorado and Oregon, in the