CPA expertise adds to the craft brewing industry

There are over 250 breweries in Michigan– and that number is growing thanks to the barely slowing tide of enthusiasts, some of whom will undoubtedly give serious brewing a try.

In addition to having 266  breweries officially listed on the Michigan Brewer’s Guild’s site, Michigan is 4th in the country for the number of breweries per capita. Michigan breweries contribute over $600 million in direct wages and millions of dollars in total economic contribution to the state. 

 As far as the state’s economy goes, the Michigan Association of Certified Public Accountants (MICPA) said, “Bring it on.” CPAs in the state are among the professionals aiding the beer industry in its growth, according to the MICPA.

“Accountants and other professional service providers are an important part of the success of Michigan’s 222 craft breweries,” said Senate Majority Leader Arlan Meekhof.

Each brewery has a team that stretches beyond the brewmaster and bar staff, according to Shane Barry, senior director of government relations at MICPA.

“Accountants, attorneys, real estate agents, insurance agents and more are all involved in the success of these breweries,” Barrysaid.“Our members are showing their utility through navigating the craft beer industry, even under explosive growth and legislative changes.”

One example came in 2014, when several bills were signed into law allowing increased production of microbreweries. Statewide that meant 30,000 barrels boomed to 60,000 barrels annually. Over 850,000 barrels of craft beer are now produced each year.

“I started working with the craft brewing industry and Larry Bell in 1993 as a staff accountant in a local public accounting firm,” said Pat Gray, chief financial officer of Bell’s Brewery. “I left public accounting in 2013, something I never thought possible, to join Bell’s Brewery and serve in a brand-new role. It has been an incredible journey, the result of a relationship built on trust that started with this profession.” 

For the most up-to-date information about the economic impact of craft brewing in Michigan, visit the Michigan Brewers Guild and Brewers Association online. Learn more about the correlation between breweries and CPAs in this video.


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