Detroit Beer: A History of Brewing in the Motor City


Date, Location

Author Stephen Johnson

Stephen Johnson, author of Detroit Beer: A History of Brewing in the Motor City, will speak about the long history of brewing in the Motor City, from the small brewers of the mid-1800s to the recent boom of breweries like Atwater Brewery, Motor City Brewing Works, and the triumphant return of Stroh’s. It’s Detroit history by the pint. Johnson is also the owner and founder of Motor City Brew Tours and a WMU grad. Please register.

Detroit Beer

While in recent years Detroit’s craft beer scene has exploded with activity and innovation, brewing has a long history in the Motor City. Small brewers popped up during the mid-1800s to support nearby saloons. Many breweries survived the dry years by producing “near beer,” or non-alcoholic beer, which was quickly abandoned after Prohibition. Consolidation marked the following decades until only Stroh Brewery Company remained. Local brewing returned triumphantly with dozens of breweries opening their doors since the 1990s, including Motor City Brewing Works, Atwater Brewery and Kuhnhenn Brewing Company.

Stephen Johnson is the owner and founder of Motor City Brew Tours, a tour company that provides guided tours to Michigan breweries. He is also an adjunct professor of marketing at Macomb Community College and has worked in both sales and marketing for over twenty years. Stephen earned a bachelor’s in business from Western Michigan University and a master’s of business administration from Walsh College of Business. A Michigan native, Stephen loves to share his knowledge and history of Detroit beer scene.

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