Michigan Breweries Raise $45,000+ During Hops Against Hunger Campaign

Last month, Michigan breweries raised an estimated $45,000 for the state’s food banks.

The campaign was called Hops Against Hunger, and it unites the state’s breweries and beer geeks with food banks serving those in need. Launched in West Michigan in 2016, Hops Against Hunger became a statewide campaign this September, with more than 40 breweries, beer bars, and restaurants from metro Detroit to Marquette hosting fundraising events throughout the month.

Each establishment donated proceeds from special one-off events or month-long promotions to the Feeding America-member food bank serving their community. Participants included some of the pillars of Michigan’s craft beer scene, like New Holland Brewing Company, HopCat and Arcadia Ales, along with relative newcomers like Ellison Brewery and Spirits in East Lansing and Loggers Brewing Company in Saginaw.

“We were amazed by the response,” said Sean Little, development associate at Feeding America West Michigan and the campaign’s organizer. “We forged so many great relationships with brewers this past month and we’re excited to see those relationships develop in the future.”

“We knew there was a ton of energy in the craft beer community and now we know this same community is passionate about supporting our cause to provide good food to people in our state. It’s been incredibly encouraging,” Little said.

Some breweries, like Farmington Brewing Company and Grand Rapids’ Harmony Hall, donated a percentage of proceeds from a single beer throughout the month. Others, like Greenbush Brewing Company in Sawyer and Territorial Brewing Company in Battle Creek, hosted one-day events to draw in supporters. Two breweries, North Pier in Benton Harbor and The Mitten in Grand Rapids, organized golf scrambles.

Creston Brewery in Grand Rapids hosted a Pack the Pub event on Sept. 13, donating 15 percent of the day’s food and drink sales to Feeding America West Michigan. The event raised $473, enough for the organization to distribute nearly 1,900 meals.

“As a new brewery, we want to set the standard for community involvement,” said Brianne Ross, Creston’s taproom manager. “We believe that it is a team effort to help neighborhoods and cities flourish, so we take a personal stance on what we can do to make a positive impact so that other breweries will follow suit.”

Food insecurity is not an abstract concept for people in Grand Rapids, nor the rest of the state. In fact, 1 in 7 people are food insecure in Michigan, meaning they struggle to obtain enough nutritious food to lead a healthy life. Ross says when breweries step up to address an issue like that, they’re saying to their community, “‘Hey, we have your back. We’re not just here to serve you great beer.’”

Getting involved in Hops Against Hunger, Ross says, should be a “no-brainer.”

Greenbush’s marketing director Ali Brodhacker feels the same way. “Simply put, we believe that no one should go hungry and the Hops Against Hunger campaign is an excellent way to combat the issue of malnutrition.”

Greenbush’s Autumn Harvest Party, on Sept. 22, raised an estimated $1,200 for Feeding America West Michigan.

While the blitz of September events is over, the Hops Against Hunger campaign will continue year-round, says Little. Ore Dock Brewing Company in Marquette, for example, plans to host its annual Hops for Help fundraiser again this holiday season.

“We’re always open for more breweries to come onboard and partner with us,” Little said. “This campaign is building momentum now and we only expect it to grow going forward.”

More information about the Hops Against Hunger campaign, Michigan’s food banks and upcoming events can be found at HopsAgainstHungerMI.org.


Hops Against Hunger Participants:

Feeding America West Michigan

Beards Brewery

Burnt Marshmallow Brewing

Creston Brewery

Grand Armory Brewing

Grand Rapids Brewing Company

Greenbush Brewing Company

Harmony Hall

HopCat Grand Rapids

New Holland Brewing Company

North Pier Brewing Company

Ore Dock Brewing Company

Pigeon Hill Brewing Company

Silver Harbor Brewing Company

Terra GR Restaurant

The Livery Microbrewery

The Mitten Brewing Company

The Sovengard


Watermark Brewing Company


Food Gatherers

HopCat Ann Arbor


Food Bank of South Central Michigan

Arcadia Ales Kalamazoo

Boatyard Brewing Company

Brite Eyes Brewing Company

The Distant Whistle

Feed the World Café

Grand River Brewery

HopCat Kalamazoo

Kalamazoo Brew Bus

Territorial Brewing Company

Tibbs Brewing Company


Food Bank of Eastern Michigan

Loggers Brewing Company

Michigan on Main Bar and Grill

Table and Tap

Tenacity Brewing

Tri-City Brewing Company


Forgotten Harvest

HopCat Detroit


Gleaners Community Food Bank

Farmington Brewing Company

HopCat Royal Oak


Greater Lansing Food Bank

EagleMonk Pub and Brewery

Ellison Brewery and Spirits

HopCat East Lansing

Lansing Brewing Company

Ozone’s Brewhouse