Tough to Be a Michigander These Days

Tough to Be a Michigander These Days

How much do I like beer? Well, I can tell you this: My wife and I recently traded a large and well-maintained trampoline for a single 12 ounce bottle of Founders Kentucky Breakfast Stout. Those who know me would likely say that was out of character. (Not the trading things for alcohol — that actually is in my wheelhouse.) No, I’m talking about the deep appreciation for something like Founders KBS — a high-end, critically praised consumable. I’m really more of a eat-because-I’m-hungry, water-from-the-faucet, breakfast-cereal-for-dinner kind of guy.

But something has happened to me with beer. I’ve become discriminating, an aficionado (a snob). Living in Michigan, it’s hard not to be. There is just so much good stuff around. West Michigan in particular. When I moved here it was Bland Rapids. Now it’s Beer City USA. Founders Brewing alone now takes up a whole city block! It’s really quite amazing.

The subtext here is that things aren’t so bad. Don’t despair, even though it seems to be the popular thing to do. Despair can lead to questionable decision-making (like, say, making a Benito Mussolini impersonator the Republican candidate for president).

If we can go from the blah mediocrity of Goebels and Black Label and (dare I say it) Strohs to the paradise of choices we produce today, there is hope. We can do extraordinary and successful things here in Michigan. And if we can get our roads, schools, and infrastructure on the path to real recovery, we will have plenty of fantastic options to toast our success.

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