You won’t find it marked on any official calendars, but today is a special day for many Michiganders. It’s Oberon day.
If that doesn’t mean anything to you, then you are probably not a follower of MIchigan’s beer scene. But these are boom times for craft brewers in Michigan. The Kalamazoo Gazette reported last year that the state’s breweries invested more than $70 million in facilities upgrades. They hired workers. And the number of craft breweries in Michigan continues to grow (there’s even a fight song for Michigan craft beer).
Larry Bell was one of the early leaders of this new industry, and Bell’s Brewery has become one of the biggest players among the state’s small beer makers. Oberon, the golden-hued Summer brew from Bell’s, is distributed in 18 states. But in Michigan, Oberon has become more than just a beer. It’s an official symbol of the end of winter.
In northern states, Oberon is only available in Spring and Summer. Keeping Oberon off the shelves during the cold winter seems to make people love it more. When Oberon comes back, people in Michigan go nuts.