How do you measure a year? Twelve thousand miles, 633 beers, and 323 breweries, if you’re Emily Bennett, a Hastings, Michigan woman who visited every craft brewery in the state of Michigan in 2017.
This Hastings heroine, also known as Mitten Beer Girl, fully devoted herself to #drinkinglocal #craftnotcrap last year. She fought through hangovers, two hospital visits (one for pneumonia, another for cutting off her finger with a hatchet), and the rules of the road to meet her goal, and she succeeded.
Bennett’s story was featured on local news channel WZZM13’s “Our Michigan Life” this morning.
The segment initially throws an uncomfortable amount of shade, pointing out the beer lover’s written brewery plans as “senseless scribbles,” her sweet collection of beer swag as “meaningless mementos,” and posing the question, “who drives 9.5 hours for a beer?”
Clearly, this guy doesn’t get it.
Mitten Beer Quest 2017 was not just a beer binge: Bennett set out to explore her state, support local businesses, and learn about the people who make the Michigan craft beer scene possible. “I’m getting these incredible stories about grit and the perseverance and absolute soul it took for them to open the doors,” Bennett says in the segment.
With her year-long brewery tour mapped out and camper in tow, Bennett set out on her journey to drink a beer (or at least a four-ounce pour) at every brewery in Michigan, beginning and ending with Founders Brewing Co., first the Grand Rapids location, last the Detroit location.
The Michigan Brewers Guild has confirmed that Bennett is the only known person to have completed this feat.