Beer Week Kicks Off in Lansing

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You might say Steve Johnson and Paul Starr are on a mission.

It's a mission to bring their love of craft beer to the masses.

The two started collaborating last year to organize an event to build on the momentum of the craft beer craze that's taken off recently in Michigan.

"People are now coming into craft beer that used to be domestic beer drinkers and as we've gotten into more a more buy-local-products movement you've seen people's interests gain," Johnson said.

Johnson, creator of the Motor City Brew Tours, said there are about 120 breweries around Michigan and with beer weeks popping up in cities across the state, Johnson said he and Starr saw an opportunity.

"They do a Detroit beer week, there's a Grand Rapids beer week and they're going to do an Ann Arbor beer week this year as well," he said. "Lansing was somewhere where it was sort of under-served and we knew there were a lot of great people here who were interested in craft beer."

But even beyond the brews, Starr said the boom in the craft beer craze is also due in part to the growing popularity of local neighborhood pubs again.

"Supporting locally, it's supporting community and I think that people are kind of getting back to that," Starr said. "People want to go to a place where people know their name and they're a part of something."

Starr who is founded the REO Town-based "I'm a Beer Hound" website said he expects Lansing Beer Week to continue to grow in popularity.

There will be several events going on throughout the week including beer samplings, beer and food pairing events and bar crawl in Downtown Lansing.

The week culminates in the Lansing Beer Fest in REO Town on June 29 which will feature beer samples, food trucks and live music.

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