It's been a lot of fun getting to know some of the new, smaller growers throughout Michigan, but if Michigan is ever going to become a major player in the hop growing world, this is a positive step. The localization of beer as a theme in many cases helps the little growers out, but overall, the brewers are only going to be so patient when taking a product that doesn't have the same quality standards as what you can get from a corporate farm that has sophisticated harvesting and packaging technology. A survey I sent out to dozens of brewers last year supported what I suspected, they want to help the local growers out, but if they want to do serious business quality has to improve.
Stan H. has spoken at length about the costs of adding acreage in Yakima, and based on what I'm told by the growers up there, the Traverse City area might have the best hop growing climate in the country outside of the Pacific NW. I'm sure there's plenty of debate on that topic, but if the price is right for acreage, seeing expansions like this in the future probably won't be shocking.