Back in the 1930s, somewhere around 300,000 acres in Michigan were planted in barley - with a lot of it being a strain called Spartan barley - specifically designed in 1916, by (then) Michigan State College, with Michigan's unique weather taken into consideration. Last year in Michigan, only about 11,000 acres were in barley and only about a thousand of that was harvested for the malt used in brewing beer.

That's about to change.

Michigan craft beer breweries have grown, from about 80 ten years ago, to almost 300 this year. And if you're going to brew beer in Michigan, why not do it with locally grown ingredients? Malt houses that turn barley into malt are popping up all over the state, but until recently, nobody could find even the seeds to grow Spartan barley again. Then, somebody from Michigan State got their hands on 5 GRAMS of seeds in Utah. And now, the future of Michigan beer is growing in a greenhouse in East Lansing.

And, if you're looking to plant something else on your farm besides corn or wheat or soybeans.......

Here's the story.


Banana Don and Stephanie McCoy amuse and thrill you every weekday morning from 5:30 – 10AM on the radio at 100.7 WITL.

Banana Don can be reached via email at and on Twitter at @WITLBananaDon and @WITLFM. Also, Facebook friend Banana Don and Stephanie at and