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Alumna one of 10 semifinalists in Hatch Detroit contest

September 13, 2012

Emily Miller’07 has dreams of opening a craft beer retail tasting room, and thanks to Hatch Detroit, she’s getting closer to making that goal a reality.

The Hatch Detroit contest encourages entrepreneurs to present a business plan that will revitalize and re-define the retail scene in Detroit, Mich. Of the hundreds of applicants, 10 semifinalists were selected, Miller among them; through public voting, that number will be reduced to four finalists after Sept. 18.

At Beloit, Miller studied political science and journalism; she also studied abroad in Belgium, and wound up returning to Brussels after college to work with American students studying abroad in the country.

“I've always been interested in beer, but teaching American students about Belgian culture meant teaching them about beer,” she says. “It didn't take me long to realize that learning about the culture, politics, and history of civilization's oldest drink was one of my favorite parts of the job.”

A native of Michigan, “I decided to come home and blend the cultures I identify with the most together while adding educational and community components to it,” she says.

“Currently there are no places in the city where you can swing by to pick up a bottle of craft beer from a wide selection of high-quality breweries,” Miller explains. “This means that people who like a variety of beer have to drive to the suburbs for options. Having a store like this in Detroit helps to keep money in the city while also educating people about the wonderfully diverse world of beer.”

Miller also plans on giving her potential business, The Collective Tap, a community focus by highlighting a different local nonprofit every month in the store, and donating percentages of sales to that nonprofit.

If she advances to the final four and ultimately wins the contest, Hatch Detroit will award her $50,000 to get her business off the ground.

Click here to learn more about Hatch Detroit and to support Miller and The Collective Tap with your vote (but vote before Tuesday, if so inclined).