Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Grand Rapids Beer Week 2015 Rolls Out Hop-Infused Carpet Of Collaborations, Tap-takeovers, Culminates With 10th Annual Michigan Winter Beer Festival

Written by  Paul Starr
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Grand rapids Beer week 2015

Beginning February 22nd, breweries from Michigan and beyond will begin taking over tap-handles in brewpubs and breweries throughout the city of Grand Rapids, Michigan, also known as Beer City, USA for a weeklong celebration of craft-beer. Bar stools will be overflowing as Grand Rapids is captivated by unique craft-beer offerings, several selections created specifically for GR Beer Week.
The collaborative nature that won Grand Rapids the title of Beer City, USA two years in a row will be a bottomless feature throughout GR Beer Week, creating an undercurrent of excitement throughout the week, capping with the exciting two-day Michigan Brewer’s Guild Winter Beer Festival in Fifth-Third Ball Park on February 27th and 28th.

One major highlight of GR Beer Week will occur on Monday, February 23rd at Harmony Brewing Company, as they host a tap-takeover by Fermenta, a non-profit initiated by Michigan women involved in the craft beverage industry committed to diversity, collaboration, education, and all-around camaraderie. Harmony will dedicate five of their taps to Fermenta craft-beer, each created by West Michigan Women:

  • Hudsonville Pike 51, Super Bon Bon Honey IPA (featuring local hops from Hop Head Farms)
  • Schmohz, Toasted Coconut Stout
  • Our Brewing Company, Salted Caramel Milk Stout
  • Saugatuck Brewing, Lemon IPA
  • Harmony Brewing, Fermenta Ruburosa American Amber Ale with Beets

Manda Geiger, Brewster at Pike 51 and Fermenta Communications Director says "Fermenta has received an awesome response from breweries wanting to be involved in the collaboration brews. Each brew day has brought out new ladies to experience what it's like to brew beer from all sides of the industry. The excitement and passion has been overwhelming; I love seeing the increased involvement and support from everybody. A huge thank you to everyone involved."

Jackson Van Dyke co-owner and managing partner for Harmony Brewing Company states “We are proud to support women in the craft beer culture in Michigan, and can’t wait to highlight the delicious creations they’ve brewed.”

The thirsty masses will also find Saugatuck Brewing collaborations on tap at Logan’s Alley just northeast of downtown Grand Rapids on Monday, where Jak Mercer’s crew collaborated on two craft beers for GR Beer week: an Imperial Spicy Maple Bacon Brown and a Russian Imperial Stout with cocoa nibs, coffee and de Arbol peppers. Logan’s Alley will also feature impressive tap-takeovers throughout the week from Dark Horse, Odd Side Ales, and 15-20 taps each from Kuhnhenn and Greenbush.

Another collaborative event will take place on Tuesday, February 24th at Rockford Brewing. MittenBrew.com teamed up with Rockford Brewing Company to create Grandma’s Cookies, an Oatmeal Raisin Cookie beer classified as a Dark Amber Ale. The party will be open to the public at no charge.

Smaller brewpubs like Big Bob’s Pizza will not be left out of the fun, as they will offer tap-takeovers throughout the week, with selections from Rochester Mills, Founders, Right Brain, and on Thursday, February 26th, Blackrocks will coming in all the way from the Upper Peninsula to take over ten taps to quench Gaslight Village’s thirst.

Grand Rapids could have turned GR Beer Week into a competitive week of brewery vs brewery, but this community thrives on collaboration over competition, as one can see from the events the city has in store; welcoming hundreds of breweries from around the state with open arms.

There are many ways the public can get involved beyond bellying up to the bar and clinking their neighbor's pint-glass. Use the hashtag #GRBeerWeek on social media sites facebook, twitter, and instagram to get in on the fun! Check in at a brewery, brewpub, or at the Winter Beer Fest on Untappd during GR Beer Week twice, and earn a special Beer City GR badge!

This is just a sampling of what Grand Rapids has to offer for GR Beer Week. For the overflowing list of events, please check the GR Beer Week Facebook Page, and Experience GR’s event page for a consistently updated calendar.

About Grand Rapids Beer City, USA:

As a group of Greater Grand Rapids Beer-Centric businesses, we strive to enhance the craft brewing culture through quality, education, and growth. In partnership with our community, it is our vision to promote tourism, and foster the local economy through collaborative events. We continue to express gratitude to the community, embracing opportunities to give back through projects like Brewer’s Grove. We focus on celebrating what makes this community thrive… beyond water, malt, hops and yeast.

Paul Starr

Paul Starr

Paul Starr is the creator of the I'm a Beer Hound and one of the organizer and the driving force behind Art & Craft Beerfest, Lansing Beer Fest, Beerfest at the Ballpark Spring & Fall. When he's not working on Beer Hound he's probably watching the Lions, Tigers or Red Wings. Being a recent new Dad of twins, he doesn't have much extra time these days for mischief.