This trip to GR had several breweries that were new to me. A friend swore by the tacos here, and i’m a sucker for tacos, so I had to go. Settle by the river, off the main drag, City Built Brewing has a real smooth, hip vibe. The bar is slick and the bar back…

The HopCat is an icon of the beer scene in GR (but really all of Michigan). Beyond the very knowledgeable staff and classic American pub feel, HopCat gets beer (and has for a very long time). Always a great spot to browse a ridiculous tap/bottle list, especially if you like Belgian beer. I almost always…

Brewery stop #5 with our Experience Grand Rapids hosts was Founders Brewing Company Founders has had a dear place in my heart since the late 90’s. Founders was one of the few breweries that was consistently good and available around West Michigan when I was 21 (that and NHBC). So much good beer come from…

Brewery stop #4 with our Experience Grand Rapids hosts was Brewery Vivant Vivant is one of my favorite breweries anywhere. When Vivant grew out of NHBC, I was so excited for their take on Belgian beers, which was (and kinda is) still missing from the Michigan beer scene. Vivant has a great understanding what the…

Brewery stop #3 with our Experience Grand Rapids hosts was at Harmony Hall (on the West side) A view from the upstairs into the GR night. Damn cool tables… One of the coolest murals I’ve ever seen. I want to be this creature. So once upon a time, Harmony hall was a Mexican restaurant (it…

Brewery stop #2 with our Experience Grand Rapids hosts was New Holland Brewing’s Knickerbocker I went to college in Holland, MI when NHBC opened and I’m a homer for them. It’s still weird when your host is a former classmate of yours, but then again at Hope College, everyone knows everyone. The Knickerbocker is a…

Brewery stop #1 with our Experience Grand Rapids hosts was Perrin Brewing. Perrin is a part of the family of breweries including Oskar Blues and Cigar City (and a few more). Killer heavy apps for us and so much beer. This place has a cool industrial vibe, with a great loft area where we hung…

So Experience Grand Rapids put together this cool Brewsader Passport program. You need eight stamps (one per brewery) to get your free shirt. Experience Grand Rapids helped us all get five. For the record, I did some extra credit and got 15. They now have a digital version of the map and also an app…

Another perk of having a host like Experience Grand Rapids, is having them set up special accommodations at the Amway Grand, a local landmark in Grand Rapids. I mean check out this lobby. Check out this fountain-talk about opulence. A personal favorite part of the Amway Grand is the GR connection to Gerald Ford. Ford…