Living in Michigan throughout college taught me a couple of things but not nearly as much as it did about IPA’s and my new found love for craft beer. Michigan is home to over 200 microbreweries, and about 80+ of them are in Grand Rapids alone. So what better place to enjoy football Sunday than in beer city?
Not having visited GR before the number of places and breweries to visit was almost a little overwhelming without getting FOMO(Fear Of Missing Out) for all the ones I knew I wasn’t going to have time to see. However, that just gives me another reason to go back and visit a few more. Maybe in the summertime, as you’ll see from the pictures these bars and breweries have so many outdoor spaces, and what’s better than beer and sunshine??
Here’s a cool marketing idea Grand Rapids has put into place and something to keep in mind when you visit. Check out the Beer Passports available at certain bars and breweries if you want a quick guide to some of the breweries around GR, plus if you visit eight of them you get a free T-shirt!
HOPCAT | We started off our morning at Hopcat. A place I loved visiting in Chicago but nothing compared to the interior like in this Grand Rapids location. If you like spice filled foods, massive beer lists, and pub-style atmospheres this is a place to check out. PS*if you don’t like any food on the menu, I recommend at least trying their CRACK FRIES. Trust me you won’t be disappointed. (Hopcat is also one of the places to get stamped for the passport!)
GRAND RAPIDS BREWERY CO. | My personal favorite was the Grand Rapid Brewery Co. equipped with a bloody mary bar and game room, this place was hard to leave. This rustic bar was located right down the street from Hopcat and filled with ale style beers. I recommend trying the Rainbow Universe (as I wished it was the one I ordered!)
FOUNDERS BREWERY | This may have been a given and if you know Michigan beer than chances are you’ve probably heard or had a beer from Founders (ALL DAY IPA anyone?). If you’ve never taken a brewery tour they’re offered here for only $15! Just make sure you make a reservation in advance and early as they book up fast. I loved this outdoor area they had and I can only imagine how fun it is in the summer, although this didn’t stop us from checking it out while they had the fire going.
TIN CAN BAR | Alright, even I can admit that after a while, craft beers and IPAs can be a little heavy (and not just on the wallet). This bar is right down the street from Founders and is direct on the outside as it is on the inside. *GOOD BEERS AND CHEAP FRIENDS* This place was fun. The beers were cheap and we got em right away.
Filled with chalkboard walls and games like Jenga, this casual bar is a nice place when you’re all crafted out. If you’ve read any of my other posts then you already know I have a special place in my heart for a good dive bar. The Tin Can Bar just joined my list of favorite dive bars.
THE KNICKERBOCKER | This place wasn’t on the main strip of places to go but I’m really glad we found The Knickerbocker | New Holland. This large open space with an upstairs lounge and outside bar would make a great place to enjoy any sort of gathering. I couldn’t tell what part of this bar was my favorite but the upstairs art really got my attention and interest the most.
The artist featured in the paintings upstairs is Joel Schoon Tanis.
Other bars/places visited but not featured, which I would still highly recommend would include; B.O.B’s Brewery, Butchers Union, 57 Brew Pub and Bistro.
All in all, I would recommend anyone who loves beer and a good time to visit Grand Rapids, MI. To enjoy the karaoke at night, brewery tours during the day, and most of the company you’re with. Till next time GR.