Grand Rapids is Nicknamed “Beer City” for a good reason, there are over 80 Breweries on their Ale Trail. It’s a great place for a beer lover to kick back and enjoy some local brews. But if you are looking for some extra fun, you can become a Brewsader. Score some sweet prizes by gathering 8 stamps in a Brewery Passport that you pick up at either one of the breweries or the Grand Rapids Art Museum. It makes for a fun beer tasting adventure.
Brewery List & Ale Trail Map
A few years ago, we did the Ale Trail with our Son for my husbands birthday. It was fun. We reserved a room down town so we would have a place to crash at the end of the day. A very good plan. We started at some of the furthest breweries and worked our way in so that we could walk from place to place after having had a few beers.
These are a few of my Favorites
Located on the outer fringe of town, Perrin Brewing is one of our favorite places to stop in for a beer when we find ourselves in Grand Rapids. They have an expansive common area with enclosed patio seating (when weather permits). Their beer selection is funky and interesting with names that make you chuckle. I like to get a flight here so I can try a variety of their beers.
I cannot say enough about the food there. Their menu has something for everyone and the taste and quality are top notch. Plus you get to enjoy it with one of their awesome beers.
THE HIDE OUT (sorry no website for a link)
The Hide Out is the proverbial “Hole in the Wall Joint”. This brewery is on the outskirts of Grand Rapids and you have to be looking for it to find it. They offer over 30 beers on tap with some fun small batch concoctions in a delightfully small venue.
Brewery Vivant has a lot of character. Their site is a refurbished funeral home filled with thick wood tables giving it the feel of an Old English Beer hall. Their main focus is Michigan Farmhouse Ales served alongside tasty traditional European dishes.
They put a lot of effort into acquiring the highest quality ingredients and sourcing them locally in order to put out the best products they can while also sustaining their community.
The Mitten is a great place to grab some Pizza and try a Flight. The food and beer are both good and the atmosphere is low key and comfortable. If you order a flight it comes out on a board shaped like Michigan (I thought it was cool).
This is what I would call the King of the Breweries in Grand Rapids. Founders is big and distributes all over the United States. They are always on trend and have a big following of devout beer enthusiasts that wait anxiously for their chance to buy their limited release beers. Founders ages several of their beers in bourbon barrels giving them extra layers of flavor and usually a higher ABV %.
They are situated down town and are easy to get to. Their site is quite impressive with plenty of room to host bands and big events, an indoor bar, outdoor area, food and merchandise store
Try a Rubaeus Nitro (for Dessert)….it’s like a Raspberry Ale Milkshake.
Hop Cat is a Taproom that serves all your favorite brews. They have a Hipster vibe with great spaces to hang out with your friends and drink a few beers and eat a plate of their famous Crack Fries.
The folks at Harmony Hall refer to their site as a “whimsical beer castle”. They also have another location that was originally a sausage factory on the west side of Grand Rapids. Their spaces are cool hang outs for trendy beer drinkers.
They offer a pretty amazing list of house made pizzas and hand crafted beers. You can also get both of them delivered!
I found out that Schmohz is closed on Sunday’s. Sadly I have not gotten to visit their site in person. However, I am a huge fan of their Bone Crusher – Stout. This one is definitely on my list to try next time I am in Grand Rapids.
My friends will tell you I have a thing for dark beer, anything blood orange and hoppy IPA’s. My favorite non craft beer this summer was Blue Moon’s Mango Wheat on draft. Just yum from the first smell all the way to the last sip. Love it. Summer is over, time to move from those fruity and hoppy beers to hearty ales and stouts.
Grand Rapids has so many breweries that I couldn’t possibly write about all of them. I hope I have inspired you to plan a visit there to explore and find the brewery that you like the best. There is plenty to do in Grand Rapids in addition to checking out the local brew scene, so make a weekend of it. It is a beautiful city that just happens to make some of Michigan’s best beer.
Leave me a comment if there is a beer or brewery in Grand Rapids that you think I should try next time I’m there. I love recommendations from friends.