GRAND RAPIDS – With a cold bite in the air and pint in hand, beer lovers from all over Michigan and surrounding states will descend on Fifth Third Ballpark on Feb. 25 for the Michigan Brewers Guild Winter Beer Festival. But this year, craft beer fans can spend an entire week in Grand Rapids.

GR Beer Week makes its debut this year, during the week leading up to the Winter Beer Festival. Events will take place over the course of five days at locations in and around Grand Rapids. Beer dinners, rare beer tastings, tap takeovers and other unique events are being planned.

While the focus is on Michigan beer as a whole, GR Beer Week is a time for Grand Rapids breweries to shine. With six established breweries within the city limits, (Schmohz, Hopcat, B.O.B.’s Brewery, Founders, The Hideout, and Brewery Vivant), and several more on the horizon for 2012 (Harmony Brewing and Elk Brewing to name two), Grand Rapids is quickly becoming a destination for craft beer culture.

Detroit-based Liquid Table Beverage Solutions is producing and marketing GR Beer Week. Liquid Table began Detroit Beer Week in 2009 in cooperation with the Michigan Brewers Guild, piggybacking the Detroit Fall Beer Festival. This concept will be brought to Grand Rapids for the first time this year.

“Liquid Table has proven to be uniquely qualified in the organization and promotion of craft beer events,” said Eric Briggeman, President of the Michigan Brewers Guild. “This partnership will continue to further the Guild’s mission of promoting a healthy beer culture in the State of Michigan.”

GR Beer Week events and information will be constantly updated on Facebook,

“We have several large events planned for each night of the week,” said Barry Johnson, West Michigan Liaison for Liquid Table. “The wholesalers, breweries, retailers and consumers have been extremely helpful and supportive of our cause. Everyone understands the importance of such a vibrant, growing industry, especially in a down economy – everyone loves beer.”

GR Beer Week culminates with the Michigan Brewers Guild Winter Beer Festival, held Feb. 25 at Fifth Third Ballpark in Comstock Park. Roughly 6,000 tickets for the event went on sale December 1, 2011, and sold out in a record three weeks. In addition to the other GRBW events, two charity ticket auctions are scheduled on Feb, 23. Head to for details.