With four days of voting left, Grand Rapids is second place in voting for BeerCity USA 2012.
The West Michigan city is pulling in 27 percent of the votes, just one percent behind Asheville, N.C. The annual poll is conducted by homebrew godfather Charlie Papazian.
“Grand Rapids, Michigan won far more nominating votes than last year’s second place San Diego, ” Papazian noted in his article announcing the final ballot.
In the nearby outlying areas are New Holland Brewing Co., White Flame Brewing Company, Jaden James Brewery, Saugatuck Brewing Company, Michigan Beer Cellar, Old Boys Brew House, Odd Side Ales and Vander Mill (which recently entered the brewing scene).
This doesn’t include nearby nationally-known West Michigan brewer Bell’s. Nor does it inject homebrew stores, such as Siciliano’s and O’Connor’s (if these are to be considered in where Grand Rapids is deserving of the award).
“It’s not just about quantity – though GR has that…,” Derek DeVries said via Facebook comment. “We’re responsible about our drinking too: Grand Rapids is home to the first LEED-certified brewery in the US (Brewery Vivant).
“What really distinguishes Grand Rapids is the QUALITY of the beer. It’s an empirical fact that beer in GR is better: two of Beer Advocate’s top 20 are brewed in GR including the #3 — Founders Imperial Stout. Even better, according to Rate Beer, Grand Rapids brews are the best of 2012: their #1 and #2 beers are both brewed in GR.”
DeVries’s comment was among many in support of Grand Rapids for the crown.
The nominating process was April 15-21. There are 31 cities on the final ballot. To qualify, each city had to receive either 100 or more votes last year or 100 or more in this year’s nominating poll. The final poll opened May 1 and closes 11:59 p.m. Mountain Time May 13. Poll results will be announced shortly thereafter, Papazian said.
If Grand Rapids wins the BeerCity USA it will unseat three-time reigning champ Asheville. To vote, go to http://polldaddy.com/poll/6132829/.