HUDSONVILLE – White Flame hosted its first annual Flame Fest on Saturday. Celebrating its newly completed expansion, White Flame invited mug club members, Hudsonville residents, and fans of the brewery alike to enjoy the first outdoor festival the brewery has ever hosted.
“This is the first time we’re actually roping off outside space, and having food trucks here,” said Jen White, co-owner of White Flame Brewing Co. “The logistics behind it have been kind of overwhelming. Things that nobody thinks about when they go to these things,” said White, “all of the sudden we had a list that was like a mile long.”
To help celebrate the brewery’s expansion, White Flame tapped its anniversary ale, Black Flame, much to the pleasure of its fans. The brewery also released another can run of Super G and bottled a new beer—an agave ale aged in tequila barrels called Gold Flame.
“It’s really good,” said White
Attendees could enjoy these and many more selections while sitting in White Flame’s spacious new bar area. The new area features 16 taps, light fixtures made with growlers from Michigan breweries, another bathroom, and plenty of places to sit. Future visitors can admire the new space as it continues to evolve, with some more decorative touches to come in the future.
“We’re eventually going to put up the dartboards back up in that room,” White said. “We have someone commissioned to make us a huge photographic mural that’s not done yet.”
On a 90-degree day, many attendees preferred the air-conditioned comfort of White Flame’s indoor space, but the brewery’s parking lot offered even more to do. Bands played throughout the day, and festival-goers could play yard games and have water gun fights while they listened. Food trucks provided much-needed nourishment in the form of burgers and brats. Gettin’ Fresh’s menu included a beer brat simmered in White Flame’s own Red Shoes—a habanero pale ale—called the “Shazz Brat.” It imbued the sausage with a subtle heat that complemented the sweet onions and sharp mustard with finesse.
White said she was looking forward to taking Sunday to recuperate after months of hard work and event planning.
“It’s been a whirlwind these past few months,” said White. “I kept saying, ‘I can’t wait for Sunday. We can relax for a minute at least.’”
The new bar isn’t where the expansion will end, however. In the next few months, the brewery will expand its brewing capacity and its services. To start, the brewery will be switching from their two-barrel system to a 10-barrel one.
“We can’t keep enough here at the bar,” said White. “The head brewer and my husband have so many ideas for beers to make and we can’t fit them into the schedule.”
White Flame will also introduce its own food menu in the next few months, something White thinks residents of Hudsonville will respond to with great excitement.
“There’s just not very many places to go,” said White. “I think food will go a long way just to fill a void in this town alone.”
There’s plenty more expanding to do at White Flame. White says the brewery will continue to strive to meet its customers’ demands.
“It’s kind of scary, but it’s really exciting,” said White. “These next six months are going to be fun.”