WHAT: 10th Annual Grand Rapids International Wine, Beer & Food Festival
WHEN: Thursday, Nov. 16 (5-10pm) | Friday, Nov. 17 (4-10pm) | Saturday, Nov. 18 (1-10pm)
WHERE: DeVos Place, Downtown Grand Rapids
WHO: Savor the largest and finest culinary experience in the Midwest during this annual pre-holiday celebration. Drawing more than 18,000 people—from the novice looking for an introduction to the world of epicurean culture to the connoisseur who appreciates the finest things in life—this is the weekend to gather with family and friends for a night on the town.
*Attendance at this festival is for those 21 years of age and older. ID is required for admittance.
Enhanced Elite Wine Collection: The nearly 50 offerings are hand-selected by our consulting sommeliers and importing specialists as the “best of the best” top shelf vintages (such as Opus 1, Robert Mondavi Reserve, Cakebread and Dom Perignon) with at least a 90-point value in a recognized wine rating system. Samples require a minimum 10-ticket ($5) tasting fee due to the value of the wines. Hosted by the Tasters Guild and located in the center of The Vineyard, inside the Steelcase Ballroom.
Note: The third Thursday of November is known as “Beaujolais Nouveau Day” to celebrate the release date around the world for this popular vin de primeur, fermented for just a few weeks before being released for sale. On the Festival’s opening day, the Tasters Guild will recognize 2017 Beaujolais Nouveau by hosting special pouring in the Elite Collection, presented by David Stanley—Wine & Beverage Steward at Meijer.
The Vineyard: Over 100 wineries from around the world provide samples of over 1,500 assorted wines – including some hard to find, top shelf vintages. Whether you’re looking for dry or sweet red, white, rose or sparkling wines, they’re all here from six continents for your sampling. Over 200 Michigan wines are featured. Located in the Steelcase Ballroom.
Hemingway Hall: Raise a glass and toast one of the world’s most noted cocktail enthusiasts, Pulitzer and Nobel Prize winning author (and former northern Michigan summer resident), Ernest Hemingway. Featuring award-winning spirits, artisan cocktails and passionate mixologists with samples and workshops as part of Cocktail Week GR (hosted by Experience Grand Rapids). Mixers, seltzer waters and carbonated caffeinated products will also be featured. Located along the riverfront, adjacent to The Vineyard.
Craft cocktail workshops presented by Coppercraft Distillery and New Holland Artisan Spirits and provide unique hands-on experiences for those wishing to learn tricks of the trade from top leaders in the new Hemingway Hall. Space is limited to the first 12 who step up to the bar for these 15-minute sessions, with tasting tickets required for sampling. Select sessions with Coppercraft are being hosted by noted author and beverage expert, Philip Greene, from the Museum of American Cocktails in New Orleans.
Beer City Station: Step into the world of creative craft beers, imported and domestic brews, hard ciders and foods that pair well with both. Meet the American craft brewer—the small, independent and traditional producers who display passion and excitement for their unique beverages. Located in Exhibit Hall C, off the Grand Gallery
Cider Row: Tap into the Cider Row at the Festival, featuring more than 20 cider producers from Michigan and nationally-known brands. Hard cider is among the fastest growing craft beverages, on a national scale. It is fermented to produce a range of flavors – from dry to sweet. Featured in the Beer City Station in Exhibit Hall C, off the Grand Gallery.
Pairings: Select restaurants partner with distinguished wineries, breweries and distilleries for special Pairings – gourmet multi-course meals served on-site in a casual yet intimate “bar top” setting. Several seatings are offered each day by each of the restaurants. Tickets are $35-$70 each and may be purchased in advance online, or at the Festival, on a first-come, first-served basis.
Ultimate Dining Experiences: Chefs from a record number of 15 area restaurants prepare and serve small plates of their culinary specialties to enjoy while you stroll around inside DeVos Place.The featured restaurants will be located throughout the Festival and designated by a knife and fork insignia. Use your tasting tickets to enjoy their special presentations. A perfect opportunity for an unparalleled dining experience. You will not leave the Festival hungry!
RendezBREW: The Coffee, Cordials and Dessert Café will be open in the Grand Gallery for the duration of the Festival. Start your Festival experience, or make it a nightcap, with unique pairings of coffee and lattes with a variety of cordials, indulgent sweets and other treats.
Food & Beverage Seminars / Workshops: Esteemed individuals from the culinary world host lively and informative demonstrations on the Meijer Food Stage throughout the three-day Festival. Beverage seminars, held classroom-style in the rooms off the Grand Gallery, give attendees an in-depth look into the world of wine, beer and spirits. These are offered at no additional charge.
COST: $15 – Thursday (and advanced ticket sales for Friday & Saturday)
$20 – Friday & Saturday
3-Day Pass – At $40, this option allows admission each day of the Festival and is intended for those who want to get the most out of their tasting experience. Online sales end Thursday, Nov. 16 at 5pm (Box Office sales for the pass end at 10pm on Thursday, Nov. 16).
Food and beverage samples require varied amounts of sampling tickets of 50-cent denominations (sold at the Festival). We suggest guests start with at least $20 worth of tasting tickets.
A Festival App is available in both the Android and Apple systems, this free app allows guests to peruse beverage lists (including notes, ratings and personalized lists), workshops/seminars, restaurant menus and also purchase admission and pairing tickets. Download it now and plan your visit, as well as use it to navigate the Festival.