Currents events, gatherings, tastings, all around good times.

ADA – Veteran homebrewers, novices, and people-who-just-want-to-drink-beer-outside alike are invited to the first Learn To Homebrew Day hosted at Gravel Bottom Craft Brewery and Supply.

The brewery and homebrew supply shop is bringing the American Homebrewer’s Association (AHA) event to Ada Nov. 7.

The free event will last from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and include at least nine industry professionals hosting discussions about their specialties. The topics are as broad as the whole process of homebrewing and as specific as yeast health.

Nine homebrewers have also been invited to bring their equipment on premise to demonstrate their personal processes. Throughout the day, the brewers will make the same recipe on their own systems as attendees look on.

“Some of these guys go far out; it’s pretty cool to see,” said Chrissy Walker, homebrew supply manager at Gravel Bottom. “Then you have other people who are just going to bring their little burner and a little pot.”

In addition to the educational parts of the event, attendees will be able to enter a raffle and the store will be hosting a one-day fall sale on homebrewing equipment.

Walker emphasized that the event isn’t just for veteran and novice homebrewers—it’s for anyone who wants to know more about beer.

“I think the more knowledge we can get out there on how to properly taste beer and what goes into brewing beer, the more you’re going to enjoy it,” said Walker.

Matt Michiels, owner of Gravel Bottom, said he felt the goals of AHA’s Learn to Homebrew event mirror Gravel Bottom’s mission statement.

“That’s really what we’re trying to do. Bring to people the experience of brewing, and a creative environment where you can learn about the sport,” said Michiels.

“That’s how it all started in my backyard—brewing beer with my friends and drinking the beer,” he said. “I’m excited to have that environment here.”

Whether they go to learn about the art (or science, or “sport,” as Michiels would have it) of homebrewing or just to enjoy the camaraderie in the brewing community, Walker has one warning for potential attendees:

“Caution: brewing does cause more friends,” she laughed. “I’m gonna throw that out there.”


GRAND RAPIDS – Kent District Library is hosting a series of informational programs about wine and cider tasting and making. There are still a number KDL Uncorked events hosted by local wine and cider experts to participate in.

The events are opportunities to learn about and taste local wine and cider. Steve Siciliano, owner of Siciliano’s Market will teach Winemaking 101 courses at a few different library locations. Karen Grossman will host a wine tasting and presentation at her winery, Kayla Rae Cellars. Jason Lummen, owner of The People’s Cider Co., will host a tour and tasting at his cidery.

And for those who are interested in an event that marries the librarian and sommelier in them, Allie Merrick, co-host of the video series “My Wine Words,” will hold an event wherein she pairs wines with literary works.

A complete list of the KDL Uncorked events from the KDL blog is viewable below.

KDL Uncorked: Winemaking 101 Join wine aficionado Steve Siciliano, owner of Siciliano’s Market, as he talks about the ins and outs of making wine at home. Learn about the basic equipment and procedures needed for making wine from concentrated kits, as well as with fresh fruits and vegetables.

Tuesday, October 13, 6:00 PM, Tyrone Township Branch

Tuesday, October 27, 6:00 PM, Caledonia Township Branch

Monday, November 16, 6:00 PM, Englehardt/Lowell Branch

KDL Uncorked: Wine Tasting at Kayla Rae Cellars Enjoy buy-one-get-one tastings and a presentation by winery owner Karen Grossman on how current wine and cider selections were developed, created and refined. Participants must be 21 or older. Pre-registration is required and spots are limited.

Wednesday, October 21, 6:30 PM, 31 Courtland St. NE Rockford

KDL Uncorked: The People’s Cider Co. Tour and Tasting Discover a fresh take on craft beverages in West Michigan. Jason Lummen, owner and creator of The People’s Cider Co., will give a tour and provide free tastings of their Traditional Barrel Aged Ciders. Tastings are free and $4 half pints will be available for purchase. For adults ages 21 and older.

Tuesday, October 20, 6:00 PM, 600 Maryland Ave NE, Suite B Grand Rapids

KDL Uncorked: Wine & Words with Allie Merrick A perfect pairing of bottles and books. Join Allie Merrick, co-host of My Wine Words, as she pairs wine with literary works. Read and sip between the lines in a unique wine experience. Pre-Registration is required. For adults ages 21 and older.

Wednesday, October 28, 6:00 PM, East Grand Rapids Branch

Thursday, November 19, 6:00 PM, Kentwood/Richard L. Root Branch


AUGUSTA – The days for golf in Michigan are numbered, but a local golf club and beer tour company are pairing up to make the most of them.

West Michigan Beer Tours and the Gull Lake View Golf Club & Resort are hosting the first-ever West Michigan Craft Beer Open Oct. 16-18. The weekend will feature three days of golf, two nights spent in the resort, two separate beer tours covering six different breweries, and more.

Prospective attendees can look forward to enjoying the changing fall colors and a relaxing weekend of beer and golf. Attendees can choose which events they’d like to participate in, with ticket options starting at $54. For more information about participating breweries and the schedule of events, visit the West Michigan Beer Tours website.

Swap out your lederhosen for a pair of wooden shoes and gear up for the next beer festival. Tickets for the first annual Dutch Girl Bier Fest are on sale online and at Dutch Girl Brewery (DGB) taproom.

The festival will take place on Oct. 17 from 4-11 p.m. In celebration of the occasion, DGB will be tapping their first two barrel-aged brews. Dirty Boots Imperial Milk Stout has been aged in rye whiskey barrels and the Monastic Front Belgian Tripel IPA has been aged in gin barrels, all from Corsair Artisan Distillery.

Food will come from the local Righteous Cuisine and Top Butcher Shoppe and BBQ.

Dance music will be provided by local group Oregon Dreamchild and Mystic Dub will bring world/reggae-style tunes



GRAND RAPIDS – Sample unique beer varieties while walking among the dead at Calder Plaza this fall; Zombie Beer Fest is moving its tasty and macabre festivities downtown. Beer City Festivals and Fermenta have teamed up to host an all-Michigan roster of breweries, cider producers, spirits, and more on Oct. 17 from 4-8 p.m.

In addition to enjoying over one hundred styles of Michigan beer, attendees will have the opportunity to participate in a costume contest, listen to live music, play games, and take photos at a free photo booth.

General admission tickets are going for $39 and VIP tickets—which get you an hour early admission and five additional drink tickets—are going for $49. Purchase them online only at

Part of the proceeds from the event will be going to Fermenta, a nonprofit group founded by Michigan women who support diversity, camaraderie, networking, and education in the craft beer industry. The funds they receive will support their scholarships.


Drink craft beer, wine, and cider at the Cheers to Michigan Brew Fest and help raise money for a good cause. Financial advisors Waddell & Reed are sponsoring this beer festival at The Deltaplex on Saturday, Sept. 26 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. to benefit Friends & Families of Cystic Fibrosis (FFCF).

The event will include over 20 craft breweries, wineries, and cider mills. Bands Fast Hand Blues Band, Forrester, Jesse Cline & Michael Carnavo, Fled Five, and Pop Cult will provide musical entertainment, along with DJ Jason Veeder.

The goal is to raise awareness and funds for those afflicted with the life-threatening genetic disorder. FFCF is a local nonprofit organization that keeps the funds it raises in the West Michigan region. Those involved in the organization make care packages for children and young adults who are hospitalized with the disease, assist families with medical supplies and equipment that may not be covered by insurance, and help families contending with the disorder with a variety of other costs.

Advance admission is going for $35 and includes entry, 15 tasting tickets, and an FFCF collectible beer mug. Admission at the door will be $45. Tickets are available online. Visit the FFCF website to learn more about the event.


KALAMAZOO – Think your homebrew is a winner? Enter it in the annual Bell’s Homebrew Competition on Sept. 19 at the Kick-Off and Expo event at Bell’s Eccentric Café, and you could find yourself in Denver for the 2016 Great American Beer Festival (GABF).

The first place winner gets to brew his or her recipe at Bell’s original brewery and have it served on tap at the Eccentric Café. The first place winner will also win a free trip to the 2016 GABF in Denver as a guest of Bell’s Brewery with exclusive access to some of the festival’s events.

Bell’s will cover the airfare cost of a round trip to Denver—so long as the winner is within the continental U.S.—as well as lodging for two nights. While the winner is in Denver, he or she will team up with Bell’s for the 2016 Pro-Am Competition, which pairs homebrewers with commercial brewers to compete for top honors. The winner will also attend the awards ceremony and members-only session.

The only requirement of entering the competition is that participants use Bell’s wort in their brew, which they can obtain at Bell’s Homebrew Competition Kick-Off and Expo event on Sept. 19.

The Kick-Off and Expo event will take place from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., and sign-up for wort pick-up will start immediately at 11 a.m. and distribution of the wort will start at 1 p.m. Only a limited amount of wort is available, so it will be distributed in a first-come-first-served fashion. In the past years, over 200 individuals have been able to receive wort.

Learn more about the event here and start planning your perfect recipe. Entries are due by Oct. 25 at 7 p.m.

HARBOR SPRINGS – You know what would make a romantic fall resort stay even more romantic? A beer festival. That’s exactly what Boyne Highland Resort plans to host. The second annual Hops ‘n Highlands Microbrew Festival will take place Sept. 26 from 1-6 p.m, and festival-goers can enjoy chairlift-views of the changing colors and surrounding lakes, zip-line rides above the festival grounds, and discounted spa services.

Admission is free for attendees aged 21 and older, and four-ounce pours of over 150 beers from more than 40 Michigan breweries will go for $2. Those who want to take advantage of even more resort services can reserve a special Hops ‘n Highlands event package, which includes hotel lodging right at the resort, an hors d’oeuvres reception with Michigan beers on tap, a breakfast buffet, a commemorative t-shirt and pint glass, and 5 drink tickets, starting at $105 per person.

The event will feature classic festival eats, including grilled brats and a variety of selections from local food trucks. Entertainment during the festival will be provided by Huckleberry Groove, and even more is scheduled to follow after the festival ends at 6 p.m.

Learn more about the event on the Boyne Highlands website.

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