gr tuks

While not quite as fast as a speeding bullet, a Tuk can turn more necks than Superman. When hanging with Austin and Jaleen Dingledine, owners of GR Tuks, you do start to feel a little like a hero. As we zipped down Cherry St. toward Brewery Vivant, people literally cheered like we just stopped a crime. Nope. We’re simply drinking and soaking up the city’s sights, and a ride in the Tuk is by far the most thrilling way to go about it.

So what’s a Tuk? A Tuk is an anachronistic machine. It looks like a vehicle Elon Musk would construct from Fred Flintstone’s blueprints. And yet theirs are state of the art, 100% electric, with a bumping sound system as well.

OK, so why a Tuk?

gr tuks

Jack, Jaleen & Austin

“The idea stemmed from my sister’s travelling and experiences with Tuk Tuks, specifically in Thailand,” Austin said. “From her first encounter with a Tuk, she knew this experience had to be shared with Grand Rapids.” While the ones abroad tend to come in technicolor, the Dingledines chose classic white and a wider body. “Our tuks are super luxurious compared to any other Tuk I’ve been on,” Jaleen said. “And I’ve been on a lot of Tuks!”

Aside from these minor discrepancies, Austin and Jaleen have wholly imported this mode of transport to a T. Clocking in at a top speed of 25 mph, when the Tuk gets moving it feels like you’re on safari but the lions and giraffes are Grand Rapids’ best breweries. I had a blast going on an abridged version of the Beer City Tour with the Dingledines and learning more about the story behind GR Tuks.

Beginning at Craft Beer Cellar, the bottle shop/bar makes for the perfect pickup point where riders can snag a couple cans before hitting the road. Unlike the beerless folk you see pedalling on the Beer City Cruiser, a tuk isn’t a dry vessel. Yes it’s legal to drink – and a hard selling point. Like getting away with something you shouldn’t, it’s hard to overstate how awesome open-air drinking is as you nod at passers by, Two Hearted in hand. Austin, who works in insurance as well, acknowledged that while the license isn’t cheap, it’s totally worth it. “Honestly it’s a see to believe situation to really grasp the experience.”

While it was only the three of us in the Tuk, you could max it out with a group of six if you’re looking to achieve the clown car effect. It’s cozy but not cramped—imagine cruising the open road on a mini-pontoon. “The seating positions of the Tuks fosters great conversation and camaraderie,” Austin said. Or if you want to build a caravan, rent both Tuks and tear up the town with a full squad. The full $250 two-hour Beer City tour includes pit stops at Brewery Vivant, City Built, and New Holland’s Knickerbocker—each location satisfying a different gustatory itch. Split the cost among friends and, bingo, you have an affordable and unforgettable night on your hands.  

The timely tour right now—and there’s still time to book one—is the ArtPrize route. Starting at 6pm outside the Harris building, the Tuk shuttles you about to the city’s best venues. It’s a killer alternative to wearing out your sneakers trying to find all this juried selections. “The ArtPrize tours have been solid gold,” Jaleen said. “It’s unreal the amount of art our customers are able to see in two hours.” It’s clear the Dingledines take the competition seriously. This year they transformed their sister vehicle, the Grand Rapids Beer Trolley, into a mobile ArtPrize entry titled The Last Rhinos. Canvassed by artist Dan Kopas, the piece intends to spread awareness on the rising rate of Rhino poaching. Keep your eyes peeled for the trolley as it stampedes across Grand Rapids.    

While fun and connection are crucial tenants of GR Tuks, family is what binds the business together. The brother sister combo works wonders, “We come from different backgrounds and strengths,” Austin said. “We have certainly discovered what roles are best fit.” Most importantly, they’re a welcoming duo who are genuinely interested in facilitating a good time. “It’s not everyday someone forms a relationship with a family who owns a Beer Trolley and a pair of Tuk Tuks!” Getting to know the Dingledines is half the fun, and the other half, well, you’ll just have to hop on a Tuk to experience the zaniness firsthand.


atwater brewing

The Detroit-based craft brewing company, Atwater Brewery will participate as a ArtPrize venue for the first time since opening its downtown Grand Rapids taproom nearly a year ago. Visitors can view ArtPrize entries from 14 artists during normal hours of operation at 201 Michigan Avenue.

“This is our first year participating in ArtPrize and we’re looking forward to featuring impressive artwork we curated specifically for our taproom,” says Mark Rieth, owner of Atwater Brewery. “Our downtown location will make the perfect spot to grab lunch while exploring ArtPrize. We’re right on the path to other great venues like DeVos Place, SpeakEZ Lounge, North Monroe Community Church, and the Boardwalk Apartments.”

When choosing which art installations to feature in its taproom, Atwater Brewery narrowed down its options to mostly two-dimensional pieces to hang from its spacious taproom walls, mimicking the style of art galleries. The brewery has also reserved space for one three-dimensional installation, Common Blue by Shawn Henley, a eight-foot butterfly statue made with a 1920s Harley Davidson engine.

Originally, Atwater planned on hosting Detroit-based artists as an homage to the brewery’s first location as well as featuring beer-inspired works. “Of course, ArtPrize isn’t about staying within limits and we finished with an eclectic group of entries that all ages can enjoy,” explains Bri Kilroy, Social Media Coordinator at Atwater Brewery. The brewery chose an eclectic mix of entries, ranging from illustrations of vibrantly dressed-up dinosaurs in Dinosaur Family Portraits to an dark depiction of a Hindu cremation ceremony in Onward.

With ArtPrize entries on every wall, visitors are welcomed to enjoy the art while they dine or drink at their tables or just stop in for a drink and view the art. “My favorite thing about brewery venues is that people have the option to enjoy art during their meal or grab and drink at the bar and explore,” says Kilroy. Visitors will also have the chance to meet some of the artists at the taproom throughout Preview Week as they hang out their entries.


Atwater Brewery will host the following ArtPrize entries:

  1. Creation VS The Big Bang by DL DeBolt

  2. War is Peace; Freedom is Slavery; Ignorance is Strength. by Amber Doan

  3. Onward by Michael Dura

  4. Candle Light by Hank Feeley

  5. Feeding the Love Dragon by Maggie Flynn

  6. Shades of Opinion by Lee Galusha

  7. Broken Promises by Dorothy Graden

  8. Stephanie Heise Illustrations by Stephanie Heise

  9. Common Blue by Shawn Hensley

  10. Aquarian (Dragon Scales?) by Corey Leavenworth

  11. Robots Playing Poker by John Long

  12. Alive Among the Trees by Julia Pickett

  13. Chasing Storms by Michael Reuter

  14. Dinosaur Family Portraits by Betsy Wellfare

Trolley rides are a popular way to take in Grand Rapids when the city transforms into a sprawling art exhibit during ArtPrize.

But few offer the opportunity to pair that experience with a craft beverage of your choice.

Craft Beer Cellar and Grand Rapids Beer Trolley have partnered up to change that this year. From September 20 through October 8, the trolley will run daily 90-minute tours starting at Craft Beer Cellar, and passengers are encouraged to bring their favorite craft beverage with them.

“Grand Rapids has turned from furniture city into beer city—beer has become a major part of the city’s identity,” said Brian Beaucher, Beer Dungeon Master at Craft Beer Cellar. “What better way to experience the city than to enjoy a craft beverage while you see everything?”

artprize beer trolley

Ticket-holding passengers will meet at Craft Beer Cellar, where they will be able to purchase discounted draft beers and growlers. Then they’ll board the trolley and embark on a tour of the city, beer in hand. Halfway through the tour, the trolley will stop at the notorious Blue Bridge and allow passengers to explore and observe several venues for 15-20 minutes. After that, the tour will continue toward art displays outside of the city center and will end back at Craft Beer Cellar.

Craft Beer Cellar will have art from eight ArtPrize artists, and neighboring Moosejaw and Downtown Market will also have pieces to explore.

“You can drink, ride the trolley and see Grand Rapids,” Beaucher said. “It’ll be a great tour for families visiting from out of town, or groups of co-workers here on business.”

Tickets for the BYOB trolley rides are $40 online and $50 the day of. Tickets include the trolley ride, discounted beers at Craft Beer Cellar and a reusable tote bag filled with goodies. They are available for purchase on Eventbrite.

green zebra

Founders Brewing Co. announced today that they will launch Green Zebra, a gose-style ale brewed with watermelon and sea salt. Debuting this August, Green Zebra will be the fifth release Founders has brewed for ArtPrize, an open international art competition which takes place each fall in the brewery’s hometown of Grand Rapids, Michigan. Previous releases in the lineup include Pale JoeSpectra TrifectaMosaic Promise and Inspired Artist Black IPA. Green Zebra is the first gose in the series, and also the first ArtPrize release to debut in cans. Proceeds from the sale of Green Zebra go towards the sponsorship of ArtPrize.

“ArtPrize is one of the most well-attended public art events in the world, and we are proud to continue our support,” said Co-Founder and President, Dave Engbers. “We love playing with expectations when it comes to brewing our ArtPrize beers and Green Zebra is the perfect example of that. The gose style is very unique and pretty unknown, even amongst craft beer drinkers, and we wanted to bring our version of it to a larger audience. For the first time ever, our ArtPrize beer will be available across our entire distribution network so even more of our fans can get to know this style we’ve fallen in love with.”

Watermelon is the highlight of this lightly-hopped treat and gives it a hint of satisfying juiciness. The soft mouthfeel and dry finish comes courtesy of the addition of sea salt, a traditional gose ingredient. Green Zebra comes in at 4.6% ABV and 10 IBUs.

In keeping with the artful tradition established with Spectra Trifecta and Pale Joe, the Green Zebra label is an original work of art designed by a member of the Founders team. Jacob Wiseheart from the Founders taproom created the label artwork, a stand-out for its striking and intense use of color and dimension, perfectly suited to the lively, bright nature of the beer.

Green Zebra will be available in the taproom beginning on August 15, 2017 with the remaining 46-state distribution area receiving it by the end of the month in limited quantities. In addition to draft, Founders Green Zebra will be available in 6-packs of 12-oz cans with a suggested retail price of $9.99.


About Founders Brewing Co.

Established in 1997 by two craft beer enthusiasts—Dave Engbers and Mike Stevens—with day jobs and a dream, Founders Brewing Co. brews complex, in-your-face ales, with huge aromatics and tons of flavor. Founders ranks among the top 20 largest craft breweries in the U.S. and is one of the fastest growing. The brewery has received numerous awards from the World Beer Cup and the Great American Beer Festival, and RateBeer and BeerAdvocate users often rate its beers among the best in the world. Located in downtown Grand Rapids, Michigan, Founders is a proud member of the Michigan Brewers Guild. For more information, visit

About ArtPrize

ArtPrize is an open, independently organized international art competition which takes place for 19 days each fall in Grand Rapids, Michigan.  More than five hundred thousand dollars in prizes are awarded each year, which include a $200,000 prize awarded entirely by public vote and another $200,000 prize awarded by a jury of art experts. For more information, visit


Founders Brewing Co. announced today that Pale Joe, a pale ale brewed with coffee, will be released on draft and in 6-pack bottles this September. Proceeds from the sale of Pale Joe will go to benefit ArtPrize 2016, the world’s largest art competition held annually in Grand Rapids, MI.

Most coffee beers begin with a dark, stout or brown ale base. Not this one. Your eyes will tell you one thing, but your palate will tell you another. Light in color but full in flavor, this golden ale features notes of gently roasted, fruit-forward coffee. Pale Joe features a special blend of high-end Ethiopian coffee expertly roasted by our hometown neighbors at Ferris Coffee and Nut. It’s the lovechild of your favorite iced coffee and, well, beer. Pale Joe comes in at 5.4% ABV.

Founders Brewing“Pale Joe came out of my current infatuation with pale, sessionable beers,” says Brewmaster Jeremy Kosmicki, “Being the ArtPrize beer, I wanted to play with expectations so I experimented with adding coffee to a lighter, pale ale. Turns out, using gently-roasted, fruit-forward coffee adds a nice roasty flavor that does not complete with the malts in the beer.”

This is the fourth beer brewed to benefit ArtPrize. Previous releases include Inspired Artist Black IPAMosaic Promise and Spectra Trifecta.

Founders Family members were given the opportunity to submit their portfolios to find an artistic match for the Pale Joe label, without knowing anything about the beer. Lead Cellar Operator and Kendall College of Art & Design graduate, Aaron Rossell, was chosen for his striking character illustrations and unexpected use of color. Aaron developed the character of Pale Joe, a leathery, dirty-overalled man as a symbol of  blue-collar, hardworking, coffee-sipping Midwestern farmers with the hope that he can help bridge the gap between artists and common-folk.

ArtPrize, an international art competition, promotes critical dialogue and collaboration through new, creative ideas among a large and diverse population of people. As an innovator in redefining what beer can be, Founders believes that experimentation is central to the human experience—whether one experiments with grains and hops or markers and watercolors—and that sharing one’s creation with the public is a brave act worth celebrating.

“We’ve always been thrilled with our strong relationship with Founders, the official brewery of ArtPrize and one of the best craft brewers in the United States,” noted Christian Gaines, ArtPrize Executive Director. “Our partnership, now in its fourth year, is built upon a mutual passion for our community, and a shared commitment to challenging the familiar — exemplified in Founders’ latest special release for ArtPrize Eight, Pale Joe.”

This year marks the eighth edition of ArtPrize, which will take place September 21–Oct. 9, 2016. The Founders taproom will be a venue for the eighth year running.

Pale Joe will hit shelves beginning September 13 in Michigan, Wisconsin, Missouri, Iowa, Illinois, Ohio, New Jersey, New York City and Boston, MA with limited availability on draft across our remaining distribution network.

GRAND RAPIDS – Grand Rapids Beer Tours is once again offering outings combining beer and art for the city’s ArtPrize event.

Since beginning operations in June 2014, they’ve been giving locals and visitors a way to experience Beer City’s lively craft beverage scene with a personal aspect.

Brian Haik, Owner and Tour Guide, is a born and raised Grand Rapidian. He attended Grand Valley State University with the intention of becoming a history teacher, but decided that teaching people about the history of beer was a more desirable ambition.

Danielle Haik, Brian’s wife, helps run the walking tours. They have three additional tour guides and drivers to handle the burgeoning business.

This is the second year they’re scheduling ArtPrize tours. They begin with a walking tour taking place on the first day of the competition, Wednesday, September 23rd, from 3pm to 6pm.

“The walking tour has you going to four venues this year—Founders, HopCat, Grand Rapids Brewing Company, and BOB’s Brewery,” said Brian Haik.

“The driving tour goes to Founders, Mitten Brewing Company off of Leonard and then Grand Rapids brewing Company,” he added.

If you’re contemplating joining them on one of their popular tours, you’ll need to make your reservation soon. Spaces are limited and many tour sessions are already booked solid.

“There are a lot of extra people in town who want to drink beer and who want to do ArtPrize,” said Haik.

Grand Rapids Beer Tours specializes in providing an intimate experience.

“It’s not like a giant party bus,— we’re not like some companies where their specialty is just transportation. Our specialty is taking people to places and experiencing the breweries. We prefer to keep it smaller, that’s why we have a fifteen-passenger van.”

People appreciate having a responsible driver for a day of drinking with friends.

“On a four hour driving tour, for example, samples equal about a pitcher of beer per person. That’s a good amount, and they don’t have to worry about driving at all!” he said.

“What separates us is we educate people on the tours. It’s not going to be a booze cruise,” said Haik. “You’re going to be learning about the breweries you go to, learning about the beers, and you’ll get a behind-the-scenes brewery tour at one of the stops.”

“I’m passionate about what I do. I have love for the culture and Grand Rapids, it’s my home,” he added.

Future plans include tours to areas of the lakeshore from Saugatuck to Traverse City. They’re entertaining the idea of doing a cider tour, and possibly a gluten-free tour that includes mead if there’s enough interest to support it.

Private tours are available in addition to public tours shown online.

“Sixty to seventy percent of our tours are private tours. Bachelor parties, bachelorette parties, birthday parties, business groups,” said Haik. “We’ve had people from pretty much every continent already. From China, Guatemala, Central and South America, Australia, New Zealand, all over the whole world really.”

They’re capable of filling a gap in public transportation, sometimes driving from the city to the lake shore to pick up a tour group for a day of brewery-hopping. They can also offer hotel pickup and drop off in many places, ask for availability when you book your tour.

For the second straight year, Founders has collaborated with ArtPrize to produce a beer specific to the world’s largest art event. The beer, Mosaic Promise, was highlighted during ArtPrize on Tap on Wednesday night at Founders.

The brew will be released in bottles at Meijer stores throughout Michigan on Sept. 14, and released elsewhere on Sept. 15. It will also be available on tap at Founders throughout the art competition.

The beer will be available throughout Michigan, but also in New York, Illinois and Wisconsin. It features a single type of hop — the Mosaic hop — and a single type of malt — Golden Promise.

ArtPrize on Tap is free for Art Club members, and will be held next on Sept. 17 and Oct. 15.

For more photos, visit Stellafly on Facebook >