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beer city pro-am

GRAND RAPIDS, MICH.  — The Beer City Brewer’s Guild is hosting the second annual Beer City Pro-Am, a competition that pairs local award-winning homebrewers with microbreweries to create unique recipes to be brewed and shared with the public.

This year’s event brings together 25 of the area’s best homebrewers with Grand Rapids microbreweries. Qualifying homebrewers were selected from the winners of local homebrewing competitions.

“It’s a good chance to connect the homebrewing community and the craft brewing community, because there’s a lot of commonality there,” said Nick Rodammer, co-founder of the event and Pro-Am Committee chair. “It’s also a good chance for local homebrewers to get a little bit of exposure for the quality of the beer they are making.”

Entries will be tapped in participating microbreweries’ taprooms for public enjoyment starting July 30 through August 3.

“I think we have a lot of really interesting releases this year,” Rodammer said. Lagers, ales and a variety of fruit-infused styles make the list, which can be found on the Beer City Brewer’s Guild website.

The beers will be judged by a panel of local, qualified judges based on aroma, appearance, flavor and mouthfeel. The winner will be announced at the Beer City Brewer’s Guild’s annual summer picnic on August 11.

Competing brews will also appear in two tap takeovers. Horrocks Market Tavern will have five Pro-Am entries on tap on August 3 from 5-8 p.m. Logan’s Alley will have 18 of the collaborations on tap from August 10-13, including last year’s winning entry from City Built Brewing Company and homebrewer Paul Arends: Monroe Weiss.

City Built Brewing Company had only recently opened its doors when its collaboration with Arends won last year’s competition. Edwin Collazo, co-founder of City Built Brewing Company, said he was still very involved with the Grand Rapids homebrewing community at the time. Collazo said he can see how maintaining a connection with local homebrewers can benefit the larger brewing community.

beer city pro-am

“How much better will our beer get and how much more innovative will our breweries continue to be because we’re brewing with people who are doing five-gallon batches, reading Zymurgy and other homebrew magazines,” Callazzo said. “[Homebrewers are] super passionate about they do too, so I think the chance to collaborate with them is a great thing for Beer City as a whole.”

And because the Pro-Am competition pairs the best of the best with the professionals, team members have plenty of knowledge to offer.

“It’s truly a collaboration. We really learn from each other,” Rodammer said.

proamArea breweries are teaming up with local award-winning homebrewers to take part in the inaugural Beer City Pro-Am, collaborating on the creation and brewing of original recipes which will go on tap in their respective breweries throughout the Grand Rapids area starting in late July.

The winner will take home the coveted Beer City Pro-Am Cup to be displayed proudly in the award-winning brewery. Every year, both the brewery and the homebrew champion’s name will be etched onto the cup; in subsequent years, the title and cup will be defended.

 

The Beer City Brewers Guild collaborated with local award-winning homebrewers Nick Rodammer and Jeremy Gavin to create the Pro-Am event this winter, after Rodammer proposed the idea to Guild President Jackson Van Dyke this past January. The group soon found that many brewers were ready to join forces with the homebrewing community almost immediately.

“That 20 different local breweries would so willingly commit to this event in such a short period of time, speaks volumes about the craft beer community we have in Beer City.” explains Rodammer, who also serves as the Pro-Am Committee Chair.

Gavin, who also serves on the Pro-Am Committee says, “By marrying the professional’s technical skill and quality control, and the homebrewer’s free thinking and experimental spirit, the Beer City Brewers Guild Pro-Am is a way to let our brewers, professional and amateur alike, make the best beer they can. Hopefully, everybody involved expands their horizons and learns something from each other.”

Homebrewers who are residents of the Guild’s geographic membership area were able to qualify for the Pro-Am by placing in local homebrewing competitions which were held in the Grand Rapids area over 2016 and early 2017. Once the qualifiers were identified, the breweries and homebrewers were paired by the Beer City Brewers Guild Pro-Am Committee via random draw at a Draft Party on April 30 at Harmony Hall.

Pro-Am beers that are entered into the competition will be featured on tap at each of the participating breweries beginning at the end of July, and will be judged based on aroma, appearance, flavor and mouthfeel by a panel of local, qualified judges in blind rounds of tastings.

“Many people don’t realize just how talented the area’s best homebrewers are, and this event is a great forum to showcase the level of creativity and skill the homebrewing community has to offer.” says Rodammer.

The Beer City Pro-Am Winner will be crowned at the Beer City Brewers Guild Industry Picnic at Long Lake Park, 13747 Krauskopf NE on August 12 at 5 p.m. in the enclosed shelter. Local homebrew clubs will host attendees with 12-taps of homebrewed beer on-site to celebrate the announcement of the Pro-Am winner. The public is welcome to bring their own beer, wine and food to share as well.

ProAM

 

Beer City Pro-Am Pairings:

Atwater GR – Jeremy Gavin

BOB’s Brewery – John Applegarth

Bier Distillery – Michael Meadow

Brewery Vivant – Jake Szetela

City Built Brewing Co – Paul Arends

Gravel Bottom Craft Brewing & Supply – John Britt

ELK Brewing – Ken Pitchford

5 Lakes Brewing Co – Chad Bocian

Grand Rapids Brewing Co – Nick Rodammer

Harmony Brewing Co – George Lawlor

Harmony Hall – Kevin Schumacher

HopCat – Nick Kuzera

Hudsonville Pike 51 Brewing Co – Jeff Carlson

Mitten Brewing Co – Eric Nyhof

Osgood Brewing Co – Andrew Brouwers

Railtown Brewing Co – Mark Iacopelli

Rockford Brewing Co – David Beerens

Speciation Artisan Ales – Ric Brown

Thornapple Brewing Co – Rob Schwartz & Bill Katerburg

White Flame Brewing Co – Andrew Baculy

 

harmony brewingOn Saturday, February 4 Harmony Brewing Company will celebrate its fifth year of being in business with a party  and a limited edition bottle release of their annual brew ‘Birthday Barleywine’.  Other festivities  include an hour of family fun from 12:30-1:30  with a new  brunch menu and popular kid friendly magician and comedian, PJ Weber. The celebration will continue into the night with the Vinyl Night All Stars featuring a lineup of the most popular DJ’s from Harmony’s weekly event, Vinyl Thursday.

Siblings Heather Van Dyke-Titus, Barry Van Dyke and Jackson Van Dyke opened Harmony Brewing Company in February 2012. The popular Eastown brewpub quickly became a local favorite. Overwhelming demand required the Van Dyke’s to expand production and open a second location, Harmony Hall on Grand Rapids’ West Side.

 

Since opening, Harmony has been recognized for its excellent wood fired pizza, beer, leadership on various community initiatives, and volunteer work.

Harmony Brewing Company has received numerous awards:

Best Pizza in Grand Rapids, Revue Magazine-2016

Fourth best Pizza in Michigan, M-Live-2013 & 2016

On-The–Town, Gold Townie Best Pizza in Grand Rapids -2014

On-The-Town, Silver Townie Best Brewery in Grand Rapids-2014,

Best Neighborhood Pint, Neighborhood Business Alliance-2012,

Grand Award for excellence, Neighborhood Business Alliance-2012,

Snail of Approval, Slow Food West Michigan-2014

 

 

Co-owner, Jackson Van Dyke says, “It’s been an amazing five years. Opening Harmony gave us the opportunity to pursue things that we’re truly passionate about: inventive and creative beer,  simple but delicious food and being a part of building our community and city.  Since we’ve opened, Harmony has been a part of  and witnessed, Grand Rapids being recognized as Beer City USA, a national and even global beer destination.  It’s been an honor to be a founding member and President of the Beer City Brewers Guild.  I appreciate the opportunity to help grow and expand Grand Rapid’s Beer culture and Harmony’s place in it. “

 

hopstock

Hops adorned the entrance to HopStock, the Beer City Brewers Guild’s inaugural craft beverage festival, while a 1977 Volkswagen bus-turned-photo booth captured hoppy smiles and totally groovin’ taste buds. Unlike other festivals, HopStock had a hyper-local focus, filling Calder Plaza on Saturday evening with craft beverages from brewpubs, breweries, distilleries, cideries, and wineries from Kent County and bordering counties.

hopstock

“The spirit of Grand Rapids is noncompetitive, we collaborate instead of compete,” said Kelli Williams, BCBG Events and Marketing Coordinator. “HopStock is all local with a little bit of something for everyone.”

IPA Island, unique to HopStock, truly captured the collaborative spirit. The ‘island’ dispensed 23 IPAs filling six, four tap jockey boxes from Cedar Springs based Coldbreak Brewing Equipment.

“Beers being poured side by side may bring attention to a brewery someone hasn’t heard of before, making them more inclined to try something new,” said Jackson VanDyke, President of BCBG.

hopstockIn addition to IPA Island, guild members also had their own booths with additional craft beverages ready to fill the sustainable reusable sample cans provided to attendees. BCBG wanted to do something different than the plastic cup seen at most festivals. The HopStock sample can, produced by Michigan Mobile Canning, was created for people to take home as a keepsake, instead of throwing it away at the end of the festival. Multiple attendees said they loved the sample can, with some even specifying that they came just for the can!

In fact, keeping the whole festival sustainable was a huge priority for the BCBG. Jake Brenner, Sustainability Coordinator, acquired the use of Grand Rapids Brewing Company’s clean stream system for the festival, which are bins that festival goers can put their compost and recycling in, leaving very little waste for the landfills.

Craft beverages saturated tastebuds, music graced ears, and local food trucks filled stomachs. Even though they didn’t have beverages to share, upcoming breweries like City Built Brewing, Speciation Artisan Ales and High Five Co-op Brewery were invited to be a part of the festival by sharing their future business plans.

“Jackson and the rest of the guild have a lot of passion for the whole beer scene in Grand Rapids. They know that supporting the new and unopened breweries is good for everyone! The opportunity to reach a number of people that had never heard of us, and talk with them about what we do (sour & wild beer) and when we will be opening (the end of the year) was very cool,” exclaimed Mitch Ermatinger, Co-Founder of Speciation Artisan Ales.

“It is an exciting time to be a brewer in Grand Rapids, and an exciting time to be a beer drinker,” said Kate Avery, Abbess of Beer at Brewery Vivant.

Not just being collaborative with businesses in the beer industry, the beer industry in Grand Rapids is also supportive in educating the beer drinker. Ben Darcie, Beer Education Specialist at Gravel Bottom Craft Brewery and Supply, took stage twice educating attendees on ‘Getting to Know Beer Ingredients’ and ‘Beer Tasting Basics’.

Beth Gaston, festival attendee, liked that HopStock focused on everything local – from local friends, to craft beverages, to the vendors as well.

 

We are so excited for the upcoming HopStock Beer Festival in downtown Grand Rapids! All of the Grand Rapids Area Breweries in one place, for one day only? Yes, please!

Mittenbrew had a chance to sit down with Ben Darcie, local beer expert and educator at Gravel Bottom Craft Brewery & Supply in Ada to pick out some notable beers from the upcoming festival. We’ve collected some must-taste brews, ciders and spirits from every location attending, and are presented here in no particular order. Enjoy and we’ll see you at Calder Plaza!

Buy tickets here!

*Find this selection at IPA ISLAND

57 Brew Pub
Norse Raider, Smoked Baltic Porter 8.1%
*OneOhAte, MI Imperial Session IPA 6.5%, Collaboration of Pike 51 and 57 Brewpub

Atwater GR
Aphrodite’s Harvest – Chai Amber Ale, 5.2%
Barrel Aged Salvation Cypher – Bourbon barrel aged Oatmeal Stout, 10%

BOB’s Brewery
Hoptics, Prickly Pear Hibiscus Gose 4%
Mango Chipotle Wit, 4.8%

Brewery Vivant
*Grand Army Spelt IPA 6%
Harvest Breed, bretta wild ale 5.9%

Cascade Winery/Jaden James
Blueberry Hard Cider, 6.5%
Blueberry Merlot, 7%
Peanut Butter Porter, 5.2%

Cedar Springs Brewing
*CSIPA  American IP\A
Kusterer Original Wesissbier (Antique Bavarian Wheat)

Cellar Brewing
Tartan Apey, Apricot English Pale 5.3%
Jax Attax BBA Quadrupel 12.8%

Cranker’s Brewery
Aphrodisiac Chocolate Pomegranate Imperial Stout 8.5%
*Ill Connect DIPA 9.5%

ELK Brewing
Peanut Butter and Jelly Ale, 5%
Rowster Coffee Porter, 7.2%

Founders Brewing
PC Pils
*Red’s Rye

Grand Rapids Brewing Co
*Lil’ Danky, Session IPA brewed with Simcoe and Citra hops 4.3%
Polish Eagle BB imperial porter 9.5%

Gravel Bottom
*Hopinger IPA
T’rye Me Tripple Rye IPA

Grey Skies Distillery
Barrel Finished Hopped Gin 40%
Spiced Rum 40%

Harmony Brewing
*Lovely Day IPA, Lavender, Chamomile, Fresh Orange, IPA 6.5%
Red Wattle, Barrel Aged Flanders Red (Sour Beer) 6.4%

The Hideout
TBA

HopCat
Manson’s Chocolate Factory, Barrel Aged Sour Stout with cacao nibs.
Naughty Nicodemus, cucumber, juniper, lime zested Pale Ale. 5.2%

Hudsonville Winery/Pike 51
*Ain’t Nothin But A Brett Thang – Collaboration with Speciation and Pike 51
YAY, S’mores! Graham Cracker-ish Stout

Long Road Distillers
Long Road Aquavit (45% abv, 90 proof)
The Polish Falcon: Long Road Vodka, house ginger beer, lime.
*Weizer With Whisky: Long Road Wheat Whisky, hops, lemon, ginger, orange bitters

Mitten Brewing
Chick Chick Gose, ancient, sour and saline tasting ale with strawberries.
Triple Crown Brown Ale, World Cup Silver Medalist English brown 4.2%

New Holland
El Nuevo Record – Weizen Bock
Incorrigible Reserve – White Sour with MI Blueberries & Blackberries

Osgood Brewing
Sol Seeker, American Wheat 6.3%

Peoples Cider Co
2015 PCCO. No. 1, Bourbon Barrel Aged Draft Cider, 7.4%
Jonny 3-LandLords, American Scrumpy, 6.5%
Jonny ELO, Dry Hopped Cider, 6.7%

Rockford Brewing
Erdbier, Strawberry Weisse 5.6%
*Little George, Imperial IPA 10%

Railtown Brewing
*Citra Warrior Imperial IPA, 9.2%
Javatose 4.9%

Sietsema Cider Mill
KBS Barrel Aged 8.5%
Lemmon Grass 6.9%

VanderMill GR
Apple Razz
Ginger Peach

White Flame
BLOOD: BBA Mild Red Ale aged with fruit 5%
SUGAR: BBA Imperial Stout 10%
SEX: BBA Rye PA with chipotle spice 7%
MAGIK: BBA Double IPA 10%
Kentucky Kiss: BBA Scotch Ale 11%

 

We are so excited for the upcoming HopStock Beer Festival in downtown Grand Rapids! All of the Grand Rapids Area Breweries in one place, for one day only? Yes, please!
Mittenbrew had a chance to sit down with Ben Darcie, local beer expert and educator at Gravel Bottom Craft Brewery & Supply in Ada to pick out some notable beers from the upcoming festival. We’ve collected some must-taste brews, ciders and spirits from every location attending, and are presented here in no particular order. Enjoy and we’ll see you at Calder Plaza!

Buy tickets here!
*Find this selection at IPA ISLAND
57 Brew Pub
Norse Raider, Smoked Baltic Porter 8.1%
*OneOhAte, MI Imperial Session IPA 6.5%, Collaboration of Pike 51 and 57 Brewpub
Atwater GR
Aphrodite’s Harvest – Chai Amber Ale, 5.2%
Barrel Aged Salvation Cypher – Bourbon barrel aged Oatmeal Stout, 10%
BOB’s Brewery
Hoptics, Prickly Pear Hibiscus Gose 4%
Mango Chipotle Wit, 4.8%
Brewery Vivant
*Grand Army Spelt IPA 6%
Harvest Breed, bretta wild ale 5.9%
Cascade Winery/Jaden James
Blueberry Hard Cider, 6.5%
Blueberry Merlot, 7%
Peanut Butter Porter, 5.2%
Cedar Springs Brewing
*CSIPA  American IP\A
Kusterer Original Wesissbier (Antique Bavarian Wheat)
Cellar Brewing
Tartan Apey, Apricot English Pale 5.3%
Jax Attax BBA Quadrupel 12.8%
Cranker’s Brewery
Aphrodisiac Chocolate Pomegranate Imperial Stout 8.5%
*Ill Connect DIPA 9.5%
ELK Brewing
Peanut Butter and Jelly Ale, 5%
Rowster Coffee Porter, 7.2%
Founders Brewing
PC Pils
*Red’s Rye
Grand Rapids Brewing Co
*Lil’ Danky, Session IPA brewed with Simcoe and Citra hops 4.3%
Polish Eagle BB imperial porter 9.5%
Gravel Bottom
*Hopinger IPA
T’rye Me Tripple Rye IPA
Grey Skies Distillery
Barrel Finished Hopped Gin 40%
Spiced Rum 40%
Harmony Brewing
*Lovely Day IPA, Lavender, Chamomile, Fresh Orange, IPA 6.5%
Red Wattle, Barrel Aged Flanders Red (Sour Beer) 6.4%
The Hideout
TBA
HopCat
Manson’s Chocolate Factory, Barrel Aged Sour Stout with cacao nibs.
Naughty Nicodemus, cucumber, juniper, lime zested Pale Ale. 5.2%
Hudsonville Winery/Pike 51
*Ain’t Nothin But A Brett Thang – Collaboration with Speciation and Pike 51
YAY, S’mores! Graham Cracker-ish Stout
Long Road Distillers
Long Road Aquavit (45% abv, 90 proof)
The Polish Falcon: Long Road Vodka, house ginger beer, lime.
*Weizer With Whisky: Long Road Wheat Whisky, hops, lemon, ginger, orange bitters
Mitten Brewing
Chick Chick Gose, ancient, sour and saline tasting ale with strawberries.
Triple Crown Brown Ale, World Cup Silver Medalist English brown 4.2%
New Holland
El Nuevo Record – Weizen Bock
Incorrigible Reserve – White Sour with MI Blueberries & Blackberries
Osgood Brewing
Sol Seeker, American Wheat 6.3%
Peoples Cider Co
2015 PCCO. No. 1, Bourbon Barrel Aged Draft Cider, 7.4%
Jonny 3-LandLords, American Scrumpy, 6.5%
Jonny ELO, Dry Hopped Cider, 6.7%
Rockford Brewing
Erdbier, Strawberry Weisse 5.6%
*Little George, Imperial IPA 10%
Railtown Brewing
*Citra Warrior Imperial IPA, 9.2%
Javatose 4.9%
Sietsema Cider Mill
KBS Barrel Aged 8.5%
Lemmon Grass 6.9%
VanderMill GR
Apple Razz
Ginger Peach
White Flame
BLOOD: BBA Mild Red Ale aged with fruit 5%
SUGAR: BBA Imperial Stout 10%
SEX: BBA Rye PA with chipotle spice 7%
MAGIK: BBA Double IPA 10%
Kentucky Kiss: BBA Scotch Ale 11%

 

hopstock

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich —  Groove along with the Grand Rapids Area Brewing Community for a Festival on Calder Plaza to celebrate Beer City as the sun goes down on Saturday, August 13 from 6:30 – 10:30 p.m., with a VIP hour beginning at 5:30 p.m.

This 21 and over ticketed event will offer festival goers the opportunity to sample craft beer, cider, wine, and distilled beverages from the newly formed Beer City Brewers Guild, a non-profit 501(c)(6). Licensed Breweries involved in the Guild and participating at HopStock include those within Kent County, Mich or any city or township whose geographic boundary borders Kent County.

HopStock will feature many West Michigan breweries, brewpubs, distilleries, and cideries collaborating under large tents on Calder Plaza as the sun sets on Saturday, August 13, making this a unique event. There will be a vast array of 3 oz samples for enthusiasts to savor. Look for the Beer City Collaboration tent: IPA Island sponsored by Coldbreak Brewing Supply where each festival participant will feature their version of an IPA.

The festival will also host live local music acts beginning at 6 p.m. with Instrumental Surf-Rock band The Concussions, followed by Gangster-Rock band The Legal Immigrants at 7:15 p.m., and Bluegrass Folk-Rock band Dragon Wagon will take the stage at 8:30 p.m. to play a 90-minute set.

Food Trucks will also be on site serving a variety of vittles, including A Moveable Feast, Two Scotts BBQ, and Pronto Pups. A limited number of Vendors and Artisans will be on hand to join in on the HopStock buzz as well.

beer city brewers guild

The Beer City Brewers Guild have developed a history of giving back to the community as well as the environment. HopStock will feature a sustainability team thanks to BarFly; there is a goal in place to keep this festival a low-waste event by offering reusable tasting cups and sustainable resources wherever possible.

HopStock ticket sales will begin via Eventbrite at 10 a.m. Friday, June 17:

VIP: $45 — 5:30 p.m. entry, 15 tasting tickets + reusable tasting cup.
Advance Ticket: $35 — 6:30 p.m. entry, 10 tasting tickets + reusable tasting cup.

HopStock Festival Participants will be announced in the coming weeks.

beer city brewers guildGRAND RAPIDS, Mich — New West Michigan Non-Profit Guild has organized to raise awareness of the craft brewing culture within the community by forming Beer City Brewers Guild 501(c)(6). A vehicle for events, collaborations, charitable giving, and knowledge sharing.

Since 2012 Grand Rapids Area Breweries and supporting businesses have collaborated to make Beer City a better place to brew, drink, visit, and live.

“The brewers thought we should get together to celebrate the initial Beer City USA designation and decided to do a collaborative beer. That was a success, and we enjoyed each others company, so we decided to band together to promote all of the breweries. We hope to encourage the spirit of collaboration; not only between breweries, but all related groups.” said Jackson VanDyke, Beer City Brewers Guild President, Co-Owner Harmony Brewing Company.

The opportunities Beer City Brewers Guild will continue to build on include collaborative beer releases such as the Beer City Pale Ale, where each area brewery created their rendition of a Pale Ale. Brewers Grove/Tree Beer, a united effort between breweries and the Friends of GR Parks; increasing the city’s tree canopy by donating a portion of Tree Beer sales toward this effort, and physically planting trees in multiple parks for the last three years.

Licensed Breweries and Breweries-in-Planning involved in the Guild will include those within Kent County, Mich or any city or township whose geographic boundary borders Kent County. Craft Beer Affiliates and Enthusiasts are also encouraged to join the Beer City Brewers Guild to participate in meetings, and serve on committees.

“Being selected to serve as the Marketing Chair on the Guild Board has been an honor. Working with creative individuals who value collaboration over competition while embracing our community goes beyond beer. I feel lucky to support and promote such an incredible group of people.” said Kelli Williams, Beer City Brewers Guild Marketing Chair, Owner Momma Needs A Beer, LLC.

The Beer City Brewers Guild will host a festival to embrace their collaborative community spirit in the heart of downtown at Ah-Nab-Awen Park on Saturday, August 13.