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spelling beer

B.O.B.’s Brewery, the oldest microbrewery in Grand Rapids, and DrinkGR, a local online community of like-minded individuals who promote Grand Rapids’ microbrewery and cocktail cultures, will host the second annual Spelling Bee(r) on Thursday, July 21 from 6-10 p.m. at The B.O.B.

Participants and spectators alike will enjoy an evening of craft beer from Gilmore Collection’s Brewmaster John Svboda, a multi-round spelling bee with words no harder than a 5th-grade reading level, and good-natured fun from the night’s hosts from local improvisation group, Funny Girls. The cost to enter the spelling bee is $5 per person and registration will take place on the day of the event at B.O.B.’s Brewery. Ticket proceeds will benefit the Grand Rapids Public Library’s Summer Reading Program—a program that encourages and provides ways for local youth to keep up with their reading skills during the summer academic break.

“We’re thrilled to partner with the great people at B.O.B.’s Brewery and DrinkGR again this year,” said Shirley Gagnon Allen, manager of Grand Rapids Public Library Foundation. “This is such a fun, easy way to help us help the kids of our city with keeping their reading skills sharp while they’re away from school for summer vacation—and we greatly appreciate their support.”

The first place winner of the spelling bee will get a $200 Gilmore Collection gift card; 2nd place will get a $100 gift card, and 3rd place will receive a $100 gift card.

It might not be the most well-known brewery in Grand Rapids, but B.O.B.’s Brewery is poised to continue its increasing beer production.
And it’s not a shot in the dark for the brewery. It’s more of a response to the trend in craft and microbrew beer consumption overall, especially in the Mitten.
“In the last four years, we’ve seen 100 percent increases in our beer sales,” head brewer John Svoboda said. “We did just over 600 barrels in the past year, which is a lot of beer for a pub.”
Svoboda said 500 barrels produced is “a fairly good threshold,” so he is very pleased with the overall growth of the downtown brewery, located inside the B.O.B. (aka Big Old Building), which houses eight restaurants and bars (owned and operated by the Gilmore Collection).
The brewery typically keeps 10 beers on tap with space for up to 12. Its brews are also served at other restaurants and bars inside the building, with more emphasis on this as part of changes to create awareness of the brewery and consumption of its brews.
“We’re adding 25 percent volume every year and that’s good,” Svoboda said. “Part of that is awareness of the BeerCity USA. We were already moving in that direction anyway. It certainly is helping us in terms of momentum. ”
In May 2012, homebrew godfather Charlie Papazian named Grand Rapids BeerCity USA, based on votes from online voters. The result has been increased awareness of Grand Rapids’ prowess in the brewing scene.
For the B.O.B., part of emphasizing the brewpub and its brewery is a new image. Along with the menu, artwork on the walls and tap handles and overall décor is changing.
“We’re going through a metamorphosis down here,” Svoboda said. “We really want to try to get toward the pub-grub realm. It’s all brewery-centric.”
Local artists were commissioned to give the B.O.B. brewpub a new look, as it furthers its emphasis on beer complemented by food.
“It’s always been important to us to combine beer and food — to showcase the talents of the chefs as a complement to the brewery,” Svoboda said.  “They change bits and pieces — it’s a growing process.”
This process includes specialty brews like Michigan Chestnut Ale, which can be paired with a number of food items utilizing chestnut as an ingredient, according to Svoboda.
“We want to try to really show people that beer and food are a great combination,” he said. “We want to use it as a vehicle to allow the chefs to do something with the beer. It’s all one thing. It supports the creativity of the chefs. “
Describing the first of these food-beer paired brews, Svoboda said with Chestnut; “I really didn’t know what to expect. I’m really happy with it. It came out quite dry and clean.”
B.O.B.’s Brewery is located inside the Big Old Building in downtown Grand Rapids at 20 Monroe Ave. NW.

It might not be the most well-known brewery in Grand Rapids, but B.O.B.’s Brewery is poised to continue its increasing beer production.

And it’s not a shot in the dark for the brewery. It’s more of a response to the trend in craft and microbrew beer consumption overall, especially in the Mitten.

“In the last four years, we’ve seen 100 percent increases in our beer sales,” head brewer John Svoboda said. “We did just over 600 barrels in the past year, which is a lot of beer for a pub.”

Svoboda said 500 barrels produced is “a fairly good threshold,” so he is very pleased with the overall growth of the downtown brewery, located inside the B.O.B. (aka Big Old Building), which houses eight restaurants and bars (owned and operated by the Gilmore Collection).

The brewery typically keeps 10 beers on tap with space for up to 12. Its brews are also served at other restaurants and bars inside the building, with more emphasis on this as part of changes to create awareness of the brewery and consumption of its brews.

“We’re adding 25 percent volume every year and that’s good,” Svoboda said. “Part of that is awareness of the BeerCity USA. We were already moving in that direction anyway. It certainly is helping us in terms of momentum. ”

In May 2012, homebrew godfather Charlie Papazian named Grand Rapids BeerCity USA, based on votes from online voters. The result has been increased awareness of Grand Rapids’ prowess in the brewing scene.

For the B.O.B., part of emphasizing the brewpub and its brewery is a new image. Along with the menu, artwork on the walls and tap handles and overall décor is changing.

“We’re going through a metamorphosis down here,” Svoboda said. “We really want to try to get toward the pub-grub realm. It’s all brewery-centric.”

Local artists were commissioned to give the B.O.B. brewpub a new look, as it furthers its emphasis on beer complemented by food.

“It’s always been important to us to combine beer and food — to showcase the talents of the chefs as a complement to the brewery,” Svoboda said.  “They change bits and pieces — it’s a growing process.”

This process includes specialty brews like Michigan Chestnut Ale, which can be paired with a number of food items utilizing chestnut as an ingredient, according to Svoboda.

“We want to try to really show people that beer and food are a great combination,” he said. “We want to use it as a vehicle to allow the chefs to do something with the beer. It’s all one thing. It supports the creativity of the chefs. “

Describing the first of these food-beer paired brews, Svoboda said with Chestnut; “I really didn’t know what to expect. I’m really happy with it. It came out quite dry and clean.”

B.O.B.’s Brewery is located inside the Big Old Building in downtown Grand Rapids at 20 Monroe Ave. NW.

5.5% ABV, Draft
Appearance: Very dark brown with a medium sized head.
Aroma: Slightly sweet; reminds me somewhat of coffee creamer.
Taste: Dark cocoa with subtle hazelnut. A little bitterness at the finish.
Mouthfeel: Strong bodied.
Hazelnut beers always interest me, and the B.O.B. certainly doesn’t disappoint with its Chocolate Hazelnut brew. This well-balanced brew stays away from the overly sweet flavors that some would expect. Rather, chocolate is at the forefront, while hazelnut is a secondary flavor that only enhances the feeling of the brew.

5.5% ABV, Draft

Appearance: Very dark brown with a medium sized head.
Aroma: Slightly sweet; reminds me somewhat of coffee creamer.
Taste: Dark cocoa with subtle hazelnut. A little bitterness at the finish.
Mouthfeel: Strong bodied.

Hazelnut beers always interest me, and the B.O.B. certainly doesn’t disappoint with its Chocolate Hazelnut brew. This well-balanced brew stays away from the overly sweet flavors that some would expect. Rather, chocolate is at the forefront, while hazelnut is a secondary flavor that only enhances the feeling of the brew.

5.5% ABV, Draft

Appearance: Light clear brown with a sm head.
Aroma: Smells nutty, maybe some chocolate.
Taste: Nut forward with lots of malt and some caramel. Slight bitterness.
Mouthfeel: Medium bodied.

Crimson King is a somewhat standard brown ale in terms of taste — it has lots of nut, malt and caramel. But it’s got a slight bitterness that amps it up a bit, and makes it a bit more hoppy on the tongue. The bitterness helps balance it out, making for a pretty good brew that is perfectly paired with a big dinner.

5.5% ABV, Draft
Appearance: Light clear brown with a sm head.
Aroma: Smells nutty, maybe some chocolate.
Taste: Nut forward with lots of malt and some caramel. Slight bitterness.
Mouthfeel: Medium bodied.
Crimson King is a somewhat standard brown ale in terms of taste — it has lots of nut, malt and caramel. But it’s got a slight bitterness that amps it up a bit, and makes it a bit more hoppy on the tongue. The bitterness helps balance it out, making for a pretty good brew that is perfectly paired with a big dinner.

6.0% ABV, Draft

Appearance: Dark brown, cloudy.
Aroma: Full on peanut butter, which overrides most of the other scents, but there are slight roasted chocolate and sweet scents.
Taste: Immediate peanut butter and roasted malts. The creamy peanut butter taste lingers on the tongue, and tastes much like a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup.
Mouthfeel: Overall, a lighter medium body with the less carbonated, water-like feel you’d expect from a stout. Somehow it leaves you feeling like a thin line of peanut butter is stuck to your tongue and the roof of your mouth.

This is a smashing hit, and the best B.O.B.’s beers I’ve ever had.  The mouthfeel is light enough to make it very drinkable, even with the peanut butter as pronounced as it is. The strength is in it being sweet, but not over the top. This is a new favorite beer for me.