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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.

GRAND RAPIDS — The short version of this article is this: I am bummed I had to miss Big Brew Day at the Calder Plaza this year. Don’t know about Big Brew at the Calder? Can’t begin to fathom why I would be saddened for my absence? Read on.

Big Brew day falls on the first Saturday of May each year. The day was chosen by the American Homebrewers Association as a celebration where all homebrewers can belly up to their mash tuns and share a communal “toast,” connecting brewers from all over the U.S. in a single moment of fermented frivolity.

Three years ago, the folks at Siciliano’s Market devised a way to make the day particularly special for the homebrewers of Grand Rapids, and Big Brew at the Calder was born.

The first time I heard what Steve Siciliano wanted to do for the big brew I thought, ‘huh, sounds like a hell of a time.’ It was only after he secured the venue and began to hash out the details of what it would take to pull it off did I realize how much work would be involved in making the event successful.

In order to have 50 simultaneous batches of beer being made on the plaza, one must consider that the city drains may not be used, so waste water removal must be sorted out, water for the brew itself must be provided (delivered), a practical and efficient means of chilling the beer needs to be implemented, the plaza needs to be divided equally among the brewers, the brewers need to make sure to haul in and haul out their systems and 50 batches of ingredient need to be weighed, ground and prepped in order to be GIVEN to the homebrewers.

That’s right — Steve, Barb and the rest of the crew of Siciliano’s provide all of the above, free of charge. Why? To say thank you to the brewers that helped make Grand Rapids Beer City USA, that’s why!

Seriously, that’s why.

To me, one of the most wonderful things about the event is seeing regular customers I had known for years interact with one another for the first time. The event brings together seasoned and beginning homebrewers in an environment that promotes the strength of the community by way of achieving the same goal in 50 different ways.