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Grand Rapids, Mich. — Grand Rapids’s Harmony Brewing is expanding. The addition of a second kitchen and an indoor/outdoor beer garden has more than doubled the brew pub’s seating capacity at its Eastown location. The new space opens June 13.

harmony

“We will be able to welcome more people to Harmony,” co-owner Heather VanDyke-Titus said. “We’ve prioritized nice big tables. People will know if they want to come with a big group on a Friday, there will be room.”

The expansion will center Harmony Brewing at the “pinnacle of Eastown,” on the corner of Wealthy Street and Lake Drive. The new space promises to maintain the character people have loved about the original Harmony.

“We’re still working within the fabric of what was already there,” Barry VanDyke said. “What people love about that coziness of that side of town–it’s still going to feel that way.”

The expansion also comes with a new feature: pizza and beer delivery. Harmony Brewing will start delivering their wood-fired pizzas, craft beer and retail merchandise this June.

Alcohol delivery has become increasingly popular in recent years. Drizly, an alcohol e-commerce platform, started delivering beer, wine and liquor in select cities in 2012. A variety of Chicago craft breweries started delivering growlers in 2016. More recently, major pizza companies like Pizza Hut and Papa Johns have experimented with delivering alcohol with their pizzas.

But Harmony Brewing is unique in delivering its own craft beer alongside its signature wood-fired pizza.

Delivery will be first available to the neighborhoods surrounding Harmony Brewing, including East Grand Rapids, Eastown and Downtown Grand Rapids.

“We’re going to start fairly small with our delivery footprint until we get our wheels underneath us, so to speak, then we’ll hopefully be expanding from there,” co-owner Barry VanDyke said.

Customers will be able to order pizza, beer and merchandise over the phone and online through Harmony’s new website. Each order must simply meet a $20 minimum. Payment will only be accepted in the form of credit or debit cards and can be processed online or in person.

Harmony Brewing delivery drivers will be equipped with an app to check IDs. During the transaction, the driver will take a photo of the customer’s ID, and the app will store it with the driver’s name and the date and location of the delivery.

“This is a way to bring your whole Harmony experience to your door,” Barry VanDyke said. “Seeking Harmony? Have it delivered.”

With summer knocking on the door, Harmony Brewing is prepping for another busy season of thirsty beer lovers and hungry pizza fanatics.

To accommodate the summer surge, Harmony’s owners have begun the process of acquiring more space for the popular Eastown location.

According to co-owner, Barry Van Dyke, “We have been busting at the seams pretty much from day one in Eastown. This will allow us to continue doing all of the things that we’ve been really successful at with more elbow room for our customers and staff.”

The location in question is 1540 Lake Drive, which is currently home to a Subway franchise. On June 8, Harmony Brewing will attend a City Planning Meeting to finalize their plan. By Mid-June, the brewery aims to close the deal.

harmonyPlans for the new space include additional indoor seating, an expansion and improvement of the Beer Garden, and the addition of a second kitchen with the sole purpose of pizza carry-out and delivery.

Although the project is still in its early stages, there is already excitement brewing within Harmony management. To Barry, the expansion is necessary, exclaiming, “Eastown needs a kick ass beer garden!”

The expansion will also allow Harmony Brewing to deliver their award-winning pizza and crowlers of beer directly to customers.

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. “

 

Something new is brewing at 1400 Lake Drive SE, in Grand Rapids, Michigan. A view of five large, Michigan-made stainless steel fermenter tanks as glimpsed through the front windows hint at what’s to come. East West Brewing Company is finalizing plans to open its doors by year’s end with an 80-plus seat, 2,000 square foot brewery, located in the heart of the Eastown community.

eastown

East West Brewing Company is focused on producing top quality artisan craft beer made from locally sourced hops and seasonal ingredients. With plans to eventually feature ten beers on tap, East West Brewing Company will offer a beer for every palette. In addition to house brews, East West Brewing Company plans to support and collaborate with other breweries by featuring guest taps.

The Bal family has owned and operated a successful Grand Rapids restaurant, Bombay Cuisine, for over 17 years. East West Brewing Company is a completely new business venture with an independent focus. “We listened to the community, and they shared their ideas with us,” said Balwinder Bal, East West Brewing Company owner, brewmaster and head chef. “East West Brewing Company is a place where everyone will feel welcome to stop by for a beer, or a bite to eat while engaging in friendly conversation. East West Brewing Company is being designed with the comforts of the community in-mind, and we are excited to be able to contribute to the vitality of Eastown with our new brewery.”

In addition to its flagship styles, East West Brewery plans to feature seasonal and flavored beers, depending on the weather and demand. Plans are underway to serve a Session IPA, Brown Ale, Amber Ale, Continental Ale, Wheat Ale, Amber Lager, and several spiced variants. The menu at East West Brewery is being designed to pair with the beer, and plans are to keep it simple, clean and fresh with the primary ingredients sourced from local neighborhood businesses.

eastownAccording to Ann Arbor-based Master Brewer Teo Watson-Ahlbrandt, who is collaborating with Bal to perfect the beer, the brewing style at East West Brewing Company will be minimalistic. Watson-Ahlbrandt and Bal met through a mutual friend and fellow beer enthusiast, and the two recognized the potential for many great things. “I feel the most exciting aspect of working on East West has been working with Bal on incorporating his expertise in culinary spices to craft beer brewing,” explained Watson-Ahlbrandt. “There are so many similarities in the ways that a chef and a brewer utilize their processes to create flavor, and I’ve always enjoyed collaborating with highly esteemed kitchen counterparts.”

The interior at East West Brewing Company will reflect the hip sensibilities of the surrounding area while also paying tribute to the earth and the environment. A live wall featuring fresh herbs, succulents, and other seasonal greens will provide a calming atmosphere and help balance the air. Reclaimed white oak tables, rusted steel walls, and the rich patina of the floor will warm the interior and remind patrons this is a casual space to gather. East West Brewing Company will offer a variety of seating options—from pet-friendly outdoor deck seating (seasonal), window view seating to observe passers-by, cozy inside booths, and a community dining table for patrons to engage in friendly conversation.

Like the new serving tanks patiently awaiting to serve patrons quality brew, the concept for East West Brewing Company has been brewing over time. “East West Brewing Company has been a vision in the making ever since I first brewed beer nearly 10 years ago at Saugatuck Brewing,” said Bal. “Ever since that time, I have dreamt of opening my own brewery, cooking from the heart, and creating a unique and friendly place for the community.”

harmony brewing

The third beer in Harmony Brewing Company’s new WOOD AGED WILD BEER series will be released on SATURDAY OCTOBER 1ST at 11:00am at both Harmony Locations!

“Tamworth” is sour golden ale aged in mead barrels.  Designed to be the sourest beer in our series of 4, this shiny gold colored beer is a thing of beauty.  The intense sour flavor is well balanced with hints of honey, pear, and stone fruit making it an extremely pleasant beer to quaff.  Far from a pucker bomb, the sour harmonizes with the complex body and aroma to create a refreshing and easy drinking beer.  With an ABV of 8.1 percent the Tamworth can be enjoyed right away, or it will continue to develop with age in a beer cellar.

To create Tamworth, our golden ale was first fermented in steel with a saison yeast.  Next, it was placed into 6 different mead barrels and aged for 6 months.  Each barrel was inoculated with a proprietary blend of souring agents, and allowed to develop its own unique flavor.  The barrels were then blended, bottled, wax dipped and serialized.

These bottles are extremely limited! The first two beers in this series sold out in bottles within 1 day.

Harmony Brewing Company will be releasing their very first WOOD AGED SOUR BEER in bottles and on draft at both Harmony locations on Thursday, July 7th at 11am.

“Red Wattle” Flanders style red ale is the first in a series of 4 wood aged sour beers that Harmony will be releasing this summer.

harmony brewing

A rare style in the United States, Flanders Red ale has been nicknamed the “Burgundy of Belgium.” Its deep red color, rich tannins, and complex aroma and flavor lead some to consider it more wine-like than any other beer style. The surprising complexity is achieved through a process of blending barrel aged ales. Harmony’s Red Wattle was aged in multiple types of oak barrels, each of which was separately inoculated with a proprietary blend of souring agents. Next, brewers sat back and let nature take its course allowing each individual barrel to develop its own completely distinct and surprising flavor- ranging from puckeringly sour and fruity, to mushroomy and earthy. When the time was right, the brewers chose which barrels to blend together to create the perfect flavor profile for this truly exceptional beer.

Red Wattle pours a deep maroon red, with lively carbonation and light white head. The aroma is of petrichor, tart fruit, and black cherries. The flavor is tartly sour, but well-rounded with notes of vanilla, dark fruit, and oak. It finishes dry, with a clean oaky tannin.

This first release of Harmony Wood Aged Sour Beers will be EXTREMELY LIMITED. Less than 100 bottles will be labeled, wax dipped, and serialized for sale. The Red Wattle will be available on tap at both locations, while it lasts. New releases will happen monthly: The “Babirusa” Dry hopped farmhouse ale, the “Tamworth” sour golden ale, and the “Old Spot” dark farmhouse ale will be released respectively.

Meet Joel ‘Smitty’ Smitter, owner and proprietor of Smitty’s Specialty Beverage in the Eastown neighborhood of Grand Rapids. You’ll see him in this TARDIS-like building (bigger on the inside) many days out of the week, along with his two sons, Joel and Jared.
This is a family-owned, family-operated business, and a staple of this neighborhood since opening in 1982, and, believe me, the wide variety of clientele that frequent this shop are appreciative for it.
“We really pride ourselves on customer service and being a full service store. We’ve got great staff with a ton of product knowledge — they are much better than I am — and a great selection,” says Smitty. “We are told that — according to the state liquor licensing — [we are] the largest independent liquor license in the state of Michigan.”
The liquor selection — many of which are Michigan made — is huge, and the craft beer section extensive. With a recent revamp and expansion of the building about three years ago, Smitty’s grew even more to carry more product selection for its loyal customers.
“We’ve done a lot of things over the years, and we’ve learned a lot from our customers. I’m so grateful I was smart enough to listen to them,” Smitty says.
Listening to customers, carrying product that’s in demand and employing not only family but folks who are members of the local community, help to make this shop feel like home for so many of their clientele.
Long-term employees provide a familiar face and recognize those customers who walk through the doors a few times a week. The employees are always helpful and ready with suggestions for the best holiday gift for your whiskey lover, will help you put together that perfect six pack or let you know what sought-after brew will be out soon.
Smitty’s works frequently with the Eastown Community Association (ECA), embracing the mantra of ‘local first.’ The bottle shop participates in its annual Halloween Walk (featuring full-size candy bars, folks) and recently, it auctioned off the sought after Pappy Van Winkle Whiskey to a few local folks who donated to the ECA, raising just under $400 for the community organization.
On the shop’s 25th anniversary, Smitty’s threw a party and raised several thousand dollars for the group, and Smitty says they will do it again for their 35th — a $5 or so donation will get you in. Expect local music, food, fun raffles and prizes, and all the proceeds going back to the neighborhood.
Walk through the double doors past the flyers advertising local shows, copies of Revue and other Grand Rapids-based magazines, look up and say hi to those folks, who are often members of Smitty’s family, at the counter, and make your way into the crowded warmth of the place, liquor bottles stacked high and wine on shelves. Brave the beer cooler and keep your coat on, because you’ll be in there awhile.
Family owned and operated with a ‘local first’ mentality, putting customers first, the Smitty’s crew exists to serve you.

Meet Joel ‘Smitty’ Smitter, owner and proprietor of Smitty’s Specialty Beverage in the Eastown neighborhood of Grand Rapids. You’ll see him in this TARDIS-like building (bigger on the inside) many days out of the week, along with his two sons, Joel and Jared.

This is a family-owned, family-operated business, and a staple of this neighborhood since opening in 1982, and, believe me, the wide variety of clientele that frequent this shop are appreciative for it.

“We really pride ourselves on customer service and being a full service store. We’ve got great staff with a ton of product knowledge — they are much better than I am — and a great selection,” says Smitty. “We are told that — according to the state liquor licensing — [we are] the largest independent liquor license in the state of Michigan.”

The liquor selection — many of which are Michigan made — is huge, and the craft beer section extensive. With a recent revamp and expansion of the building about three years ago, Smitty’s grew even more to carry more product selection for its loyal customers.

“We’ve done a lot of things over the years, and we’ve learned a lot from our customers. I’m so grateful I was smart enough to listen to them,” Smitty says.

Listening to customers, carrying product that’s in demand and employing not only family but folks who are members of the local community, help to make this shop feel like home for so many of their clientele.

Long-term employees provide a familiar face and recognize those customers who walk through the doors a few times a week. The employees are always helpful and ready with suggestions for the best holiday gift for your whiskey lover, will help you put together that perfect six pack or let you know what sought-after brew will be out soon.

Smitty’s works frequently with the Eastown Community Association (ECA), embracing the mantra of ‘local first.’ The bottle shop participates in its annual Halloween Walk (featuring full-size candy bars, folks) and recently, it auctioned off the sought after Pappy Van Winkle Whiskey to a few local folks who donated to the ECA, raising just under $400 for the community organization.

On the shop’s 25th anniversary, Smitty’s threw a party and raised several thousand dollars for the group, and Smitty says they will do it again for their 35th — a $5 or so donation will get you in. Expect local music, food, fun raffles and prizes, and all the proceeds going back to the neighborhood.

Walk through the double doors past the flyers advertising local shows, copies of Revue and other Grand Rapids-based magazines, look up and say hi to those folks, who are often members of Smitty’s family, at the counter, and make your way into the crowded warmth of the place, liquor bottles stacked high and wine on shelves. Brave the beer cooler and keep your coat on, because you’ll be in there awhile.

Family owned and operated with a ‘local first’ mentality, putting customers first, the Smitty’s crew exists to serve you.


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