brewers grove

Tree Beer Release kicks off on Feb. 15

Grand Rapids, Mich. — From Feb. 15-Mar. 15, many of your favorite Grand Rapids breweries will be serving tree-themed beers to support increasing the city’s urban forest and tree canopy. Brewers Grove is an annual collaboration between Friends of Grand Rapids Parks and Beer City Brewers Guild that raises funds for a tree planting and tree-beer party in the fall.

Participating breweries, distilleries and cider houses have created tree-themed beers to sell during Experience GR’s Beer Month GR. When the month wraps up, they’ll make a donation to Friends of Grand Rapids Parks, a nonprofit organization working to empower people to cultivate vibrant parks, green spaces and trees in the city.

The funds raised from tree beer sales will be used for a community tree planting and tree-beer party where the public can chat with brewers, plant trees and enjoy music and yard games. The trees planted will improve tree diversity in the city, provide a source of food to wildlife and park users and replace removed ash trees lost due to the Emerald Ash Borer epidemic.

“Everyone can agree that we need great green spaces and parks and that planting trees is a good thing,” said Jackson VanDyke, president of Beer City Brewers Guild. “Planting trees is also a concrete way that we can all participate in giving back to our city and the citizens who support us.”

Tree Beer Month will kick off with a celebration at Harmony Hall on Feb. 15.

brewers groveThroughout the month, fans will be able to find tree beer at 26 participating brewers. Harmony Brewing Company will offer DePeach Mode: Peach Gose a traditional Gose brewed with coriander and salt, and fermented on fresh peaches. Brewery Vivant’s feature is Nordhouse IPA brewed with juniper berries, MI-grown Chinook hops, and their farmhouse yeast. It is made in homage to the sprawling juniper trees in the Nordhouse Dunes Wilderness Area. Elk Brewing will offer Black Trumpet Ale brewed with wild harvested mushrooms that mainly grow on Beech, Oak or other broad leaved trees. Black Trumpet mushrooms tend to leech a blackish color and will give a nice earthiness to the beer.

Brewers Grove started in 2013 when local brewers with the Beer City Brewers Guild asked Friends of Grand Rapids Parks how they could give back to parks and public spaces. Since its inception, 159 trees have been planted and over $30,000 have been raised for Friends of Grand Rapids Parks.

The event helps the City of Grand Rapids get closer to its goal of 40 percent tree cover, adopted in 2011 Green Grand Rapids plan on the recommendation of the City’s Urban Forestry Committee.

“In addition to helping achieve the City’s tree canopy goal, we also want to increase the city’s tree canopy because of all the health, economic, safety and energy benefits trees bring to our community,” said Tori Power, development coordinator at Friends of Grand Rapids Parks.

Learn all about Brewers Grove on the Friends of Grand Rapids Parks website.

About Beer City Brewers Guild

As a group of greater Grand Rapids area brewers, in collaboration with beer-centric businesses, the Beer City Brewers Guild works to celebrate, promote and raise awareness of the craft brewing culture in the Grand Rapids community. The nonprofit guild was founded in 2016 to function as a vehicle for collaborations, charitable giving and knowledge sharing around the subject of craft brewing.

About Friends of Grand Rapids Parks

Friends of Grand Rapids Parks is an independent, citizen led, nonprofit organization founded in 2008, working closely with but separate from the City of Grand Rapids. Their mission is to empower people to cultivate vibrant parks, trees and green spaces in the Grand Rapids community. The organization envisions thriving parks and a sustainable urban forest that actively supports the community’s economic, environmental and cultural health.

GRAND RAPIDS — The Brewers Grove Project kicked off its second consecutive year at Harmony Brewing Company Friday night. Tree-themed beers from different West Michigan area breweries will be available at their locales and different area bars and pubs.

The evening started with a toast from the Heather and Jackson Van Dyke — owners of Harmony — and Steve Faber — Executive Director at Friends of Grand Rapids Parks, an independent, citizen led nonprofit whose mission is to work on specific park projects, mobilize the community and generate resources to enhance and expand Grand Rapids’ parks and public spaces.

Local politicians, brewers and craft beer aficionados were in attendance to sample four of the different offerings. Harmony’s Sumac Attack — a Hefeweizen — Pike 51’s Maple Almond Belgian Brown Ale, White Flame’s Nut Job — a Black Walnut Ale — and Cellar’s Apple Ridge IPA were all on tap for tasting and pints.

The Brewers Grove initiative works specifically with the Urban Forest Project, supporting Grand Rapids goal of a 40% tree canopy. Area brewers are giving back, supporting parks and public spaces by creating tree-themed beers, with one dollar from each pint going directly to the Brewers Grove Fund. This fund helps to expand the Riverside Park tree canopy and will add additional trees to the thirty planted last year.

It’s a pretty easy thing to do [make a tree themed beer], and there are lots of ways to spin it — everything from oak aged to fruits and nuts, and all kinds of things. Now we have 21 different breweries making different beers,” says Steve Faber.

This event will continue until Sept. 12th. Support your local brewery and Beer City USA by grabbing a pint or helping with other Urban Forest projects. More information is available on the Beer City USA website.