Beer Week

It’s the most wonderful time… for a beer!

Certainly that line could be sung nearly anytime of the year in Beer City.

During the extra long week of February 17-28, also known as GR Beer Week, the community of Grand Rapids busts out of their cabin fever and celebrates all things beer.

Sure, there may be snow and ice on the ground, but we are Michiganders: we drink beer for breakfast — outside with pride, in the bitter cold of winter. Yes, that’s right — Beer Week GR will culminate with the 2 Day Michigan Brewers Guild Winter Beer Festival at Fifth Third Ballpark on February 26 and 27. It is an outdoor event, and every attendee should dress for the weather (as in, ski-gear.) Saturday sold out in minutes, but Friday tickets are still available.

winter beer fest

To fire up enthusiasts’ livers – ahem – spirits for the Winter Beer Fest, and to welcome visitors to Beer City, GR Beer Week was created in 2012 and this year it is overflowing with nearly 120 events. Check out ExperienceGR’s Beer Week calendar for a full list of events that is updated on a daily basis. Even if you are not a planner, you could drop into many Grand Rapids area breweries, tap-houses, or brewpubs during Beer Week and be greeted with smiling faces from the collaborative community of Grand Rapids and some form of festivities.

Many Beer Week events will feature tap takeovers, ranging from a few select taps from a small MI brewery, to a crazy 20-tap blow-out from one brewery. Most breweries plan to bring rare craft beers, a few might even toss in a specialty firkin you won’t find anywhere else. It truly is a fun adventure. Be prepared to stand, to be kind, and to tip bartenders and servers generously. Also… designate a driver when necessary.

Beer Week

As you make your way around Beer Week GR, be sure to bring your Brewsader Passport to earn stamps at Grand Rapids Area Breweries. With 8 stamps during Beer Week GR, participants will receive a Brewsader koozie and bottle opener, plus an official Brewsader t-shirt. Passports and prizes can be picked up at GoSite inside the Grand Rapids Art Museum while supplies last. As an added bonus, enthusiasts will earn extra perks at participating breweries. With a full passport stamped (23 stamps!) you are considered an ULTIMATE BREWSADER and will earn even more perks at participating breweries. You don’t want to miss out on these incredible deals, from pint glasses to mug club memberships — it’s worth making the full Beer City Tour and earning those stamps. Again, drink responsibly!

Beer Week

ExperienceGR has also lined up Cool Brews Hot Eats with 50 menu items for enthusiasts to devour at a wide array of Grand Rapids area restaurants during the same time-frame. Cool Brews Hot Eats menu options are beer-infused entrées, desserts, and beyond that utilize beer as an ingredient, or a dish created for a specific pairing with a Michigan beer. There truly is something to warm everyone’s palate up for the last weeks of February.

I’ve got cabin fever and the only cure is… Beer Week GR!

The importance music and beer hold on a city’s culture are immense, but especially the rich history of both in Grand Rapids.

With Grand Rapids Beer Week set to begin Feb. 19, it’s also time to launch the BeerCity Music Series. A few conversations with musicians and brewers alike have shown that there’s a symbiotic relationship between the two and it should be celebrated.

In collaboration with media sponsor MittenBrew, this first attempt at the series is an experiment, to see what could become of music in the brewing industry. While large, there’s a large sector open for the creativity of the two to come together.

With original music venues dying and the craft beer industry exploding but with infinite room for growth, the pair seems made for each other.

The week will consist of five, short-set shows at area breweries. The sets and interviews will be recorded for a future production.

The week will look like this:

  • 7 p.m. Monday – Simien the Whale at Brewery Vivant
  • 5 p.m. Tuesday – Valentiger at Mitten Brewing Co.
  • 8 p.m. Wednesday – Chris Andrus at Rockford Brewing Co.
  • 4 p.m. Thursday – Nick James at White Flame Brewing Co.
  • 2 p.m. Friday – Chance Jones at Founders Brewing Co.

Be sure to look for more events like this in the near future.

Updated 2/13/13: Added Founders and musical act to the list of performances.

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