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The West Side brew hall announces new series of singles nights

Tired of using dating apps that implore you to swipe left or right and reduce yourself to a few flattering selfies and a one-sentence bio? Wish you could just meet and chat with other single people with a shared love of craft beer? You’re in luck.

Harmony Hall is taking the “e” out of “eHarmony” and making it easier for single craft beer enthusiasts to find a spark, face to face. The beer hall is hosting its first “Single & Ready to Mingle” event this Friday, June 21 at 7 p.m.

“Craft beer is a great conversation starter, and our space at Harmony Hall is a perfect place to mingle,” said Kristine Kaechele, event manager at Harmony Hall. “Join us for good beer, craft conversation and a fun, low-pressure environment.”

single

There will be no speed dating or games at this singles night. Instead, Harmony Hall will serve a special “Single & Ready to Mingle” flight, which will come with a flight sheet filled with craft beer-focused conversation starters. The flight will include a beer brewed just for the event.

“We were inspired by a consensus among members in the Facebook group DrinkGR who were single and wanted opportunities to bond over a shared love of craft beer,” said Harmony Hall co-owner Heather Van Dyke-Titus. “We wanted to offer a safe, gimmick-free space for single craft beer lovers to make a connection.”

It’s time you started looking for love in all the right places. Visit Harmony Hall this Friday evening and make a crafted connection with another appreciator of all things microbrew.

issues and ales

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich — Harmony Hall will host a night of political discussion focused on the highly anticipated upcoming midterm election. Michigan Radio’s next installment of “Issues & Ale” will take place in the hall on Wednesday, October 24 from 6:30-8:00 p.m.

“We’re making it easy to do your civic duty. Get informed while enjoying a delicious Harmony beer!” said Heather Van Dyke-Titus, co-owner of Harmony Brewing Company.

Issues & Ale is an ongoing event series designed to get the public talking about issues in Michigan in an informal environment. The events take place throughout Michigan Radio’s listening area and are always free to attend.

michigan radio

It’s Just Politics co-host Zoe Clark will host a panel of Grand Rapids political experts in a discussion about the upcoming midterm election. On November 6, Michiganders will elect a new governor and attorney general, select candidates in a number of contested races in the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate and vote on three statewide ballot proposals.

“This will be a fun and fast-paced discussion about some of the key races and ballot issues that people across Michigan will be voting on in the November midterm election,” said Steven Chrypinksi, marketing director for Michigan Radio.

Audience members will also have the opportunity to pose questions about the election to the panel.

“We’ve been talking to so many people who are feeling desperate for constructive, respectful dialogue about politics and the issues that impact all of us,” Van Dyke-Titus said. “We wanted to provide a forum for that conversation to happen.”

Van Dyke-Titus, a lifelong listener of NPR, looks forward to hosting the event in the midst of a tense political atmosphere.

“I’m thrilled to be able to collaborate with an institution that I value and respect so much,” Van Dyke-Titus said. “I’m also excited that the theme of the night is a preview for the midterm elections. I can’t remember a time when an election felt more important.”

 

Grand Rapids, Mich. — Early this spring, Harmony Hall will switch out their menu full of handmade sausages with one full of wood-fired pizzas.

The change responds to a demand Harmony Brewing Company Co-Founders and siblings Barry VanDyke, Jackson Arthur VanDyke and Heather VanDyke-Titus have received since they opened their brew pub’s second location in 2015.

harmony hall

Jackson Arthur VanDyke, Heather VanDyke-Titus, Barry VanDyke

“Since we’ve opened our doors at Harmony Hall, people have been saying, ‘Where’s your pizza?’,” said Barry VanDyke.

The Grand Rapids brew pub’s thin crust, wood-fired pizza is widely popular. It was named Fourth Best Pizza in Michigan by MLive twice and Best Pizza by Revue’s “Best of the West” Reader’s Poll twice.

Now customers will be able to get it on the west side of town, but with a twist that pays homage to Harmony Hall’s unique personality.

Harmony Hall’s new menu will share a selection of flagship pizzas with the Eastown location, along with a few of its own specialties. Where Harmony Brewing Company has its Eastown Folk Funk pizza, Harmony Hall will have a Stockbridge pizza “that has actually got mustard and kapusta on it, which sounds weird, but it’s delicious,” Barry VanDyke said.

Bringing pizzas to Harmony Hall means some big changes have to happen in the kitchen—and on the menu.

“Our pizza is famously wood-fired pizza, and according to code you can only have one fuel source underneath a single hood,” Barry VanDyke said. “Because we want to move to pizza, we have to unfortunately get rid of all our grills and our fryers and everything else.”

That means Harmony Hall won’t be serving its sausage dishes. But those flavors won’t disappear entirely.

“Chef Liza Marvin is riffing on some of the sausages that we had, so she’s got a bulgogi pizza and others,” Heather VanDyke-Titus said.

In addition to pizzas, the new menu will keep some of Harmony Hall’s favorite appetizers, salads and sandwiches.

Harmony Hall’s kitchen will have to undergo some construction to accommodate the new wood-fired equipment, which is expected to take two weeks. Demo started on Mar. 19. The new menu is slated to launch Apr. 11, if all goes according to plan.

In the interim, Harmony Hall is serving a limited version of their sausage menu out of the prep kitchen, but the co-founders expect the inconvenience to be minimal.

“Liza is such a crazy hard worker that her limited version of the menu looks a lot like the full version of the menu,” Heather VanDyke-Titus said.

Once the kitchen is finished and the new menu is in place, customers can look forward to some previously impossible opportunities. People will be able to host events catered with Harmony pizza in Harmony Hall’s banquet room. And the staff will have more room to experiment.

“Having the two locations both provide the same product allows us to do a lot of new things, like handmade mozzarella and making our own sausage for the Italian sausage,” Barry VanDyke said.

Ultimately, the change means a more consistent brand for Harmony Brewing Company.

“We’re looking at this as an opportunity to unify what Harmony is all about and get down to the roots of we do, which is good, handmade from scratch food,” Barry VanDyke said. “This is what Harmony is: We’re pizza, we’re beer, and I think the customers are going to really respond well to it.”

 

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. “

 

For the month of December Harmony Hall will be selling ornaments to raise funds for the WestSide Collaborative’s resident empowerment grant program. All proceeds from the sale of the ornaments will go to the grant program. Harmony Hall will kick off the fundraiser with a celebration on December 8, 2016. The celebration will feature local band, The Bootstrap boys playing holiday music from 6-9 pm, the release of the beer, Gingerbread Brown, and festive food specials.

harmony hall

Representatives from the WestSide Collaborative will be present to share information about the grant program.

Through the month of December the WestSide Collaborative is accepting ideas and applications for the resident empowerment grant program on their website. Residents are encouraged to submit  proposals  for community improvement projects. Westside neighbors will then vote to see which project will be awarded up to $1,000.  

“The WestSide Collaborative is a group of local non-profits and neighborhood organizations located in and working on the WestSide of Grand Rapids. We seek to address the marginalization of WestSide residents due to the concentration of power held by entities and individuals other than the residents themselves. We exist to see a more equitable, inclusive and hope-filled WestSide Community”.

harmony brewers

The fourth and final beer in Harmony Brewing Company’s popular wood aged sour beer program will be released on Wednesday November 2nd.  The “Old Spot” sour black saison will be sold in wax dipped, serialized 750 ml bottles.  

“Old Spot” is a rich black saison ale that was aged in a blend of mead and bourbon barrels.   Each barrel was inoculated with our proprietary blend of wild souring agents.  Over the course of the summer, a wide range of flavors developed.  The blending of the barrels created a deeply complex beer with notes of vanilla bean, spiced rum, roasted malts, and tootsie pops.  

harmony brewersThe bottle release will happen as part of Harmony’s inaugural beer geek-out event, “The Peculiar Pint.”  The Peculiar Pint will take place on the 1st and 3rd Wednesdays of the month from 7-10pm, and will be a gathering place for people who aren’t ashamed to go full on beer nerd. Hosted by Ben Isbell, Harmony’s head brewer, each event will provide a strange brew as a central focal point.  On November 2nd, the focus will be on “Old Spot” and the sour barrel brewing process.  Guests will have a chance to taste the individual flavors of the different sour barrels that made up “Old Spot” alongside the blended final product.  Brewers will be on hand to give in depth technical information about the burgeoning craft of sour beer creation.

These bottles of “Old Spot” are extremely limited! The first three beers in this series sold out in bottles within 24 hours.

 

 

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 the second beer in our series of WOOD AGED WILD/SOUR BEERS in bottles and on draft at both Harmony locations on Saturday, August 13 at 11am.  The “Red Wattle” Flanders style red released last month sold out in bottles in LESS THAN AN HOUR!  

“Babirusa” is a wood aged farmhouse ale dry hopped with Hersbrucker and Citra Hops.  Beer nerds like to decipher what style category a beer should be judged against- the official category for the Babirusa is SUPER SAISON!  Saison means “season” in French, and the beer was traditionally brewed by farmers in the cooler months of the year for the purpose of quenching their thirst in the heat of their summer labors. The saison style (also referred to as “farmhouse ale”) can vary widely, but is always an exceedingly refreshing beverage.  Eventually, three classifications developed based on the ABV of the beer- table (3.5-5%) standard (5-7%) and SUPER (7.0-9.5%).

Harmony Hall

Super indeed!  The Babirusa weighs in at 9% ABV.  It pours a hazy straw yellow, with lively carbonation.  The aroma is INTENSELY fruity with the yeasty esters, hint of brett, and dry hop working together to create a vivid peach, ripe mango, and apricot bouquet.  The body is light, crisp, and exceptionally dry.  The Babirusa was aged in 6 different neutral wooden barrels.  Each barrel developed a completely unique aroma and flavor profile due to the proprietary blend of yeasts and bacteria in each barrel.  The blending of these barrels creates a remarkably complex and dangerously quaffable beer.

The release of the Babirusa wood aged, dry hopped farmhouse ale will be EXTREMELY LIMITED! Less than 150 bottles will be hand-filled, labeled, wax-dipped and serialized for sale.  The Babirusa will be on tap at both Harmony locations while it lasts.

New releases will happen monthly.  Next month we will release the “Tamworth” sour golden ale, and in October we will release the “Old Spot” dark farmhouse ale.

Harmony Hall

BONUS!!!  The first customers in the door at either location to purchase a bottle of the Babirusa will receive 2 free tickets to the HOPSTOCK FESTIVAL!  Hopstock is the first beer festival put together by the Beer City Brewers Guild, and it will feature beer, cider, wine and liquor all made right here in BEER CITY USA!

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