GRAND RAPIDS, MICH – Back by popular demand, Brewery Vivant to release “Fat Paczki” on Tuesday February 13, 2018 to coincide with Paczki Day and Mardi Gras celebrations. The 8% ABV beer is simply a classic paczki ale— an amber ale brewed with 15lbs of dried prunes and powdered sugar. Prepare for ripened plum and raisin notes, while the confectioner’s sugar adds a sweet backend mouthfeel.

paczki day

This is the third year in a row the brewery has released the celebration beer. When Vivant first brewed Fat Paczki in 2015, it was just a novelty. Head brewer, Jacob Derylo admits it came about as a fun experiment. “We’re here in West Michigan,” He says, “Over half our brewing team has some Polish heritage. We were inspired by the culture and the ingredients locally available. Paczki are everywhere this time of year!” The annual release is now a fan favorite, both on draft and in 16oz pint cans only available at the Pub. The first 100 folks to order a pint at the Pub on February 13 will receive a fresh baked paczki donut from Pastry Chef, Katy Waltz. Doors open at 3pm.

paczki dayAlso on February 13, Brewery Vivant to release it’s highly acclaimed “Love Shadow”, the 12% ABV bourbon barrel aged Imperial stout— just in time for Valentine’s Day. The beer is available on draft and in 16oz pint cans while supplies last. As an additional treat, the brewers and kitchen staff teamed up to brew two exclusive variants of the stout. Pastry chef Katy Waltz made 5 pounds of beignets, the New Orleans French inspired donut and offered them up, along with real raspberry puree, to one of the bourbon barrels holding 53 gallons of Love Shadow. Then sous chef Vanessa Aguilar toasted baking sheets full of shredded coconut to mingle with another barrel of beer. The two versions, Raspberry Beignet Love Shadow and Toasted Coconut Love Shadow will be tapped at 3pm along with the original Love Shadow.

Love Shadow will see limited distribution throughout Michigan on draft and in pint cans in conjunction with the Pub release.

About Brewery Vivant
Brewery Vivant promotes living the good life by brewing farmhouse inspired beer, serving a from-scratch menu and building a sustainable community one beer at a time. The brewery employees around 65 employees and is located in the East Hills neighborhood of Grand Rapids, in a renovated funeral chapel built in the early 1900s. Husband and wife partners Jason and Kris Spaulding opened the doors for business in December of 2010. Vivant beers are distributed throughout Michigan and Massachusetts. They are the first commercial brewery in the nation to receive Silver LEED Certification from the USGBC. Additionally they are 100% renewably powered, a gold ­level Bicycle Friendly Business, and are a certified B Corporation. Beer the Change®!


suds and snow

Over a decade ago, Suds & Snow started as a small beer festival meant to break up the winter. On Saturday, the 11th annual Suds & Snow was larger and more alive than ever.

Held at Timber Ridge Resort each March, Suds & Snow continues to be the “ultimate party in the woods.” Throughout the remainder of the year, Timber Ridge Resort is a campground; in the winter, however, it transforms into a place where locals can still enjoy the outdoors. The resort hosts fat tire bike races throughout the winter, maintains groomed cross-country ski trails, and finishes the season with a unique beer festival.

suds and snow

With a Mardi Gras theme, this year’s Suds & Snow was colorful, light-hearted, and full of funk and jazz. Many attendees return each year, bringing along new friends to enjoy the festival. There were over 2,500 tickets sold online for this year’s festival, with even more sold at the door. Offered again this year were early bird and VIP tickets, which allowed early access into the festival as well as an exclusive festival Silipint.

Upon arriving to the festival, attendees had to make the legendary hike back into the woods. The festival could be found in a valley toward the back of the resort, encircled in breweries, food vendors, and live music.

The festival set up in the valley allowed for what seemed like two different festivals. The front space adorned a bonfire and live music as well as hilltop adirondack chairs and cornhole. A throughway in the middle led to the back of the festival which featured more breweries, food vendors, and a DJ.

This year, the festival hosted 23 breweries from around the state, including Beards Brewery, New Holland Brewing, Tandem Ciders, and Blackrocks Brewery.

The food vendors were local favorites, MI Grille and Roaming Harvest. MI Grille served a Mardi Gras jambalaya while Roaming Harvest featured their well-liked tacos.

The live music exemplified the theme, bringing a little bit of New Orleans to Northern Michigan. Jesse Ray & The Carolina Catfish, from Grand Rapids, energized the crowds with their upbeat rockabilly-influenced music. Hannah Rose & The Gravetones kicked things up with an interesting mix of funk, jazz, blues, and rock. Tell Yo Mama closed out the night with an eclectic mix of cover songs.

The 12th Annual Suds & Snow will take place at the beginning of March 2018, and is sure to be even more memorable. You can visit their website for updates and more information.


Photography: Kaitlyn Rickman