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beer month gr

Grand Rapids, Mich. – Experience Grand Rapids announces the second annual Beer Month GR, celebrating Grand Rapids’ award-winning craft breweries through collaborative events including Cool Brews. Hot Eats., the 13th Annual Winter Beer Festival, KBS Week, Tree Beer, and more. The month-long celebration beginsThursday, Feb. 15 and concludes Thursday, Mar. 15.

Throughout Beer Month GR, over 50 area restaurants and breweries will participate in the sixth annual Cool Brews. Hot Eats., which will showcase Grand Rapids’ unique craft beer and food scene. Cool Brews. Hot Eats. participants will offer beer-infused dishes throughout the month-long celebration.

Experience Grand Rapids will continue to offer its Beer City Brewsader® Passport program throughout Beer Month GR, which encourages craft beer lovers to visit eight Grand Rapids’ breweries in exchange for an official Brewsader® T-shirt. There will be additional prizes and incentives for those who become a Brewsader® during Beer Month GR. Extreme craft beer enthusiasts can also visit all 35 breweries to become an Ultimate Brewsader® and unlock exclusive deals and discounts.

Beer Month GR also includes the 13th Annual Winter Beer Festival on Friday, Feb. 23 from 5 to 9 p.m. and Saturday, Feb. 24 from 1 to 6 p.m. located at Fifth Third Ballpark. The Winter Beer Festival will feature more than 1,000 different craft beers from nearly 30 Michigan breweries, entertainment, and food for purchase. Tickets for Saturday, Feb. 24 are sold out, but guests can still purchase tickets for Friday, Feb. 23.

Experience Grand Rapids and GR Hopper have partnered together to provide hotel shuttle transportation from 12-area hotels for $10 round trip. For more information, visit here.

Also during Beer Month GR, Founders Brewing Co. will celebrate its fifth annual KBS Week, March 5-10. The weeklong celebration honors the highly anticipated release of Founder’s award-winning Kentucky Breakfast Stout (KBS). Throughout KBS Week, participating restaurants and breweries will host exclusive Taproom Release Parties. KBS Week Hotel Packages are also available and will include limited edition KBS gear.

In order to give back to local parks and community spaces, local brewers are partnering with Friends of Grand Rapids’ Parks (FGRP) to create tree-themed beers that will be featured throughout Beer Month GR. This year’s Tree Beer Release Party will take place at Harmony Hall on Thursday, Feb. 15 at 5:30 p.m. This year’s limited release Tree Beer will be available throughout Beer Month GR, or while supplies last. All Tree Beer proceeds will benefit FGRP’s Grand Rapids Urban Forest Project for tree plantings in the community.

 

GRAND RAPIDS — Collaborating for the third year in a row, Grand Rapids area breweries and Friends of Grand Rapids Parks are teaming up once again to raise money for The Brewers Grove Fund. A project created to maximize the tree canopy within the city. Translation: More trees to enjoy savoring our craft beer under! This beer is amazing.

Starting Monday, Aug. 31, stop into any of the participating Grand Rapids area breweries* to order a tree-inspired craft beer, like a Bourbon Barrel Oak Aged Tree Bucket Belgian-Inspired Double IPA from Brewery Vivant, and a portion of the sales will support plantings and expand The Brewers Grove concept started at Riverside Park in 2013, where brewers planted 30 trees with the money raised, and another impressive 75 trees in 2014.

Because of the success of the last two years, the Grand Rapids area brewers have found that Riverside Park’s tree canopy is nearly full, therefore, The Brewers Grove will be expanding to other city parks and public green spaces. This year, local brewers will assist in finishing up plantings in Riverside Park and expand into Covell Dog Park in October.

“Trees are crucial to our community, and advocating and supporting our urban forest is a footprint we leave for future generations to come,” said Margaret Studer, Urban Forest Project Coordinator. “I can’t think of a better way to advocate for forestry than with a mug of tree beer! I think it is safe to say that local beer lovers will enjoy the tastes and complexities of tree beer all the more knowing that is going to a good cause.”

The tree beers will be tapped city-wide Monday, Aug 31. A Kick-Off Tree Beer Tap Takeover event will be held at Harmony Brewing Co. on Monday, with a toast at 5:00 p.m. Several tree beers will be featured on tap. In addition to Harmony’s Jubilation Cherry Saison IPA, Jaden James Silver Maple Lager, with notes of maple from freshly tapped maple trees, Pike 51 will offer a 100% Michigan Hopped Saison aged in Red Wine Barrels. Schmohz tap will pour a Barrel-Aged Scotch Ale Wee Heavy, White Flame will put a twist on a Black-IPA Cider hybrid, and The Peoples Cider Co. will be offering a Cherry-infused Cider.

“We want to be a benefit to the community that is incredibly supportive of us and our industry,” said Jackson VanDyke, co-owner of Harmony Brewing. “This is a great way for the breweries to collaborate and do something positive for our city.”

Another tree beer tap-takeover will take place on Friday, Sept. 4 at 57 Brew Pub & Bistro in Greenville featuring their Cherry Houdini, a Cherry Vanilla Porter, along with a Cedar-Aged Pale Ale from Gravel Bottom, Pike 51’s Bon Belle Saison and Rockford Brewing’s Peach Pit Peach Brown, brewed with local peaches and nectarines grown and harvested at Homrich’s Under the Pines family farm. Head Brewer Tom Payne will be donating a flat rate based on sales, plus rounding up to an even amount.

Friends of Grand Rapids Parks will also host a Brewers Grove Planting and Party on Saturday, Oct. 3 at Riverside Park. Beer lovers are invited to the park to get their hands dirty, plant a tree, and chat with the brewers while enjoying live music from two local bands. Enthusiasts are encouraged to stop by a Grand Rapids area brewery to fill a growler with their favorite tree beer or cider to enjoy at the event, as an open-container permit will be in place at the park. More details will come in mid-September.

Find the latest information as well as a Tree Beer Map at BrewersGrove.com

*Participating Breweries and Corresponding Tree Themed Beer:

57 Brew Pub
Cherry Houdini, ABV 5.5%
Cherry Vanilla Porter

B.O.B.’s Brewery
Tangerine Trees, ABV 6.0%
Belgian Wit with citrus fruits and candy.

Brewery Vivant
Devastation, ABV 9.3%
Bourbon Barrel Oak Aged Tree Bucket Belgian Inspired Double IPA.

The Cellar
Apple of your Rye, ABV 4.5%
Fruited Rye Beer.

Crankers
Cheery O’Dark Cherry Wheat Ale, ABV 5.5%
A light clean crisp wheat ale with an organic cherry finish.

EB Coffee & Pub
Fuzzy Nuts, ABV 6.8%
Coconut Porter

ELK
Willow ESB, ABV 6.4%
Extra Special / Strong Bitter

Grand Rapids Brewing Company
Coconut Kaiser Chocolate Macaroon, ABV 5.8%
Dunkelweiss with Roasted Coconut and Chocolate.

Gravel Bottom
Cederino, ABV 7.1%
Cedar aged Pale Ale

Harmony Brewing Company
Jubilation Cherry Saison IPA, ABV 7.1%
Brewed with Summit and Hull Melon hops with sour cherries added during fermentation.

HopCat
Naughty Nicodemus, ABV 4.7%
Gruit beer with lime, juniper berry and cucumber.

Jaden James
Silver Maple Lager, ABV 5.5%
Notes of maple from freshly tapped maple trees.

The Mitten Brewing Company
Olut Kaupunki Saht (Beer City Sahti), ABV 6.1%
Finnish Sahti made with juniper berries

Peoples Cider
Cherry Adams Tart, ABV 7.4%
Cherry-infused Cider

Pike 51
Bon Belle Saison, ABV 5.8%
100% Michigan Hopped Saison aged in Red Wine Barrels

Railtown Brewing
Dutch Chocolate Peanut Butter Porter, ABV 8%
Imperial Porter with a full, creamy body.

Rockford Brewing Company
Peach Pit Peach Brown, ABV 4.8%
Brewed with local peaches and nectarines grown and harvested at Homrich’s Under the Pines family farm.

Schmohz
Barrel Aged Kiss My Scottish Arse ABV 9.3%
Scotch Ale / Wee Heavy

White Flame
Bad Apple, ABV 7%
Black IPA Cider hybrid with a rich roasted black pour and a crisp apple finish.

GRAND RAPIDS — It’s the time of year for the second annual Brewers Grove event. I’ve had the chance to try four of the 24 tree beers at the Brewers Grove kickoff party, held Friday at Harmony Brewing Company.

All of these beers, in addition to the 20 others available, will be on tap at participating breweries through Sept. 12. All of the beers have some sort of interpretation around the idea of trees, with each brewery using its own creativeness to work this idea into a beer.

Harmony Brewing Sumac Attack, 5.5% ABV

A cloudy brew sits before me that looks just like apple cider. Hints of ruby red highlights appear among the dark amber liquid. It has a creamy mouthfeel, but with an excellent acidic tang throughout. This finishes bright and slightly tart.

I detect subtle notes of lemon zest, clove, and a vegetal character in the flavor. Banana notes that are in the background and latch onto that creamy mouthfeel, enhancing each other. The malt character is overpowered by the acidic tang, but does still come through as subtle bread notes.

In the nose this beer comes to me as pear and apple with just a little dab of bread forward malt.

White Flame Nut Job, 5.5% ABV

A pitch black beer with a tan head. Upon tasting, I detect a thin body and overall mouthfeel. It feels perhaps thinner than one would expect from such a robust looking brew. In the nose I smell burnt grain/toast and this carries into the flavor as well. I’m also detecting a slight nuttiness — perhaps walnuts — right before the finish.

Despite the foreboding appearance, this beer is extremely sessionable, though pretty one-dimensional. A more diversified grain bill might have given this beer a bit more complexity. Giving it a slight creamy character and playing more on the nuttiness of it would be to their advantage. Despite the fact that it is playing on one note, that feature would make it a pretty good pairing with french vanilla ice cream. It would add that roasted quality but wouldn’t overpower the somewhat delicate nature of the vanilla and would instead allow it to shine through.

Brewery Vivant Devastation: Bourbon Barrel Aged Belgian Style DIPA, 9.3% ABV

A very slight haziness in the beer and white head sit on top of the burnished gold to light amber colored liquid. The flavor includes exceptionally strong notes of bourbon with a bit of vanilla. The light spice character is reminiscent of clove. In the aroma I detect mango and very ripe peach, along with strong vanilla and a punch of Bourbon.

The brew drinks quite hot and has medium-high carbonation levels. The sweet and boozy character sticks to the roof of the mouth. In the finish I get that strike of hot booziness as well as a hint of dark cherry while the vanilla lingers.

Gravel Bottom Cedarino: Cedar Pale Ale, 7.1% ABV

The beer has dropped very bright and is a perfect light amber/honey brown color. There are subtle notes of sweet cedar, honey and bread on the nose and an almost rye grain-like spicy character that moves all the way into the finish.

I have confirmed with the brewer that there is in fact no rye in the grain bill, but the way the America hop varieties and the Spanish cedar interact it causes a spicy and biting character (similar to rye) for my tongue.

Both the hops and the cedar are working well together to create new flavors. I applaud the close attention the brewer paid to this interaction because it’s not easy to do. The mouthfeel is also smooth and silky all the way until the medium dryness in the finish. Besides the cedar, I detect resin, pine-forward American hops and granola in the flavor, but it’s more cedar-like and hop forward in the nose. Overall this is well balanced and is just begging to be paired with food.


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