#Grand Rapids Archives – PorchDrinking.com
There’s something about working alongside family that can make things a little easier. When you don’t have to put on a face, you can get things done, you can make things happen, and you can use that to be a success. Generations of farmers know this, embrace it, and pass it on to their children. And sometimes that can lead to new business, innovation and tasty beer. Or, maybe that’s just the case for Grand Rapids, Michigan-based farm brewery, Pink Barrel Cellars.
As the first anniversary of COVID-19 hijacking everything as we knew it laps us, City Built Brewing Company, in Grand Rapids, Michigan, reflect back on their risky, yet well-executed homage to Hip-Hop duo, Run the Jewels, which otherwise could’ve easily tanked them in legal hot water.
Okay, so what had happened was…
In 2020, we entered a new normal. When once we crowded hip-to-hip in breweries and barrooms, we now spread out six feet, stick to our tables, and wear masks whenever we move about. During summertime, since outdoor eating is a norm many people enjoy, it felt a little bit better, a bit less stifled. But in late fall, when cold weather set in and a surge in COVID-19 cases caused a new round of indoor dining closures throughout the country, breweries, bars and restaurants had to get creative. Plastic outdoor igloos began to show up, allowing a private space for groups to gather outside. Some establishments chose to keep their patios “as-is,” installing large space heaters to keep people warm and cozy. But others have gone a different route, to stand out due to cost issues — or because as the weather gets colder, even large space heaters don’t do the trick.
Here at Porchdrinking.com, we’ve decided to highlight the creativity of these establishments to keep their businesses open, even when indoor dining is an absolutely non-starter. Our first profile is Grand Rapids, Michigan’s Brass Ring Brewery, and their colorful ice shanties.
Sunday, December 20, marks the 10-year anniversary for one of Grand Rapids, Michigan’s most celebrated breweries: Brewery Vivant. The brewery is the world’s first LEED certified commercial microbrewery and a Certified B Corporation. It is beloved among Michigan’s beer loving community for their Belgium-style brews, as well as their commitment to the local community. To celebrate 10 years, on December 17 the brewery released J’aison, a Petite Saison brewed with orange peel and Tellicherry black peppercorns. It is currently available on draft and in cans for sale at the brewpub.
A variant of the brewery’s wildly popular Kentucky Breakfast Stout, and an already fine example of how to use coffee in beer, KBS Espresso gets an extra shot of coffee flavor thanks to being aged on espresso beans after being removed from the barrel.
As beer enthusiasts, we’ve all thought about it. Some of us may have even looked into the logistics of trying it, but very few of us could ever truly find the time, the money or the energy to visit every brewery in our home state over the course of one year. But that’s exactly what Emily Bennett accomplished in 2017 when she embarked on the Mitten Beer Quest, visiting every brewery in her home state of Michigan.
As a kid, I absolutely loved Whoppers. I’d beg my parents to let me get them every chance I could, and if they gave in, I’d have a small box gone in about 10 minutes. I can still remember the way they melt in your mouth, and am now pretty sure I’m going to the store to get a box. Wait. It turns out, there’s something even better.
Tea and beer have an awful lot in common. They’re both brewed, they each have options for everyone, and often they act as an alternative to coffee.
For years, brewers have been using tea during the brewing process, and it’s proven a success. Here in West Michigan, a few breweries have come up with some lovely beers that celebrate proper relaxation.