#GrandRapids Archives – PorchDrinking.com
Walking into the 11th annual Grand Rapids International Wine, Beer, and Food festival was an overwhelming sensory experience. The excitement and chatter of thousands of festival goers filled the air, in addition to music being provided by local musicians. The smell of tacos from Lindo Mexico and pulled pork from Slows Bar Bq, just a few of the local eateries on site, teased my taste buds. Although I enjoy wine and cider, my eyes were drawn immediately to “Beer City Station,” the area of the festival dedicated to over 60 brewery tents lined with taps and ready for me to explore. My husband and I bought our tasting tickets and set out on our culinary adventure.
After a five-day excursion with my beer-loving parents through Western Michigan and Traverse City, I’ve come back enamored with many of the local brews… and about five pounds heavier. But it was all worth it: every single brew, cheese board, burger and beer flight. During the trip, we visited over 20 breweries throughout Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo, Marshall, Ludington and Traverse City. Some were massive, others were upstarts, but each left an impression. To make my recap as readable as possible, I’ve decided to divide my thoughts up into regions, starting with the focal point: Grand Rapids, and the additional visits we took to Bell’s, Dark Horse and Starving Artist located in Kalamazoo, Marshall and Ludington respectively. Here are my highlights.
Craft beer tourism is booming in Grand Rapids, a beer startup exploits a loophole, and a new law loosens social media restrictions for breweries in California. You’ll be getting details on all of these stories as well as more news from the AB InBev/SABMiller deal. Yes, there is even more news about that deal. Keep reading to find out more in this edition of the Weekly Growler Fill.
Imperial Black IPA
October is finally here! And half gone at that! But, there is still plenty of time to drink some of the best seasonal beer selections breweries have to offer. Now, it is no surprise that pumpkin beers have been taking over the market selection for seasonal brews this year. However, there are a ton of other great beer styles to drink this October, such as Harvest Ales, Brown Ales, Black Ales, really any full-bodied dark beer with toasty notes to keep you warm by a fire. Founders Brewing Co. introduced one such brew to their autumn line-up, a bold new speciality beer, Dark Penance Imperial Black IPA. From appearance all the way to flavor, Dark Penance sets a fresh new tone for beers this season, capturing all the right characteristics of fall.