arcturus

Beer

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So I'm at Brewery Vivant yesterday striking up a conversation with 3 guys yesterday. It turns out they drove all the way from New Jersey for a weekend outing just to sample our locally brewed beers. The hook was Founders ... they've had some excellent press lately. These guys search high & low for Founder's offerings back there, going so far as to call ahead and stake out different liquor stores for first dibs, especially when Canadian Breakfast Stout is released

They lamented at their limited time here, marveling at all the different places to go and saying how nice the people were. They were excited about all the new places opening ... the new/old Grand Rapids Brewing, Harmony, Elk Brewing, Perrin, etc and asked about taxes and housing affordability in the region. GR impressed all of them ... two of the three are interested in possibly relocating (the third has a GF who won't budge). It dawned on me later they fall into a demographic the city loves ... 20's, ambitious, good skills.

Guess the bottom line to this post is don't underestimate the attraction of beer when it comes to attracting new people to the city.

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That's amusing. For my own relocation, part of the draw was Field's Fabrics. I discovered the rail trails later (another well-kept secret).

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So I'm at Brewery Vivant yesterday striking up a conversation with 3 guys yesterday. It turns out they drove all the way from New Jersey for a weekend outing just to sample our locally brewed beers. The hook was Founders ... they've had some excellent press lately. These guys search high & low for Founder's offerings back there, going so far as to call ahead and stake out different liquor stores for first dibs, especially when Canadian Breakfast Stout is released

They lamented at their limited time here, marveling at all the different places to go and saying how nice the people were. They were excited about all the new places opening ... the new/old Grand Rapids Brewing, Harmony, Elk Brewing, Perrin, etc and asked about taxes and housing affordability in the region. GR impressed all of them ... two of the three are interested in possibly relocating (the third has a GF who won't budge). It dawned on me later they fall into a demographic the city loves ... 20's, ambitious, good skills.

Guess the bottom line to this post is don't underestimate the attraction of beer when it comes to attracting new people to the city.

I believe it. I don't know the statistics, but I think Founders might be the fastest growing business in Grand Rapids based on sales volume. Their distribution and following is growing like crazy.

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The guys over at Siciliano's completely agree. A great little piece on how the brewery boom is helping out the West Michigan economy.

"With several established breweries leading the way, and with more on the horizon, Grand Rapids is poised to become a center for beer-related tourism. That's a good thing for West Michigan residents, and here's why . . . "

http://sicilianosmkt.blogspot.com/2011/11/destination-gr-craft-beer-capital-of.html

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I just ran out at lunch and made my own 6-pack of local brews for a gift. Good for those who need a little extra incentive to get out to the breweries. Founders+Brewery Vivant+Saugatuck.

Back in the '90s (?), brewing laws changed and little microbrews and brew-on-premises popped up all over. Then a lot of them very quickly disappeared. This current growth seems to be more stable and I wish them all luck. Funny, I think of Founders as "old" and that would make Bell's almost pre-historic.

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Ticket sales for the Winter Beer Fest started Dec 1st and sold out before Christmas. I think over 5,500 were sold. Not bad for an outdoor event in late February.

http://bit.ly/tzEkme

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That is awesome, and an amazing feat. Tells you how die-hard beer drinkers are in this area! :)

Joe

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That is awesome, and an amazing feat. Tells you how die-hard beer drinkers are in this area! :)

Joe

Or how awesome the Winter Beer Fest is. :)

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Harmony Brewing in Eastown is finally opened... I drove by today (after a visit to Founders which was packed) and was going to stop in for a pint, but the place had a full crowd. I am somewhat surprised by the business these local breweries are pulling in on mid-week nights. The growth is certainly exciting for a beer afficiando!

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Great article - interesting that they didn't see anything outside of West Michigan.

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Great article - interesting that they didn't see anything outside of West Michigan.

What else is there to see ?? ;)

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The article praises 3 Floyds in Munster, Indiana (my old stomping grounds). If you have never been there, it is absolutely a MUST try. The best beer and brewery I have ever experienced! Beer enthusiasts, it is a must try!

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Another example of how Founders has become a mini-tourist destination of sorts. Kentucky Breakfast Stout is rated the 9th best beer in the world by the users of BeerAdvocate.com (http://beeradvocate.com/lists/popular). They posted on Monday on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/founderstaproom with 13,728 "fans") about the release of Kentucky Breakfast Stout on Saturday, 3/10 asking who was going to come. There were 42 replies and among them:

"Heather Lynn Welty Driving from Pittsburgh PA to wait in line! Well worth the wait!"

"RonSanto Fitz Im heading there from Chi at 4 am so should be there by

8 am... Im bringing Growlers of Rev brew, Half Acre and 3 floyds for all to enjoy!"

"Patrick Cleary I'll be first in line. 200 mile trip with the guys!"

"Nathan Hillyard Yep. Leaving Evansville Indiana directly after work on Friday at 5. Driving straight to founders, pulling out the bag chair, cracking a beer, and wait."

"Mark Loughead Coming from the other side of the state.. We'll be the ones tailgating with a grill... Prolly bring a bottle or 2 of black note, old curmudgeon better half, some bbl plead the fifth and some bbl 4th dementia for starters:) can't wait for the party!"

Edited by fotoman311

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Great thread -- beer, good food, wine are tremendous attractions for younger folks. My kids (who are in/almost in their 20s) are much more knowledgeable about food and alcohol than our generation. For us it was burgers, pizza or lasagna, washed down with Stroh's. Now, it might be tapas or locovore delights, accompanied by the best of Founder's or Bell's.

My frustration is that it is almost impossible to find Michigan beer in Southern California; we can buy East Coast microbrews, but not the best of the Great Lake State. I hope that the local brewers can expand their marketing efforts, as I find the beers to be fantastic.

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Mitten Brewing to open in May in old firehouse on W Leonard St ... http://www.wzzm13.co...n-GRs-west-side

That old firehouse is a beautiful spot to put a new brewery. I like that different neighborhoods are starting to get their beer on :shades:

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Funny thing, I just stumbled upon this while browsing Facebook, if you vote or just click "See Results", the comments for Grand Rapids are just amazing!

http://polldaddy.com...lts&msg=revoted

Its a vote for BeerCity USA 2012.

Awesome!

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Funny thing, I just stumbled upon this while browsing Facebook, if you vote or just click "See Results", the comments for Grand Rapids are just amazing!

http://polldaddy.com...lts&msg=revoted

Its a vote for BeerCity USA 2012.

http://www.examiner....allot-poll-open

It's actually a vote for Grand Rapids to be on the ballot for Beer City USA. I was happy to see so many great comments talking up GR, though.

Edit: Wow, GR only had about 900 votes when I checked this a couple days ago. 46% of the vote makes a bit of a statement.

Edited by fotoman311

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