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WEST MICHIGAN’S ENTERTAINMENT GUIDE FOR 31 YEARS » OCTOBER 2019

FREE!

HOSTS OF IN MI PINT, KATI SPAYDE AND BEN DARCIE

PINTS WITH THE PROS A CONVERSATION ON CRAFT BEER WITH LOCAL BREW GURUS AND PODCASTERS

ALSO INSIDE THRILLER! CHILLER! FILM FESTIVAL MOST MEMORABLE BEERS BEST CHICKEN SANDWICHES


OCT

5

TOTO Entertainment Hall | 8PM Tickets start at $35

OCT

CHECK OUT OUR WEEKLY SPECIALS

11

MARGARITA MONDAYS

JOHNNY GILL & RALPH TRESVANT

MARGARITA & TEQUILA SPECIALS MINI TACO & NACHO BAR

Entertainment Hall | 8PM Tickets start at $35

4PM-CLOSE

SINGLES MINGLE & DATE NIGHT TUESDAYS

OCT

19&20

FOOD & DRINK SPECIALS

4PM-CLOSE

FANTASTICON

INDUSTRY WEDNESDAYS

Entertainment Hall Saturday | 12PM–7PM Sunday | 11AM–6PM Tickets start at $5

BEER SPECIALS, BURGER BAR & LIVE MUSIC

4PM-CLOSE

TAP HEAD THURSDAYS DRAFT BEER, WING SPECIALS & LIVE MUSIC

OCT

26

4PM-CLOSE

OFF COLOR COMEDY TOUR FEATURING SHAWN WAYANS, TOMMY DAVIDSON & DAVID ALAN GRIER

11AM-3PM

Entertainment Hall | 8PM Tickets start at $59

Get your tickets at Soaring Eagle Casino or Saganing Eagles Landing Casino Box Offices, ETIX.COM or call 1.800.513.ETIX. soaringeaglecasino.com

Mt. Pleasant, MI | 1.888.7.EAGLE.7

Performances held at Soaring Eagle Casino & Resort in Mt. Pleasant, Michigan. Entertainment subject to cancellation. Management reserves all rights.

2 | REVUEWM.COM | OCTOBER 2019

SUNDAY BRUNCH & BLOODY MARY BAR


18+

OCTOBER 3 STEVE HACKETT Genesis Revisited

*

*

OCTOBER 5 ZOSO

OCTOBER 10 THEO VON

The Ultimate Led Zeppelin Experience

* OCTOBER 22 ANDY GRAMMER & BEN RECTOR

Hope Network Benefit Concert

OCTOBER 15 LITTLE STEVEN & THE DISCIPLES OF SOUL

OCTOBER 19 THE PRINCE EXPERIENCE

NOVEMBER 1 MICHAEL RAY

NOVEMBER 3 CHELSEA HANDLER

w/ Jimmie Allen, Walker County

w/ Michael Blume

*

*

OCTOBER 23 JAY AND SILENT BOB REBOOT RAODSHOW

OCTOBER 20 AJR

NOVEMBER 4 WILCO w/ Deep Sea Diver

NOVEMBER 5 JIM BREUER

NOVEMBER 12 BIG WILD

NOVEMBER 13 BLUES TRAVELER

NOVEMBER 22 AARON LEWIS

NOVEMBER 23 CHASE RICE

* NOVEMBER 7 SIMPLE PLAN & STATE CHAMPS

NOVEMBER 8 X AMBASSADORS

NOVEMBER 9 A$AP FERG

w/ Bear Hands, Verite

w/ We The Kings

w/ Murda Beatz, MadeinTYO

NOVEMBER 10 LEWIS BLACK

w/ Evan Giia, Ark Patrol

w/ Magnolia Boulevard

*

* NOVEMBER 14 WORLD OF DANCE LIVE! TOUR

NOVEMBER 15 RYAN HAMILTON

NOVEMBER 16 YELAWOLF

NOVEMBER 21 THIRD EYE BLIND w/ Smallpools

* NOVEMBER 30 STEEL PANTHER w/ Stitched Up Heart

* SEATED SHOW

DECEMBER 4 LOUIS THE CHILD

w/ Duckwrth, John the Blind

w/ Ben Danaher

w/ Cale Dodds

* DECEMBER 7 TOM SEGURA

DECEMBER 17 JANE LYNCH

"A Swingin' Little Christmas"

FEBRUARY 21 CHRIS LANE w/ Blanco Brown, Ernest

20 Monroe Live Box Office Hours: Mon-Thurs: 12pm-6pm / Fri: 10am-6pm Weekends: event days only / Box office opens 2 hours prior to doors. (closed on non-show days)

11 OTTAWA AVE NW • DOWNTOWN GRAND RAPIDS • 20MONROELIVE.COM REVUEWM.COM | OCTOBER 2019 |

3


AC Lounge, Grand Rapids

THE SOUL OF SPAIN IN THE HEART OF THE HOTEL DISTRICT. The AC Lounge, where collaboration meets relaxation. An open space, designed for both sides of you – work life and night life. A place where inspiration crystallizes into creative, actionable ideas by day. By night, our bartenders serve up expert local knowledge along with craft beer, hand-crafted cocktails, and tapas-style small plates.

AC Hotel Grand Rapids Downtown 50 Monroe Ave NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49503 | AC-Hotels.com

GRAND RAPIDS


LI M I T ED

R EL EA S E

FA L L VA R I E T Y PA C K

N O W AVA I L A B L E ! REVUEWM.COM | OCTOBER 2019 |

5


AC Lounge, Grand Rapids

INTRODUCING THE PORRร“N: A NEW NIGHTLY RITUAL FEATURED IN THE AC LOUNGE. Partake in a new experience in the AC Lounge in Downtown Grand Rapids. Gather with friends and colleagues to share the spirit of Spain in our intentionally designed environment with a porrรณn. A traditional Spanish glass wine pitcher, the ritual of sharing wine with a porrรณn has been passed down through generations and is now available in the AC Lounge. Transform your evening and experience the heart of Spain in Downtown Grand Rapids.

AC Hotel Grand Rapids Downtown 50 Monroe Ave NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49503 | AC-Hotels.com

GRAND RAPIDS


REVUEWM.COM | OCTOBER 2019 |

7


ALL FOR THE PRICE OF A PLANE TICKET

Skip the trip. Check in to one of the nine unique hotels in the Hotel District. Check out all the stuff you can do with the money you save; like going to a concert, ordering room service, go out for some finedining or fun-dining, shop, sleep, or step into one of the museums, breweries, coffee-shops or cocktail bars within an easy walk of whichever hotel you choose. Check in with us, Check out what’s up.

hoteldistrictgr.com | @hoteldistrictgr


ShareALegend WITH

FIND DRAGON’S MILK NEAR YOU AT: DRAGONSMILK.COM


It’s all that stands between being out, or being “in.”

idontcaregr.com | For those in the know.™ 10 | REVUEWM.COM | OCTOBER 2019


TIME TO RAISE THE CURTAIN

CLIE

FireK Casin

PRO

Oct.

HOWIE MANDEL

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 5

JOB

FK-3

COL

4/c

SIZE

9.25”

BLEE

n/a

GRAMMY AWARD WINNER

BILL ENGVALL

SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 9

BOZ SCAGGS

FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 22

MICHAEL BOLTON

GREATEST HITS & HOLIDAY FAVORITES

THURSDAY, DECEMBER 12

Tickets available now at the FireKeepers Box Office or FireKeepersCasino.com.

Must be 21 or older. Tickets based on availability. Schedule subject to change.

FK-34154_Oct.Revue_9.25x10.indd 1

9/11/19 PM REVUEWM.COM | OCTOBER 20191:46 | 11


12 | REVUEWM.COM | OCTOBER 2019


WHAT’S INSIDE

October 2019 | Volume 31, Issue 10

SCENE: 16 20 22 74 76

What’s Going On Biz Beat Potshots Thriller Chiller Style Notes: Lee & Birch

SOUNDS: 24 Moon Hooch 26 Judy Collins 26 May Erlewine

REVUE ARTS:

45

1A Visual arts, classical and jazz music, theater, arts event previews and more. (See the center of this issue)

THE BEER ISSUE 33 35 37 38 40 41 45 51 55 59 63

Introduction Brewery News Beer Events Arvon Brewing Worst Beer Trends Food and Beer Pairing In MI Pint: A Conversation Most Memorable Beers Beer & Cannabis Drinking Dictionary Brewery Guide

DINING & DRINKING:

78

26

78 Chicken Sandwiches

REVUEWM.COM | OCTOBER 2019 |

13


LETTER FROM THE EDITOR

L

et’s be honest: Craft beer is here to stay. Even after all these years, quite a few more breweries are opening than are closing, not to mention all the breweries expanding with larger taprooms, more production space, and increased presence on shelves.

As alternatives like hard seltzer arrive, we may see some of the beer fervor simmer down, but breweries are adapting with their own hard seltzers and low-cal, low-ABV beers. Bell’s Light Hearted Ale retains some of the classic Two Hearted flavor but with half the ABV and basically the same calories as a hard seltzer. Meanwhile, some breweries are also seeing what they can do — both in terms of practicality and legality — with cannabis and beer. Then there are places like Arvon Brewing, flourishing without any real gimmicks, just quality craft beer. In our annual Beer Issue, we take a look at all these brews and more, with a massive brewery guide, a rundown of new and closed breweries, and even a look at some of the year’s worst beer trends. If you want the real inside scoop, check out our chat with beer gurus Ben Darcie and Katie Spayde, who host the podcast In MI Pint. They’re knowledgeable, insightful and not afraid to get into the deep stuff. Our writer talked with them for nearly two hours, if that tells you anything. Beyond beer, we have some big news: Revue has been acquired by Serendipity Media! The womanowned company already puts out some amazing publications that you might have seen, such as West Michigan Woman, Teach & Travel, and Broadway Spotlight. We’ll miss former publisher Brian Edwards, editor and “beer czar” Joe Boomgaard, and copy editor Claire Boomgaard. They’re the ones who not only got me to where I am now, but also turned Revue into a thriving magazine after some bleak years in the early aughts. That being said, we’re incredibly excited to join the team at Serendipity, led by Publisher Kasie Smith and Editorial Director Amy L Charles. You should expect to see some slight changes in the months and years ahead, but only for the better. Revue is ready to grow.

W E S T M I C H I G A N ’ S E N T E RTA I N M E N T G U I D E

EDITORIAL President/Publisher Kasie Smith Associate Publisher Rich Tupica / rich@revueholding.com Editorial Director Amy L Charles Managing Editor Josh Veal / josh@revuewm.com DESIGN Art Director Courtney Van Hagen Graphic Designer Kaylee Van Tuinen / kaylee@revuewm.com CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Abi Safago Andy Balaskovitz Dana Casadei Eric Mitts Elma Talundzic Jack Raymond John Kissane

Kayla Sosa Kelly Brown Marla R. Miller Megan Sarnacki Michaela Stock Missy Black

ADVERTISING / 616.608.6170 Rich Tupica / sales@revuewm.com Kelli Belanger / kelli@revuewm.com Crissy Kline / christina@revuewm.com DIGITAL EDITOR Josh Veal

FIND US ONLINE!

’Til next time,

Josh Veal, Managing Editor

Website: revuewm.com Twitter: twitter.com/revuewm Facebook: facebook.com/revuewm Instagram: instagram.com/revuewm Revue is published monthly by: Serendipity Media LLC 535 Cascade West Parkway SE Grand Rapids, MI 49546 (616) 458-8371

UPCOMING ISSUES NOVEMBER Local Holiday Gift Guide

DECEMBER Rearview Mirror

We encourage readers to shop local and start early, guiding them to personalized gifts around West Michigan.

As the year comes to an end, we’ll examine how the restaurant, drinking and arts scenes have changed in the recent past, while also highlighting newcomers to the scene.

©2019 Serendipity Media LLC. All rights reserved.

ON THE COVER: Kati Spayde and Ben Darcie Hosts of In MI Pint Photo By Seth Thompson

TO ADVERTISE: Call (616) 608-6170 or email sales@revuewm.com. Space reservation is the 17th of the month before publication.

14 | REVUEWM.COM | OCTOBER 2019

See more on page 45


TAPROOM SUN-TUES: 11AM-12AM WED & THURS: 11AM-1AM FRI & SAT: 11AM-2AM

DELI SUN-THURS: 11AM-11PM FRI & SAT: 11AM-12AM

STORE

235 GRANDVILLE AVE. SW GRAND RAPIDS, MI 49503

MON-SAT: 11AM-11PM SUN: 11AM-9PM

616.776.1195

OCTOBER THURSDAY

03

The Zannies Farewell Show FREE

THURSDAY

17

Swimmer

SATURDAY

05

Harvest Party: A Tribute to American Hops $10 COVER GA | $8 MC

SATURDAY

19

Faren Strnad

FREE

$5 COVER

SUNDAY

06

Grand Rapids Jazz Orchestra

10

THURSDAY

Chris Bullock

DYNOHUNTER

FREE | 5:30PM | ALL AGES

SUNDAY

20

Elephant Wrecking Ball

24

Bob Lanzetti

FREE | 8:30PM

SATURDAY

SATURDAY

26

Erin Zindle & The Ragbirds FREE

12

Jack and The Bear

$5 COVER

FREE

THURSDAY

11

FRIDAY

$5 COVER

$5 COVER

THURSDAY

31

Halloween Party with The 5, Paddlebots, Big Sherb FREE

MONDAY

TUESDAY

WEDNESDAY

THURSDAY

SATURDAY

SUNDAY

Cheap Pitcher Night with $10 class 1 pitchers & Trivia Night (7pm-close)

Cheap Pint Night with $1 off class one and class two pints & Open Mic Night (8pm-close)

Mug Club Day

Taproom Exclusive Beer Special with $1 off of featured TRX beer & Free Live Music

Live Music

Service Industry Day with $1.50 off pints (11am-close)

Sunday, Monday & Tuesday Late Night Happy Hour (10pm-close): half off all class 1 pints! ALL SHOWS ARE AGES 21+ AND BEGIN AT 9:30 UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED

@FOUNDERSGRANDRAPIDS

@FOUNDERSGRANDRAPIDS

REVUEWM.COM | OCTOBER 2019 |

15


WHAT’S GOING ON THIS MONTH |  Compiled by Revue Staff

10/1-29 Spooky Movies Series

Wealthy Theatre 1130 Wealthy St., SE, Grand Rapids Tuesdays in October, 7:15 p.m., $6 grcmc.org/theatre With temperatures dropping and leaves falling, there’s no doubt that we’re in the thick spooky season. Some people call it fall or autumn, but we know better. To celebrate all of this season’s ghoulish festivities, Wealthy Theater is showing exclusively spooky flicks for its weekly Meanwhile Movies series. With a different showing every Tuesday night, this series is certain to have you squirming for Halloween.

10/5 Michigan Mac & Cheese Festival

DINING | SIGHTS | SOUNDS SCENE

Homer Stryker Field 251 Mills St., Kalamazoo Oct. 5, 3-7 p.m., $25+ macandcheesemi.com

October is all about sweater weather and comfort food, and you can get the best of both at the Michigan Mac & Cheese Festival in Kalamazoo. Wrap yourself in a hoodie, grab a friend and indulge in a huge variety of gooey, noodley dishes and brews from local vendors. Attendees also have access to yard games and live music, all in the brisk autumn air. While this is its first year, we think the event is destined to be a cheesy success.

10/13 & 27 Sunday Night Goat Hikes Ada Christian School 119 Indiana Ave. SW, Grand Rapids Oct. 13 & 27, 5-6:30 p.m., $5 dreamgoats.com

16 | REVUEWM.COM | OCTOBER 2019

Goats are furry, adorable and mischievous — they eat everything. Recently, they’ve been all the rage. On the second and fourth Sundays of October, Dreamgoats is providing the opportunity of a lifetime: to become one with the goats. Join the herd on a hike through 40 acres of terrain, and you will walk away with the full goat experience under your belt.

10/19 Zombie Dash 5K

Sixth Street Bridge Park 647 Monroe Ave. NW, Grand Rapids Oct. 19, 6:45 p.m., $46 thezombiedash.com

10/14 GHOST, “Ultimate Tour Named Death” Deltaplex Arena 2500 Turner Ave. NW, Grand Rapids Oct. 14, 7:30 p.m., $30+ deltaplex.com

Lead vocalist Papa Emeritus is one priest you probably don’t want to pray too, but his music will have you rocking and rolling. Fresh off a summer tour with Metallica, GHOST is bringing “The Ultimate Tour Named Death” to Grand Rapids. The Grammy-winning band is known for its iconic pseudo-Catholic costumes, extravagant stage sets, and highly theatrical productions, all sure to bring a night of thrills and chills to the Deltaplex.

10/15

GHOST, "ULTIMATE TOUR NAMED DEATH" AT DELTAPLEX ARENA. COURTESY PHOTO

in Muskegon one night only, so be sure to catch it before it disappears.

10/16 Robert Wittman: FBI Art Crime Expert Kalamazoo Institute of Arts 314 S. Park St., Kalamazoo Oct. 16, 7 p.m., $3+ kiarts.org

Robert Wittman may not be Harrison Ford, but he might as well be the reallife Indiana Jones. Founder of the FBI’s National Art Crime Team, Wittman spent 20 years going undercover to catch art thieves and scammers. In mid-October, Wittman will visit the Kalamazoo Art League to share stories of his time undercover and sign copies of his book, Priceless: How I Went Undercover to Rescue the World’s Stolen Treasures.

ZOMBIE DASH 5K. COURTESY PHOTO

Zombies and zombie enthusiasts unite — it is once again your time to shine. The annual Zombie Dash 5K is back and looks to be bigger and better than ever. Sign up to be a zombie shuffling after the living or a human running for your life. Runners wear streamers that they have to keep safe from the grabby zombies. Each strip you keep shaves a minute off your final time! With custom merchandise, refreshments and awards, this race has something for mortals and undead alike.

CONTINUED ON PAGE 18

Abracadabra: Live on Tour Frauenthal Center 425 W. Western Ave. #200, Muskegon Oct. 15, 7:30 p.m. frauenthal.org

It’s time to prepare yourself for a night of magic, illusions and stunning feats of talent. In other words, it’s time to prepare yourself for Abracadabra. From the co-creator of Broadway’s The Illusionist, Abracadabra brings a cast of choice magicians, illusionists, escape artists and more together for a professional touring show you won’t see anywhere else. The show is

Find more events in Revue Arts, and at revuewm.com! ABRACADABRA: LIVE ON TOUR AT FRAUENTHAL CENTER. COURTESY PHOTO


Parties For Hosting Book your holiday party now!

Back Door Pizza Kitchen Now Open

Catering with character & creating memorable holiday experiences for over forty years.

ORDER IT TO-GO!

SERVING GRAND RAPIDS, THE LAKESHORE & BEYOND The B.O.B. | Paddock Place | Kirby House | Baker Events Off-site at the location of your choice

gilmore-catering.com | 616.356.2627 x116

PIZZA • BEER • WINE CALL 616.742.0600

1033 Lake Drive / Grand Rapids (East Hills)

HOURS: TUE-SAT / 4PM - 9PM • SUN & MON / closed

HORROR SHACK October 26 / Doors: 8pm 5 floors of horror, live djs & music

COSTUME CONTEST 1ST PLACE: $1000 + Trip To Redstone Inn, CO

GENERAL ADMISSION STARTING AT $30

Priority access to The B.O.B. until 10pm (exclues entry to Eve)

TICKETS & INFO AT THEBOB.COM

2ND PLACE: $500

20 Monroe Ave NW • Downtown GR • 616.356.2000 REVUEWM.COM | OCTOBER 2019 |

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CONTINUED FROM PAGE 16

10/22 An Evening with Kenny G Holland Civic Center Place 150 W. 8th St., Holland Oct. 22, 7:30 p.m., $40+ civiccenterplace.com

Kenneth Gorelick, best known by his stage name Kenny G, isn’t just a musician or a world-renowned saxophonist — he is the single biggest-selling instrumentalist of all time. He’s known for being super dreamy with silky smooth music. You’ll have a chance to experience his excellence on Oct. 22, when he’s performing some of his most iconic songs in Holland.

10/23 Ben Folds BEN FOLDS AT KALAMAZOO STATE THEATRE. COURTESY PHOTO

MONSTER'S BALL AT 20 MONROE LIVE. COURTESY PHOTO

Kalamazoo State Theatre 404 S. Burdick St., Kalamazoo Oct. 23, 8 p.m., $35+ kazoostate.com “Ran up a tab and all the way back to Kalamazoo, all the way back home.” It only makes sense that Ben Folds would return to Kalamazoo, given that he wrote a song about it all the way back in 2004. This month, the singer-songwriter is coming to the Kalamazoo State Theatre to perform his genre-bending music. From pop to classical albums, Folds has climbed the heights of musical excellence and even performed with the Grand Rapids Symphony a few times.

10/26 Monster’s Ball 2019

Corgis in the Park

Riverside Park 2001 Monroe Ave. NE, Grand Rapids Oct. 26, 10 a.m.-2 p.m., donations accepted facebook.com/corgisinthepark If you’ve ever dreamt of being surrounded by low-to-the-ground, four-legged fur babies, Corgis in the Park is the event for you. Complete with a corgi costume contest, entertainment and T-shirts, Corgis in the Park is the biggest gathering of corgis in Michigan. While the event itself is free, donations are accepted in support of Paws with a Cause.

10/27 A Nightmare on Bridge St.

New Holland Brewing’s The Knickerbocker 417 Bridge St. NW, Grand Rapids Oct. 27, 11:30 a.m., 2:30 p.m., $35 facebook.com/newhollandknickerbocker Don’t be a Halloween drag — join DT Promotions and New Holland Brewing’s Knickerbocker for an eerie drag brunch show. Ticket cost covers a drink ticket, a brunch dish and an exciting Halloween performance unlike any drag show you’ve seen before. Attendees are urged to dress their best for the ultimate costume contest.

10/31-11/3

If you’ve ever wanted to visit Sleep No More in New York but it’s just a bit too far away, Macabre is here for you with Ghosts of Paddock, an interactive theater production coming to Grand Rapids. Head to the Paddock Place, a three-floor, 19th-century mansion full of history and hauntings. You freely roam from room to room, watching more than 30 actors and musicians bring the story to life with tarot readings, seances, curiosities, mad scientists, live music and much more. To really make it immersive, you’re also encouraged to dress in Victorian or steampunk attire.

11/3 Life Will Be the Death of Me: Chelsea Handler 20 Monroe Live 11 Ottawa Ave. NW, Grand Rapids Nov. 3, 6 p.m., 9 p.m., $57+ 20monroelive.com

After a month of scares, a night of laughter is more than welcome. Luckily, 20 Monroe Live is getting a visit from comedy sensation Chelsea Handler. Handler is known for her stand-up as well as her multiple TV shows, including late-night talk show Chelsea Lately, documentary series Chelsea Does and yet another talk show, Chelsea. Now, she’s bringing her stand-up comedy tour, Life Will Be the Death of Me, to Grand Rapids on Nov. 6, with shows starting at 6 and 9 p.m. Bring your ticket to The B.O.B. for special offers. n

Macabre: Ghosts of Paddock

Paddock Place 1033 Lake Dr. SE, Grand Rapids Oct. 31-Nov. 3 macabrelive.com

DINING | SIGHTS | SOUNDS SCENE

20 Monroe Live 11 Ottawa Ave. NW, Grand Rapids Oct. 26, 8 p.m., $20+ monstersballgr.com

A NIGHTMARE ON BRIDGE STREET AT NEW HOLLAND BREWING'S THE KNICKERBOCKER. COURTESY PHOTO

18 | REVUEWM.COM | OCTOBER 2019

The best part of Halloween as an adult has to be all the parties. We may not be able to trick or treat, but we can dance and drink! Put on your best costume and head to 20 Monroe Live for a party with haunted performers, stilt walkers, aerialists, acrobats, illusionists, fire performers, fortune tellers, and govana dancers. All that is backed by some of Grand Rapids’ best DJs spinning tunes onstage all night. Plus, the best part of all: There’s a pizza buffet at midnight.

CHELSEA HANDLER AT 20 MONROE LIVE. COURTESY PHOTO


CASCADE OPTICAL WWW.CASCADE-OPTICAL.COM

616.942.9886

cbd &ME. JOIN US

as we open up a dialogue aiming to educate participants on everything from: What exactly is CBD Product safety and quality Where to buy it and how to use it Medical merits or myths

NOVEMBER 20, 2019

FOR CRYING OUT LOUD,

GET YOUR FLU SHOT! It’s a matter of public health.

5:00 - 7:30PM LV EBERHARD CENTER GVSU PEW CAMPUS WEST MICHIGAN WOMAN

WINE DOWN EVENT SERIES

miOttawa.org/Immunize

Contact your healthcare provider or local health department for more information.

REVUEWM.COM | OCTOBER 2019 |

19


/// NEWS

.B. e B.O @ Th town GR Down 56.2000 616.3 ob.com theb

ANNI V O I G I DEB D

3-5 . T C O

Forty Pearl. COURTESY PHOTOS

IN R O M T BREN 10-12 OCT. Special Show

N TTERSO A P N A LACHL -19

DINING | SIGHTS | SOUNDS SCENE

17 OCT.

LON L A G L I JOE K 24-25 OCT. #drgrins

20 | REVUEWM.COM | OCTOBER 2019

WEST MICHIGAN

BIZ BEAT A Roundup of Openings, Closings and other Local Business News OPENED There’s a new place to hang in downtown Grand Rapids thanks to Social House. The bar and restaurant took over IRON’s old spot at 25 Ottawa Ave. SW, offering classic American eats like burgers, entrees and salads, alongside a full bar with craft beer, specialty cocktails and the rest. The menu also features a few “social platters” meant to share, like the Mixed Grill, with rotating sausage, coriander-crusted tuna, sliced sirloin, smoked bleu cheese, and brown ale mustard, all on a bed of fries.

Forty Pearl in downtown Grand Rapids has relaunched with a kitchen and full cocktail bar. Before, the space at 40 Pearl St. was only serving up wine from the Brengman Brothers, so we’re glad to see even more reasons to stop in. The new menu has oysters from all over North America, alongside highend entrees, rice bowls, sandwiches, cured meats, artisan cheeses, and more. A partnership with Grand River Distillery means there are excellent spirits going into a huge cocktail menu. Bar Manager Welsey Whitman recommends the Little Red Hen, a sangria with hand-squeezed orange juice, rye whiskey and an Earl Grey-infused gin.

Muskegon has a new craft cocktail bar and distillery in the form of Burl & Sprig, specializing in rum and small places. Head to the art-filled tasting room at 500 W. Western Ave. for a premium cocktail like the Curve Ball, made with spiced rum, house-made falernum, pineapple gum syrup, lime juice, and bitters. It’s all right next to Pigeon Hill Brewing, so you can make a day of it.

I Don’t Care GR is the newest balcony bar for those “in the know.” To be quite honest, there’s barely any information out there, but what we do know is that the bar requires a secret access code to get in. You can get it by heading to idontcaregr.com, or maybe just ask someone who looks hip. The bar overlooks the second floor of the Amway Grand Plaza off Monroe Avenue. Slightly classy attire is requested.

CLOSED Jonny B’z is no more. The hot dog, burger and barbecue restaurant at 701 Wealthy St. SE in Grand Rapids ended its nine-year run on Sept. 30. Years ago, Jonny B’z moved to its current location to become more of a sit-down restaurant, despite years of success as a late-night counter joint across the street. The owners admit in a recent Facebook post that the move was akin to New Coke, Windows Vista, or “Vanilla Ice going to dreadlocks.” That is to say, it didn’t quite work. However, the same owners are opening a new concept called Royals in December of this year, so keep an eye out!

—Compiled by Josh Veal If you have any closings, openings or other business news for REVUE, e-mail josh@revuewm.com.


THE FRANKE CENTER BLUES SERIES OCT. 26TH @ 8 PM ROCK/BLUES NIGHT

2660 28th Street NE Grand Rapids

DEC. 28TH @ 8 PM

Interior design

TEACHER APPRECIATION DAY

OCTOBER 5 Teachers are hard core! Stop in to win prizes, a free beverage, and an extended classroom discount all day. Author Ruth McNally Barshaw presents at 2pm on school visits and classroom opportunities. The first 100 teachers to join us get a free canvas tote bag!

FALL FOLK FESTIVAL NOV. 23RD @ 8 PM

Box Office: 269.781.0001 FrankeCenterfortheArts.org 214 East Mansion Street Marshall, Michigan

THE ARNOLD C. OTT LECTURESHIP IN CHEMISTRY OCTOBER 10 AND 11, 2019

Presented by

Karen Trentelman, Ph.D. Senior Scientist The Getty Conservation Institute

Public Lecture

Thursday October 10, 2019 Beyond Beauty: Using Scientific Analysis to Uncover Hidden Beauty in Works of Art Reception — 5 p.m. Lecture — 6 p.m. Charles W. Loosemore Auditorium Richard M. DeVos Center Robert C. Pew Grand Rapids Campus

Chemistry Seminar

Friday, October 11, 2019 Art as Evidence: The Scientific Examination of Works of Art 1 p.m. Pere Marquette Room Russel H. Kirkhof Center, Allendale Campus Hos ted by

IN CONVERSATION WITH JENNIFER L. ARMENTROUT

OCTOBER 10 · 7PM Enter the world of the Lux in the steamy and shocking sequel The Burning Shadow.

FAIR TRADE MONTH

OCTOBER Your purchase makes a difference! We’re raising awareness about the fair trade movement to support our global economy and promoting businesses that are committed to fair trade. We’re excited to share the stories of our fair trade partners throughout the month. Every Saturday in October, get a free gift with your fair trade purchase. Plus, don’t miss our special Fair Trade Pop-up Shop on October 26 from 10am–12pm!

KID’S STORY TIME

SATURDAYS + MONDAYS · 11AM Jump into the pages of our favorite books! We will sing songs, make a craft and go on a new adventure.

Free and open to the public For more information, call (616) 331-3317 or visit gvsu.edu/chem/.

SchulerBooks.com

shop & studio 952 Fulton st e tdinteriordesign.com (616) 581-1748 REVUEWM.COM | OCTOBER 2019 |

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/// NEWS

OCTOBER 2019 A monthly roundup of marijuana news and notes.

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DINING | SIGHTS | SOUNDS SCENE

e’re almost there: The long, agonizing wait for recreational cannabis stores to open their welcoming arms to Michigan residents is almost over. Come Nov. 1, state officials will start accepting applications for recreational marijuana provisioning centers. By the end of November, some of the first stores should be open for adults to casually buy marijuana over the counter — no different than a six-pack of beer. For the first year, recreational licenses are only available to businesses that are already approved for medical licenses. However, 850 communities, about half of all municipalities in the state, have formally opted out of allowing recreational businesses. For those living in cities that have dithered over medical marijuana regulations (looking at you, Grand Rapids), accessing retail shops may require some adventuring. Meanwhile, state officials have steadily allowed for the growth of medical businesses, a good sign in the run-up to the recreational market. As of mid-September, the state had approved 298 licenses—255 for large-scale grow operations or provisioning centers. Of particular note in West Michigan is Muskegon, which has now sold all four lots available for marijuana businesses in its designated overlay district. The district is 9.5 acres of vacant, city-owned land. About 10 miles north in Dalton Township, Muskegon County officials are considering a company’s proposal to build a massive, 650,000-square-foot grow facility at a county-owned business park that never came to fruition. Developers want construction to start as early as this year, with plans to lease parcels to different grow companies. If repurposing a failed and vacant industrial park with cannabis

22 | REVUEWM.COM | OCTOBER 2019

growing doesn’t exemplify the industry’s economic revitalization potential, I don’t know what does. In another good sign for provisioning centers, the national online advertiser Weedmaps recently announced that it would no longer promote unlicensed stores and delivery services on its website. Licensed business owners have rightfully complained that the service steers customers away from legitimate companies that have jumped through significant regulatory hoops. The Michigan Cannabis Industry Association reportedly said it would “very much appreciate” the move. Though industry growth looks promising, public safety concerns around cannabis have been making headlines as of late. Perhaps most notably, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s ban on flavored e-cigarettes has sparked debate within the marijuana community. While marijuana vape pens aren’t included in Whitmer’s ban, THC cartridges are increasingly being linked to an outbreak of lung illnesses across the U.S. Even state officials acknowledge that THC “appears to be the primary culprit” in cases reported to the state, Detroit Metro Times reports. Meanwhile, state regulators issued their largest marijuana product recall to date in late August when four medical marijuana products — including a brand of cartridges — tested for unsafe levels of pesticides and heavy metals. The products had been sold at 15 locations across the state. The spate of product recalls in recent months has led at least one state lawmaker — Republican Sen. Curt VanderWall of Ludington — to call for stronger oversight of testing labs. On a lighter note, the West Michigan Cannabis Guild is hosting its first fundraiser and costume party/contest (damn,

Easy, Tiger, performing at the West Michigan Cannabis Guild fundraiser. COURTESY PHOTO

it’s Halloween already?) on Nov. 1 at the Pyramid Scheme in Grand Rapids. Tickets for the 21-and-older event are $8 and doors are at 7 p.m. The WMCG is a political action committee that “works toward advancing cannabis-friendly policy so that West Michigan residents might enjoy the same safe access to medication as currently exists on the eastern and central areas of the state.” That means helping elect politicians who will do the same. — Compiled by Andy Balaskovitz


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23


/// TOURING

DANCING IN THE STARS MOON HOOCH. PHOTO BY LUKE AWTRY

Moon Hooch brings its sax party to The Stache | by Michaela Stock

DINING | SIGHTS | SOUNDS | SCENE

M

oon Hooch drew their first crowds when performing in New York City subway stations, years ago. After finding an unusual amount of success in busking, Moon Hooch eventually said goodbye to the train platform and began gigging alongside artists like Beats Antique and Lotus. They also landed their own coveted Tiny Desk Concert by NPR — a feat most musical artists dream of achieving. Still, horn players Mike Wilbur and Wenzl McGowen, as well as drummer James Muschler, know the band’s success exists because of its humble beginnings in NYC’s subways, and they keep the story central to their current work. “One day, Wenzl suggested that we play some house grooves with a two-part harmony,” said Wilbur, referencing one of their most

24 | REVUEWM.COM | OCTOBER 2019

memorable platform performances. “People immediately started dancing, and that was when we realized this is the ticket.” Sonically energetic, eccentric and high-drive jams made of intricate rhythms characterize Moon Hooch’s ability to capture a moment with just their instruments, no vocals involved. The horns take turns singing in each song with melodies so forward they feel like lyrics, leaving no lack in the aural landscape. If humble positivity and a good time aren’t already enough for you, let’s talk about Moon Hooch’s commitment to planet Earth and carbon neutrality. You heard us right: The band partnered with We Are Neutral, an organization that calculates carbon footprints, in order to offset their own waste created while touring.

“They would track how many miles we would travel by plane and van, and plant trees to sequester the carbon we were releasing in the atmosphere,” Wilbur said. Moon Hooch don’t stop at calculating their own carbon footprint and planting trees. They’ve started their own organization to help others be better friends of the earth too. “Since (our partnership), we have decided to take matters into our hands and organize action days, where we invite fans together to plant trees and help local permaculture farms accomplish their missions,” Wilbur said. However large these actions may sound, the band encourages others to assess their own carbon footprint in practical ways as well. “Go vegan!” Wilbur said. “Meat consumption and factory farming is the leading cause of greenhouse gas emissions, deforestation,

watershed contamination, heart disease, obesity and many other issues.” So there you have it, a band that has it all: good roots, good tunes and good actions. Luckily for you, Moon Hooch has a performance coming up at The Stache on October 18, and it’s clear that the band is very much looking forward to returning to West Michigan. “It’s going to be a rager,” Wilbur said. n

MOON HOOCH THE STACHE 133 GRANDVILLE AVE. SW, GRAND RAPIDS OCT. 18, 8 P.M., $16 SECTIONLIVE.COM


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SCENE | SOUNDS | SIGHTS | DINING

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REVUEWM.COM | OCTOBER 2019 |

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/// TOURING

DINING | SIGHTS | SOUNDS | SCENE

A

RELENTLESS RESISTANCE Folk music legend Judy Collins returns to St. Cecilia Music Center ahead of two new albums

26 | REVUEWM.COM | OCTOBER 2019

| by Eric Mitts

t this point in her career, Judy Collins is an indisputable icon. Influential and inspirational to multiple generations, her work as an award-winning artist, author and activist spans more than five decades. But she’s not about to stop now. Last year, she released a new song, “Dreamers”, inspired by the heart-wrenching stories of DACA recipients across the country. Completely unaccompanied, her haunting voice captures the heartbreak and horror many face with drastic immigration reform currently looming on the horizon. “It’s the most ghastly thing that’s going on,” Collins said about why she had to write the song. “I just happened to be in a situation where I found the footage of a woman who was talking about her mother, being worried about her because she’s a DREAMER. The song came out and I sing it at every show and people are stunned. Then they stand up and clap and scream and carry on, and are happy to have heard it. But then it revolves to them about what are they going to do about it? What is anybody going to do about it? It’s a disgusting situation. One of the worst.” The song will appear on Collins’ upcoming new album, Resistance in Beauty, which is tentatively due for release in April 2020. Coming ahead of the presidential election, the album will feature several of Collins’ own songs. “If you are a person of conscience, it doesn’t matter whether you’re an artist or not, you have to take actions about it, and when you do, there’s going to be consequences one way or the other,” she said about being both an artist and activist throughout her career. “There’s always a risk being an activist, but you take it, and you do what you can with it, that’s all.” First rising to fame in the turbulent 1960s, Collins took influence from folk artists like Woody Guthrie and Pete Seeger. Although raised playing classical piano, she started to pen her own songs and turned to the guitar to tell her stories and share some of the socially charged poetry of her contemporaries, such as Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen and Joni Mitchell. She also achieved widespread fame and acclaim for reworking standards and showtunes, including her Grammy-nominated version of Stephen Sondheim’s classic “Send In The Clowns”. Throughout her career, she’s released more than 50 albums, including her 2016 collaborative release Silver Skies Blue with writing partner Ari Hest—for which she

earned her first Grammy nomination in 40 years—and 2017’s Everybody Knows, alongside Stephen Stills of the legendary Crosby, Stills and Nash. The pair were romantically involved in the late ’60s, with Stills famously writing the hit “Suite: Judy Blue Eyes” about Collins. “After we broke up, we actually remained friends, and we’ve been friends for 50 more years,” Collins said. “And of course, we had thought, ‘Wouldn’t it be fun if we could go out and tour together?’ We’d both been working like mad ever since we started, so it took a lot of doing. It took my manager, who is a genius, to put the whole thing together for us, and we had a wonderful time.” Ceaselessly prolific, Collins has another collaborative release with the bluegrass group Chatham County Line, titled Winter Stories and slated for release on Nov. 8. Now 80, Collins also has worked as an author, chronicling her own personal battles with mental health and addiction, including her memoir Sweet Judy Blue Eyes: My Life in Music, Sanity & Grace, and her most recent book, Cravings, where she shares her past struggles with compulsive overeating. “I think having an example of somebody who has stayed with it in spite of all that is helpful,” Collins said about being an inspiration and a trailblazer for generations of artists. “But we all have difficult problems being artists, because first of all, most of the people in the music business who are not artists themselves treat artists like children, regardless if they’re men or women, by the way. So we’re thought of in a way as children, and we’re thought to be disciplined and kept in line. But none of us are. Most of us who succeed go out of those lines. “But it’s not for everybody. It’s physically difficult. It’s challenging in every way, because everything you do has to be looked at as the next step toward whatever it is you think you’re doing, or taking you somewhere you want to go. What’s amazing is to stay in the mentality that says it really is one day at a time, and you really have to do whatever you can to enjoy the moment and make the very most of it. Maybe that’s the lesson I’ve got.” n

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/// LOCAL

MAY ERLEWINE. COURTESY PHOTOS

CLEAR VISION

Michigan singer-songwriter May Erlewine wants to move forward with politically charged new LP

DINING | SIGHTS | SOUNDS | SCENE

| by Eric Mitts

A

fter a few false starts that go back to the spring of 2017, local music favorite May Erlewine will see the release of her latest album, Second Sight, with a string of release concerts all across Michigan this month. Raised in a musical family, where she was homeschooled as a child and hitchhiked across the country as a teenager, Erlewine gravitated to the rootsy, raw sounds of folk, bluegrass, blues, and Americana, and began writing her own songs at an early age. Her

28 | REVUEWM.COM | OCTOBER 2019

career now spans more than a decade and a half, with more than 20 releases to her credit, making her one of the most prolific songwriters in our state. Starting last December, Erlewine recorded the majority of her upcoming self-produced album at The Barber Shop in Ann Arbor, with engineer Tyler Duncan. “Most of (the songs) were written following the election of the 45th President, and are about the climate of our country during

CONTINUED ON PAGE 30


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CONTINUED FROM PAGE 28

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his term,” Erlewine said about the politically charged motivations for the new album. “It seems like a really important time to reconnect to intuition, to a greater sense of knowing and awareness, especially with so many distractions and in a culture that is really championing being too busy to take care,” she added. “It feels like we’re all losing our minds because we are not connected to our hearts, our truth, our earth. I also feel like as a country we need a clearer, more rooted vision forward. Without grounded vision, it is hard to make thoughtful and meaningful progress in our communities, lives, healing, hearts. It’s something I struggle with and think around an awful lot, and I thought others might resonate with too.” Second Sight comes after 2017’s Mother Lion, which won two 2018 Jammie Awards from Grand Rapids community radio station WYCE 88.1 FM, including Album of the Year and Song of the Year. “Mother Lion was an emotionally vulnerable and tender record,” Erlewine said. “My producer, Tyler Duncan, protected that space for me and encouraged my most authentic offering. It meant a lot that people were able to dig into it, because it meant they were feeling with me and it made me feel less alone in those feelings.” Shortly before the success of Mother Lion, Erlewine’s song “Shine On” earned her a national spotlight thanks to NBC’s The Voice, when Season 8 winner Sawyer Fredericks sang it during the show’s final round. That same year, her friend and fellow Michigan musician Joshua Davis was a finalist on the popular show. “That song really belongs to everyone,” Erlewine said of “Shine On”. “It was both surreal and also made perfect sense. It’s a healing, hopeful song and I’m really happy that it had the chance to potentially uplift more people and bring more light in a broader way. Joshua Davis encouraged original music to be allowed on the show. Sawyer grew up listening to it in his homeschool class. That’s such a crazy coincidence and beautiful connection. It’s really humbling to bear witness to the power of music, every single time.” Continuing to follow her personal mantra of “Never One Thing,” Erlewine shook things up quite literally with her group The Motivations, playing host to many grooveoriented dance parties around the state and the country over the past year. The group has released two EPs, 2016’s The Little Things and this year’s In The Night. “The Motivations is also a big reaction to the divided and fearful things happening in our communities right now,” she said about why she brought the group together. “I wanted to create a reason for people to come together and move their bodies and

“I WANTED TO CREATE A REASON FOR PEOPLE TO COME TOGETHER AND MOVE THEIR BODIES AND SING AND FEEL JOY AND COMMUNITY AND HAVE FUN. IT’S NOT TO IGNORE WHAT IS HAPPENING, BUT TO STAY CONNECTED TO OUR BODIES AND JOY AND EACH OTHER.” sing and feel joy and community and have fun. It’s not to ignore what is happening, but to stay connected to our bodies and joy and each other.” For the upcoming release concerts for Second Sight, Erlewine has assembled a special band to support the new songs, including Max Lockwood on bass, Michael Shimmin on drums, Eric Kuhn and Phil Barry on guitars and Joe Hettinga on keys/synth. “We want to create a rich piece where we open up feelings about what is happening in our country right now,” Erlewine said. “The record is about how to grieve, reconnect, change and acknowledge the pain that our flag and colonialism carries with it. How do we call this home and feel all of these things? I don’t have the answers, but I want to create room for grief, questions and community.” “I also want to use music to lift us into an engaged place again. If we are disengaged, it will be hard to be an active, whole part of the change.” n

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THE BEER ISSUE F

or years now, craft beer has been a key component of West Michigan’s culture and nightlife. Founders Brewing Co. and Bell’s Brewery — two of the biggest “craft” breweries in the world — set the stage for dozens of microbreweries to open across the region. Now, nearly every small town has at least one brewery or brewpub to quench local residents’ first — they’re the new neighborhood pub. Our annual Beer Issue takes a look at breweries small and large, examining where they’ve come from and where they’re going. It’s an industry full of trends, news and even some drama. For the trends, take a look at our cover story with In MI Pint, a local podcast run by two bonafide beer gurus. For the news, check out our brewery guide and Brew News story. For the drama, well, you’ll find plenty of that. You’ll also find beer events to attend in the future, a story on how cannabis and beer are pairing up, a look at one of the coolest new breweries in town, and much more. Pour yourself a pint and dive in!

DeHop's Brewing Co. COURTESY PHOTO

REVUEWM.COM | OCTOBER 2019 |

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WEST MICHIGAN’S PREMIERE LAGERHAUS.

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Brew News

Breweries that have opened or closed in the past year | by Josh Veal

y

ou might notice that new breweries aren’t arriving at quite the same rate as they used to. Does that mean that the infamous Beer Bubble has finally “popped?” We don’t think so — West Michigan still has far more breweries opening than closing. If you take a look at our brewery guide, you’ll notice quite a few breweries that expanded in a major way. Being a newcomer may be harder than it was five years ago, but plenty of people are still making it happen. Here’s a look at breweries that opened in the past 12 months, as well as a couple that sadly closed up shop.

OPENED The year kicked off with Guardian Brewing Co. opening its doors at 657 63rd St. in Saugatuck. The women-owned, pegacorn-loving brewery has a huge range of in-house beers, such as the Nahual Coffee Pale, Mico Medio Chile Beer, Golden Phoenix IPA, and many more. There’s also lots of wine, cocktails and even beertails made with Guardian’s own brews. The brewery occupies the former Red Barn Theater and features an internationally inspired seasonal food menu. Of course, they also plan to offer yurt rentals. In February, Liquid Note Brewing opened a new brewpub joining Arpeggio, a music venue in downtown Otsego. Located about 2.5 miles west of U.S. 131 on M-89 west of Plainwell, Liquid Note aims to bring “musically infused brews” to the wilds of Allegan County, as well as offer guest taps and a full bar for its many concerts and comedy shows. The brewpub is filling up more of its taplines by the day, with more than a dozen of its own beers pouring now. Check out the Vulgar Display of Porter, or the Psychedelic Haze NEIPA. Harbor Light Brewery in South Haven is the culmination of at least 30 years of hopes and dreams. Brewer Bill Simaz was probably

one of the first homebrewers in West Michigan, making craft beer since 1989. That’s a lot of time to learn how to brew top-notch beer. In fact, his stouts made a believer of co-owner Tom Feeney and his wife, which is why Simaz and Feeney decided to open Harbor Light together. The brewery is located at 516 Phoenix St. and celebrates the city’s nautical heritage with around 20 beverages on tap. Schaendorf Brewing Co. (420 Water St., Allegan) opened just about a year ago with full dinner service and beer from various Michigan breweries. Recently, Schaendorf expanded to provide room for a production space to brew its own beer — once the brewery license actually goes through — as well as a larger kitchen and taproom. Schaendorf has already established itself as a neighborhood restaurant with an impressive food menu that includes burgers, steaks, sandwiches and other entrees. Alebird Taphouse & Brewery arrived in Byron Center at 2619 84th St. SW. The new restaurant and brewpub has made a name for itself with bold food, a large tap list and some cocktails. Alebird has plenty of its own beers alongside a healthy selection from other breweries across the nation to supplement. The brewery likes to shake it up with collaborations, beer floats, yoga events and more, not to mention an excellent, widely varied food menu. Just over a year ago, Waypost Brewing Co. joined the ranks of Fennville at 1630 Blue Star Highway. Founded by a brewer and winemaker, the small brewery is based on a farm, which provides some of the beer’s ingredients, much like a winery. The beer makes frequent use of farm-fresh ingredients, focusing on just making quality brews that speak for themselves. Rake Beer Project finally arrived with a taproom mid-September, opening up at 794 Pine St., Muskegon. The brewery garnered a

following for its “progressive” farmhouse ales before even opening the taproom. Go check out brews like the Bad Acid, a farmhouse with pineapple and mango, or the Marley Biere, a tart, rustic table beer soured with “live lactobacillus culture” and fermented with a “rustic Norwegian yeast strain.” Basically, it’s beer you won’t find anywhere else.

CLOSED One of my former watering holes, Hideout Brewing Co., finally closed after years of some ownership changes and struggles. The offbeat and off-the-beaten-path brewery in Grand Rapids was tucked away at 3113 Plaza Dr. NE, with weird brews served up in a totally inviting atmosphere. In fact, my Christmas night tradition was to visit the Hideout and drink more beer than I should’ve with the same bartender every year, often staying until after the place “closed.” We will forever miss it, and would love for someone to take over the space and provide something similar. More recently, Boatyard Brewing Co. decided to close up shop out in Kalamazoo. The owners cited economic reasons and said that the decision to end Boatyard’s run came with “heavy hearts,” and they thanked the community for welcoming and supporting them. The brewery had solid beer, a welcoming vibe, a nice interior, and some events — it will be missed. Arcadia Brewing Co. in Kalamazoo has halted operations. We’re not sure yet if that means the brewery is closing for good or will just have to find a new spot, and we’re not ones to speculate. What we do know is that Grand Woods Lounge of Grand Rapids will be moving into the building with a second location. It should be quite the change, as Grand Woods’ original location is more known for weekend parties than craft brews. n

Above: Alebird Taphouse & Brewery. Below: Liquid Note Brewing. COURTESY PHOTOS

REVUEWM.COM | OCTOBER 2019 |

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SPONSORED CONTENT

Why Grand Rapids Brewing Company introduced a specialty hard seltzer

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ere in West Michigan, we love beer. Ernie Richards, the brewmaster at Grand Rapids Brewing Co., and his partners Bobby Edgecomb and Alex Hartel get it, and they work their tails off to diversify the menu for craft-beer enthusiasts. But they also know not everyone is into beer. That’s why GRBC is always looking to expand the variety of handcrafted beverages available in the downtown Grand Rapids taproom. “Just because we’re a brewery, it doesn’t mean we can’t produce a magical drink for every person who walks through the doors,” Richards said. “As long you’re open to it, we’ll get you the perfect drink.” Earlier this year, the brew crew started experimenting with the popular genre of hard seltzers, in part because Richards’ wife is allergic to gluten and he wanted to make something she could drink. But also because, let’s face it, we like it too! “We made it because we're not going to be in denial about how much we enjoy drinking hard seltzer,” Richards said. “Plus, it's refreshing AF.” He built a simple recipe from fermented malt sugar water, as well as GRBC’s own top-secret magical unicorn yeast blend. The draft beverage, which clocks in at slightly above 5-percent ABV, is available in a variety of rotating flavors, such as raspberry lemonade, blood orange, pineapple and cherry. Most recently, Richards took a step away from fruity flavors with a juniper-infused cucumber-lime seltzer. The Helter Seltzers are made in small batches, which gives GRBC the flexibility to experiment and use feedback from customers in real time — a concept not only applied to hard seltzers, but all the beer created by GRBC’s brewing team. In a city with a brewery on nearly every corner, GRBC stands out by providing a choice as soon as you walk through the door. And make no mistake, GRBC takes that choice very seriously. “There’s not just a beer for everybody, there’s a beer for any-

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body,” Edgecomb said. “And if we don’t have what you’re looking for, let’s chat. We want to make beer people like.” The palette may have expanded, but GRBC remains committed to the core mission of making some of the most innovative beer in West Michigan. Alongside staples like the John Ball Brown, Fish Ladder IPA and Rosalynn Bliss Blonde, GRBC ventures out to produce some tasty and innovative flavors like the summery Peacher Feature, a peach milkshake IPA, or Universal Rainbow Unicorn Princess of the Universe n’ Stuff, a soured fruit ale with raspberry, blueberry and lemon zest. Both brews incorporate Michigan fruit flavors for a crisp and stunningly delicious beverage.

A piece of Grand Rapids history GRBC’s story began on New Year’s Day, 1893, when a consortium of small local breweries opened a large facility together in downtown Grand Rapids. Over the next two decades, they built a monumental brewery at the corner of Michigan Street and Ionia Avenue, on what is now the site of a state office building. Capitalizing on the location’s ample supply of fresh spring water and a refreshingly drinkable flagship beer, Silver Foam, GRBC became one of the Midwest’s largest and best-known breweries until Prohibition brought that success story to a screeching halt. The brewery went through several iterations after it returned, including a stint on 28th Street in the decades preceding Grand Rapids’ current craft brewing boom. The GRBC brand was later purchased by Mark Sellers, founder of BarFly Ventures, which operates Stella’s Lounge and the HopCat restaurant family. Sellers reopened GRBC at its current location in Grand Rapids’ thriving Arena District in 2012, 79 years to the day after Prohibition was repealed.

GRBC Brewer, Bobby Edgecomb & Brewmaster, Ernie Richards.

Located in the heart of downtown Grand Rapids, GRBC has since become a place for friends and family to gather, in a relaxed environment with a knowledgeable staff. Guests can sit near a window and watch all the hustle and bustle of downtown or check out the game room, which hosts a number of arcade favorites, plus shuffleboard and pool. GRBC is also gaining steam as one of Grand Rapids’ premier event spaces, hosting everything from family reunions to weddings. Whichever adult beverage or downtown dining experience you’re in the mood for, you will find exactly what you need with your friends at GRBC. Find us online at grbrewingcompany.com.


Beer Bashes

Where to get your (craft) drink on in the months ahead | by Elma Talundzic

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t’s that time of year again — the weather is getting crisp, the leaves are changing color and the brews taste just a little bit sweeter. Check out these upcoming events filled with food, music and plenty of delicious beer.

Oktoberfest at Horrocks. COURTESY PHOTO

OKTOBERFEST AT HORROCKS

Horrocks Market 4455 Breton Rd., Kentwood Oct. 5, 1-4 p.m. horrocksmarket.com, (616) 455-7998 Enjoy the Oktoberfest experience at Horrocks Market. This free-to-enter event has it all, including Oktoberfest craft beer options, German bratwurst, sauerkraut, Bavarian soft pretzels with cheese, caramel apple bar, live entertainment, and more.

STRETCH & SIP YOGA

Kent District Library 4950 Breton SE, Grand Rapids Oct. 9, 6:30-8 p.m., $5 bit.ly/stretchsipyoga, (616) 656-5270 Sip a beer (or beverage of your choice) while you channel your inner yogi. This laid-back and fun class will have you stretching, bending, relaxing and cheers-ing the entire time.

VANDER FEST

Vander Mill 14921 Cleveland Street, Spring Lake Oct. 5, 4-10 p.m., $10-35 vandermill.com, (616) 842-4337 Presented by the Michigan Cider Association, Vander Fest offers delicious brews from local cideries and breweries. Pair your beverages with tasty

food from local food trucks and enjoy doughnuts for dessert. DJ Nick Awesome and Social Bones will be providing live entertainment for the night.

HARVEST PARTY: A TRIBUTE TO AMERICAN HOPS Founders Brewing Company 235 Grandville Ave. SW, Grand Rapids Oct. 5, 11-2 a.m., $10 foundersbrewing.com, (616) 776-1195

The annual Founders Harvest Party is a bash that always promises a good time. An admission ticket gets you a commemorative glass and a class-one pour. Live music will play the majority of the night while you sip on stellar beer offerings like the Harvest Ale, Civilized Brut IPA, Mothership Series #9: Oktoberfest and many more. Pair your beer with seasonal fare, grilling on the patio and Robinette’s doughnuts.

BREWS IN THE GROVE

Riverside Park, Ball Diamond 4 2875-3061 Monroe Ave. NE, Grand Rapids Oct. 19, 1-5 p.m., $5-45 eventbrite.com Hosted by the brewers of Grand Rapids, Brews in the Grove is a unique beer experience for the beer connoisseur who has tried it all. Participating breweries will offer unique one-off beers or debut a new beer. The event also features Pro-Am beers,

which are a collaboration between professional breweries and amateur homebrewers. A ticket will get you 10 tasting tokens good for three-ounce pours. Local food trucks and plenty of yard games will also be onsite.

COOKING WITH CRAFT BEER

Downtown Market 435 Ionia Ave. SW, Grand Rapids Oct. 22, 6-8:30 p.m., $100 downtownmarketgr.com, (616) 805-5308 Learn how to cook with some of your favorite local beers. This beer-inspired menu will have you making a seasonal salad with a pale ale vinaigrette, cooking up a brown ale-braised chicken and baking chocolate stout cupcakes. There’s also nothing stopping you from topping your meal off with your favorite brew, available to purchase at the Downtown Market.

DETROIT BEER FESTIVAl

Eastern Market 2934 Russell St., Detroit Oct. 25-26, $45-55 mibeer.com Take a road trip with a few friends to one of Michigan’s largest beer tasting events. With nearly 120 Michigan breweries featured and more than 800 craft beer options, you’re sure to find a brew to make you happy. Admission gets you 15 drink tokens redeemable for 3-ounce pours. Local restau-

rants will be dishing out food and local musicians will be cranking tunes.

WINE, BEER & FOOD FESTIVAL

DeVos Place 303 Monroe Ave. NW, Grand Rapids Nov. 21-23, $15-40 devosplace.org, (616) 742-6500 The Grand Rapids International Wine, Beer & Food Festival, now entering its 12th year, is the threeday event that you don’t want to miss. Indulge and celebrate with more than 1,500 wines, beers, ciders and spirits from around the world. Along with the many libation options, enjoy plates from the finest restaurants in the area.

WINTER BEER FESTIVAL

Fifth Third Ballpark 4500 W. River Dr. NE, Comstock Park Feb. 21-22, Tickets on sale in early December mibeer.com The 15th annual Winter Beer Festival will bring together nearly 150 breweries and brewpubs with more than 1,100 beers to choose from. A ticket will get you 15 tasting tokens that are good for threeounce samples. Along with the beer, eventgoers can enjoy local music, food, ice sculpture demonstrations and cozy fire pits. n

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Left: DeTour Reef. Right: Co-founders Brett Bristol (left) and Jake Stanko (right). COURTESY PHOTOS

Pint-sized Pioneers Arvon Brewing Company finds a home to welcome the next wave of haze | by Jack Raymond

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hen a brewery’s maximum occupancy caps at eight, it doesn’t take a mathematician to calculate that said brewery can’t sell a lot of pints. Since opening in 2017, Arvon Brewing Co. has occupied a hidey-hole in Grandville roughly the size of a storage locker. Like playing pool while your cue bangs against the wall, I can only imagine the frustrations owners Jake Stanko and Brett Bristol have experienced while raking spent grain from their fermenters. Still, they say good things come in small packages. I recently cracked open a can of Arvon’s Jurassic Haze — a NEIPA generously hopped with Vic Secret, Citra and El Dorado — and indeed, the proof was in the pudding. Turbid as a bog and fragrant as a fruit basket, it tasted like Haze 2.0. Unlike some hazies that verge on the feverishly sweet, Jurassic Haze emphasizes bitter first, citrus second. I was prepared to swipe the whole stock from Siciliano’s but the public beat me to it. Despite their size, Arvon has amassed a cult following that regularly drains supply upon can releases. Stanko loves that people love his beer, but he never wanted to make it a wild goose chase to find some. “We don’t want to be known as the brewery whose beer is impossible to get just because of the size,” Stanko said. “If people want to drink our beer, we want to make it available.” With their 3-barrel system already brewing double batches on overtime, the only answer was to find a bigger boat. To Beer City’s boon, Arvon and crew announced last month that they found a new home on Division between Franklin and Hall streets and — barring any hiccups — they should start pouring beer by the end of the year. The building looks modern and clean, like a milk carton designed by Herman Miller, and though the guts need some TLC before they’re photogenic, Stanko promised an open and spacious

vibe with 12 draft lines out the gate. Outdoor igloos were even mentioned as a possibility once the budget gets ironed out. For those trying to place the location, if you jump on Google Street View at 1006 S. Division Ave., it might seem like an odd side of town to plop a brewery. Though you may spot it on a trip to Taqueria San Jose, it’s a bit outside the main drag’s activity, so there’s no chance you’d stumble upon it on a walking tour. The lack of surrounding development isn’t lost on Stanko. “We’re excited about being some of the first ones in,” he said. “We’re going to try and get with the community to team up with local vendors and food trucks. Hopefully, we’ll bring people in to spend money in the area.” Judging from the quality of their beer, I’d wager Arvon will have plenty of draw for the craft beer fanatic. Last year at 7 Monks’ annual Grand Rapids IPA Challenge, Jurassic Haze took top honors, besting competition that included Founders and Brewery Vivant. Their IPAs are no slouch and that’s a credit to Stanko’s passion and understanding of hops. “I like how useful hops are in changing flavor profile. There are so many out there and they’re constantly inventing new ones,” Stanko said. “A single hop could taste severely different depending on how and when you use it in the process, or even where you get that hop from.” Look to Arvon’s Lighthouse series for a tasteable demonstration of this idea. Each of these IPAs are hopped with a single varietal, “displaying the unique character of the hops as a shining beacon.” We’ve touched a lot on hops, but don’t mistake Stanko for a one-dimensional brewer. With an upgraded facility, the opportunity to experiment with styles that take longer to ferment excites him the most. While Arvon has found success with lagering and kettle sours,

Co-founder Jake Stanko in the brewhouse. COURTESY PHOTO

I’m drooling at the thought of what Stanko could do with some bourbon barrels or a foeder. Another opportunity the new brewery should afford Stanko: a healthier work/life balance. “I’m a brewer second and a family man and a dad first,” he said. To understand Arvon fully is to appreciate Stanko’s family tree. His wife, Abby, works sales and logistics; his sister (who is Bristol’s wife!) handles marketing and social media; and his dad operates as a part owner and consultant for business decisions and strategies. They even have mom doing merch. It’s heartening to see a family bond over beer and a shared vision of revitalizing a community. With all hands on deck, a portfolio of killer recipes and some shiny new digs, all signs point to Arvon as the West Michigan brewery to watch in 2020. n

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Brewery Blunders Five of the worst beer trends of 2019 | by Josh Veal

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n a world of near-infinite choice and instant communication, breweries are constantly trying to keep up. The moment you hear about a new trend, you need to hop on board before the wave crashes. That’s not necessarily bad — it does mean more options and innovation for us beer lovers — but maybe brewers should take a step back and reflect on their actions from time to time. Just because everyone else is jumping off a cliff into a big pool of glitter beer, that doesn’t mean you should too. I actually like glitter beer, but still! Of course, we know this is all subjective, but it’s 2019 — I’m required to have a strong opinion about everything, and you’re probably going to read it, because you’re curious. That’s modern journalism, baby! So here are the trends Revue would love to see announce their retirement so some new contenders can join the fray, for better or worse.

COURTESY PHOTO

Exploding Cans

Milkshake IPAs Right off the bat, I just want to say that I don’t think this is a terrible idea conceptually. People like IPAs and people like lactose in beers. It’s an interesting experiment that happens to have far outlasted its necessary lifespan. I either want an IPA that’s bitter and floral and citrusy or I want a lactose brew that’s sweet and creamy and smooth. It’s like chasing Malort with Bailey’s — you’ve ruined them both. So why are there still milkshake IPAs on tap and on shelves all over? My hope would be that it’s because no one’s drinking the stuff, but I know in my heart that’s not true. Perhaps the most egregious example of this is the HollanDaze double IPA from Westbrook Brewing Co., out of South Carolina. There’s not just lactose in there, but … egg yolks. Must we play god? Does our hubris know no end? I’d still try it though.

“Naughty Girl” is alienating a huge portion of people — potential customers — just to appeal to the kind of dude who’s going to harass your female employees and patrons. That being said, we’ve noticed a few breweries tweaking labels and marketing to be more universally appealing. We won’t name names, but certain local breweries could maybe learn from their peers instead of childishly leaning into being defensive.

Sexist Beer Labels

Pastry Stouts

Despite the fact that just as many women drink craft beer as men, the industry itself has been quite the boys’ club. It doesn’t help when two burly, bearded white dudes open a brewery and release a beer called, like, “Lick My Kriek” or something, and it has an illustration of a sultry woman fondling some cherries. Of course, there’s plenty of debate to be had over what counts as “sexist.” Is an innuendo automatically offensive? I’ve heard some people take umbrage with Odd Side Ale’s Bean Flicker, but plenty of women I know have no issue with it. Personally, I think the biggest issue is label art and names that explicitly objectify or make a joke of women. Naming your beer “Panty Peeler” or “Wailing Wench” or

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COURTESY PHOTO

This isn’t an official style, but rather a catch-all term for those beers that are 100-percent sweet, loaded with extracts, and have zero nuance whatsoever. In my opinion, if you’re dumping bags of sugar into your brew at the end, you’re doing something wrong. I love ridiculous, over-the-top beers, but at a certain point you might as well just drink a fruit wine — or better yet, dunk your Krispy Kreme doughnut right into a stout. Then again, the Amazon is on fire and the ice caps are melting, so if a “Maple Truffle Ice Cream Waffle” stout sounds like your thing, maybe you should just go for it.

Believe it or not, this one isn’t completely intentional — it’s actually an unfortunate side effect of creating certain kinds of aforementioned milkshake IPAs, pastry stouts, and other fruited brews. Basically, when you add fruit or sugar post-fermentation, you’re giving any surviving yeast more to eat. When yeast eat, they poop out carbon dioxide, which is not at all an ideal process to happen in a sealed metal can. The only way to keep those yeast from eating is to keep them cold, which means your beer can is now a heat-sensitive, portable, potable bomb. Oops! While it wasn’t dangerous in any way, Brewery Vivant had this issue with some — not most — of the bottles of a recent Strawberry Rhubarb Sour. The refermentation led to a volcanic strawberry rhubarb eruption when the bottles were opened, resulting in quite the kitchen mess and drastically less beer to drink. Of course, Vivant offered to make it right with whoever experienced this. Some breweries have leaned into the explosions by labeling their beers with a ticking time bomb and reminding you to keep the can cold. Cute, but hardly a solution. Maybe just add the fruit before fermentation, or look into stabilizing with chemicals or pasteurization. No one wants shrapnel in their fridge just because the power went out.

Haze Everything I like haze, but does it all have to be hazy? Should that really be the goal of your beer, or should you be focusing on crafting a delicious tasting brew and maybe let the haze happen if it happens? Just sayin’. n


OCTOBER 2019 REVUEWM.COM/ARTS

FREE

WEST MICHIGAN'S CULTURAL ARTS GUIDE

CELEBRATING LIFE, DEATH AND TALENT Muskegon Museum of Art showcases a huge variety of art this fall SEE PAGE 12A. STORY BY MARLA R. MILLER.

PAGE

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PAGE LAUGHING AND LEARNING The Comedy Project teaches it all

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PAGE TRAILBLAZERS GR’s Firebird goes above and beyond

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SILVER SCREEN SOUNDS Local symphonies score movies live


”AN ENTIRELY FRESH, FUNNY & GORGEOUS NEW PRODUCTION.

A REASON FOR CELEBRATION!”

PHOTO BY JEREMY DANIEL. 2018.

–NEW YORK MAGAZINE

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OCTOBER 8-13 DEVOS PERFORMANCE HALL TICKETS ON SALE NOW! BROADWAYGRANDRAPIDS.COM

616-235-6285

TICKETMASTER.COM

Grand Rapids engagement is welcomed by Autocam Medical; BDO; Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital; National Heritage Academies; Paul Goebel Group; Warner Norcross + Judd; and Wolverine Worldwide.

| REVUEWM.COM/ARTS | OCTOBER 2019


[THEATER]

School of Laughs A local training center is preparing the next comedians, actors and regular Joes

President/Publisher Kasie Smith Editorial Associate Publisher Rich Tupica Editorial Director Amy L Charles Managing Editor Josh Veal Design

BY KAYLA SOSA

A local comedy club is teaching people the skills of comedy writing, performance and improv, but not all of those people end up onstage. Many of them simply want to apply the skills in their everyday life, whether it’s as a writer, an actor or just in social settings. Amy Gascon, training center director at The Comedy Project, said there are three programs: sketch writing, improv and comedy performance. Each consists of four levels, and each level is eight weeks, so they’re plenty in-depth. For the sketch writing class, Gascon said the students are learning how to produce and perform short skits, not stand-up. “They’re learning how to write scripts that are about five minutes long and play with different character choices and different points of view and working with satire and all those kinds of things,” Gascon said. Each week, students in the class are assigned to write a scene with varying themes and objectives. Each program concludes with a performance, with the writers doing a table read of their scripts. The other programs, comedic performance and improv, end in final performances as well. While Gascon said most students in the writing class aren’t interested in performing, the teachers at TCP still encourage students to step out of their boundaries. “We do encourage our performers to take the writing classes and vice versa, because the skillsets really do inform each other,” Gascon said. “It just makes you a more well-rounded performer.” Students in the programs have a chance at the end of their training to audition for the mainstage Revue Cast, performing Friday and Saturday nights at the comedy club.

Art Director Courtney Van Hagen Graphic Designer Kaylee Van Tuinen Contributing Writers Kayla Sosa Dana Casadei John Kissane Marla Miller Megan Sarnacki Abi Safago

FIND US ONLINE: A group of improv students performing, with Charlie White front and center. COURTESY PHOTO

“We’re ideally looking for people who can write and put up content and aren’t just actors,” Gascon said. “We’re looking for those triple-threat type of people.” But not every student in the program has an end goal of making comedy or performing their career path. Most students, in fact about 60 to 70 percent of them, are taking these classes as a hobby. Laura Bergells, 56, is in the sketch comedy writing class. By day, she works as a “storyfinder,” helping companies tell their story through writing and other mediums. She said she took the class to “strengthen a muscle.” “We all want to make each other's work better,” Bergells said. “When you’re in a room with a lot of people, that motivates me.” Bergells said there’s a benefit from having your work viewed by those of a different race, gender, age and life experience than you. “Sometimes we have these conversations that your sense of humor and my sense of humor—what makes me laugh might not make you laugh,” Bergells explained. “It’s not necessarily universal. And we’re having some of those discussions about why that is and how that is and is it appropriate for me to tell that story, the middle-aged Midwestern woman?” Charlie White, 40, is entering the third level of the improv program. He said he’s done improv before, but he’s never felt “good enough” to participate with others, much less be in a program at a comedy club. White would think, “All of these people are so much funnier than me, so much

smarter than me, I don’t belong here.” “Fortunately, in the second class, I was quickly able to follow that up with, ‘I recognize this feeling, but it’s gonna be a lot of fun if I stick around,’” White said. Doing improv taught White how to trust others around him in the scene and conversation, as well as how to be more aware of his own thoughts and actions. “There’s a surprising amount of connection to mindfulness and meditation,” White said. “This ability to observe an action and then define a reaction, rather than be compelled to react.” This month, 47 students make up the fourth group that are beginning their programs since the center launched in March. Only about 30 percent of them will go on to pursue comedy, acting or some type of entertainment career path. Gascon said the training programs are a great way for people to find their own little community in Grand Rapids. “If you’re interested in making friends, that’s something to do here,” Gascon said. “Grand Rapids is so much more accessible than some of the other cities. So, if you want to put something up, you can do that pretty quickly here.” As the Training Center grows, Gascon would like to offer musical theater and clowning classes, but especially would love for it to be “a more diverse group of people. “Some more representation of our Grand Rapids communities, that’s how I would like to see it grow.” ■

Website: revuewm.com/arts Twitter: twitter.com/revuewm  Facebook: facebook.com/revuewm Instagram: instagram.com/revuewm For advertising, subscription, and distribution inquiries, e-mail: sales@revuewm.com Revue is published monthly by: Serendipity Media LLC 535 Cascade West Parkway SE Grand Rapids, MI 49546 (616) 458-8371 ©2019 Serendipity Media LLC. All rights reserved.

ON THE COVER:

Dust. BY ROBERT STEVEN CONNETT CELEBRATING LIFE, DEATH AND TALENT MUSKEGON MUSEUM OF ART SHOWCASES A HUGE VARIETY OF ART THIS FALL SEE PAGE 12A.

REVUEWM.COM/ARTS | OCTOBER 2019 |

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[THEATER]

Colorful Choreography

‘For Colored Girls’ dives deep into the lives of women of color BY KAYLA SOSA

Ebony Road Players’ new show tells stories all about the experiences of women of color, and the theater group says the stories are for everyone to hear. The “choreopoem” For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide / When the Rainbow Is Enuf is a set of 20 unique poems choreographed to music. It focuses on seven nameless women only referred to by their colors: Lady in Red, Lady in Orange, Lady in Yellow, Lady in Purple, Lady in Green, Lady in Blue, and Lady in Brown. Amisha Groce is the director of the performance. She said the show doesn’t normally follow a storyline, but she has made it so each color is a consistent character, and the audience can follow their story throughout the show. “Abortion, sexuality … abuse,” Groce said, listing some of the themes. “From woman to woman, they all kind of blend together and touch on similar subjects, depending on the poem.” Other subjects touched on include AIDS, city living and joy. “A lot of it is heavy issues,” Groce said. “But I think she put joy in there intentionally, and it does end on a high note. The exact lines are, ‘I found God in myself and I loved her.’” The 90-minute choreopoem was written by Ntozake Shange and premiered in 1976. “What’s amazing about it is, it doesn’t matter what decade you look at,” Groce said. “Everything is relevant from

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| REVUEWM.COM/ARTS | OCTOBER 2019

the beginning of time to now, in terms of what a woman’s experience has been like.” Micah McDonald, one of the two men in the show, plays the character Beau Willie, an aggressive and abusive boyfriend. He said it feels uncomfortable at first, but he has learned how to take a different perspective and get into character. “Before I start the scene, before I go into it, I try to put myself in a specific headspace,” McDonald said. “So I kind of let go of everything that I am to enter into that mindset.” Thinking about women in his life who he’s seen struggle and be mistreated, McDonald reflects on how the themes of this show still ring true today. “The most mistreated person is the black woman in every single way,” McDonald said. “Not just by white people and the oppressions of slavery, but even as time has moved forward, the black community itself mistreats black women.” McDonald said he hopes the audience walks away having learned something. “It’s hard to disagree with experience,” he said. Ja-Nay Duncan, who plays Lady in Blue, said she relates to the show, which she feels is a “tiny window” into who black women are. “I feel like women in general are put into this bubble of what we’re supposed to be, of what we’re not supposed to be,” Duncan said. “It’s what we’re supposed to do and not supposed to do and how we’re supposed to carry ourselves and X, Y and Z, and all these little boxes and bubbles that they put women in. And then if you add race into that, now you have black women, and that’s an even smaller bubble.” Duncan moved to Grand Rapids about a year ago and recently found her home at Ebony Road. “It felt so good to be welcomed into the theater commu-

nity again with open arms,” she said. “There was no doubt in my mind that I was going to audition for this show. Everything that the show represents, the theater itself being owned and run by black women, I was just almost on fire with excitement and then I got cast and I couldn’t believe it.” She said it’s nice that this show puts a spotlight on black women and their unique experiences, good and bad. “As a woman of color, it’s refreshing to come to an event that is all about you,” Duncan said. Obviously, while the show highlights a certain experience, the stories are for all to hear — men, women, everyone alike. “I hope that it starts a conversation or continues a conversation,” Groce said. “Not just about women’s issues, but what we can do as a society as a whole to make it a better experience for women to feel safer, for our little girls.” ■

FOR COLORED GIRLS WHO HAVE CONSIDERED SUICIDE / WHEN THE RAINBOW IS ENUF Oct. 10-12, $20 Creston Brewery 1504 Plainfield Ave. NE, Grand Rapids ebonyroad.org


THE ART OF THE CHRYSANTHEMUM

CHRYSANTHEMUMS & MORE! SEPTEMBER 20–OCTOBER 27, 2019

Enjoy a celebration of the chrysanthemum and fall plantings at Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park’s Chrysanthemums & More! exhibition, the largest of its kind in Michigan. Experience formal garden displays with modern touches. Every display will be artfully arranged to create commanding, bold patterns that beg a closer look. We look forward to treating you to an artful autumn!

East Beltline Avenue NE, Grand Rapids, MI MeijerGardens.org | #MeijerGardens | @MeijerGardens

REVUEWM.COM/ARTS | OCTOBER 2019 |

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[theater]

preview Since it’s October, you know at least one of these plays has to be spooky in the way of ghosts, murder and folk tales. However, there are a few other shows that are scary in their own ways, Fiddler on the Roof. PHOTO BY JOAN MARCUS

examining issues like loneliness, tragedy, and whether you can we have plenty of comedies as well. Take a look at the list below

parts of Legally Blonde — Ann holds nothing back in the portrayal of the legendary Texas governor.

and mark your calendar for some fantastic theater. BY DANA CASADEI

THE WORLD GOES ‘ROUND, Oct. 18-27, $10

really have a “happily ever after.” If you’re looking for some levity,

DOG STORY THEATRE 7 Jefferson Ave., Grand Rapids dogstorytheater.com, (616) 425-9234

SLEEPY HOLLOW, Through Oct. 6, $20 Based on the short story The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving, this play couldn’t be more appropriate for such a spooky season. Brom Bones looks into a series of murders related to the wealthy Baltus Van Tassel while Katrina Van Tassel chooses the love of her life. Plus, the town’s new schoolmaster, Ichabod Crane, is full of mysteries, and a seance goes wrong, leading to a ghostly appearance. We haven’t even got to the headless horseman yet. A lot goes down in this play, so you’ll have to see it for yourself.

FARMERS ALLEY THEATRE KALAMAZOO 221 Farmers Alley, Kalamazoo farmersalleytheatre.com, (269) 343-2727

CAMELOT, Oct. 4-27, $34+ Opening the theater’s 12th season is a newly reimagined chamber version of Camelot. Audiences will hang out around the Round Table with Arthur, Guenevere and Lancelot, all while they take on songs like “If Ever I Would Leave You,” “I Loved You Once in Silence,” and the titular number. This production has been pared down for a smaller cast and borrows from the infamous Arthurian legends.

NAKED MOLE RAT GETS DRESSED, Oct. 12-26, $15

GILMORE THEATRE/ WMU THEATRE 1903 W. Michigan Ave., Kalamazoo wmich.edu/theatre, (269) 387-3227

AMADEUS, Oct. 4-13, $20 It’s Antonio Salieri versus Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart in Peter Shaffer’s Tony Award-winning play. The former is an established composer who has given himself to God so that he might realize

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his sole ambition: to be a great composer. The latter is a foul-mouthed brat, but even Salieri can admit he’s a genius. Still, that won’t stop Salieri from setting out to destroy the young composer.

URINETOWN: THE MUSICAL, Oct. 25-Nov. 3, $23

GRAND RAPIDS BALLET COMPANY

341 Ellsworth Ave. SW, Grand Rapids grballet.com, (616) 454-4771

FIREBIRD, Oct. 18-20, $26+

ACTORS’ THEATRE, GRAND RAPIDS

160 Fountain St. NE, Grand Rapids actorstheatregrandrapids.org, (616) 234-3946

GLORIA, Oct. 10-19, $24+ MacArthur Genius grant winner Branden Jacobs-Jenkins has written an exceptionally dark comedy focused on cutthroat business culture. Based in New York, Gloria follows a group of 20-something editorial assistants who work at one of the big city’s most esteemed cultural magazines. It seems like a normal day until it isn’t, leading the title character to do something pretty horrific. The rest of the play looks at the aftermath of the tragedy, as each character tries to deal with what happened while fighting over who should get a book deal based on the events.

KALAMAZOO CIVIC THEATRE

329 S. Park St., Kalamazoo kazoocivic.com, (269) 343-1313 Matilda the Musical, Sept. 20-Oct. 6, $25

ANN, Oct. 11-20, $10 If you don’t know who Ann Richards was, you’ll find out at this Carver Center Studio Series comedy, appropriately titled Ann. Written by Holland Taylor — the woman who played Evelyn on Two and a Half Men and who was one of the best

| REVUEWM.COM/ARTS | OCTOBER 2019

HOLLAND CIVIC THEATER

50 W. 9th St., Holland hollandcivictheatre.org, (616) 396-2021

Anthony Society for the Sisters of Gertrude Stein find themselves stuck in a shelter. At first, they pretend to be widows before realizing they’re the last people on Earth. Once that realization comes to fruition, they can live openly as quiche-loving lesbians.

BROADWAY GRAND RAPIDS

122 Lyon St. NW, Grand Rapids broadwaygrandrapids.com, (616) 235-6285

OUT OF ORDER, Oct. 3-19 Ray Cooney’s play, with special arrangement by Samuel French, is the sequel to Two into One. As to be expected with a Cooney work, Out of Order is a farce, this time focused around a government junior minister, Richard Willey, who plans to spend the evening with Jane Worthington, one of the opposition’s typists. Naturally, this plan goes catastrophically — and hilariously — wrong.

GRAND RAPIDS CIVIC THEATRE

30 N. Division Ave., Grand Rapids grct.org, (616) 222-6650

FIDDLER ON THE ROOF, Oct. 8-13, $40+ If Tevye were in fact a rich man, this multiple Tony Award-winning musical probably wouldn’t exist. Taking place in early 1900s Russia, this North American tour — given a fresh take from Tony Award-winning director Bartlett Sher — watches Tevye deal with his three oldest daughters getting married, each going further and further away from the traditions he holds dear. As if that wasn’t enough for the Jewish milkman, he has to also deal with the growing anti-Jewish sentiment in his country.

CENTRAL PARK PLAYERS

FROZEN JR., Oct. 18-27, $15

421 Columbus Ave., Grand Haven centralparkplayers.org, (616) 843-3906

MUSKEGON CIVIC THEATRE

INTO THE WOODS, Oct. 11-19

425 W. Western Ave., Muskegon muskegoncivictheatre.org, (231) 722-3852

PETER PAN, JR., Oct. 12-13 For the third year, the theater will work with the Penguin Project. The peer mentor program partners a young artist with a disability with an age-level peer who does not have a disability. The peers are also onstage together the entire time in the same costume. This year’s production is the Broadway classic, Peter Pan, Jr.

QUEER THEATRE KALAMAZOO

315 W. Michigan Ave, Kalamazoo qtkalamazoo.com, (269) 929-6781

Off to grandmother’s house we go! This James Lapine and Stephen Sondheim musical gives an in-depth look at some of your favorite fairy tale characters’ pursuit of happiness. Can Red Riding Hood, Cinderella, Jack (of the beanstalk), Rapunzel, the Baker, and more find what they’re looking for? And once their wishes do come true, what happens? Can they have their happily ever after? All we can really say is: Be sure not to leave after Act I.

GVSU THEATRE

290 Lake Superior Hall gvsu.edu/theatre, (616) 331-2300

A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM, Sept. 27-Oct. 6, $16

5 LESBIANS EATING A QUICHE,

NEW VIC THEATRE

Oct. 18-27, $15 Evan Linder and Andrew Hobgood’s short play takes place during the aftermath of an atomic explosion, when the women of The Susan B.

DR. JEKYLL & MR. HYDE, Oct. 11-Nov. 2, $25

134 E. Vine St., Kalamazoo, thenewvictheatre.org, (269) 381-3328


Thurs NOV 7 7:30 PM

DeVos Performance Hall | Itzhak Perlman, Conductor and Violin

Symphonie Fantastique with

Itzhak Perlman and Randall Goosby

Hot Date Night/Glass Friday, October 4, 6:30-9:30 pm Experimental Poured Painting Saturday, October 5, 1-4 Precious Metal Clay/Fine Silver Sat. Oct. 5, 10-3 + Sun. Oct. 6, 12-5 Sketchbook Workshop Sat. Oct. 5, 10-5 + Sun. Oct. 6, 12-4 Intro to Wire Wrapped Rings Friday, October 11, 5-8 pm

Colored Pencil on Copper Saturday, October 12, 10-4 Visiting Artist Workshop w/Kori Newkirk October 18-19, 9-5 Felt and Nuno Felt Scarves Sat. Oct. 26, 9-5 + Sun. Oct 27, 12-5 Relief Printmaking and Collage Sat. Oct. 26, 10-5 + Sun. Oct. 27, 12-4 Workshops start at $60 More available in November

KALAMAZOO INSTITUTE OF ARTS 435 W. South Street 269/349-7775 kiarts.org Admission $5 / $2 students / children & members free

Photo © Lisa-Marie-Mazzucco

Fall Workshops in the Art School: No experience necessary! Make friends + Have fun + Nurture your creativity

BACH Concerto for Two Violins BERLIOZ Le carnaval romain BERLIOZ Symphonie fantastique

Photo © Ziggy Tucker

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WHAT MOVES YOU?

FIREBIRD October 18-20, 2019 | Peter Martin Wege Theatre | 616.454.4771 x10 | grballet.com/firebird Yuka Oba in Possokhov’s Firebird; photo by Damion Van Slyke

REVUEWM.COM/ARTS | OCTOBER 2019 |

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[Dance]

Sparking the Flame ‘Firebird’ aims to show what the Grand Rapids Ballet can do BY JOHN KISSANE

Having gotten lost in a great forest, Prince Ivan finds himself in the realm of Koschei the Immortal, a terrible villain whose soul lies hidden inside an egg. The prince falls in love with a princess, triggering Koschei’s wrath. It is only through the intervention of a firebird, who has herself fallen for the prince, that the egg is destroyed and happiness gained. The above story, a mashup of Russian folktales, was the basis of Stravinsky’s 1910 ballet The Firebird. The opera will serve as the cornerstone to an upcoming Grand Rapids Ballet performance, titled Firebird, which in its four pieces will display much of the art form’s range. The Stravinsky piece, reimagined by San Francisco Ballet’s resident choreographer Yuri Possokhov, offers an entire production’s worth of features: fog, quick changes, an exploding egg. The dancing, while steeped in classicism, has moments of contemporary brio, including a deep lean back before Princess Tsarevna slides through the prince’s legs. “You wouldn’t see that in Swan Lake,” Grand Rapids Ballet Artistic Director James Sofranko told Revue. Josue Justiz, who will dance as Prince Ivan, attributes some of the looseness of the dance to the original composer.

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“Stravinsky is very mysterious,” said Justiz, adding that he wants to reflect that mystery. To him, the most vital thing dancers do is translate music to motion. That motion will be elegant, powerful and sometimes extreme, Justiz said, with “crazy lifts and running onstage. It’s pretty athletic.” Audience members should anticipate a large, full, grand show, anchored by beautiful music and gilded with fine costumes and sets, both of the latter on loan from San Francisco Ballet. Dozens of dancers will be onstage. The folk tale imagery and story help make The Firebird accessible to young audiences, but Sofranko emphasizes there is realism, too. “Watching it, you never say, ‘Oh my God, this is ridiculous,’” Sofranko said. The firebird, after all, loves the prince, but in saving him helps him to win the love of another. It isn’t Cordelia getting hanged, but it’s tragic, in its way. Asked if audience members need to know the story before seeing the performance, Justiz said the performance should speak for itself. “If I do my job correctly — if we do our jobs correctly — you don’t need to know the backstory. The characters are so welldrawn,” he said. While central, The Firebird is not the only piece to be performed. Sofranko’s Mozart Symphony will provide a traditional, restrained piece. To help balance the evening, it has no fog and no magical eggs. “It’s lights and tights,” Sofranko said. “Mozart is very musical, very precise,” Justiz added. “Every piece has to be perfect.” Adam Hougland’s piece Cold Virtues won’t be anchored by a story, but rather gestures toward a story in its own way. It dramatizes how people manipulate their way into society and is set to music by Philip Glass.

| REVUEWM.COM/ARTS | OCTOBER 2019

Above: Yuka Oba-Muschiana in Possokhov's Firebird. PHOTO BY DAMION VAN SLYKE Below: Yuka Oba-Muschiana and Josue Justiz in Yuri Possokhov's Firebird. PHOTO BY SCOTT RASMUSSEN

Finally, a new piece by Grand Rapids Ballet choreographer-in-residence Penny Saunders will have its world premiere. Saunders’ past work has been kinetic, contemporary and beautiful. Audience members should expect those qualities to be present again here, in a visual representation of a couple leaving their profession. Preparation for such a diverse show consists of more hours and more energy than those outside of ballet might credit. Justiz will rehearse seven hours per day for more than eight weeks. Every costume on loan for The Firebird has been altered, and at the end of the performance, each will be altered back. Dancers will not only be learning their steps, but learning how to embody their characters and the music itself. Justiz has no doubt the efforts will be worth it. “It’s amazing how supportive this community is of ballet. It’s one of the first things that struck me when I came here,” he said.

In Miami, where he danced previously, that support wasn’t always as evident. Here, even the cab drivers tell him how much they love The Nutcracker. “I predict people are going to walk away saying, ‘I can’t believe I witnessed all that in one evening.’” Sofranko said. “Ballet’s not this elite art form, and it’s not just for little girls. It’s for everyone. I think it’s amazing to get to show audiences just how good our dancers really are.”■

FIREBIRD Grand Rapids Ballet 341 Ellsworth Ave. SW, Grand Rapids Oct. 18-20, $30+ grballet.com


HOPE COLLEGE GREAT PERFORMANCE SERIES PRESENTS

CUARTETO LATINOAMERICANO WITH GUITARIST JIJI

November 1 & 2, 2019 7:30 PM St. Cecilia Music Center

OCTOBER 17 | 7:30 PM CONCERT HALL, JACK H. MILLER CENTER $22/17/6

NOBUNTU GILBERT & SULLIVAN

TICKETS Starting at $57 STUDENT TICKETS $5 Student I.D. Required ticketmaster.com Box Office: 616.451.2741

NOVEMBER 1 | 7:30 PM CONCERT HALL, JACK H. MILLER CENTER $22/17/6

operagr.org

hope.edu/gps REVUEWM.COM/ARTS | OCTOBER 2019 |

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[Dance]

Sensory Sensation Pilobolus is a dance company that doesn’t hold back BY DANA CASADEI

Pilobolus wants to help you come to your senses. The East Coast dance company knows you can watch performances on your phone, but that doesn’t at all compare to seeing a dance show live. Watching in a place where you can feel the heat of the person next to you, hear their laughter, see the sweat coming off the dancers, and move to the beat of the music coming off the stage—it’s an experience that can only happen in person.

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“To engage all of your senses while doing that is something that’s really important,” said Renée Jaworski, Pilobolus’ co-artistic director. “I think all of these things are important and community building and it makes you feel the joy of life. Sometimes, you can just go straight ahead and not look around and not use your senses.” Along with co-artistic director Matt Kent, Jaworski hopes audiences will use all their senses at Come to your senses, an Oct. 30 performance marking a long-awaited return to the Wharton Center for the Performing Arts. Throughout the performance are multiple videos, dances both new and from the company’s extensive catalogue, and a piece from Shadowland that uses screens and light as a person transforms into an animal. “You watch this journey of one body going through many different changes and

| REVUEWM.COM/ARTS | OCTOBER 2019

forms,” Jaworski said. “It’s quite magical.” In between the dances are videos made and produced by Pilobolus. One focuses on scientist experiments, including a shrimp on the treadmill. Jaworski said with a laugh that it’s her favorite part. Another video is a montage of all the shadow pieces they’ve created, taking viewers through the depths of reality to a surreal place and back again, and there’s a welcome message video that was shot from underneath a clear table. Jaworski said she didn’t want to give much away about the final video, but it starts with little colorful dots on the screen that move around to form more coherent shapes as the video continues. “The big reveal at the end is how we do it. I can’t wait for people to see it,” she said. Pilobolus — founded in 1971 by a group of Dartmouth College students — is wellknown for pieces that take viewers on a

journey. Come to your senses will do the same. “Sometimes, modern dance can get really heavy, but we want to make people laugh as well, take them on a bit of an emotional ride,” said Jaworski, who has been with Pilobolus since 2000. The emotional roller-coaster will begin with Gnomen, a piece from 1997 with male dancers done in four sections. Each one focuses on a different man — all with very different personalities — as they get to know each other, see each other for who they really are, and support one another. Three women in the performance also get time in the spotlight during a new piece. Jaworski said it’s the first time the company has ever done a trio for women. Until about 10 years ago, Pilobolus never had more than two women in the company at the same time.


Thurs OCT 31 7:30 PM DeVos Performance Hall

THE MOVIE. THE MUSIC. DRESS UP for our COSTUME ! CONTEST

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Richard and Helen DeVos

Classical Series

Pilobolus. COURTESY PHOTOS

For that brand new work, they invited indie rocker and new host of the podcast Song Exploder, Thao Nguyen, to create the music. Jaworski said the company has always been about collaboration with others — it’s one of the aspects she enjoys most about Pilobolus. Having numbers that showcase men and women of the company plays into the show’s title as well. “When we were making the program, we really thought about the theme of coming to your senses, so we weren’t just thinking about the physical senses, we were also thinking about it as a play on words,” Jaworski said. “It’s like, ‘Come on, people.’ We wanted to make sure that we represented the males and females of the company equally.” Yet another dance in the show is Branches, a 2017 work commissioned by Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival and scored entirely by natural sound. For that particular piece, Jaworski mentioned they were asked to make a “dialogue with nature.” They initially weren’t quite sure what that meant, but it turned into them taking a hike in the woods, where they were told to stand 15 feet apart, not talk to each other, and not bring their phones. “What ended up happening was everybody started hearing not just the obvious things like the birds, but things like the crackle of dirt underneath their feet and feel the balminess on their hands. It just

became a much deeper experience,” she said. “They also started to see the obscurity of nature, from mating dances to the cycles of life. We got to really explore with this piece.” The October performance will conclude with a dance where water is poured all over the stage and dancers slide across it. Jaworski noted that particular number is just plain fun. “I think one of the great things is that our dancers have a ton of fun onstage and when people walk away, they’ve seen that and have enjoyed watching us have fun onstage,” Jaworski said. “Our hope is that people will forget about their day-to-day for a little bit and then take away the joy from what they just saw.” ■

PILOBOLUS: COME TO YOUR SENSES Wharton Center 750 E. Shaw Lane, East Lansing Oct. 30, 7:30 p.m., $30+ whartoncenter.com

MARLOS NOBRE Kabbalah STRAVINSKY Symphony of Psalms WAGNER Overture to Tannhäuser WAGNER Prelude and Liebestod from Tristan and Isolde

Featuring the Grand Rapids Symphony Chorus Grand Rapids Symphony Chorus Sponsor: Mary E. Tuuk

Fri NOV 15 8 PM

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616.454.9451 x 4 or GRSymphony.org REVUEWM.COM/ARTS | OCTOBER 2019 |

11A


[Visual Arts]

Celebrating Life, Death and Talent Muskegon Museum of Art showcases a huge variety of art this fall

BY MARLA R. MILLER

The Muskegon Museum of Art has more than one ambitious exhibition taking over its remodeled galleries throughout the coming months. Whether you’re looking for the best Michigan-made art or would just like to contemplate death, the MMA has you covered. We talked with the staff about what makes these shows worth visiting — maybe more than once. Surrounded by Artistry

Above: Alchemy. WILL WILSON Below: I’ll Paint You a Drawing Forever. JILLIAN DICKSON

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| REVUEWM.COM/ARTS | OCTOBER 2019

While the name has changed, the museum’s 91st Michigan Contemporary Art Exhibition carries on the long tradition of showcasing and promoting Michigan artists. The Michigan Contemporary, on display through Nov. 13 in the main L.C. and Margaret Walker galleries, offers a fresh and contemporary look at work being made by living Michigan artists. Formerly known as The Regional, the MMA debuted the new name this year to better communicate to visitors and guests what the show is about. The exhibition is the longest-running juried show of its kind in Michigan and accepts talented beginners and accomplished professionals alike. “It’s meant to be a look at what living artists in Michigan are looking at, inspired by, what they are trying to say and communicate,” said Art Martin, director of collections and exhibitions and senior curator. “One of the things we try

to do with this exhibition is bring new audiences to our Michigan artists.” The 2019 show includes 125 works by 107 artists from all over the state. The museum switched to a digital-only format a few years ago and received a record number of 734 entries by 406 artists this year. Most artists live in the West Michigan region, but a growing number are from other areas such as Detroit and Ann Arbor, Martin said. An independent juror selects the pieces for inclusion, and the museum awards cash and prizes to top finishers. Juror Amy Chaloupka serves as Curator of Art at the Whatcom Museum in Bellingham, Wash., and an art/art history instructor at Western Washington University. In her Juror Statement, Chaloupka notes that she was “truly astounded by the caliber and range in the grouping of over 700 works of art” and “I saw interesting patterns and connections between works that felt regionally specific yet universally resonant.” The walls and cases display a variety of media, including contemporary paintings, unique mixed-media, 2D and 3D entries, quilted pieces, graphic arts, sculpture and more. Most of the art is available for purchase, giving visitors the opportunity to support artists in a financial way as well. The artists tackle a diverse array of themes and express subtle and not-so-subtle social and political commentary. Some works are fun and playful. Others explore family traditions and make statements about cultural and environmental issues gripping our nation. “It is a really sharp show on several levels,” Martin said. “We’re pretty excited about the way it looks this year.” Martin said there are some conceptual ideas that play out in the show based on the juror’s picks, and having someone from out of state is “a great way to bring an outside perspective to what is happening.” “If you like living artists and you like to be part of that conversation, the artists are really trying to challenge how we see the world and how we think about the world,” Mar-


Left: Dust. ROBERT STEVEN CONNETT Right: Generational Tea. MADELINE KACZMARCZYK

tin said. “There are a lot of forward-looking things, there are a lot of things that are just playful. A lot of the artists are just having fun.” In addition, all the galleries have been remodeled, bringing a new, fresh energy to the entire museum. “There is a different feel to the space for people who haven’t been here for a while,” Martin said. “We are living and dynamic and looking ahead.”

Embracing Mortality When Muskegon Museum of Art Preparator Lee Brown was looking for tattoo ideas, he stumbled on some “very intriguing paintings of skulls” that prompted the idea for an exhibit. Martin got to work researching and reaching out to artists who work in the memento mori motif. This fall, MMA presents Undying Traditions: Memento Mori, an exhibition that explores morality and mortality using the human skull, bones and other symbolism. Undying Traditions features work by artists from across North America. The exhibit includes paintings, photography and sculpture, along with early prints from the museum’s permanent collection. For centuries, artists have used still-life imagery — particularly the human skull with flowers, fruit, birds and other symbols of time and decay — to explore themes of earthly pleasures, death and the afterlife. “It’s enduring imagery,” Martin said. “Artists return to these ideas over and over again, and people continue to appreciate the images.” A Medieval Latin Christian philosophy, memento mori literally means “remember death” and encourages people to reflect on death and dying while they are still living. Centuries ago, people had limited literacy. They used these images to remind people that death is assured and they should focus on their spiritual afterlife, Martin said.

This tradition includes the danse macabre, a skeletal Death dancing away with the rich and poor alike, and the vanitas, a memento mori that depicts objects associated with physical pleasures such as musical instruments, books, food and wine. It is the idea that “all of these pleasures you are enjoying, none of that is going to help your soul,” according to Martin. Featured artists include Landis Blair, David Cahill, Robert Steven Connett, David Gluck, Kate MacDowell, Jeanette May, Chris Peters, Daniel Sprick, Katherine Stone, Paulette Tavormina, Maria Tomasula and Will Wilson. Martin also incorporated 15th and 16th century Dutch and German prints from the MMA’s permanent collection to illustrate early examples of the memento mori theme. Martin said imagery of skulls and bones continues to inspire artists and fascinate viewers. Some artists incorporate modern elements, such as technology, or depict

91ST MICHIGAN CONTEMPORARY ART EXHIBITION THROUGH NOV. 13

UNDYING TRADITIONS: MEMENTO MORI THROUGH JAN. 5 Muskegon Museum of Art 296 W. Webster Ave., Muskegon

flowers with bugs moving in and out of them and food in various stages of decay. As for why? “I can speculate people are aware of their own mortality, and so these images remind us of that in ways that still seem to resonate,” he said. Besides prompting conversations about death and the afterlife, the “art is just cool and incredibly well-made.” The exhibit also lends itself to some fun and unique programming, Martin said. “There is certainly a lot of philosophy behind the work and history behind the work, but it’s also visually entertaining,” Martin said. “We picked artists who are making technically accomplished and visually beautiful work.”

Related programs include: ■■ O ● pen Mic Night with local poet Kumasi Mack,

6-8 p.m. Oct. 10. Mack, alongside his DJ and two featured artists, provide a night of spoken word pieces that relate to themes in Undying Traditions. Crowd participation is welcome. Free. ■■ B ● rown Bag Film Food for the Ancestors: The Mexican Celebration of the Days of the Dead, 12:15 p.m. Oct. 24. This PBS film explores the fabulous Day of the Dead festival as it is celebrated in the culturally rich state of Puebla. Free. Paid admission required to enter galleries. ■■ P ● assion and Perversity: The Inner Chambers of Edgar Allan Poe, 6 p.m. Nov. 2. Conceived, arranged and performed by Tom Harryman, this one-act play examines the inner workings of the master of suspense through Poe’s letters, stories and poems. $12 advance; $10 MMA Member; $15 at the door. ■ ■

muskegonartmuseum.org, (231) 720-2570

REVUEWM.COM/ARTS | OCTOBER 2019 |

13A


[Visual Arts]

abstract alliance

Susan Chrysler White, “Secession,” 2018, aluminum panel assemblage, painted plexiglass. PHOTO COURTESY GRAND RAPIDS ART MUSEUM (GRAM)

The GRAM and UICA partner to create twin exhibitions exploring abstraction BY ABI SAFAGO

It’s a rare, special occasion when the two big art organizations in Grand Rapids team up.

ways discovering new things,” Wcisel said. “Having Williams do some of that research was really helpful.” Wcisel also mentioned that although she has been curating for four years at the GRAM, she herself has not seen the entire collection. It’s almost a guarantee you will find something you haven’t before.

ARTS UNKNOWN This fall, the Grand Rapids Art Museum and Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts are doing just that with collaborative shows spanning galleries in both buildings. Paintings, drawings and large sculptures have all moved in as a paired curated experience. In the GRAM, you can see mainly 2D pieces such as paintings, while in the UICA, you’ll see plenty of 3D pieces made from a variety of materials. “We wanted to focus on the works of different mediums, so we have works made with fibers, sculptures, et cetera,” said Juana Williams, the exhibition curator for the UICA. The unique collaboration is due in large part to a special guest curator at the GRAM: Williams herself. The Detroit native came in with the idea for showcasing contemporary abstract art at the UICA while delving further into the GRAM’s abstract collection, pulling out pieces that are new to the community. “That’s one of the great reasons we bring in new eyes (like Williams). She found a couple gems that we hadn’t noticed before this collection,” said Jennifer Wcisel, the assistant curator at the GRAM. If you’ve been an avid visitor and member of the GRAM for any amount of time, you know the collection is massive. So massive in fact, it’s hard to actually display many of the pieces. For this collection alone, at least eight pieces will be displayed for the very first time at the GRAM. “Our entire collection is over 6,000 objects, so we are al-

Though many of us haven’t heard of them, many artists in Relevant deeply influenced the contemporary abstract movement in America. The collection is full of artists who didn’t get the attention they deserved because of their titles or who they were in society, according to Wcisel. “I know Juana was very careful to pick some works for the diversity of the artists,” Wcisel said. “She selected as many women as she could, being that they were underrepresented in the time period, but also chose some artists of color, who we always love to highlight.” In this process, Williams also took into account why the pieces themselves were created. “I wanted to focus more on the mediums of these pieces for these shows,” Williams said. “It’s more about the material and the process of creating the works. Of course each work has its own story, a more complex meaning behind why and how it was created.” One artist they’re happy to showcase is Mavis Pusey, who passed away earlier this year. The GRAM was thankful to receive some of Pusey’s works, particularly as not many people know who she was. Wcisel was especially excited to see this work as it felt it was “meant to be” for the art style. “It’s a name not many people know, but we’re finding she fits right into the whole story of abstract art in America,” Wcisel said.

Simultaneous GRAM: Shows ■■ David Wiesner & The Art of Wordless Storytelling, Oct. 12, 2019–Jan. 12, 2020

UICA: ■■ Larry Cook: On the Scene, Sept. 28, 2019–Jan. 26, 2020 ■■ Mark Rumsey: Memory Map: Roof Line - State Street, Sep 28. 2019–Jan. 26, 2020 ■■ Kennedy Yanko: Before Words, Sept. 28, 2019–Jan. 26, 2020

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| REVUEWM.COM/ARTS | OCTOBER 2019

FRESH EYES

While the GRAM collaborates often with other places in Grand Rapids, Wcisel said this new collaboration is especially exciting. It’s the first time in a while that the museum has invited an outside curator in to do a show. “It’s always nice to get a fresh perspective from someone who isn’t here day-to-day, who has different ideas and who sees our collection in a new way,” Wcisel said about Williams. “Juana came in with this idea about abstraction and all the digging she did unearthed some really interesting pieces that wouldn’t have been on view otherwise.” The collaboration has also given the GRAM the chance to reframe and clean other works that were hidden in their archives, and has inspired them to incorporate more of those works into their rotations of exhibitions. As for the UICA, the shows are an opportunity for the institute to spread its reach in more ways than one. Visiting one show will likely make you want to visit the other — after all, it’s just a short walk down the road. GRAM’s show provides context and history for the UICA’s Spectra, which is full of contemporary, larger-than-life art that may make you feel like you’re living inside the work itself. Thanks to collaboration, you get the best of both worlds. ■

RELEVANT ABSTRACTION FROM GRAM'S COLLECTION THROUGH JAN. 5, 2020 Grand Rapids Art Museum 101 Monroe Center St. NW, Grand Rapids artmuseumgr.org

SPECTRA THROUGH DEC. 20, 2019 Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts 2 W. Fulton St., Grand Rapids uica.org


[VISUAL ARTS]

PREVIEW

Now that summer’s over, art is back in full force with tons of exhibitions arriving at galleries all over. There’s student photography and poetry helping to celebrate a 10th anniversary, works by 16 local artists showing off how pretty West Michigan is, and a show featuring one of the best illustrators in the world. Check out the list and you’ll see who’s coming where. BY DANA CASADEI

BROAD ART MUSEUM 547 E. Circle Dr., East Lansing broadmuseum.msu.edu, (517) 884-4800

A BRIEF HISTORY OF ART IN SPACE, Through Dec. 8

THE EDGE OF THINGS: DISSIDENT ART UNDER REPRESSIVE REGIMES, Through Jan. 5

THE SCHOLAR’S GARDEN, Through Feb. 9 KATRÍN SIGURÐARDÓTTIR, Through March 1 FIELD STATION: BEATRIZ SANTIAGO MUÑOZ, Oct. 12-Jan. 26 Based in San Juan, Puerto Rico, the artist and filmmaker is presenting new works at Broad Art Museum. Beatriz Santiago Muñoz created pieces that discuss the impact of Hurricane Maria on the island’s landscape and material culture. It’s especially timely in the wake of Dorian. Her works have been featured in museums across the world, such as London’s Tate Modern and the Guggenheim Museum.

CALVIN UNIVERSITY CENTER ART GALLERY 106 S. Division, Grand Rapids calvin.edu/centerartgallery/studio, (616) 526-6271

JOHN JAMES AUDUBON: SELECTIONS FROM THE PERMANENT COLLECTION, Through Jan. 28

WOLTERSTORFF COLLECTION EXHIBITION, Through Oct. 19 I ONLY ENHANCE WHAT’S ALREADY THERE: JOHN VAN AST, Through Oct. 19 DWELLING: OUR WATERSHED IN IMAGE AND WORD, Oct. 18-Nov. 29 This exhibition of student photography and poetry continues the 10th anniversary celebration of the university’s Plaster Creek Stewards. Said group is a collaboration between Calvin faculty, staff and students, all who work together with local schools, churches and community partners to restore the health and beauty of the Plaster

KALAMAZOO INSTITUTE OF ARTS 314 South Park St., Kalamazoo kiarts.org, (269) 349-7775

MOMENTS OF PEACE: WATERCOLORS BY SUNGHYUN MOON, Through Oct. 13 BLACK REFRACTIONS: HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE STUDIO MUSEUM IN HARLEM, Through Dec. 8

WHERE WE STAND: BLACK ARTISTS IN SOUTHWEST MICHIGAN, Through Dec. 8 RESILIENCE: AFRICAN AMERICAN ARTISTS AS AGENTS OF CHANGE, Through Dec. 8

LAFONTSEE GALLERIES

Creek Watershed in Grand Rapids. Visit this show if you want to help save a watershed.

833 Lake Dr. SE, Grand Rapids, 410 W. Center St., Douglas lafontsee.us

DAVID WALLACE HASKINS, Oct. 28-Dec. 14

PRESERVED, Oct. 17-19

FACULTY EXHIBITION: CHRIS FOX, Oct. 28-Dec. 14 Chris Fox teaches graphic design at Calvin, but he’s not just a faculty member — he also has a Grand Rapids-based art collective, Not Design. The group focuses on stepping outside the boundaries of traditional design.

FREDERIK MEIJER GARDENS & SCULPTURE PARK 1000 East Beltline Ave. NE, Grand Rapids meijergardens.org, (888) 957-1580

REBECCA LOUISE LAW: THE WOMB,

Celebrate West Michigan’s scenic nature at this three-day exhibition. Featuring works by 16 local artists — who else would know West Michigan better? — Preserved hopes to raise awareness of the importance of conserving West Michigan’s natural areas. Registration and art sales will benefit the Land Conservancy of West Michigan.

MIX IT UP, Oct. 25-Nov. 22 Larry Cook, Urban Landscape from High Rollers Series. COURTESY IMAGE

LOWELLARTS! 223 W. Main St., Lowell lowellartsmi.org, (616) 897-8545

boards 14 years ago. Folkert lived and studied in Santa Cruz, Cali. before returning to the mitten. At the pop-up, you’ll see a series of custom fiberglass and resin artwork with custom frames from reclaimed beach wood, some of which have never before been seen by the public.

ISEA: ANNUAL JURIED EXHIBITION, Through Oct. 26

Through March 1

CHRYSANTHEMUMS & MORE!, Through Oct. 27

GRAND RAPIDS ART MUSEUM 101 Monroe Center, Grand Rapids artmuseumgr.org, (616) 831-1000

BILLY MAYER: THE SHAPE OF THINGS,

MUSKEGON MUSEUM OF ART

LUMINESCENCE, Oct. 18-Dec. 22

296 W. Webster. Ave., Muskegon muskegonartmuseum.org, (231) 720-2570

91ST MICHIGAN CONTEMPORARY ART EXHIBITION, Through Nov. 13 WEST MICHIGAN ARTIST SERIES, Through May 10

Through Feb. 2

RELEVANT: ABSTRACTION FROM GRAM’S COLLECTION, Through Jan. 5 DAVID WIESNER & THE ART OF WORDLESS STORYTELLING, Oct. 12-Jan. 12 David Wiesner is considered one of the most highly acclaimed book illustrators in the world and the GRAM is highlighting his incredible work. His personal sketches and notebooks will be on display, alongside more than 70 original watercolors from his books, including the three that won him Caldecott Medals: Tuesday, The Three Pigs and Flotsam. The award is a huge deal, given every year to the artist of the most distinguished American picture book for children. There also will be multiple activities for all ages to let out your inner illustrator.

UNDYING TRADITIONS: MEMENTO MORI, Through Jan. 5

THE LAND: THE ART OF BILL HOSTERMAN AND ED WONG-LIGDA, Through Nov. 15

This interactive, light-infused exhibit will span more than 250 feet with the help of four artists who excel in installations and light-based art. Part of the exhibition is an interactive installation “allowing participants to construct virtual structures by placing objects onto illuminated surfaces.” Sounds wild. Head there on Oct. 18 for the free opening reception with an incredible, multisensory performance from art-rock quartet Saajtak, as well as food, a cash bar and hands-on art projects.

URBAN INSTITUTE FOR CONTEMPORARY ARTS 2 Fulton W., Grand Rapids uica.org, (616) 454-7000

SAUGATUCK CENTER FOR THE ARTS

SPECTRA, Through Dec. 20

400 Culver St., Saugatuck sc4a.org, (269) 857-2399

LARRY COOK: ON THE SCENE, Through Jan. 26

ART À LOAN, Through Oct. 11

MARK RUMSEY: MEMORY MAP : ROOF LINE - STATE STREET, Through Jan. 26

FLOW, Oct. 12-Dec. 20 This month-long pop-up show will showcase works by West Michigan native Tim Folkert of Migration Surf, who began building his own surf-

KENNEDY YANKO: BEFORE WORDS, Through Jan. 26

REVUEWM.COM/ARTS | OCTOBER 2019 |

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[Music]

Soundtracks Onstage

GRAND RAPIDS SYMPHONY 2019-2020 MOVIE SOUNDTRACK SEASON HARRY POTTER AND THE ORDER OF THE PHOENIX DeVos Performance Hall Oct. 18, 7:30 p.m. Oct. 19, 2 p.m. GHOSTBUSTERS DeVos Performance Hall Oct. 31, 7:30 p.m.

Local symphonies beat surround sound by scoring films live BY MEGAN SARNACKI

Technology has given us a million ways to watch movies at home, not to mention incredible sound systems that make you feel like you’re sitting in a theater of your own. No matter how advanced our tech gets, though, nothing will ever compare to hearing a soundtrack performed in real time. “If you watch Star Wars on DVD, it is going to be the same today, tomorrow, next week and in a year. But if you have a live orchestra playing that music, it is a unique, historical event. We have different players putting their own individual artistry into what’s going on,” said John Varineau, associate conductor for the Grand Rapids Symphony. Whether it evokes excitement, grief or suspense, soundtracks provide viewers with an emotional guide to a film. But with streaming services growing in popularity, symphonies across West Michigan want to reconstruct the act of watching films by creating a space for the community to come together as one large, engaged audience. “There’s always an extra spark of creativity that happens live. There’s a certain sense of exhilaration that patrons can feel from the stage,” said Daniel Brier, resident

conductor for the Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra. As conductors, Varineau and Brier note the most challenging task is ensuring the orchestras stay in line with the film score. “A movie doesn’t wait for a conductor,” Varineau said. “There are times when the musicians will feel like they want to take a little bit of time here or push forward here, but we can’t do that. We have to stay with the movie. It’s a very different beast, but also a testament to the flexibility and expertise of the musicians since they can be doing Beethoven symphony one night and a movie soundtrack the next night.” Because each performance is live, the day and location can also impact the audience’s experience. “Even though they’re playing the same notes, it’s going to sound different if you hear it in St. Louis, Detroit or New York,” Varineau said. “From my own experience, there’s going to be things that I do differently today than what I did yesterday or the way I’ll do it tomorrow.” But the most distinctive aspect to these performances, according to Brier, is the local component. “Our musicians are in our community, teaching, performing and working in many different ways. It's really special when you get to share that with someone that you know, and if you don't know any of our wonderful musicians, it's a great opportunity to get to know some new people in town,” Brier said. For Varineau, this connection between the symphony and the audience enhances the creative lenses in which art resides. “Art is people communicating to people. As an audience member, you are hearing art by people who live in town

HOME ALONE DeVos Performance Hall Nov. 12, 7 p.m. HARRY POTTER AND THE HALF-BLOOD PRINCE DeVos Performance Hall Feb. 21, 7:30 p.m. Feb. 22, 2 p.m. UP DeVos Performance Hall Mar. 20, 7:30 p.m. Mar. 21, 7:30 p.m. Mar. 22, 3 p.m. For tickets, visit grsymphony.org or call (616) 454-9451

KALAMAZOO SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA 2019-2020 MOVIE SOUNDTRACK SEASON Above: John Varineau. Below: Daniel Brier. COURTESY PHOTOS

with you. It’s almost like the movie itself becomes secondary,” he said. Each with its own season of shows, the Grand Rapids Symphony and Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra envision these live soundtrack performances as a way for the community to not only bond over their favorite films, but also notice that shared experiences connect communities on a deeper level. “Music enriches our community,” Brier said. “When we do these movies, we connect with the wide cross section of our community — people from all ages and backgrounds — coming together to enjoy a night of fantastic music-making and a wonderful movie. “It’s always a very special feeling when we finally get on stage and share this experience together.” ■

STAR WARS: RETURN OF THE JEDI Miller Auditorium Oct. 11, 8 p.m. ICARUS AT THE EDGE OF TIME Chenery Auditorium Oct. 20, 3 p.m. HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON Miller Auditorium Jan. 25, 3 p.m. E.T. THE EXTRA-TERRESTRIAL Miller Auditorium Apr. 17, 8 p.m. For tickets, visit kalamazoosymphony.com or call (269) 349-7759

REVUEWM.COM/ARTS | OCTOBER 2019 |

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[MUSIC]

PREVIEW

October has a deluge of pianists coming to the area, including two youngsters who might make you feel old and one you’ll recognize if you attend Hope College. If classical music isn’t your jam, there are also multiple quartets coming to play Latin American music and country, as well as the return of a certain Jedi. This month, there’s something for everyone. BY DANA CASADEI

FONTANA CHAMBER ARTS 359 S. Kalamazoo Mall, Suite 200, Kalamazoo, fontanachamberarts.org, (269) 382-7774

CRYBABY CONCERTS, Oct 19, free These mini-concerts return this year, kicking off in October. Each 45-minute performance is designed for children under the age of 5 to enjoy music with their parents, grandparents and siblings. You can just sit back and take it in, but if you have a fussy wee one, it’s OK to move around or do whatever else it takes to make them happy. First up in the series is the Jazz & Creative Institute Faculty/Student Band, performing a concert geared toward the kiddos. Each performance also comes with complimentary snacks — they’re healthy, not loaded up with sugar — and coffee for parents after the show.

CHRISTIAN TETZLAFF AND LARS VOGT, Oct. 26, $30 Violinist Christian Tetzla and pianist Lars Vogt are two of the most prominent performers currently playing classical music, and they’re coming together for this fall show. The evening’s performance will have selections from Beethoven, Shostakovich, Kurtag and Franck.

THE GILMORE Wellspring Theater, 359 S. Kalamazoo Mall, Kalamazoo, thegilmore.org, (269) 342-1166

ALIYA ALSAFA & JEFFREY CHIN, Oct. 6, $25 As if the Gilmore wasn’t already awesome enough, it is now the first U.S. music festival to partner with the Lang Lang International Music Foundation and present the Lang Lang Young Scholars. This two-year program is full of extremely talented individuals — all of who must be under 16 when they submit their application — like Aliya Alsafa and Jeffrey Chin, two scholars selected for the 2018-2020 program. Both will get time to shine during the concert, with pieces by Mozart and Chopin, among others.

LUKAS GENIUŠAS, Oct. 20, $25 The Russian-Lithuanian pianist, who recently was awarded the prestigious Diapason d’Or by

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The Diapason for his recordings of Prokofiev’s 2nd and 5th sonatas, is coming to Kalamazoo. Lukas Geniušas has performed worldwide and is an avid chamber musician. Naturally, this show will include Geniušas playing some of his specialty: Prokofiev.

GRAND RAPIDS SYMPHONY 300 Ottawa NW Ste. 100, Grand Rapids, grsymphony.org, (616) 454-9451

TCHAIKOVSKY'S ROMEO & JULIET, Oct. 4-5, $18+ GRS Music Director Marcelo Lehninger will lead the symphony in taking on Tchaikovsky’s final work, the “Pathetique” Symphony, also known as Symphony No. 6. It took Tchaikovsky seven months to write the piece, completed in August 1893, and he would go on to lead the first performance in Saint Petersburg that October before dying nine days later. Also at this performance will be the Russian composer’s “Piano Concerto No. 3” and the titular Romeo & Juliet: “Overture-Fantasy.” The former piece is rarely heard and will feature pianist Olga Kern, a Van Cliburn Competition Gold Medal winner.

Lukas Geniušas. COURTESY PHOTO

resume also includes being the founder and director of Holland’s Brown Bag Concerts, vice president of the Holland Piano Teachers Forum, a violinist, and artistic director of the Chamber Music Festival of Saugatuck along with his wife, violinist Jennifer Walvoord. This HSO concert will feature works by Hovhaness, Gershwin, Barber and Grofe. The show’s title comes from the Gershwin piece “Rhapsody in Blue.”

original Star Wars trilogy wouldn’t be complete without John Williams’ Academy Award-nominated score, which will be performed in its entirety by the KSO as the film plays. So grab your lightsabers and gold bikinis and get to the show.

ICARUS AT THE EDGE OF TIME, Oct. 20, $5 GERSHWIN: RHAPSODIES, Oct. 26, $24+

HOPE COLLEGE GREAT PERFORMANCE SERIES

MILLER AUDITORIUM

Jack H. Miller Center for Musical Arts, 221 Columbia Ave., Holland, hope.edu/arts/great-performance-series, (616) 395-7222

FAREWELL ANGELINA, Oct. 19, $22+

2200 Auditorium Dr., Kalamazoo, millerauditorium.com, (269) 387-2300

THE LAST CENTURY (COFFEE), Oct. 11, $16

CUARTETO LATINOAMERICANO WITH GUITARIST JIJI, Oct. 17, $23

THE LAST CENTURY, Oct. 11, $26+

For more than 30 years, this string quartet from Mexico has been one of the leading proponents of Latin American music, earning themselves two Latin Grammy awards for Best Classical Recordings along the way. This classic music ensemble has toured throughout the world and is bringing Korean classical guitarist Jiji along when they stop in Holland.

This all-female country group, named after the heartbreaking Bob Dylan song, are bringing their powerhouse vocals to the Miller Auditorium stage. Band members Nicole Witt, Andrea Young, Lisa Torres and Ashley Gearing met when pursuing solo careers in Nashville before forming the quartet. Their highly anticipated EP Women and Wine was released in 2019. They’ll close out the year having played more than 80 shows, combining epic harmonies over double violins and guitars.

KALAMAZOO SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA

ST. CECILIA MUSIC CENTER

HARRY POTTER AND THE ORDER OF THE PHOENIX, Oct. 18-19, $46+ TRISTAN & ISOLDE, Oct. 25-26, $18+ GHOSTBUSTERS - MOVIE WITH ORCHESTRA, Oct. 31, $18+

HOLLAND SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA

359 Kalamazoo Mall Ste. 100, Kalamazoo, kalamazoosymphony.com, (269) 349-7759

24 Ransom Ave. NE, Grand Rapids, scmc-online.org, (616) 459-2224

STAR WARS: RETURN OF THE JEDI IN CONCERT, Oct. 11, $30+

LEE ANN WOMACK, Oct. 3, $40+

CLASSICS II: RHAPSODY!, Oct. 26, $22 Those who go to Hope College may recognize this evening’s featured artist, pianist Andrew Le, an associate professor of piano and head of the keyboard area at the Holland college. Le’s

The Rebels are trying to destroy yet another Death Star. Luke is dealing with some daddy issues. Jabba the Hutt is… being Jabba. Return of the Jedi has a lot going on, but this finale in the

FRED HERSCH, Oct. 17, $40+

96 W. 15th St., Suite 201, Holland, hollandsymphony.org, (616) 796-6780

| REVUEWM.COM/ARTS | OCTOBER 2019

JUDY COLLINS, Oct. 20, $50+


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©Disney

VISIT WHARTONCENTER.COM CALL 1-800-WHARTON


Chews and Brews

One Well Brewing's "It's Mine!" nachos pair well with the Xalapa blonde. COURTESY PHOTO

Where to start with beer and food pairing in West Michigan | by Kelly Brown

L

ike fine wine and cheese, every beer has its soulmate. With exotic menus hitting breweries across West Michigan, it can be hard to identify the perfectly paired beer for your locally sourced, hand-caught, seasonal dinner. Luckily, if you know who to ask, the staff themselves can help you out! To get you started, we asked some local brewers to weigh in on their menu pairing favorites. CONTINUED ON PAGE 43

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FALL COLOR TOUR GRAND ARMORY BREWING .COM PHOTO CREDIT: JENN MARIE PHOTOGRAPHY

17 S. 2ND ST., GRAND HAVEN, MI | 616.414.7822

42 | REVUEWM.COM | OCTOBER 2019


City Built Brewing Lechon Taco paired with Alemania. One Well Brewing's Xalapa blonde. Zwickel and skewers from Broad Leaf Brewing. COURTESY PHOTOS

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Broad Leaf & Brewery Vivant Jonathan Ward

What is your best beer and food pairing? Brewery Vivant: Farm Hand and Charcuterie Board Broad Leaf: Zwickel or Kolsch with the Skewers Why do fries and beer pair so well? Fries are not only great to pair with beer on their own, but also a delivery system for other flavors, mainly through texture and salt. The bright carbonation of beer lifts flavors off your tongue and gets you craving the next bite. It’s intimidating to pair a beer with something like the Tempeh Sandwich at Broad Leaf. What do you recommend? There is a lot going on with that sandwich. You’ve got nuttiness from the soybeans, bright acidic fruit from the slaw, and just a touch of heat. You could take it a few ways depending on the season. I would probably go with a Beamed Propulsion — it’s an IPL, but the hops are more in a floral and light lemon realm with just a hint of dank. I’d avoid anything high-octane. What’s your general recommendation when pairing food with beer? When we pair our beers to our food, we are looking at the beers as a condiment that should enhance the flavors and aromas of both the

food and the beer. So, with something like the Tempeh Sandwich, you could go the route of adding a bit of acid and zip to match the slaw or you could play up the rich and umami aspects of the tempeh with a more malt-forward beer.

Rockford Brewing Company

Chris Montgomery & Matt Valleau What is your favorite menu item and beer pairing? The new Pastrami Sandwich with our Sheehan’s Irish Stout. What would you pair with a more unique menu item? For instance, the Rice Bowl? The salty, earthy, umami character in the rice bowl is complemented perfectly with the smooth hop and malt balance of the Cream Ale.

City Built Brewing Ed Collazo

What is your favorite food and beer pairing? I love the Lechon Taco paired with Alemania (It means Germany in Spanish and is not pronounced Ale Mania). What makes Puerto Rican food pair so well with beer? Sofrito is our main ingredient: a mixture of garlic, peppers, cilantro,

culantro, salt and pepper. It is so flavorful, it begs a drink of beer. The flavors found in our food highlight the hops in IPAs and the tart and sour flavors in our kettle sours.

One Well Brewing Chris O’Neil

What is your favorite food and beer pairing? We have been infusing our Xalapa, a non-spicy Jalapeno blonde, into our beer cheese since the beginning of time at One Well. The app It’s Mine! (because it’s “not cho’s”) gets to feature this cheese sauce because it gives the nacho the ability to continue to be tasty even after the nachos get cold.

Speciation Ales Mitch Ermatinger

You only serve one real food item at Speciation — Nordic Hot Dogs. Why did you make this decision and how do they work well with beer? We added Nordic Hot Dogs to our menu for a few reasons: First and foremost, we are in love with Scandinavia and as odd as it sounds, Scandinavia is in love with hot dogs. These are legit hot dogs made from pasture-raised meat, with good quality toppings. We also added them to our menu because they pair perfectly with sour beer (carbs and fat to cut through the acidity of the beer) and they were easy to add to our food license without having to build out an entire kitchen. n

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PiNTS WiTh The PrOS

A conversation on craft beer trends and culture with local brew gurus and podcasters | by Jack Raymond REVUEWM.COM | OCTOBER 2019 | Hosts of In MI Pint, Kati Spayde and Ben Darcie. PHOTOS BY SETH THOMPSON

CONTINUED ON PAGE 47

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Experience craft beers in BREWTOPIA!

Grand Rapids Beer Tours shows you why Grand Rapids is “Beer City U.S.A.”

46 | REVUEWM.COM | OCTOBER 2019

* Personal Guided Tours * Beers Samples Included!

* Top Breweries

* Behind the Scenes

* Public & Private Tours

* Fun & Educational


CONTINUED FROM PAGE 45

T

here’s this theory, The Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon, that supposes every person on Earth is six or fewer acquaintances away from Kevin Bacon. For example, if your dogwalker’s cousin’s dad was a gaffer on the set of Footloose — boom — you’re four degrees from Bacon. It’s a goofy theory, but it’s one that posits this large world is actually small and our relationships cast a wider influence than we know. For those with even a toe in Grand Rapids’ beer scene, the steps separating you and the hosts of In MI Pint, Kati Spayde and Ben Darcie, are unquestionably less. If you’ve shopped at Siciliano’s in the past 13 years, I guarantee Spayde has guided you through the shelves to a beer that made you happy. As the store’s resident beer buyer, her palate is unmatched and she has a keen eye for distributor shenanigans. I’d trust no one else to stock the beer fridge in heaven. And Darcie, well, he seems to be everywhere at once. While currently a sales rep for Rockford Brewing Company, his CV includes stints as wandering monk at Brewery Vivant, assistant manager/ brew school teacher at Gravel Bottom, and beer editor at this very magazine. Let’s not forget his self-started education company, Experience Beer. Yeah, the dude loves beer. Both of the hosts do, and their passions shine together in their podcast, In MI Pint. While plenty of beer journalism devolves into disposable listicles and reviews (both of which I’m guilty of), Kati Spayde and Ben Darcie dig into meat, such as a three-part series discussing the intricacies of distribution law. If that sounds dry, let me assure you it’s anything but, thanks to the hosts’ chemistry and pointed interview questions. They’re generous with their knowledge yet hungry to learn more — the perfect duo to corral information from their on-air guests to the listener's ear. Revue met up with the podcasters to talk shop with those who do so best. Hot takes and wisdom abound — here’s what we learned about the state of beer in 2019. This interview has been edited for length and clarity. So, how did you two meet? Kati Spayde: We met through Siciliano’s. Ben and his friends would come in, buy tobacco and check out all the beer. You can’t miss Ben. Ben Darcie: It’s true. We were mildly obsessed with Siciliano’s for years, but we couldn’t buy beer, so we’d just go three or four times a week to buy cigars and drool all over the beer. KS: You were very forthright about the fact you weren’t 21 yet. It was actually pretty nice. When did you decide it was time to start a podcast? KS: We started August of 2018, but Ben had been texting me for months beforehand trying to get me on board. You wanted someone who matched your geekiness.

"I think it comes down to being proactive versus reactive. ... You see Old Nation years ago going, ‘Hey, New Englands are becoming a big thing, maybe we should put some eggs in this basket.’ Now they’re the Kleenex of New England IPA. Proactive." — Ben Darcie Who have been some of your favorite guests? KS: Mitch Ermatinger from Speciation. That was fun. That boy can talk. Also, being the law and legislation geek that I am, I liked talking with everyone who works on the distribution end, just to hear all the weird technicalities that you don’t know as a general beer drinker. BD: That’s one of the underlying themes of the show. We should talk about topics that are relevant and important that people should know about, but don’t talk about. What are some of these conversations in the beer community that should be addressed but aren’t? KS: I think that quality control needs to be something people talk about again. About eight or nine years ago, there was a huge influx of new breweries doing crazy beers. There were quality control issues and everyone said, “All right, we need to buckle down and get this under control.” And things got really good! But I’m starting to see that same pattern again. There’s an enthusiasm that’s unfortunately not backed up by quality control and I wish people would call that out.

BD: If I was going to be a host, one of the things I definitely wanted was a knowledgeable co-host. It was also very important for me to have equal representation between genders for a beer show, because there’s not nearly enough amazing women heard in the beer industry right now.

BD: I think one of the more practical things I wish people would understand is cost. People like to complain about a $20 six-pack without understanding how the three-tier system works. It’s a dangerous “I know everything” mentality.

KS: We’re getting there. But it’s been a long, painful road for some of us. It was nice that you were even aware of that.

KS: Big box stores are devaluing the whole market by selling beer for pennies on the dollar. It’s bringing down people’s perceived value

PHOTO BY SETH THOMPSON

of beer when they show up to an independent bottle shop that’s not selling 2,000 square feet of groceries to make their money. There’s this whole idea that big box stores are buying things in bulk and getting bulk pricing when really, we’re all buying it for the same price. I’m sorry, but we have to keep the lights on. We can’t sell things for 2 cents over cost. Regarding relationships with the consumer, how does a brewery satisfy the market’s demands without sacrificing their identity? KS: I think breweries need to be confident in their brands. Look at Founders. “We’re gonna put out a goddamn pilsner and you’re gonna like it.” BD: But you have to have the brand power to do that. If you’re a tiny brewery, you don’t have that power. I think it comes down to being proactive versus reactive. Generally, the industry is reactive, like, “Oh Brut IPA is really popular, we should make a Brut IPA!” Reactive. Then you see Old Nation years ago going, “Hey, New Englands are becoming a big thing, maybe we should put some eggs in this basket.” Now they’re the Kleenex of New England IPA. Proactive. CONTINUED ON PAGE 49

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What do you think separates “fad” styles from the styles that stick? KS: People ask me all the time, “What’s the next big thing in beer?” If I knew that, I would be a millionaire right now. Other than just saying IPAs and sours, it’s really hard trying to guess what consumers will latch onto next. For 20 minutes, milkshake IPAs were everything. BD: I feel like it’s all shots in the dark. In the Midwest, we’re listening to the East and West to see what’s rummaging around, but what’s left? KS: It’s hard right now to balance your inventory based on what’s classic and will sell and what crazy random things should I bring in. Here’s a sour with black sea salt, guava and cumin. How about an IPA with pineapple and szechuan sauce. You definitely want to have those super weird beers because they’re fun and people like to try them, but how much do we want to gamble on them? During your time in Grand Rapids, have you seen tastes change or evolve? BD: The biggest thing I’ve learned is that the demographic of people we’re selling beer to is incessantly distractible. My grandad drank Miller Lite, my dad drank Stroh’s, and then I drink everything. And then we think about the age beneath us who can find anything they want at any time. They are the furthest thing from a Miller drinker. They want everything new, everything interesting, and that’s when you end up seeing these reactive moves by breweries because they’re trying to remain relevant. KS: The biggest change I’ve seen is the sheer volume of beer available. It’s insane. Michigan is always, always expanding, which is great — we live here and we have friends who work at breweries — but the problem is it’s such an oversaturated market in Michigan, to the point where we’re excluding the rest of the country. We’re becoming isolationists. Regionally, we’re seeing Michigan breweries struggle with growth as well. I’m left wondering what the perfect model is to ensure a brewery’s survival in 2019. KS: I think people need to realize there’s not going to be another Bell’s or Founders in Michigan. You don’t have to be 100-percent growing all the time to be successful. Be happy being mid-range, or be happy being a neighborhood pub. I have a neighborhood pub; it’s the best. The big craft beer boom had too many expectations out there, to the point where every new brewer thought they’d become a millionaire. BD: When Perrin opened, they said specifically, they’re going to be the next Founders. You see what happens when somebody very specifically goes for that with the money, the space and at the relatively right time. They landed right and they’re doing very, very well, but still I’m thinking neighborhood pubs are the way to go. Distribution is jogging uphill on a steep incline unless you have a whole bunch of volume. With the purchase of many high-profile breweries muddying the definition of “craft,” how important do you think independence is in beer right now?

PHOTO BY SETH THOMPSON

BD: I have a kind of pessimistic view on this topic. The beer industry’s memory is alarmingly short. Scandals happen all the time and people get upset about them for three days on the internet and then completely forget about it. KS: The last time people really had a problem with a brewery getting bought out was with Goose Island, and that was probably because it was the first of its kin. But inadvertently, they proved you can be bought by a large company and still produce quality beer. Nobody cares that Goose Island got bought out when Black Friday comes around and everyone wants Bourbon County Stout. From a buyer’s perspective, as long as the quality stays fine, I don’t really care. That said, I prefer when smaller breweries team up, like Right Brain and ROAK. If you can’t both survive on your own, why not combine forces? BD: I’m anticipating seeing more of that as we see independent brewers work together. It seems like craft has taken a page from Big Beer’s playbook, investing in seltzers and other beer alternatives. Do you think that’s a sign of craft losing touch with its integrity, or just trying to be proactive to consumer taste? KS: Personally, do I drink seltzers? No. Am I mad that people are

making seltzers? No. I do wish that not every brewery was trying to bring one to market. Have it on tap, awesome. You need to have diversification to bring people into the taproom. BD: I think seltzers have taken the industry by storm so fast there was nothing to do but react. I don’t get mad when breweries make a seltzer. The brewing culture has a really nasty tendency of putting a rift right down the middle and you’re either on the right or the left. Especially all the old-timey brewers from the ’90s, you should have heard the discussions when New Englands came around. Looking ahead, what topics can listeners expect in future episodes of the podcast? BD: Detroit Fall Beer Fest. We’re trying to get down into the gypsum mines for an episode. Guest episodes are always super fun. We’ve always talked about doing a drunk episode where we just get really, really drunk and talk about food pairings. KS: What do you eat when you’re really drunk? We haven’t been brave enough to do it yet. BD: I hope we’re not annoying when we’re drunk... n

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FARM BREW ERY | TASTING ROOM | BEER GARDEN 1 63 0 B l u e S t a r H w y. , F e n n v i l l e , M I w w w.way pos tbee r.com

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Drinking Down Memory Lane Brewers look back on their most memorable beers | by Elma Talundzic

D

rinking beer can create lifelong memories — depending on how many you have — and brewing beer makes memories too. We all have that one beer that was just a little more memorable than the rest. Whether it sticks out in your mind because of its taste or just what you

were doing at the time while sipping it, there’s a story to share. Revue turned to the master brewers and brewery owners in the area to hear about the beer they just can’t forget. We also heard from some brewers on the most memorable beers they’ve created, for better or worse.

BEERS DRANK

Pink Killer

Weissbeer

I had only been in the brewing industry for a couple of years when I made my first trip to Belgium. I experienced many new beer styles and flavors over there, but for some reason, the beer that really sticks in my memory is a Belgian Wit brewed with pink grapefruit juice called Pink Killer. It had a pink label with a scary pink dog on it, but at only 4.7-percent ABV, there was nothing scary or killer about it. It was delicious, refreshing and probably the coolest fruit beer I had ever had at that time. I remember first trying it at the Delirium Cafe in Brussels, then loading a few bottles in my suitcase so my girlfriend back home could try it.

David Ringler, Cedar Springs Brewing Co. I’d been living in Germany for a couple years, having been first an exchange student and then taken a job. During that time, I’d been introduced to Weissbier or Weizenbier (what we call Hefeweizen on these shores) a couple times, but had never liked it. It smelled funny, tasted different, and had weird stuff floating around in it. I had always chosen something else when it came to beer. One fateful evening, I was attending a dinner party with friends in Bavaria and was offered a beer, only to discover that the only option was indeed Weissbier. Wishing to remain a gracious guest, I acquiesced to a beer on the condition that they didn’t “pour that stuff in there.” I struggled with the first few sips, but by the time I made it to the bottom of the half-liter glass, I was hooked. It was actually enjoyable. After a second glass (this time with the proper, full-yeast pour) I was certain I’d discovered Valhalla. This magical elixir became one of my favorite styles and I had a new mission to introduce my American friends to this wonderful alchemy. Top Left: David Ringler, Cedar Springs Brewing Co. Top Right: Jeremy Kosmicki, Founders Brewing Company. Bottom: Jacob Derylo, Brewery Vivant and Broad Leaf Local Beer. COURTESY PHOTOS

Jeremy Kosmicki, Founders Brewing Company

Samuel Smith: Taddy Porter

Jacob Derylo, Brewery Vivant and Broad Leaf Local Beer So, when you have a beer that changes the way you think about flavor, life, love and beauty, I go back to Sam Smith Taddy Porter. I had been brought up with generic American and Canadian lagers (which I still enjoy), but about 25 years ago, I put my lips on Taddy Porter and the way I thought about beer shifted. From then on, the world opened up and I dig every second of it. CONTINUED ON PAGE 53

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From left to right: Seth Rivard, Rockford Brewing Co. Chris O'Neill, One Well Brewing. Benjamin Isbell, Harmony Brewing Company. Ben Tabor, Grand Armory Brewing Company. COURTESY PHOTOS

Hamm’s

Seth Rivard, Rockford Brewing Co. When I was a kid, my dad drank pretty much any American lager, but seemed mostly to drink Stroh’s as well as Miller Genuine Draft. He’d let me take sips and I always thought that was cool. He always had beer for when friends and family came to visit, and they would always have a cold one ready for him when we went to visit them. What I also thought was cool were the Hamm’s beer commercials, which—now federally illegal to do this—featured the Hamm’s Bear cartoons and had the best jingle for a kid to enjoy. I would be glued to the cartoon commercials. I believe these commercials were fruitful in conditioning me and my subconscious. It became my favorite American lager sometime during 2011 when we were building Rockford Brewing Company and putting swear equity in and drinking cold brews to keep us refreshed. While everyone else seemed to be gravitating toward Pabst at the time — too sweet, but also a good brew — I was really finding Hamm’s to be that perfect legacy lager flavor that reminded me of sipping my dad’s beer when I was a kid. So damn cool.

BEERS BREWED Gardetto’s Ale

Chris O’Neill, One Well Brewing Gardetto’s Ale. It was a beer inspired by the snack. It had rye, corn, barley and rice. It was infused with garlic, Worchester sauce and soy sauce. Wow, what an umami bomb. The beer definitely mellowed with age but when it first came on tap, it was a punch of garlic to the nose. The beer was meant to wow and astound the guests that were looking to try something they had never tried before. It did just that, but the only problem was after they took a small taste, that was enough for most

folks. I think that beer was served more as a small taste than it was ever served in pint form. We decided that a beer festival would be the way to serve the beer to the masses, so we took it to Beers at the Ballpark in Lansing and proceeded to tell everyone that walked by that this was the beer for them. “The most unique beer you will try today!” we exclaimed. Now, after seeing the look on most faces, we knew that they wouldn’t be stopping into the pub to grab a pint of this delicious beverage — but after an hour or so, we had plenty of return customers. (They were) not asking for another swig of the Gardetto’s Ale but just to tell us that we were right: That was the most unique beer they would try that day. I still have guests from time to time ask about when we are bringing that delight back. I usually laugh a little and politely let them know, next week. The answer is always next week.

Both owners Ryan Andrews and Ben Tabor were ’90s kids with an affection for Pauly Shore movies. When we created our first juicy IPA, we drank it straight from the fermentation tank and Ryan said, “Wheezin’ the juice, buddy!” We immediately knew this beer had to be called Wheezin’ The Juice and pay homage to the

classic Encino Man slushie scene. Wheezin’ has grown to become our most popular selling beer across Michigan. We were even lucky enough to wheeze the juice with Pauly Shore himself on a recent trip to Muskegon. n

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The most memorable beer we ever had at Harmony was a beer called Wild Rumpus. This was our first attempt at a wet hop harvest ale. We were all very excited as the brew day began and the hops were delivered straight from the farm. What we didn’t think of is putting these hops in a nylon bag of some sort. As we brewed the beer, we were just dumping loose hops in the kettle — this was a disaster. There were hops everywhere. I had to use a shovel to clean all the hops out of the kettle, hoses were clogged and when it was all said and done, the beer turned out horrible and it was never served to customers.

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Wheezin’ The Juice

Ben Tabor, Grand Armory Brewing Company Grand Armory’s most memorable beer to create was our Wheezin’ The Juice, Juicy IPA.

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October 10th - Release of our Pro-Am Beer October 13th - Poutine Clash Five! Our Annual Celebration of Poutine October 19th - Pouring at Brews in the Grove October 20th - Charcuterie and Beer (ticketed event) October 25th + 26th - Pouring at the Detroit Fall Beer Fest

2019 2ND BEST CHILI 2ND BEST WINGS 3RD BEST OPEN MIC 3RD BEST IPA - HOPLUST 4TH BEST STOUT - SHEEHAN’S

2018 2ND BEST CHEF 2ND BEST OPEN MIC 2ND BEST WINGS 3RD BEST CHILI 3RD BEST LUNCH 3RD BEST IPA - HOPLUST 3RD MOST INNOVATIVE CUISINE

2017 1ST BEST CHILI 2ND BEST CHEF 2ND BEST LUNCH 2ND BEST NEW RESTAURANT 2ND BEST WINGS 2ND BEST OPEN MIC 3RD BEST BURGER 3RD BEST STOUT - SHEEHAN’S 3RD BEST NEW RESTAURANT 4TH BEST IPA - HOPLUST

54 | REVUEWM.COM | OCTOBER 2019

thank you, West Michigan!


Buds and Beer Beer and cannabis is a ‘natural partnership’ for some breweries | by Andy Balaskovitz

F

rom local craft breweries rolling out small batches of cannabis-themed beer to some of the world’s largest macrobreweries infusing beverages and investing billions in growers, a marriage is unfolding between cannabis and suds at an international scale. Since Michigan voters legalized recreational marijuana last year, some of the state’s most well-known breweries are joining the action with products merging beer and marijuana interests. Within the past month, a California manufacturer of nonalcoholic, cannabis-infused beer acquired a Detroit-area brewery, citing Michigan as a source of market potential. However, several legal and economic questions remain as this

marriage evolves. Market analysts have yet to determine whether these products will unfold as a full-blown trend as companies attempt to stay within state and federal law. “Hemp-derived, CBD (cannabidiol) and cannabis-infused products are definitely what’s next of next,” said Julia Herz, craft beer program director for the Boulder, Colorado-based Brewers Association. “It’s early times in the discussion — it’s exciting to see where things will go.” Independent craft breweries in particular are showing interest in cannabis-related products, which Herz called “encouraging” since craft beer sales by volume increased 4 percent in 2018 compared to overall industry declines.

Since advocates began pushing statewide marijuana reforms in Michigan more than two years ago, some breweries have watched with keen interest, experimenting with beers that mimic the smell and taste of marijuana or infusing beer with CBD and hemp. This includes some of the state’s most well-known companies. In March, Founders Brewing Co. piloted a CBD-infused beer, though nothing has hit the market yet. “We’ve done some baseline work and are prepared to continue trials as soon as the legal nature of these types of beverages are clarified,” said Alec Mull, Founders’ vice president of brewery operations. “Our team is eager to elevate our focus on this type of innovative beer, but have our hands tied in the meantime. To be CONTINUED ON PAGE 57

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clear, our intentions are to experiment with hemp holistically, not just on CBD alone. CBD is indeed a very important cannabinoid, but is merely one of many that we would try to incorporate with the flavor and aroma characteristics of interesting hemp cultivars.” In August, Short’s Brewing Co. announced a partnership with Green Peak innovations, one of the largest medical marijuana growers, processors and retailers in the state. Green Peak will make marijuana edibles that mimic the flavor of Short’s beers. Short’s President Joe Short has reportedly said, “THC and cannabis products have been part of our innovation development discussions for years.” The Short’s partnership illustrates at least one product potential for brewers: nonalcoholic beverages (including beer) that are infused with THC, the primary compound of marijuana with psychoactive properties giving users the “high.” That’s the plan behind San Diego-based Two Roots’ recent acquisition of Rochester Mills Beer Co. in Auburn Hills. Two Roots will use the production facility to make a nonalcoholic beer that is then sent to state-licensed marijuana processors to be sold at licensed dispensaries. Josh Hovey, spokesperson for the Michigan Cannabis Industry Association, called the emerging trend a “natural partnership” that could benefit both industries. “There are very similar target demographics for some of the products,” Hovey said. “I think these types of partnerships are only going to become more common as the industry evolves.”

Regulatory uncertainty While excitement is growing within the beer and cannabis industries, regulatory uncertainty is leaving most companies with more questions than answers. “We’re entering another layer of both state and federal regulation that’s not really well or clearly understood yet,” said Scott Graham, executive director of the Michigan Brewers Guild. Ben Wrigley, an attorney at Cannalex Law in Grand Rapids, said uncertainty remains in Michigan over combining THC with alcoholic beverages, for example, even though the state has a law prohibiting such products. Licensed marijuana processors could challenge the law based on language in the Michigan Regulation and Taxation of Marihuana Act that doesn’t address infusing marijuana with alcohol. “Will there be litigation? Probably,” Wrigley said. Adding CBD to beverages brings oversight by the federal Food and Drug Administration. “(Government officials) and the industry are learning,” he said. “everyone is kind of working together as best they can to move this forward.” According to the Brewers Association, marijuana legalization doesn’t appear to be having much of an effect on beer sales. In the nine states (and Washington, D.C.) where recreational cannabis is legal, overall beer sales are down 1.1 percent this year. In medical marijuana states, sales

"CBD is indeed a very important cannabinoid, but is merely one of many that we would try to incorporate with the flavor and aroma characteristics of interesting hemp cultivars.” - Alec Mull, Founders’ vice president of brewery operation are down 1.8 percent. Meanwhile, in states where cannabis is still illegal, sales are down 2.3 percent. Some have suggested that entering the cannabis market is a way to bolster declining beer sales, particularly for large macrobreweries that have announced multibillion-dollar investments in cannabis companies. Last year, Molson Coors Canada launched a joint venture with a Canadian cannabis producer to make nonalcoholic, marijuana-infused beverages, seeing a potential multibillion-dollar market in our neighborhood to the north. In 2017, Constellation Brands — which makes Corona and Modelo — invested $4 billion in a Canadian marijuana company. Kris Spaulding, co-owner of Brewery Vivant in Grand Rapids, said overall beer sales declining may be motivating some companies to enter the cannabis space. She compared it to some breweries’ experimentation with hard seltzers. “I see our industry experiencing a little more strife than it has the last bunch of years. There are interesting ways to expand business when the industry itself isn’t in a growth phase,” said Spaulding, who added that Brewery Vivant is not interested in pursuing cannabis-related products. In a survey last year of more than 5,000 member breweries, Herz noted nearly half said they would “entertain making beers with THC or CBD should the regulatory environment change.” Still, brewers face hurdles in getting approval from the federal Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau for cannabis-related products. Few breweries across the U.S. have been approved for CBD-infused or hemp-derived beers. However, the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 — commonly known as the federal Farm Bill — removed hemp as a Schedule 1 drug, opening the potential for more hemp-derived products. “I do think the Farm Bill update did make things in the space of more interest for craft brewers,” Herz said. “It’s why there is more discussion and play in this space.” n

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Brewers define beer terms for the novice and aficionado alike | by Kelly Brown

H

ops, malt, lactose, oh my! As the global craft beer selection gets larger and more complicated, getting into beer can be like stepping into a zoo full of a hundred animals you didn’t even know existed, much less knowing what their names are. Luckily, all it takes to learn is asking the right people and getting some “practice” in. We asked local brewers and brewery staff to break down the top current terms to know in the craft beer industry.

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Chris Gibbons, Brass Ring Brewery

IBU is shorthand for the term International Bittering Unit. The IBU is a reference to bitterness imparted into beer by the way of hops. The higher the IBUs, the more bitter the beer. The scale goes from one to 100. Traditional English brown ales, porters or stouts are malty, less bitter beer and have an IBU range of 20 to 30. IPAs, which are more bitter, range from 60 to 80. We include the IBUs on the beer menu to assist and inform our guests as to the amount of bitterness they can expect from each particular beer.

SOUR BEER

Mitch Ermatinger, Speciation Brewery Sour beer might sound like an unappealing term, but many things that people enjoy are sour, including wine, cider, juice and, most of all, candy! Our beer naturally develops acidity from the addition of healthy lactic acid bacteria, i.e. probiotics. Most of our beer is tangy and extremely fruity, usually to the tone of cherries, berries and tropical fruit. If you like wine and cider, then you’ll like our (sour) beer.

WHEAT

Jeff Sheehan, Rockford Brewing Most craft beers are made from a majority of barley malt, but occasionally, wheat is used and sometimes it becomes the majority of the overall grain used to make a beer. At Rockford Brewing Company, we tend to use majority wheat-based beers for many of the brands within our Permaculture Series. The lighter body and flavor of wheat beer is a perfect canvas for showcasing the unique characteristics of other fun ingredients. Wheat can also be used in smaller quantities to contribute to a smooth and creamy texture in any beer.

HAZY

Ed Collazo, City Built Brewery Hazy references the hops that stay in suspension, giving the beer a hazy appearance. Brewers work hard to figure out how and when to hop beers at specific times so that they achieve biotransformation, which allows hops to stay suspended and it is frequently thought to produce desired “juice” flavors.

LACTOSE

Hannah Lee, Waypost Brewing Lactose in beer is definitely in vogue now, in the form of dessert Berliners, milkshake IPAs,

and of course big Russian Imperial Stouts. It was used in the past as a way to promote the healthful benefits of beer. Nursing mothers, the convalescent, and even children were given milk and cream stouts in early 20th-century England. Lactose is a milk-derived sugar that is unfermentable by brewer’s yeast, so it lends residual sweetness, creamy texture and a full mouthfeel.

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SAISON

Hannah Lee, Waypost Brewing Saison is the quintessential Franco-Belgian farmhouse beer and has a history of being brewed, kept and enjoyed by many a farmhand. Today, saison is a bit of a muddled style, naturally having evolved this side of the pond. Think fruited, dry-hopped, Imperial iterations. The classic saison is yeast-driven, slightly peppery, bone dry but with a lovely soft wheat character. Saison is the Pinot Grigio of beer styles because of its easy drinkability. If you’re ever stuck for something to bring to a dinner party, let it be saison!

SIMCOE & AMARILLO HOPS Chris O’Neil, One Well Brewing

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Similar to tomatoes, there are many different varieties of hops. Some are meant to be very bitter and used in IPAs — like Centennial, Zeus and Columbus — while some are meant to have subtle flavors like those used in Pilsners, such as East Kent Goldings and Fuggle. Simcoe is described as being both fruity and earthy and has been compared to a Centennial on steroids. It can carry notes of berry, apricot, passion fruit, and citrus. Amarillo tends to have a more pronounced citrus note than that of Simcoe, leaning toward the orange/grapefruit character.

SESSION

Jonathan Ward, Broad Leaf and Brewery Vivant Session beers are broadly defined as beer with a low ABV. I would say under 4.5 percent, though I’ve seen them categorized up to 5 percent. They are so named because you can have a few during a “session” at a local pub. Most of the time, session beer has a less bold mouthfeel — less rich and dense. Generally, things on the high end of the ABV scale are richer and more full-bodied (in modern craft beer, there are no firm rules, however). That doesn’t mean session ales need to be flavorless or thin, just that those flavors need to be derived more from aromatics, and richness needs to come from other sugar sources, grains or even microorganisms. Session beers can be made in a hugely broad array of styles. n

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KAITLIN ROSE Performing 5-6 PM


BReWeRy GUiDe Revue’s compendium of breweries in West Michigan | COMPILED BY REVUE STAFF

Grand Rapids Area 5 Lakes Brewing 1638 142nd Ave., Dorr 5lakesbrewing.com

5 Lakes has become well-loved for its solid brews and self-distilled spirits. Start off with a Citrus Vodka, then move on to the Huron Gold and a burger, pizza or other entrees from the food menu. Open: 7 days.

Atwater Brewing

201 Michigan St. NW, Grand Rapids atwaterbeer.com This Detroit-based brewery joined downtown Grand Rapids’ ranks a few years ago, serving up classics like Dirty Blonde, Whango Mango Wheat and Vanilla Java Porter. The brewery has a nice patio along Monroe, upon which to eat pizza, sandwiches and tacos. Open: 7 days.

Bier Distillery

In the taproom and brew room alike, spirits and beer go hand in hand — it’s right there in the name of Bier Distillery, owned by Joel and Sara Bierling. Alongside its large selection of original liquor and cocktails, Bier offers a wide variety of brews. The menu changes regular, featuring creative brews like the Raspberry Hibiscus blonde and the Maple Rumble, a beer featuring sugar cane juice, just like rum. Open: 7 days.

318 E. Main St., Lowell bigboilerbrewing.com Located in a historical building, Big Boiler is the first to bring self-brewed beer to Lowell, with simple styles like hefeweizens, brown ales and IPAs. Meanwhile, the food menu is ambitious, featuring all kinds of shareables, burgers and sandwiches. Open: 7 days.

B.O.B.’s Brewery 20 Monroe Ave. NW, Grand Rapids thebobsbrewery.com B.O.B.’s Brewery, located in the lower level of The B.O.B., offers a variety of different food options, but the real treat lies in the multitude of beers available year-round. Be sure to check out the Hopsun, a Belgian summer wit, or the Grapefruit Song, a citrus IPA. Open: Thursday-Saturday.

Brass Ring Brewing 2404 Eastern Ave. SE, Grand Rapids brassringbrewing.com Brass Ring opened last year, bringing craft beer to the Alger Heights neighborhood. Since then, the brewery has ramped up its food offerings with from-scratch cuisine spanning sandwiches, tacos and entrees. The tap list hosts 12 or so beers focused on executing classic styles well, from ESBs to SMASH ales, browns and more. Open: Tuesday-Sunday.

Brewery Vivant 925 Cherry St. SE, Grand Rapids

Broad Leaf 2885 Lake Eastbrook Blvd. SE, Kentwood breweryvivant.com Since 2010, Brewery Vivant has been making farmhouse beer — focusing on the Belgian style — and promoting the

Left: Creston Brewery. Right: DeHop's Brewing Co. COURTESY PHOTOS

sustainability of beer in cans. This year, Vivant expanded in the form of Broad Leaf, a second location that explores every style of beer and offers its own unique food. Open: 7 days.

Brew Works 5909 S. Warner, Fremont thecommonsoffremont.com

atmosphere of socialization as well, making Cedar Springs a destination spot for beer lovers from all over the region. Open: 7 days.

Cellar Brewing Co. 133 E. Division St., Sparta cellarbrewingco.com

describe the beer by flavor profile and color, not style. It’s both innovative and tasty. Open: 7 days.

DeHop’s Brewing Co. 363 Cummings Ave. NW, Walker dehops.com

At this modest brewpub in Fremont, you’ll find a wide range of ales and stouts from Brew Works itself and other breweries all over Michigan. The taproom is adjacent to a bowling alley, arcade and golf course. Open: 7 days.

Cellar is a business of many talents. With more than 15 beers on tap, the brewing company also has a winery and distillery. Stop in for a wide variety of brews like the Cascadia Blonde and the Jax Attax, a bourbon barrel-aged Belgian quad. Open: 7 days.

DeHop’s Brewing joined Standale last year, bringing more craft beer and food to the area, along with a couple pool tables. The brewery has 16 taps, featuring multiple lagers, IPAs and more. DeHop’s aims to be comfy, with an “alpine” look on the inside and out. The food menu has sandwiches, burgers, tacos and more.

Cedar Springs Brewing

Creston Brewery

Elk Brewing

95 N. Main St. NE, Cedar Springs csbrew.com

1504 Plainfield Ave. NE, Grand Rapids crestonbrewery.com

This German-centric brewery is all about authentic Bavarian food and light, refreshing lagers and weissbiers. In 2019, Cedar Springs took home awards for THREE beers in Revue’s Best of the West. The big beer hall-style taproom creates an

Grand Rapids’ love of craft beer can’t be contained within the confines of dow ntow n. Cres ton Brewer y has brought delicious food to its eponymous neighborhood, along with a wide variety of brews. The menu (and brewmasters)

700 Wealthy St. SE, Grand Rapids 400 Dodge St., Comstock Park elkbrewing.com Elk Brewing has become a mainstay of both Wealthy Street and Comstock Park

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SCENE SOUNDS | SIGHTS | DINING

5295 W. River Rr. NE #100, Comstock Park bierdistillery.com

Big Boiler Brewing

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with its reliable beer lineup and appreciation for community. Head to Wealthy for a more cozy atmosphere with local music and games, or to Comstock Park for a full food menu and patio overlooking West River Drive. Open: 7 days.

Founders Brewing Company 235 Grandville Ave. SW, Grand Rapids foundersbrewing.com

The Colossus of Craft needs no introduction. In fact, Founders has seen so much success on an international level that it recently was purchased by Spanish brewing company Mahou San Migel. The brewery’s footprint continues to grow as it sends out classics like the Breakfast Stout and newer favorites like Mosaic Promise and Solid Gold. Open: 7 days.

Fountain Hill Brewery

151 Fountain St. NE, Grand Rapids facebook.com/fountainhillbreweryatgrcc Owned by Grand Rapids Community College, this brewery is only open on specific dates, when the general public gets to taste the exciting results of the Craft Brewing, Packaging and Service Operations certificate program. Open: Check website for dates.

Grand Rapids Brewing Co. 1 Ionia Ave. SW, Grand Rapids grbrewingcompany.com

GRBC reinvented itself, bringing on a new brewmaster and new head chef, as well as building a free game room in the back. Fill your pint with a piece of Michigan history via the Silver Foam Lager, or try something new like the Sur La Lune, a tart farmhouse saison aged in Chardonnay barrels. Open: 7 days.

Gravel Bottom Brewery 452 Ada Dr., Ada gravelbottom.com

Gravel Bottom’s expansion brought the taproom from six taps to 20, along with a larger production facility, more room for customers and a new kitchen. Don’t miss brews like the Bliss Stout, a toasty honey oatmeal stout. Open: Tuesday-Sunday.

Greyline Brewing Co.

1727 Alpine Ave. NW, Grand Rapids greylinebrewing.com When it opened two years ago, Greyline Brewing garnered a reputation instantly,

winning Best New Brewery in Revue’s Best of the West poll. Since then, the brewery has continued to release excellent beers that exemplify their styles. Open: 7 days.

Harmony Brewing Company 1551 Lake Dr. SE, Grand Rapids

Harmony Hall

401 Stocking Ave. NW, Grand Rapids harmonybeer.com Last year, Harmony underwent a huge expansion at its Eastown location and the two locations now both offer the same award-winning pizza and reliable beer, such as the Fiddlestix, a juicy IPA with grapefruit flavors. Or try a beer cocktail like the Beergarita, made with tequila, citrus and triple sec, then topped off with some IPA. Open: 7 days.

Jaden James Brewery 4665 Broadmoor, Kentwood jadenjamesbrewery.com

Nested inside Cascade Winery, Jaden James provides a brewed alternative so you can grab a Black IPA or Walnut Brown with your wino friends. They’re solid beers that don’t go overboard. Open: Monday-Saturday.

Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales 428 Bridge St. NW, Grand Rapids 13512 Peninsula Dr., Traverse City jollypumpkin.com

If you seek a pleasant sour, look around you. Jolly Pumpkin has been brewing up approachable sour and wild ales for years now, offering beers like Oro de Calabaza, an oak-aged golden sour, and Clementina, an oak-aged sour fruit saison. Last year, the brewery opened in Grand Rapids with delicious pizza, sandwiches and salads. Open: 7 days.

Kayla Rae Cellars

31 Courtland St., Rockford kaylaraecellars.com A couple of years ago, Kayla Rae introduced its own onsite brewery in the form of MI Brewery, currently serving beers on tap alongside rotating seasonal hard ciders and sangria. Open: 7 days.

Kitzingen Brewery

1760 44th St. SW, Wyoming kitzingen-brewery.com This brewery’s owner, Rommie Bailey, was stationed in Kitzingen, Germany,

Above: Grand Rapids Brewing Co. Left: Osgood Brewing. Right: Perrin Brewing. COURTESY PHOTOS

when serving in the U.S. Army in the 1980s. The building’s interior is meant to tell the story of the relationship between Americans and Germans, with a military twist. Not surprisingly, the beer and food focus on those cultures as well, with IPAs and authentic Hefeweizens on tap. Open: Tuesday-Saturday.

Mitten Brewing Co.

527 Leonard St. NW, Grand Rapids 329 Water St., Saugatuck 112 W. Nagonaba St., Northport mittenbrewing.com Pizza and beer seems to be a popular duality in Michigan, and The Mitten Brewing Co. does both superbly. Beers like the Country Strong IPA and Mango Gold wheat have been a hit, arriving on shelves all over. For a flight of both beer and food, head to the Grand Rapids or Saugatuck locations and try some specialty pizzas like the Heater, with sweet habanero sauce, andouille, jalapenos, banana peppers, green peppers and Colby Jack cheese. Open: 7 days.

New Holland Brewing Co. 417 Bridge St. NW, Grand Rapids 66 East 8th St., Holland newhollandbrew.com

Newaygo Brewing Company

19 State Rd., Newaygo newaygobrewing.com

While not at all identical, both of New Holland Brewing Co.’s locations offer well-loved beer, killer cocktails and beer gardens. The brewery has become known for its Dragon’s Milk, a bourbon barrelaged stout released with a number of different flavors, but the Mad Hatter IPA and Poet oatmeal stout are West Michigan mainstays as well. Open: 7 days.

Newaygo Brewing has become a cornerstone of the community and a key destination along M-37. The atmosphere is welcoming, located in a building with decades of history, and the farm-to-table pizzas have made the taproom a go-to choice for a night on the town. Plus: Quality brews, both true-to-style and wholly unique, including a cask ale selection. Open: 7 days.

New Union Brewery

OpenRoad Brewing Co.

400 W. Main St., Lowell newunionbrewery.com

128 S. Main St., Wayland openroadbrewing.com

More than 150 years ago, Union Brewery opened in downtown Grand Rapids. The beer scene may have changed a bit since then, but New Union is trying to keep the spirit and history alive in Lowell with beers like the Citra Revival Session IPA and Red Arrow Amber. Open: Tuesday-Sunday.

OpenRoad represents Wayland in the world of craft beer, becoming a community hangout spot with frequent food trucks alongside its own in-house menu. The brews are billed as “well-balanced and true-to-style,” spanning the gamut of

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classic styles, and the in-house coffee shop means the space is welcome to all from sunrise to after dark. Open: Tuesday-Sunday.

tures quality selections from top to bottom, but be sure to check out mainstays Citra Warrior IPA and Bike Ride Blonde. Open: Monday-Saturday.

Osgood Brewing

Rockford Brewing Company

The people of Grandville demanded a brewery and were not disappointed when Osgood Brewing rose from the ashes of Hiram Osgood’s legacy in 2012. Since then, the brewery has maintained quality craft beverages and imaginative pizza creations. Open: 7 days.

Huge advocates for West Michigan agriculture and multi-year winners of our Best of the West poll, Rockford means local and they mean business. Beers like Hoplust IPA and Sheehan’s Irish Stout are award-winning examples of the style. The farm-to-table kitchen is serving up nothing but quality as well, with dishes like the Braised Pork Belly BLT. Open: 7 days.

4051 Chicago Dr. SW, Grandville osgoodbrewing.com

Perrin Brewing

5910 Comstock Park Dr., Comstock Park perrinbrewing.com Since opening, Perrin has made tremendous strides with releases like No Rules, a 15-percent ABV Vietnamese Porter, and Storming the Gates, an “Area 51” NEIPA. Meanwhile, Perrin Black Ale has become a mainstay in just about every bar in Grand Rapids, thanks to its unique but extremely approachable character. Open: 7 days.

Railtown Brewing 3595 68th St. SE, Dutton railtownbrewing.com

Last year, Railtown expanded in a huge way to a building next to its original strip mall location. The new space has two floors, an outdoor patio, twice as much seating as the last taproom and an in-house kitchen. The rotating tap list fea-

12 E. Bridge St., Rockford rockfordbrewing.com

Schmohz Brewing Company 2600 Patterson Ave. SE, Grand Rapids 109 W. Mitchell St., Petoskey schmohz.com

Schmohz is the proud home of Michigan’s first female head brewer and offers up to 20 different unique draft beers, with the coziness of your favorite dive bar. Last year, Schmohz even expanded up to Petoskey inside Italian restaurant Mancino’s. Open: Monday-Saturday.

Speciation Artisan Ales 3721 Laramie NE, Comstock Park speciationartisanales.com

Speciation has quickly become known as one of the best breweries in the world, thanks to its highly adventurous and always amazing wild, sour and spontaneBig Lake Brewing Co. COURTESY PHOTO

ous ales. The small brewery’s methods take time and consideration, resulting in a monthly release schedule and limited bottle purchases per person. Last year, the brewery opened its taproom so you can stop in any time for some snacks and unique ales like the Language of Origin, a gin barrel-aged sour ale with strawberry, hibiscus, vanilla and lemon. Open: Wednesday-Sunday.

Steele Street Brewing 300 S. Steele St., Ionia steelestreetbrewing.com

Steele Street has been pushing the boundaries, exploring new styles to offer a huge variety of beers in a comfy taproom. Stop by for a cask ale, homemade soda and great pizza on homemade bread. Open: Tuesday-Sunday.

Tantrick Brewing Co. 633 Hooker Dr., Allegan tantrickbrewing.com

Tantrick opened last year with a solid selection of classic brews, like the Tilted Kolsch, Beach Bum gose and Hopademic IPA. Musicians gather to perform, while local food trucks arrive occasionally to offer food for the laid-back taproom out in Allegan. Open: Wednesday-Monday.

Thornapple Brewing Co. 6262 28th St., Grand Rapids thornapplebrewing.com

Thornapple was opened by two Steelcase workers who decided to get out of the office and into the brewhouse. They knew what they were doing, leading to an expansion earlier this year that added 4,000 square feet to the taproom. The brewery offers its own beer, cider, mead and wine, alongside spirits and cocktails. You’ll find creative brews like the Salted Caramel Stout and the S.S.S.S., a spicy, salty saison. Open: 7 days.

Trail Point Brewing Company 6035 Lake Michigan Dr., Allendale trailpointbrewing.com

As Allendale’s first brewery, Trail Point focuses on creating straightforward beers with quality and care. Beers like the CIPApotamus, a citra IPA, and the Henry Lee, an old ale, nail classic flavors in a nuanced way. Open: 7 days.

Railtown Brewing. COURTESY PHOTO

Walldorff Brewpub & Bistro 105 E. State St., Hastings walldorffbrewpub.com

Walldorff has a top-notch food menu with sandwiches, entrees and wood-fired pizzas, but the real star here is the beer. IPA fans will love Hopnoxxious and Cobain’s Double Dark IPA, or head to the lighter side with BS Honey Rye and Bistro Blonde. Open: 7 days.

LAKESHORE Big Hart Brewing Co. 4086 W. Polk Road, Hart bighartbrewing.com

Offering a full spread of “beer & food made with Hart,” it’s especially hard to forget some of this brewery’s unique names, like Gluten For Punishment, a German style wheat ale, and Screeching Sands, an amber ale brewed with blue agave syrup. Open: 7 days.

and only improving over the years. The tap list is robust, with styles ranging from a signature rye IPA to a blood orange NEIPA and a barrel-aged breakfast stout. Open: 7 days.

Brewery 4 Two 4

321 Douglas Ave., Holland brewery424.com Brewery 4 Two 4 pumps out truly amazing beer on a system only slightly larger than most homebrewers. The 20 taps host a wide variety of experimental brews like the Brut Weasel, a super dry, champagnelike IPA, and the Fluff ‘n’ Buns, an imperial golden stout made with marshmallow fluff and Honey Buns cereal. After all, breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Open: Tuesday-Sunday.

Fetch Brewing

100 W. Colby St., Whitehall fetchbrewing.com

Big Lake Brewing Co.

Fetch Brewing focuses on great beer in a chill atmosphere and historic building, complete with a former vault open for seating. The brewery has developed a following on the lakeshore for its experimental IPAs and seasonal brews. Open: 7 days.

Big Lake is one of Holland’s longestrunning breweries, starting out strong

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13 W. 7th St., Holland biglakebrewing.com

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BUY ONE DINNER GET ONE DINNER FREE

WITH THE PURCHASE OF TWO BEVERAGES Valid Monday through Saturday 4-cl only Not valid with any other offers, promotions or discounts. Not valid on Premier Seating Menu or Wine Dinners. Expires 11/2/19.

Parmesan Crusted Chicken Pan-seared chicken breast with basil-Parmesan crust. Served with spaghetti marinara and seasonal vegetable.

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alpenroserestaurant.com | 4 East 8th Street, Holland (616) 393.2111


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Grand Armory Brewing Company

beers ranging from IPAs to wheats, stouts and blondes. Open: 7 days.

16 S. 2nd St., Grand Haven grandarmorybrewing.com

Odd Side Ales

This Grand Haven brewery has paired up with Righteous BBQ and Aldea Coffee to cover all your bases in one room. The beer is solid, true-to-style and pays homage to the lake town’s history. Try the Wheezin’ The Juice IPA, which lives up to its name, or the Nutter Your Business Stout, a chocolaty, peanut butter milk stout. Open: 7 days.

As the name suggests, Odd Side is enamored with crafting creative and experimental beer, while providing a unique atmosphere. The expansion gives plenty of room for bubble hockey, an arcade machine and truly odd beers like the Blueberry Raspberry Lime Fruitsicle. Open: 7 days.

Hopland Brewstillery 977 Butternut Dr., Holland hoplandbrewstillery.com

Hopland Brewstillery arrived on the scene last year, going on to win Best New Brewery in 2019’s Best of the West readers poll. The brewery offers original beer and spirits, including Blue Waves, a blueberry brandy, and Boat Bouncer, a spiced rum. The taproom has 40 taps and six flatscreen TVs.

Jamesport Brewing Company 410 S. James St., Ludington jamesportbrewingcompany.com

Jamesport operates from a piece of historic Ludington real estate. The Victorian storefront was constructed in 1890 for the purpose of running a saloon. So, in a way, opening up a brewery was the most faithful way the owners could have honored its memory. A large selection of the tap list is seasonal, so you should find new brews to try every time you arrive. Open: 7 days.

Ludington Bay Brewing Co. 515 S. James St., Ludington ludingtonbaybrewing.com

Ludington Bay has a plethora of consistent, true-to-style brews, from an Oktoberfest to an American wheat, West Coast IPA and tropical stout. Look for their cans on store shelves now! As for food, you’ll find burgers, pizza, tacos, mac & cheese — just about everything. Open: 7 days.

Macatawa Ale Company 20 W. 8th St., Holland macatawaalecompany.com

It’s the classic homebrewer goes pro story at Macatawa. The family-run brewery operates out of 8th Street Grille and brews

41 Washington Ave., Grand Haven oddsideales.com

Old Boys’ Brewhouse

971 Savidge St., Spring Lake oldboysbrewhouse.com

A man should never have to choose between his dog and his beer. At Old Boys’ Brewhouse, this crisis is not only averted, it is disregarded completely with its walls adorned with the pictures of patrons’ canine companions and a patio section perfect for the pooch. Open: 7 days.

Our Brewing Company 76 E. 8th St., Holland ourbrewingcompany.com

At Our Brewing Company, you can count on a tap list that never stays the same for very long. The brewers are always trying new styles, from passionfruit goses to cream ales with pineapple and coconut. Open: 7 days.

Pigeon Hill Brewing Company 500 W. Western Ave., Muskegon pigeonhillbrew.com

Pigeon Hill is well known for its Oatmeal Cream Pie ale, made with oats, marshmallows and “other secret ingredients,” but the lakeshore brewery also excels in cream ales, IPAs and more. Earlier this year, the brewery expanded with a huge new brewing facility that’s more than twice the size of its old space. Eventually the taproom will move to that space as well! Open: 7 days.

Above: Bell's Brewery. Below: Unruly Brewing Company. COURTESY PHOTOS

Saugatuck Brewing Company 2948 Blue Star Highway, Douglas 140 S. Westnedge Ave., Kalamazoo saugatuckbrewing.com

This expansive microbrewery combines the charm and character of an Irish pub with the bold, contemporary elements of a gleaming microbrewery. You’ll find Saugatuck’s beers on just about any shelf in the region, including the Oval Beach Blonde and Neapolitan Milk Stout. Plus, the brewery expanded to Kalamazoo earlier this year, merging with Gonzo’s BiggDogg Brewing to offer 16 taps, a food menu, and a big patio. Open: 7 days.

Starving Artist Brewing Co.

Pike 51 Brewing Company

634 S. Stiles Rd., Ludington starvingartist.beer

Having 16 beers on tap is impressive, considering that Pike operates as the on-site brewery at Hudsonville Winery. You won’t want to sip, sip, pass the dank Kush IPA, but if you’re trying to take it easy, Pike 51 has you covered with its homemade root beer. Open: 7 days.

Starving Artist’s brewhouse and storage facility is roughly the size of most people’s first apartment, but owner Andrew Thomas has shown you don’t need much space to create some of the best beers in the state. Beers like Blood Forge, a blood orange double IPA, show how an artist approaches the craft — with creativity, balance and boldness. The

3768 Chicago Dr., Hudsonville pike51.com

brewery now has a small taproom open Thursday through Saturday, or you can call ahead to make an appointment for a visit Monday through Wednesday. Open: Thursday-Saturday.

Tripel Root

146 East Main, Zeeland tripelroot.com Tripel Root has swiftly grown a reputation for its commitment to sustainable business practices and its handcrafted stonebreads. Head in for classic brews like the Pack Light Pilsner or the Ace in the Valley, an IPA brewed with hops grown in Ada. Open: Monday-Saturday.

Unruly Brewing Company 360 West Western Ave., Muskegon unrulybrewing.com

The people who created Unruly Brewing don’t just love beer — they love beer, music and art. Unruly Brewing Company combines all three to create a lively atmosphere all bundled up in a restored 1890s building. Open: 7 days.

White Flame Brewing Company

5234 36th Ave., Hudsonville whiteflamebrewing.com The tap list at White Flame offers a little bit of everything, but you’ll want to head there for the brewery’s killer selection of IPAs, including the Lupulunatic, a big and juicy IPA, or the Hard Ball, a triple IPA. Open: 7 days.

KZOO AREA & BATTLE CREEK Bell’s Brewery

355 E. Kalamazoo Ave., Kalamazoo bellsbeer.com Bell’s has become such a rock star of the industry that the perennial Oberon release is somewhat of a Michigan holiday, and

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A Michi-gander is passionate about our state. At Ganders, we’re passionate about Michigan too.

Michigan Grown, Michigan Made, Michigan Brewed. Serving breakfast, lunch and dinner Located inside the DoubleTree Grand Rapids 4747 28th Street, Grand Rapids | 616-957-1111 | Facebook.com/ganders

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its beer is badass, from the Black Ale to the Smells Like A Safety Meeting, a hop-bomb of an IPA. Its this tenacity that’s leading to a merger with Royal Oak’s ROAK Brewing Co. in the coming months. Open: 7 days.

of board games. The brewery also has excellent, unique beers like Sweet Water Street, made with doughnut holes and a special roast of coffee from Water Street Coffee. Open: 7 days.

Distant Whistle Brewhouse

Rupert’s Brew House

118 S. Main St., Vicksburg distantwhistle.com

773 W. Michigan Ave., Kalamazoo rupertsbrewhouse.com

Distant Whistle has honed in on the four elements of what every brewery strives for: great location, great beer, great people and great times. The brewery wanted to be the go-to beer destination in Vicksburg and has accomplished just that. Open: 7 days.

Rupert’s has cheap beer, live music, pizza and lots of puppies. What more could you ask for? Check out the Double highPA or the Black the Berry Sour. Open: 7 days.

Latitude 42 Brewing Company 7842 Portage Rd., Portage 6101 W. Main St., Kalamazoo latitude42brewingco.com If you want to bring back something interesting from Portage or Kalamazoo, pick up Latitude 42’s Nectar of the Goddess, a blood orange, passion fruit, honey and wheat ale. The cooks also know how to make a mean pizza. Open: 7 days.

Old Mill Brewpub 717 E. Bridge St., Plainwell oldmillbrew.com In addition to its great handcrafted beer, Old Mill also serves some delicious food, along with wine and liquor, from the century-old Historic Eesley Mill, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Open: 7 days.

Olde Peninsula Brewpub and Restaurant 200 E. Michigan Ave., Kalamazoo oldepenkazoo.com One Well Brewing. COURTESY PHOTOS

Two Hearted Ale has been receiving constant accolades as the best IPA in the world for years. Simply put: Bell’s is the proverbial high bar of craft beer in the Midwest. Open: 7 days.

Bravo! Restaurant and Café 5402 Portage Rd., Kalamazoo bravokalamazoo.com Bravo! concentrates on pairing its stellar fine dining experience with small-batch brews, featuring bold offerings like the

Sour Power Berliner Weisse, a blackberry sour. You won’t find them anywhere else! Open: 7 days.

Dark Horse Brewing Company 511 S. Kalamazoo Ave., Marshall darkhorsebrewery.com The History Channel truly was onto something special when it decided to film a 12-episode reality show about Dark Horse. The brewery’s attitude is crass and

The first brewpub in the ’Zoo, Olde Peninsula offers its own beer along with cocktails, wine and American food. With a tap specifically dedicated for hot pepperinfused brews, you know it’s worth the trip. Open: 7 days.

One Well Brewing 4213 Portage St., Kalamazoo onewellbrewing.com When it opened, One Well wanted to be a symbol for the prosperity of society—you know, like a well — and it has since doubled its taproom size with a robust food menu, pinball machines and loads

Territorial Brewing Company 256 N. Helmer Rd., Springfield territorialbrewing.com

We don’t see many breweries in Michigan who are resolved to brew almost exclusively in the German tradition. Territorial not only does that, but focuses on German cuisine as well. And guess what? It’s all absolutely to die for. Try a Schnitzel and wash it down with a Kenny Lagers, which expertly showcases malt freshly milled inhouse: a difference you can taste. Open: Tuesday-Sunday.

Texas Corners Brewing Company 6970 Texas Dr., Kalamazoo texascornersbrewing.com

Despite the name, TCBC regularly uses local ingredients to create its classic beers and ciders. The taproom also hosts a large selection of food. Open: Monday-Saturday.

Tibbs Brewing Company 402 S. Burdick, Kalamazoo tibbsbrewing.com

Tibbs set up shop in 2013, adding to Kalamazoo’s growing beer scene. The owners bootstrapped the business and grew it slowly over time, all while delivering excellent small-batch brews, many brewed in the Belgian tradition. Check out this underrated spot the next time you’re in the area. Open: 7 days.

Wax Wings Brewing Co.

SOUTHWEST MICHIGAN Arclight Brewing Co. 544 N. Main St., Watervliet arclightbrewing.com Arclight may be tucked away in the small farming town of Watervliet, but its beers easily stand up to the standard-bearers of Grand Rapids and Kalamazoo. Along with all the classic styles, Arclight is pumping out some killer sours with its two 40 BBL foeders, including a mango sour, a cherry sour and a kriek lambic. Open: 7 days.

Barn Brewers Brewery 114 N. Main St., Lawton barnbrewersbrewery.com Barn Brewers was established in 2014 by a group of friends who liked to congregate in — you guessed it — a barn. The brewery is their ode to camaraderie, live music and jovial libations. Open: Wednesday-Monday.

Cognito Brewing Co. 142 W. Monroe St., Bangor cognitobrewingcompany.com Cognito Opened earlier this year within the Bangor Elevator, an event space created from a restored grain elevator. The brewery hosts a variety of beers, leaning toward malty and darker styles alongside IPAs. Open: Thursday-Sunday.

Final Gravity Brewing Co. 103 N. Phelps St., Decatur 246 N. Burdick, Kalamazoo finalgravitybrew.com Now with two locations, Final Gravity is serving up beers of all styles, from the Jamaican Rum Barrel Aged Coconut Porter to the SamBasilMint, a traditional saison infused with fresh basil and mint. Open: Wednesday-Monday.

3480 Gull Rd., Kalamazoo waxwingsbrewing.com

Greenbush Brewing Co.

Wax Wings opened last year with with bold, interesting brews, from double IPAs to mixed-culture saisons and a peach cobbler sour. Open: 7 days.

Greenbush has always been known for its propensity for experimentation and a

5885 Sawyer Rd., Sawyer greenbushbrewing.com

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St. WIN Joe T

ALTARS ON DISPLAY WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 30 – SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 3, 2019 During open hours | Ryerson Auditorium Level 3

BEE ER FE R

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Save the Date! Saturday, Jan. 25, 2020 Tickets on sale January 2 at 10am! stjoetoday.com

SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 3, 2019 1:00 pm – 4:30 pm Families are invited to learn more about the Día de los Muertos holiday, get their face painted, and join in other activities. The day will include bilingual storytimes, live music, and food from local restaurants.

MAIN LIBRARY 111 LIBRARY STREET NE

WWW.GRPL.ORG/DAYOFTHEDEAD 616.988.5400

This program is free and open to the public thanks to the funding of the Grand Rapids Public Library Foundation. Consider a gift today: 616.988.5399 or www.grplfoundation.org.

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willingness to accept trial-and-error as an essential cog of the craft-brewing machine. Some breweries just have an impressive gift shop, but Greenbush has an entirely separate facility right across the street where you can get beers, charcuterie and other nibbles. Open: 7 days.

Haymarket Brewery & Taproom

9301 Red Arrow Hwy, Bridgman haymarketbeer.com Most breweries in West Michigan can’t lay claim to a second location in Chicago, but Haymarket isn’t most breweries. The brewery has won dozens of awards for its Belgians, Pilsners, barrel-aged beers and more. The tap list has something for everyone, from clean lagers to explosive double IPAs. Open: 7 days.

Kelsey Block Brewing Co. 41 N. Main St., Three Rivers kelseyblock.com

Kelsey Block is a small, communitycentered brewery bringing beer to the people of Three Rivers, including cask, SMASH and pale ales. The food menu features a handful of bar food options. Open: Wednesday - Sunday.

like the St. James English Mild, and then pair that with a panini. Open: 7 days.

Round Barn Brewery 9151 First St., Baroda roundbarn.com

Round Barn is a winery that just so happens to make beer too, and plenty of it. The staff uses more than 30 years of fermentation experience to create quality beer for customers who crave more than just wine. Open: 7 days.

Silver Harbor Brewing Co. 721 Pleasant St., Saint Joseph silverharborbrewing.com

Alongside the tableside-smoked Kumbaya Brown Ale, there are plenty of great brews at Silver Harbor. Nearly 20 taps host scotch ales, sours, marzens, porters, belgians and more. Open: 7 days.

Sister Lakes Brewing Co. 92500 Co. Road 690, Dowagiac facebook.com/sisterlakesbrew

The town of Sister Lakes has 10 lakes in a 5-mile radius, and now one brewery. They offer classic beers, live music and a whole fleet of soda floats — root beer, chocolate milk stout and more. Open: 7 days.

The Livery

South Haven Brewpub

190 5th St., Benton Harbor liverybrew.com

515 Williams St., South Haven southhavenbrewpub.com

Hand forged by the Benton Harbor brew gods, these guys pump out some of the best barrel-aged brews in the state, including the Bourbon Barrel Aged Trippel Weizenbock. It’s a sizeable, yet comfy taproom with 18 taps pouring excellent brews. Open: 7 days.

South Haven Brewpub offers a wide variety of self-made brews — from a blood orange gose to a cookie stout — alongside guest beers from other local breweries. The food menu hosts burgers, sandwiches, wraps and pizza. Open: 7 days.

North Pier Brewing Co.

4236 Lake St., Bridgman tapistrybrewing.com

670 N. Shore Dr., Benton Harbor northpierbrewing.com

North Pier is all about that yeast, focusing especially on Belgian-inspired ales and other ester-filled styles like wits and saisons. It’s flavorful, modern and community-based above all else. Open: 7 days.

Paw Paw Brewing

929 E. Michigan Ave., Paw Paw pawpawbrewing.com Paw Paw has it all — beer, mead, cider. Try the seasonal Coconut Porter or a mainstay

Tapistry Brewing

Tapistry Brewing combines “artistry and chemistry” with beers both true-to-style and experimental. Search shelves near you for their bottles, such as the Northern Trippin NEIPA and the Mr. Orange witbier. Open: 7 days.

Three Blondes Brewing

1875 Phoenix St. Suite B, South Haven threeblondesbrewing.com Last year, Three Blondes opened doors down in South Haven. Launched by three (blonde) sisters and their husbands, the brewery is attached to their parents’

VanDerZee Motorplex. Head Brewer Jake Demski came from Greenbush Brewing Co. and is brewing up a wide variety of beers.

Transient Artisan Ales 4229 Lake St., Bridgman transientartisanales.com

Transient’s brews are truly transcendent, specializing in beers that take time. The brewery has been heavily expanding its can lineup with impressive brews like the Not Before Eight, a wine barrel sour blonde with raspberry and cherry. Does the small, intimate taproom have food? No. But can you bring your own, and your dog too? Yes. And that’s all that really matters. Open: Wednesday-Sunday.

Watermark Brewing Co. 5781 St. Joseph Ave., Stevensville watermarkbrewing.com

Watermark wants to serve good beer, plain and simple. The Leisure Ale description explains it all: “Nothin’ snooty. Just beer.” That means both classic styles and some highly creative sours. The taproom is large and welcoming, with an indoor and outdoor patio. Open: Tuesday-Sunday.

UP NORTH Short’s Brewing Co. 121 N. Bridge St., Bellaire shortsbrewing.com

You know Short’s. It’s pretty much impossible to get into craft beer without having downed a Soft Parade (or six) at some point, or even a Bellaire Brown, Huma Lupa Licious or Space Rock. That’s not to mention the more than 250 (we counted!) beers the brewery has pumped out over 15 years. Open: 7 days.

Right Brain Brewery 225 E. 16th St., Traverse City rightbrainbrewery.com

Right Brain is one of the best of the northwest, producing crushable brews like Cake Walk, which tastes just like its namesake without being too sweet, and Blue Magic, a perfectly balanced lavender wheat ale. If you’re looking for something heavier, the Concrete Dinosaur is a brown rye IPA that will do you right. Open: 7 days. n Above: Greenbush Brewing. Below:Three Blondes Brewing. COURTESY PHOTOS

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by Eric Mitts

FILM

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ot quite feeling the Halloween spirit yet? Don’t worry, the Thriller! Chiller! Film Festival has you covered — in fake blood. With screenings of cult classic horror movies like Night of the Living Dead, Shaun of the Dead, The Evil Dead and more, Thriller! Chiller! will help get your scare on this month, with more than enough zombies to spare. Launched back in 2006 as the first movie event in Michigan to showcase genre films — including horror, sci-fi and action — Thriller! Chiller! has emerged as a champion of genre movies big and small for more than a decade. The festival is owned and operated by Founder and Festival Director Anthony Griffin of UnSAFE Film Office alongside President and Festival Director Shirley Clemens Griffin of Twain Girl Marketing. “We saw that our favorite style of film, the genre movie, was simply not well regarded or respected on the film festival circuit and in

local theaters,” Griffin said about the origins of Thriller! Chiller!. “So we started our own film festival, which is first and foremost about screening movies for an audience with a hunger for a sense of adventure and a love for the art form. Thriller! Chiller! is where arthouse cinema meets grindhouse movies.” The five-day festival is coming to the Wealthy Theatre in Grand Rapids, Oct. 8-12. Across those five days, there will be 64 movies from eight different countries, including 10 movies made right here in Michigan. In all there, you can see 14 feature-length films, as well as 40 shorts, and five cult-classic screenings. “We went from being an outcast, upstart film event to one of the most respected film festivals on the circuit over the past 15 years,” Griffin said. “Nowadays, everyone loves a kick-ass genre movie during the fall movie season and we’re humbled to see how the influences that moved us into action also inspired others to program cult classics and wild indie movies this time of year.”

SILVER SCREEN ADVENTURES

Thriller! Chiller! Film Festival celebrates the wonder and glory of action, horror and sci-fi flicks The festival anticipates that approximately two dozen visiting filmmakers will attend the festival. In conjunction with ASIFA Central, Thriller! Chiller! also is hosting Tom Sullivan, the Michigan filmmaker, special effects artist and animator known for The Evil Dead. “We love our local filmmakers and so do our super fans, as they have told us over and over again that it’s really cool to see work made right in your backyard,” Griffin said. “We’re honored to showcase our homegrown talent to a hometown crowd who can meet the filmmakers and make new connections. It’s also fun for the filmmakers’ families to be able to come out and see their loved ones’ work on the big screen.” Thriller! Chiller! spreads the Michigan love throughout the five days of the festival, but plans to set aside a special block they call

Michigan Movie Night on Oct. 10 at 6 p.m., ahead of its screening of Godzilla Vs. Destroyah. The festival also is presenting its annual Groovy Awards for Best Feature, Best Short, Best Horror, Best Action, Best Sci-Fi, Best Michigan or Great Lakes State Movie, and The Boomstick Award for Best of the Festival. Award winners will be chosen by a committee of independent judges who examine a movie’s content as a whole and attempt to quantify its visceral impact as a story and how it best represents its particular genre. Individual Day Passes are available for $12 on Tuesday, Thursday and Friday of the

festival. Saturday Day Passes will cost $20. All Access Passes to the entire festival are $50. “We have an online screening component this year which is available to All Access Passholders only and will feature a curated list of official selections that the festival and filmmaker have agreed to make available for online viewing,” Clemens Griffin said about what’s new this year. “We experimented with this in 2018 and are rolling it out further this year as bonus content available for those attendees who invest in the All Access Pass.” n

Thriller! Chiller! International Film Festival of Fantastic Movies Wealthy Theatre, 1130 Wealthy St. SE, Grand Rapids Oct. 8-12, $12-50 thrillerchiller.com, wealthytheatre.org

REVUEWM.COM | OCTOBER 2019 |

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In addition to film premieres and screenings, Thriller! Chiller! is hosting a variety of other events, including Q&As and panel discussions for those looking to find out more about movie-making or network during the festival. Cosplay of all kinds is also highly encouraged. “We’ve tried all kinds of events and panels,” Clemens Griffin said. “(We’ve had) live experiences such as a burlesque show last year, a talking skeleton puppet at the festival, and film theory discussions with academics and film production and special effects artists, with in-house demonstrations. We basically try anything we think our audience will find interesting and fun that relates to the genremovie vibe. In the end, it always comes back to great movies and great people getting together to celebrate the art form of movies in all of their suspenseful, action-filled glory.”

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STYLE NOTES

by Missy Black

FASHION IN THE FAMILY

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ormally, you hear about sisters fighting over clothes. That’s not what this story is about. Try to talk to sisters Deana Bjork and Rebecca Ward, co-owners of Ila & Lucille, and it can be hard to keep up. They finish each other’s sentences, tease one another, laugh and keep you on the phone for longer than expected. While these two women are the driving force of the new boutique in Rockford, two different women were the inspiration behind them. Ila & Lucille isn’t just a catchy name. The two monikers are actually the middle names of the sister’s grandmothers. While one woman made clothing for her nine kids, she also had time to outfit both Bjork and Ward. “Grandma Lucille would take us to the variety store and help us pick out a pattern and fabric and make clothes,” said Bjork, while Ward remembers Grandma Ila as “always having lipstick on and a long set of pearls. She always had to look nice.” Memories and influences have turned into something meaningful for the boutique that primarily carries tops, dresses and jeans. “We’re moms with kids and we still want to look hip,” Bjork said. While the business initially started online, Ward noticed a trend with customers wanting to try things on in person. When a space opened up in downtown Rockford, like a good sister, Ward wouldn’t let Bjork say no. The pair don’t always agree on how to stock the store. The two women have different styles but look for quality, extensively research brands, and want affordable price points, hunting for dupes for items that are more expensive.

Deana Bjork and Rebecca Ward. COURTESY PHOTO

Come fall, the shop will offer tons of cardigans ideal for layering and transitioning into the next season. “You can wear them over a short sleeve dress, with leggings, or over a graphic tee with jeans and booties,” Bjork said. The shop is certainly on-trend, carrying this season’s hottest prints as well. “We’ll have leopard print, tie-dye, and camouflage is still huge,” Ward said. The sisters aim to provide in-vogue items with a classic approach, so you always look stylish. From sherpa zip jackets to cute denim jackets, they’ve got pieces for fall that help with the fickle weather and are also all-occasion, meaning you can wear them out to dinner with friends, at work, or casually for a laid-back weekend. Want to know more? Check the shop out at ilaandlucille.com or get inspired on Instagram at @ilaandlucille. n


Located in Holland and Grand Rapids. 866 609 CITY C I T Y F L AT S H O T E L . C O M

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Vacation with us stress-free in the heart of downtown!

beechwoodgrill.com • 380 douglas ave. holland, mi • (616) 396-2355 REVUEWM.COM | OCTOBER 2019 |

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12 beers on tap michigan craft beers DATE NIGHT? 45-day DRY AGED prime rib! $2 perch tacos every monday, 4 - 9 pm!

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DINING

POULTRY PARADISE Heavenly chicken sandwiches in West Michigan

P

opeye’s chicken sandwich was so powerful, the national chain was thrown into chaos for a solid week. Lines reached down the street, workers were pushed to the brink, and customers were starting actual, punches-thrown brawls over shortages. It was unsustainable. Supplies that were supposed to last through September ran out before August was even over. By the time you’re reading this, the sandwich may or may not be back in stock. But here’s the thing: Either way, you simply do not have to wait two hours in a drive-through line for good food. Love yourself. While they may be overshadowed by the classically “American” burger, I’ve had unforgettable chicken sandwiches from restaurants all over West Michigan! As Popeye’s has proven, the humble chicken sando is a modern dining staple. Let go of that poor fast-food employee’s collar and take my hand — there’s a better way.

Hancock - $8

DINING SIGHTS | SOUNDS | SCENE

1157 Wealthy St. SE, Grand Rapids hancockgr.com

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We have to start with Hancock, which pretty much immediately established itself as a champion in the chicken world. The new-ish restaurant’s appeal lies largely in its ability to focus on executing the basics excellently and without pretense. The hot chicken sandwich does just that, with deceptively simple toppings: iceberg lettuce, American cheese, bread & butter pickles, and mayonnaise. That means the real focus is on the chicken itself — tender, moist, perfectly sauced, expertly fried, loaded with that Nashville flavor. It harmonizes perfectly with those classic toppings, becoming more than the sum of

its parts. If I had to offer up one quintessential chicken sandwich to teach aliens or future historians what the dish is all about, this would be it.

Friesian Gastro Pub - $11

720 Michigan St. NE, Grand Rapids friesiangr.com While we’re talking about new players on the scene, let’s head over to Friesian and try the Harissa Hot sandwich. While still in the same ballpark, this sandwich is clearly sitting in a different part of the stands than Hancock’s. The main difference comes from the harissa hot sauce, based on a North African hot chili pepper paste. Here, it’s almost less of a sauce and more of a light, zippy oil with a kick. It’s kind of refreshing in a way, especially paired with the housemade pickles, so the richness of the meal instead comes from the black pepper aioli and fluffy sesame bun. It’s unique in all the best ways.

Jolly Pumpkin - $13

428 Bridge St. NW, Grand Rapids jollypumpkin.com Speaking of unique, Jolly Pumpkin takes the chicken sandwich to a place I never would’ve imagined. The confidently named “Perfect Chicken Sandwich” heads east with its flavors, featuring a sesame cilantro slaw, turmeric aioli, sriracha and spicy pickles all on a sriracha roll. The fried chicken itself is solid of course, but the flavor explosion comes from that slaw and aioli. I wasn’t even a fan of sesame before this sandwich, but the combination of the nutty oil, the herbal cilantro, and the rich, aromatic turmeric aioli? It all works perfectly. Together, it’s like street food taken to another level, and I want it more with every word I write.

From top to bottom: Friesian Gastro Pub. Jolly Pumpkin. HopCat. Hancock. COURTESY PHOTOS


by Josh Veal

HopCat - $12.50 Multiple locations hopcat.com

In a way, with HopCat we’re going back to basics, except that the flavor here is anything but. The key to this Nashville hot chicken sandwich is the cut itself: spicy fried skin-on chicken thigh. With every bite, that dark meat flavor and texture is unmistakable — you can feel it coming apart in your mouth. I also greatly appreciate the addition of two toppings that you might not even notice are typically missing: tomato and onion. The bite of the onion and juice of the tomato play great with the classic lettuce, pickle and garlic aioli combo. Then again, the chicken has enough flavor, you could eat it entirely on its own.

The Southerner - $9.95

tibetan monks drepung loseling monastery

2103 S. Burdick St., Kalamazoo nonlaburger.com

In everything it does, the Southerner succeeds because it makes its own rules. Bun? No thanks, we’re going to use a biscuit, and you’re going to love it. Toppings? We’ll give you pickles, and they’ll be some of the best pickles you’ve ever had. The chicken is honey butter or Nashville hot — you decide. That’s pretty much it. What more do you need when the chicken alone sings with flavor, the biscuits are perfectly buttery and flaky, the pickles are like little rays of sunshine, and the breeze is blowing off the river through the screen window? Well, maybe a beer.

november 8

mandala sandpainting at kalamazoo valley museum

concert of song & dance at comstock auditorium, kalamazoo – 7:30 pm

Nonla Burger. PHOTO BY KYLE MONK

Nonla Burger - $4.90

880 Holland St., Saugatuck thesouthernermi.com

november 6–10

For having such a tiny menu and dining room, Nonla sure does go all out on its chicken sandwich. If you’re looking to satisfy that “fast-food” craving while actually respecting your body and taste buds, this is the place to do it. The Crispy Chicken Sando is simple, yet elevated, with perfectly fried chicken, pickled veggies and a spicy ranch sauce on a white bun. At that price, you might as well order two! Or order it “Nonla’s Way” to add American cheese, grilled onions, jalapeños, cucumbers and cilantro. Whoa. n

OTHER CHICKEN CHOICES

rahim alhaJ & sahba motallebi Iraqi oud master with Iranian tar virtuosa

Friday, October 18 at 7:30 PM St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, Kalamazoo

Fujin Raijin: music of Japan Featuring organ, marimba, and Taiko drumming

Sunday, October 20 at 4:00 PM Prince of Peace Lutheran Church, Kalamazoo

schola antiqua Early music vocalists performing Jerusalem 1000-1400

Sunday, November 17 at 4:00 PM First Congregational Church, Kalamazoo

more than 16 events, including: the passion of Joan of arc (film with live soundtrack) leahaliza lee . taiko drumming . samite . and many more!

The Toasted Pickle’s High Nooner - $9.5

presented by

112 Washington Ave., Grand Haven

11539 E. Lakewood Blvd., Holland

Central City Tap House’s Chicken & Waffle Sliders - $11.59 359 S. Kalamazoo Mall, Kalamazoo

New York Fried Chicken’s Sandwich - $4.29

october 18 – december 1 kalamazoo, michigan

for tickets: ccmusicfest.com or 269-382-2910

743 S. Division Ave., Grand Rapids 4443 Breton Rd. SE, Kentwood

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Salt & Pepper’s Spicy Chicken Sandwich - $12.59

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