October 2016 / Free!
Inside this issue: Revue Arts
What will you be sipping next?
See where beer styles are headed
The Beer Issue More than pub grub: West Michigan breweries up their foodie quotient Crafty couture: Cover up that beer belly with some local brewery swag
2 | REVUEWM.COM | October 2016
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REVUEWM.COM | October 2016 |
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REVUEWM.COM | October 2016 |
Hyper O p t i k 1134 Wealthy Street 6 1 6 . 3 0 1 . 1 9 1 1 www.hyper-optik.com
PHOTO: ROB CONENS FRAME: DITA STATESMAN THREE MODEL: JAY SILHA
October 2016 | Volume 28, Issue 10
SCENE: 13 What’s Going on this Month 14 Biz Beat 16 Eclectic: Hayley Hungerford
SOUNDS: 19 20 22
Local: Solid State Sounds Local: The Howlers WYCE Playlist
SIGHTS: 25 26
The Beer Issue
Film: Alchemist Cookbook Halloween Haunted/Ghost Tours
SPECIAL SECTION: The Beer Issue 30 Brewery Cuisine 34 Kzoo Brewery Road Trip 39 Beer Packaging Makeovers 40 What’s In Your Fridge? 42 Beer Style Trends 46 Small Beer, Big Biz 50 Drinking with Doggos 54 Beer Tasting: Ambers and Reds 56 Weird Beers 58 Beer Merch 60 Brewery Guide 66 Craft Beer Glossary
DINING & DRINKING: 73 Restaurant Guide 74 Table Talk: Jeff Butzow of Fish Lads
New sPECIAL SECTION: Revue Arts 1A
New! Revue Arts
An exploration of West Michigan’s cultural arts scene and the people who drive it (See the center of this issue, after page 38)
Letter from the Editor Na zdrowie! Prost! Salud! A votre sante! Slainte! It’s only appropriate to start the sixth-annual Beer Issue from Revue with a toast to all of you crazy craft beer fanatics. In your hands is a painstakingly researched and reported look into West Michigan’s ever-evolving beer and brewery scene. As beer lovers, we’re incredibly spoiled here in West Michigan, which is home to dozens of microbreweries, a number that seemingly grows every week — and will keep growing. By our estimation, the region plays host to nearly threedozen craft beverage companies in the planning stages that have yet to open. Guess we better start drinking now! For this beer issue, we bellied up to the bar at new breweries, tasted dozens of beers, picked out the best merch and peeked into brewers’ fridges to see what they like to drink. We also made it a point to explore the interaction of craft beer and food. Certified Cicerone Angela Steil penned an in-depth piece on new beer trends and the plates that pair perfectly with your pints, while Troy Reimink delved into the ways craft breweries and cideries have embraced the foodie movement to differentiate
their pub experiences. (Pro tip: Burnt popcorn just doesn’t cut it anymore.) Astute readers will notice there’s a new Revue Arts section with its own cover tucked into the center of this issue. We’ve assembled a team of veteran and young reporters who are engaged in an old-school arts journalism model, one that gives voice to the people adding vibrancy to the cultural arts scene in West Michigan and tackles issues critical to their success. Revue Arts also offers show previews, calendars of events, and our staff’s can’t-miss Best Bets to help you decide how to spend your hard-earned dollars. Look for more to come in the months ahead. Please let us know what you think. Drop us a note at email@example.com.
W e s t M ichigan ’ s E n t ertainmen t G uide
Editorial Publisher Brian Edwards / firstname.lastname@example.org Associate Publisher Rich Tupica / email@example.com Editor Joe Boomgaard / firstname.lastname@example.org Associate Editor Josh Veal / email@example.com Copy Editor Claire Boomgaard Design Creative Director Kim Kibby / firstname.lastname@example.org Ad Design Rachel Harper, Phil Artz Contributing Writers Missy Black Dana Casadei Ameera Chaudhry Mark Deming Tamara Fox Anastasia Hauschild Dwayne Hoover Audria Larsen Marla R. Miller
Eric Mitts Samara Napolitan Troy Reimink Nicole Rico Jane Simons Josh Spanninga Elma Talundzic Kayla Tucker
Sales / 616.608.6170 / email@example.com Kelli Belanger / firstname.lastname@example.org
Digital Editor Kim Kibby / email@example.com
Find us online! Joe Boomgaard, Editor
Website: revuewm.com Twitter: twitter.com/revuewm Facebook: facebook.com/revuewm Instagram: instagram.com/revuewm
Upcoming issues November: The drinking Issue
Revue is published monthly by Revue Holding Company. 65 Monroe Center, Ste. 5, Grand Rapids, MI 49503 Office: 616.608.6170 / Fax: 616.608.6182 ©2016, Revue Holding Company. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part granted only by written permission of the publisher in accordance with our legal statement, fools.
Celebrating local pubs, taverns, distilleries and more.
December: Holiday Gift Guide
October 2016 / Free!
Inside this issue: Revue Arts
What will you be sipping next? See where beer styles are headed
Revue’s guide to local shopping and entertainment ideas for a plethora of personalities, plus festive events. The Beer Issue
To AdvertisE: Call (616) 608-6170 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Space reservation is the 15th of the month before publication.
10 | REVUEWM.COM | October 2016
More than pub grub: West Michigan breweries up their foodie quotient Crafty couture: Cover up that beer belly with some local brewery swag
On the cover: Beer Issue art by Kim Kibby, photo by Phil Artz. See The Beer Issue on page 29.
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Schedule | Dining | sights | Sounds Scene
/// best bets
what’s Going on this month tuesday 10/4 Ghost: Popestar
Kalamazoo State Theatre 404 S. Burdick St., Kalamazoo Oct. 4, 7 p.m., $32.25-$302.25, all ages kazoostate.com, (269) 345-6500 Start the Halloween holiday early with tickets to a one-of-a-kind experience with Ghost. This supernatural heavy metal band from Sweden won a Grammy Award for Meliora, and the shows are the type of thing an occult fanatic only dreams of. With the price of a ticket, you also get a free download of previously unreleased music from Ghost.
friday 10/7 Hasan Minhaj: Homecoming King Pasant Theatre, Wharton Center 750 E. Shaw Lane, East Lansing Oct. 7, 7 p.m., $33 whartoncenter.com, (517) 353-1982
Probably best known as a correspondent on the Emmy Award-winning The Daily Show, Hasan Minhaj now brings his critically-acclaimed one-man show Homecoming King to Lansing. It’s the story of “New Brown America,” chronicling Minhaj’s first-generation Indian-American experience.
saturday 10/8 I Love The ’90s Tour
Van Andel Arena celebrates its 20th anniversary this month with the I Love The ’90s Tour. Wear your best Benetton jeans, Cross Colors tees and Starter Jackets while jamming to the music of Salt ‘n’ Pepa, Kid N Play, Vanilla Ice, All 4 One, Tone Loc and Rob Base. Reminisce about your old school dances when you bust out the running man dance to hits like “I Swear,” “Push It” and “Ice Ice Baby.”
Cobb Great Hall, Wharton Center 750 E. Shaw LN, East Lansing Oct. 8, 8 p.m., $10-$35 whartoncenter.com, (517) 353-1982 An inspiration and an icon, Gloria Steinem has devoted her entire career to advancing equality. She’s a bestselling writer, an activist, a producer and organizer. She co-founded Ms. Magazine and helped found the Women’s Action Alliance, the National Women’s Political Caucus and the Women’s Media Center. Stop by to witness Gloria Steinem in conversation with Michigan Radio’s Cynthia
Ghost at Kalamazoo State Theatre
Advance Warning Gimme Danger
Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts 2 W. Fulton St., Grand Rapids Nov. 4-17, times vary UICA members $4, Public $8 uica.org, (616) 454-7000 Jim Jarmusch’s new film, Gimme Danger, chronicles the story of The Stooges and its notorious frontman, Iggy Pop. Hailing from Ann Arbor, this Michigan rock band arguably invented punk rock in the late ’60s and this 108-minute film captures that visceral spirit that made them legendary. The art-house doc presents the context of The Stooges’ emergence musically, culturally, politically and historically.
saturday 10/15 Dierks Bentley: Somewhere on a Beach Tour Van Andel Arena, 130 W. Fulton St., Grand Rapids Oct. 15, 7:30 p.m., $34.75-$54.75 vanandelarena.com, (616) 742-6600
Modern country star Dierks Bentley makes a stop at Van Andel Arena on his Somewhere on a Beach Tour. “Somewhere on a Beach” is the first single from that album, and it charted at No. 1 on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs chart. Opening the show are Randy Houser and Drake White and The Big Fire.
friday 10/21 Har Mar Superstar
Pyramid Scheme, 68 Commerce Ave. SW, Grand Rapids Oct. 21, 8:30 p.m., $15, 21 and over pyramidschemebar.com, (616) 272-3758
Coheed and Cambria
Orbit Room, 2525 Lake Eastbrook Blvd. SE, Grand Rapids Oct. 8, 6 p.m., $29.95-$45 orbitroom.com, (616) 942-1328 This progressive rock band from New York stops into the Orbit Room as they tour their newest album, The Color
Canty of Stateside. There’s also going to be an audience Q&A afterwards.
Naming himself after a mall in Minnesota, Har Mar Superstar is the egomaniacal and diva-ish alter ego of Sean Tillmann. Har Mar Superstar typically performs his R&B infused tunes in scant clothing and although he bears a passing resemblance to either Ron Jeremy or The Critic, Tillmann performs like he’s the smooth second-coming of Barry White.
saturday 10/22 Whales: Giants of the Deep Grand Rapids Public Museum 272 Pearl St. NW, Grand Rapids Opens Oct. 22 grpm.org, (616) 929-1700
This family friendly traveling exhibition features two fully-articulated sperm whale skeletons and an immersive underwater projection. You can purchase tickets to the opening day party, which runs from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. and features performances from traditional Maori dancers and live animals from the John Ball Zoo.
saturday 10/29 Tarantino Dance Party & Costume Contest
Pyramid Scheme, 68 Commerce Ave. SW, Grand Rapids Oct. 29, 9 p.m. $10 advance, $12 doors, 21 and over pyramidschemebar.com, (616) 272-3758 This contest offers a chance to throw on a cool suit and live out that opening sequence of Reservoir Dogs with your friends. Bring your best Tarantino-esque outfits and be prepared to cut a rug. Don’t be a square, but also don’t party quite as hard as Mia Wallace and Vincent Vega. n
—Compiled by Nicole Rico
REVUEWM.COM | October 2016 |
Scene Sounds | Sights | Dining | Schedule
Van Andel Arena, 130 W. Fulton St., Grand Rapids Oct. 8, 7:30 p.m., $20-$35 ilovethe90stour.com
Before the Sun. After releasing several sci-fi concept projects, this disc is Coheed and Cambria’s first to abandon that concept and instead echo lead singer Claudio Sanchez’s life. Opening the show are Saves The Day and Polyphia.
A Roundup of Openings, Closings and other Local Business News
The new owner of Buffalo Tobacco Traders (952 E. Fulton St., Grand Rapids) is seeking permission from the Grand Rapids Planning Commission to add a bar to the shop, allowing patrons to toke up a fat, juicy cigar while sipping on a craft cocktail.
The adventurous Green Door Distilling Company (429 E. North St., Kalamazoo) is now serving up craft spirits and high-end cocktails in its taproom in Kalamazoo. White/honey whiskey and vodka are available now, with bourbon and wheat whiskeys aging away for far future consumption.
Books & Mortar (955 Cherry St. SE) recently opened its doors in the East Hills neighborhood of Grand Rapids. The store was two years in the making for Chicago transplants Chris Roe and Jonathan Shotwell, who wanted to fill the gap of independent bookstores in the city. Women At Risk International just opened the Tea Trade Cafe (2790 44th St. SW, Wyoming) at its headquarters. All proceeds will go to (as the name implies) women at risk around the world. A handful of breweries have opened in the past month, including New Holland’s Knickerbocker (417 Bridge St. NW, Grand Rapids), Distant Whistle Brewhouse (118 S. Main St., Vicksburg) and Fireside Brewing Co. (430 W. 17th St., Holland).
The infamous Grand Coney has opened a fourth location, this time at 5121 28th St. in Grand Rapids. Is it open 24 hours like the Michigan Street spot? No. Does it have all the same massive breakfast skillets and classic coney dogs? Yes.
Vintage clothing store and sometimes concert venue Flashback (450 Leonard St. NW, Grand Rapids) was sadly forced to close its doors this past month, going out with a bang thanks to a big sale and benefit show.
Brighton Graye’s (1747 Plainfield Ave. NE, Grand Rapids) has converted entirely to a banquet and events facility, following in the footsteps of The Waldron Public House. Comments on Facebook seem to suggest that the menu may have been too high-end for the area. Meanwhile, the owners have added a dinner menu to Little Lucy’s Cafe next door, which was previously a breakfast and lunch joint. Similarly, Silverberry (4029 Plainfield Ave. NE, Grand Rapids) closed its doors in order to focus on its catering, which the owners said has become their greatest strength. As time goes on, the maker of European
Now open: Books & Mortar pastries and other desserts plans to expand its online offerings for those who miss the café. n —Compiled by Josh Veal If you have any closings, openings or other business news for REVUE, e-mail email@example.com.
A F e e - O n l y We a l t h M a n a g e m e n t G r o u p
Schedule | Dining | sights | Sounds Scene
KALAMAZOO HUMANE SOCIETY’S
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PLEASE JOIN US FOR FOOD | DRINKS | MUSIC RAFFLES & PRIZES
AT THE FETZER CENTER
All proceeds to benefit Operation Fix-It low-cost spay/neuter services of KHS
FOR TICKET INFORMATION Call 269-345-1181 or visit: www.kazoohumane.org/raffle
2nd ANNUAL FLASH SLASH BASH Halloween themed walk-in tattoos
First come First served
Get tattooed or come in costume to be entered in a raffle to win art prints or gift certificates
Cupcakes Candy Costumes
Scene Sounds | Sights | Dining | Schedule REVUEWM.COM | October 2016 |
Hayley Hungerford Flora, femme and found objects | by Audria Larsen Hayley Hungerford is a self-described “floral stylist, illustrator, photographer, writer, stone collector, and musician that likes lighting candles and looking for the moon.” I first met her when we found ourselves figure modeling together at Kendall College of Art and Design. That day, I caught a glimpse of the eclectic life she leads, and the unique and compelling art she creates. I sat down with Hayley to discuss her artistic approach, life philosophy and plans for the future.
I first met you in a figure-modeling class. Do you still model? I do, though slowly and surely I find that I am phasing figure modeling out of my routine. When we met, I recall that you were sketching in a notebook. Tell me about your art. I carry my sketchbook with me often, creating visual records of the places I’ve been. I most enjoy drawing from life when I’m able, but because I am heavily influenced by flora and nature-scapes, it becomes a bit more challenging to work with what’s accessible to me while I am rooted in the city. I usually draw as I’m sipping coffee, trying not to spill on the page. What’s your illustration process like? I usually work in black and white, using micron pens in a cross-hatch fashion. Start a line, start another, carry on with the first, continue the second while starting a third. Even the way in which I draw feels like I’m multi-tasking, because I get so excited to make new marks while carrying on with prior areas of the drawing. Various times in my life, I have questioned if I’m living my truth. When I’m drawing, I know that I am with great certainty. How did you get started creating your signature mandalas with objects from nature? My interest for creating that body of work comes from my obsession with Andy Goldsworthy. Goldsworthy is an environmental site-specific sculpture artist and photographer from Scotland. Earth artists fascinate me. I am moved by artists that are spiritually intertwined with the landscape. After watching Goldsworthy’s documentary, Rivers and Tides, I realized a part of myself needed to interact with my artwork in a different way. I needed to touch what I was making, instead of interpreting it by the means of ink. That’s when I began utilizing plant trimmings, flora and found objects more frequently within my work. Can you explain how photography plays a role in your mandalas? Photography is essential if I want to share what I’m making. (But) sometimes I’ll make a mandala on the beach or within a hiking trail and without photographing it. I’ll leave it as a gift to the landscape or the passersby exploring the place. The art of what I’m making isn’t the art itself, nor the after-image following, it is the act of creating what is temporary. I know you’re also a musician and a singer. How does music mesh with your other artistic work? My music is very separate from my artwork. I used to write music often. I’ve played music in various local bands during the past few years. From those experiences, I’ve realized I work best alone in my creative endeavors.
Schedule | Dining | sights | Sounds Scene
How does your work at Sparrows Coffee Tea and Newsstand blend with your creative life? I am a barista and have just taken on the role of social media strategist and gallery curator. I’m also coordinating workshops for Lamp Light Music Festival 2016. But how do you balance all that with your personal creations? Anyone that lives a creative life is probably familiar with the way it feels when you’re overflowing with ambitions and inspired to take on a million and one projects. But as long as you can stay on top of it all and remember to put yourself first from time to time (so as not to burn out), you can manage it. It’s just important to keep a positive inner dialogue and reevaluate who you are in relation to your involvement from time to time.
Floral mandala collaboration of Hayley Hungerford and Alyssa Ferguson
16 | REVUEWM.COM | October 2016
I see you have some botanical projects and collaborations coming up. Tell me about those. I am actually very excited for new botanical projects and collaborations coming up with Alyssa Ferguson behind Fleurology Designs, a floral company based here in Grand Rapids, MI. I’ve only known Alyssa for a short while but it’s certain we are kindred spirits. I may be taking on some illustration work with her to help promote her company, and soon I will be working alongside her at a different floral company with a woman named Joan, owner of Merci Beaucoup Floral Design in Caledonia. I’m very much looking forward to collaborating with Alyssa and anxious to finally be getting my hands into some dreamy florist work. n
SchulerBooks&Music 34 years as your local, independent bookstore! OCTOBER 2016
MON 10/03, 10, 17, 24, 31 11AM SAT 10/08, 15, 22, 29 11AM THUR 10/20 7PM
WED 10/26 6:30PM
SAT 10/29 4PM
Pre-school Story Time
At The B.O.B. Grand Rapids, MI 616.356.2000 www.thebob.com
A member of the Schuler Books Children’s bookselling staff will read a variety of new, favorite and best picture books.
Pre-school Story Time
Miss Margaret will read great books for great kids and guide your preschooler in a small art project or related make-and-take activity.
Book Signing with Susan Fair, author of American Witches
Get yourself in the Halloween mood at this book signing with Susan Fair, author of American Witches: A Broomstick Tour through Four Centuries! American Witches reveals strange incidents of witchcraft that have long been swept under the rug as bizarre sidenotes to history.
Talk and Signing with Nicole Curtis, star of Rehab Addict
Meet Nicole Curtis, star of the megahit HGTV and DIY Network show Rehab Addict — as she takes a break from rehabbing — at a talk and signing for her debut inspirational memoir, Better Than New: Lessons I’ve Learned from Saving Old Homes (and How They Saved Me). This will be a ticketed event. Visit www.SchulerBooks.com for full details.
Talk & Signing with #1 NYT Bestselling Thriller Author Stuart Woods
Meet Stuart Woods as he tours for the release of Sex, Lies, and Serious Money, the 39th heart-stopping installment in the Stone Barrington series. This will be a ticketed event. Please visit www.SchulerBooks.com for full details.
Visit www.SchulerBooks.com for a complete list of events. All events are subject to change.
SEAN D2O9N-ONEcLt.LY1 Sept.
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Please recycle this magazine
NOAH GARDENSWART October 27-29 Z REVUEWM.COM | October 2016 |
Scene Sounds | Sights | Dining | Schedule
upcoming Sun, Oct 9
Roll Out the Barrel
Featuring more than 25 barrel-aged beers
Thur, Oct 13
$24 adv / $28 day of
Doors 8pm — Show 9pm
Fri, Oct 14
Particle & kung fu
Sat, Oct 15
$20 adv / $24 day of Doors 8pm — Show 9pm
$12 adv / $15 day of
John Brown’'s Body Melophobix
Sat, Oct 22
Doors 8pm — Show 9pm
$15 adv / $18 day of
& The Rainbow Seekers
Thur, Nov 3
Doors 8pm — Show 9pm
$15 adv / $18 day of
Giant Panda Guerilla Dub Squad
Fri, Nov 4
Devon Allman Band
Doors 8pm — Show 9pm
$30 adv / $35 day of Doors 8pm — Show 9pm
Schedule | Dining | Sights | Sounds | Scene
Sun, Nov 6
All Stouts Day
18 | REVUEWM.COM | October 2016
$12 adv / $15 day of
HORSESHOES & HAND GRENADES and cabinet Doors 8
Fri, Nov 11
We dedicate ourselves to playing the music you love and shining a light on those who are underserved by commercial media. We work to grant attention to the ones who create for the love of music and the quality of life it brings to the community. Consider supporting.
Featuring more than 20 stouts
Thur, Nov 10
FALL FUND DRIVE – OCTOBER 21 30 OCTOBER 23 14–OCTOBER
— Show 9pm
$20 Doors 8pm — Show 9pm
/// local Music
Solid State Sounds
Local music news and shows for October, including ConvoTronics, Martyr For Madison and more / by Eric Mitts
OPENING OCTOBER 7 Emily Blunt in THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN OCTOBER 11, 12, 13, 15 &18 SHIN GODZILLA OPENING OCTOBER 14 Ben Affleck in THE ACCOUNTANT OPENING OCTOBER 21 Tom Cruise in JACK REACHER: NEVER LOOK BACK OPENING OCTOBER 28 Tom Hanks in INFERNO OCTOBER SPECIALTY OCTOBER 2 CREATURE FROM THE BLACK LAGOON OCTOBER 3 MEAN GIRLS Movie Party
ConvoTronics opening for Tunde Olaniran at The Pyramid Scheme Photo: Courtesy of Hot Capicola Records
Bonehawk performs with Old Black and more at Unruly Brewing Company. Photo: Curt Prudden
Heading into the Halloween season, Kalamazoo punk/metal band Tall Tales and mathcore outfit That’s Blood are opening for former ’90s Misfits singer Michale Graves when he returns to Papa Pete’s (502 S. Burdick) in Kalamazoo Oct. 9. Rising Grand Rapids post-hardcore group Martyr For Madison opens for Australian metalcore band Parkway Drive when the Unbreakable tour stops at The Intersection (133 Grandville Ave. SW) on Oct. 11. The West Michigan Jazz Society continues to spice up Mondays with the monthly Jazz Gumbo series at The Guest House (634 Stocking Ave. NW) Oct. 17, where acclaimed Chicago-based vocalist Libby York will be joined by West Michigan jazz pianist Terry Lower, drummer Larry Ochiltree, saxophonist Jim Hayward and upright bassist Ed Fedewa. Veteran Grand Rapids hip-hop duo ConvoTronics is opening for Flint artist/activist Tunde Olaniran at The Pyramid Scheme (68 Commerce Ave. SW) on Oct. 14. Organized by Grand Rapids’ own Hot Capicola Records,
the show is also opening with Detroit electric soul artist Britney Stoney. Also at The Pyramid Scheme this month, GR label Dizzybird Records hosts a two-year anniversary party on Oct. 28, with performances from area bands Hollywood Makeout, Coffin Problem, The Harlequins, Heaven’s Gateway Drugs and Suzies. The theme of the night is dead musicians and the show includes a costume contest for fans dressed as their favorite fallen rock star. Twisted Motives Entertainment is presenting a Night of the Living Dead Halloween event at Mickey’s Pub in St. Joseph (1007 Main St.) on Oct. 28. The multimedia spectacular features performances by several Southwest Michigan hip-hop and horrorcore artists, including Big Brutal, Skitzo, BarBerriens and more. In celebration of the Halloween spirit, Kalamazoo roots music group The Red Sea Pedestrians is hosting its 8th Annual Masquerade Ball at Bell’s Eccentric Café on Oct. 29. Joining in on the costume fun is longtime Kalamazoo Americana outfit The Corn Fed Girls. n
OCTOBER 7 & 9 THE BIG CHILL OCTOBER 12 Ingrid Bergman in SPELLBOUND OCTOBER 21, 22, 28, & 29 THE ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW Movie Party OCTOBER 26 Grace Kelly in DIAL M FOR MURDER in 3D OCTOBER 30 FRANKENSTEIN MEETS THE WOLF MAN L L L HOUSE OF DRACULA Visit drafthouse.com/kalamazoo for showtimes and tickets
DATES ARE SUBJECT TO CHANGE PLEASE CHECK DRAFTHOUSE.COM/KALAMAZOO FOR UPDATES
REVUEWM.COM | October 2016 |
Scene | Sounds | Sights | Dining | Schedule
he Kalamazoo-based hip-hop DJs Earl Jordan and Kutkeeper of the turntablist collective Analog Ancestry are opening for California duo Blackalicious when the legendary rap group performs at Bell’s Eccentric Café (355 E. Kalamazoo Ave.) on Oct. 4. Grand Rapids Rage Against The Machine Tribute band Bulls on Parade and Tool tribute band Harry Manback are joining forces for a night of ’90s hard rock at the Park Theatre (248 S. River Ave.) in Holland Oct. 7. Also along the lakeshore, Muskegon heavy music outfit Old Black is releasing a new CD at Unruly Brewing Company (360 W. Western Ave) in Muskegon Oct. 8. Adding to the high volume of the show are Kalamazoo rockers Bonehawk, Muskegon metalheads Withhold The Blood and Kalamazoo beastcore band Drink Their Blood. Local blues legend Annette Taborn returns to Kalamazoo for one show only, Oct. 8 at Shakespeare’s Pub (241 E. Kalamazoo Ave.). Presented by the WIDR Alumni Society, all proceeds from the event are going to the Jules Rossman Scholarship Fund.
OCTOBER 5 Cary Grant and Ingrid Bergman in NOTORIOUS
/// local Music
Behind The Wall of Sound GR studio vet Matt Ten Clay emerges with new EP | by Eric Mitts
Schedule | Dining | Sights | Sounds | Scene
n the decade since he moved to Grand Rapids, multi-instrumentalist, producer and engineer Matt Ten Clay has undeniably helped shape the sound of the city. With his studio, Amber Lit Audio (240 Front St. SW), Ten Clay has recorded nearly 100 different artists. His work with close friends and likeminded bands, such as Heaters, Coffin Problem and Lazy Genius, has helped grow the city’s expansive psychedelic rock scene. Last year, he also won WYCE’s Jammie Award for Best Engineering/Production, thanks to work on albums by area artists as diverse as Hannah Rose Graves, Haunted Leather, Hollywood Makeout and others. “I didn’t always want to start a business,” Ten Clay said about owning and operating Amber Lit. “I moved here with a friend about 10 years ago from Holland in search of a more open-minded and embracing community as far as music goes, and we found that.” For years,Ten Clay played with his band The Howlers and many other outfits, including Nathan Kalish & the Wildfire. There, he found there was a need in Grand Rapids for a studio where musicians could record at a decent quality for a decent price. He took on the task himself, part-time at first, balancing the business of starting a studio with a steady day job, while consistently dabbling with music of his own. “I feel like my niche in the music community is an easygoing approach and atmosphere for musicians who don’t have all the money in the world to get a solid product that they love out into the world,” Ten Clay said.
20 | REVUEWM.COM | October 2016
Photo: Jonathan Brandt
and four members. “The songs were a bit lighter in nature Currently, he has between six and eight projects in the altogether, less overdriven in the guitars, and also a bit less works at Amber Lit, ranging from solo acoustic performers dark in the material, lyric-wise.” to gloomgaze bands. Outta Sight, Outta Mind follows last year’s All I Had. The “It’s been amazing, humbling and initially underestimated EP loosely grapples with the conflict between faith and reain my own mind,” Ten Clay said about being part of the son amid an array of distorted guitars and other atmospheric Grand Rapids music scene. “There is such a camaraderie and textures. social value, beyond the therapeutic and invaluable joy of Currently, The Howlers are a five-piece made up of Ten creating and participating in a music scene. It’s overwhelmClay on guitar and vocals, Patrick Wieland on drums, Adam ing and beautiful, and I do feel right at home, right where I Cavanaugh on bass, and both Sean Sterns and Dan Fisher belong.” on guitar. Like all of their previous releases, the members This month, three releases will emerge from the aural recorded Outta Sight, Outta Mind at Amber Lit Audio, where confines of Amber Lit Audio as Ten Clay releases the latest they have the flexibility to record however EP, Outta Sight, Outta Mind, from his own they want, day or night. band The Howlers. Then there’s work from “With having the space and equipment to his friends in the rising GR psych-rock bands The Howlers do what I want, when I want, and for as long Suzies and Trash Hounds, all appearing at a Outta Sight, Outta as I’ve had that ability, it’s hard to say exactly triple-release concert at The Pyramid Scheme Mind EP Release how that influences the work,” Ten Clay said. Oct. 8. “It definitely gives me plenty of options, [which “I couldn’t be more excited,” Ten Clay said. Wsg. Suzies, Trash Hounds The Pyramid Scheme can be] overwhelming at times. Luckily, the “Those guys’ sound and energy really resonates 68 Commerce Ave. SW, Grand band has invaluable intuition and input on the with me, and it’s really awesome to have them Rapids songs, especially if the song is headed in too around in town.” Oct. 8, 9 p.m. murky of a direction.” Ten Clay started The Howlers in 2007. $8 advance, $10 day of show, 21 and older These days, The Howlers only play a The band’s earlier work was inf luenced by pyramidschemebar.com, (616) handful of live shows, but Ten Clay said he acts like Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, The 272-3758 hopes to continue to release at least one EP Brian Jonestown Massacre and The Velvet each year with the band while keeping busy Underground. Over a half-dozen releases, and in his studio. nearly as many member changes, The Howlers’ “The path that we’ve been on and frequency of shows feels robust blend of rock, pop, shoegaze, psych and drone has right-on for the last couple of years,” he said. “So we’ll probgrown into something much larger than they anticipated. ably keep rolling in that direction.” n “We weren’t as wall-of-soundish,” Ten Clay said of earlier incarnations of The Howlers, which fluctuated between three
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Songs We Like, Vol. 14
This is a sonic collaboration among Revue, WYCE and AMI Jukeboxes. Play this mix as a playlist on AMI Jukeboxes, read about it here every month and stream it on wyce.org. Each of the bands featured will be performing in Grand Rapids in October 2016. Here are a few highlights. Please check out the full streaming tracklist with venues and dates at revuewm.com.
by Yong Los and Pete Bruinsma, WYCE
Ingrid Michaelson, “Hell No”
July Talk, “Picturing Love”
(Calvin College Hoogenboom Center Oct. 7) For nearly 10 years now, Ingrid Michaelson has consistently broken and mended the hearts of many with her songwriting. Her seventh studio album, It Doesn’t Have to Make Sense, pulls inspiration from across the board. From dealing with breakups to losing her mother, the 36-year-old covers a lot of emotional ground where few would dare to go.
(Founders Taproom Oct. 13) July Talk is a Canadian rock band that’s dynamic, catchy and full of life. Leah Fay’s (vocals) sultry croon contrasted with the harsh growl from Peter Dreimanis (guitar/keyboard) creates pools of calm serenity, quickly washed away by a fist-pumping energy that’s uncommon today. July Talk effortlessly blends different moods and emotions into a blues-influenced brand of rock that deserves to be listened to at the highest of volumes.
Real Estate, “Crime”
Moon Hooch, “Low 5”
(Pyramid Scheme Oct. 10) Two years after its release, Atlas remains a favorite among the indie rock community. The band’s playful guitar work over sweet vocal melodies is a recipe that’s studied closely and replicated by many today. On the surface, Real Estate is sugar-coated and dreamy, but below that are lyrics that cut deeper than most bands in the same circle.
(Intersection Oct. 13 & WYCE’s Live Lunch at H.O.M.E.) Moon Hooch is more than just another jazz band. The band incorporates elements of many jazz-influenced forms and buries them in pulsating, electronic soundscapes. The trio brings such a powerful energy to their music that it’s impossible to not dance along. Moon Hooch has crafted a unique genre of music that shouldn’t work, but may be the best new thing you hear all week.
Come see what
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22 | REVUEWM.COM | October 2016
The Harlequins, “Hear Me Out”
(Dizzybird Anniversary at Pyramid Scheme Oct. 28) There are few words that accurately describe the energy The Harlequins brings to the world. The band melds elements of psychedelic, surf and punk rock into something raw and very rare today. Between guitarist/ vocalist Michael Oliva’s nasally wail, his screaming guitar solos, and the steady, driving rhythms, The Harlequins delivers a punchy, in-your-face sound that will make you want to dance.
(Intersection Nov. 2) Atmosphere is a hip-hop duo consisting of lyrical mastermind Slug and DJ/musical songsmith Ant. The group is well-known for Slug’s adept storytelling and Ant’s old-school-influenced production. Their eighth studio album together, Fishing Blues, showcases Slug’s clever lyricism and Ant’s brilliant ear for creating a cohesive body of work. n
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OCT 8 - $10 (SRO) MUTEFLUTES + SETH BERNARD OCT 12 - $30 TYRONE WELLS WSG ANDY SUZUKI
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OCT 14 – $25 ELLIS PAUL OCT 16 - $15 TODD CAREY OCT 21 - $20 ANTJE DUVEKOT
KINGS KALEIDESCOPE AND CITIZEN & SAINTS
Ladies Literary Club| 8pm | $18
OCT 22 – $25 LINDSAY LOU & THE FLATBELLYS OCT 28 - $20 JESSE TERRY + REBECCA LOEBE
LINDSAY LOU & THE FLATBELLYS
OCT 30 - $20 SEAN MCCONNELL
TEGAN AND SARA w/ Torres
Hoogenboom Center| 8pm | $32
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PENNY AND SPARROW w/ Special Guest
Ladies Literary Club| 8pm | $15
/calvincollegesao @calvinsao REVUEWM.COM | October 2016 |
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CKOGR.COM | 616.920.0335 | 820 Monroe Ave. NW, Grand Rapids
by Josh Spanninga
‘The Alchemist Cookbook’ Comes to UICA
Still photo from The Alchemist Cookbook
The majority of screentime in the film belongs to Hickson, although Amari Cheatom also shows up briefly as Cortez, the friend who delivers Sean’s supplies to his remote trailer. Other than that, The Alchemist Cookbook is pretty much a one-man show. While it might intimidate some actors to basically have an entire film depend on his performance (especially considering the intensity of Sean’s character, as well as the dark turns the movie takes), Hickson embraced the challenge. “It’s only as much pressure as I allow to be put on myself,” Hickson said. “At the end of the day, when I read the script I connected with the character. It felt like something I could pull off, so I just went into it with the mindset of killing it.” The decision to have such a small cast for the film was pivotal for Potrykus, and not just because the film revolves around a hermit. It also has a lot to say about the themes explored throughout the film. “It’s really about isolation and what that does to you,” Potrykus said. “There’s just no law. So it’s about a person living on his own, making his own laws away from society.” Even though The Alchemist Cookbook boasts the smallest cast Potrykus has ever worked with, it also had the largest
behind-the-scenes crew. Much of this crew was made up of familiar faces, such as producer Ashley Young, who helped produce Ape and Buzzard, and who also happens to be Potrykus’s longtime girlfriend. “We live together and everything, so we work pretty closely when working on movies,” Young said. Aside from her role as producer, script supervisor and other on-set tasks, Young also volunteered her cat (real name Fiji) to play Kaspar, Sean’s feline companion in the film. “I think that was probably the most difficult thing for me, just because of my personal connection with the cat,” Young said. “I was probably more stressed out than Fiji was.” Fiji made it through filming just fine though, as did all of his human companions. And The Alchemist Cookbook went on to premiere at SXSW in March, also gracing the screen at various other film festivals since then. Finally, in September, the film made its official West Michigan debut as part of ArtPrize: Onscreen. If you missed that showing, don’t worry — The Alchemist Cookbook is making a proper theatrical run at the UICA from Oct. 14–27. n
REVUEWM.COM | October 2016 |
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ve ryo n e kn ows th e wo o d s o f Allegan are a local hotspot of nature and wildlife. Michiganders all over agree these lush forests are the ideal haven for hiking, bird watching, hunting and… practicing alchemy? OK, so maybe that last part seems a little out there, but not for Joel Potrykus and his crew. These brave local filmmakers used this location for their most recent project, The Alchemist Cookbook. “The movie that made me want to make movies was Evil Dead, so I needed to make a movie out in the woods,” Potrykus said. “I’d had this idea for a long time about a guy cooped up in a trailer, trying to turn lead into gold and messing around with black magic.” Potrykus took this idea and ran with it, but not before studying his subject matter. He pored over books on alchemy and black magic, and even consulted with a professional chemist who had done research on alchemy. The expert suggested modern takes on alchemy to Potrykus, incorporating things like light bulb filaments and battery acid into traditional alchemic practices. “When I started writing, I just kind of took all those ideas and threw them together and made it my own,” Potrykus said. The end result is different from Potrykus’ previous films in more ways than one. This is in part due to the fact Potrykus had a larger budget than ever before, along with The Alchemist studio backing from the get-go. But Cookbook perhaps the biggest change is that Urban Institute for this is the first feature film Potrykus Contemporary Arts 2 W. Fulton St., Grand has made without Joshua Burge in Rapids the lead role. Instead, he decided to Oct. 14–27 bring in New York native Ty Hickson $8 non-members, $4 to star as Sean, the aforementioned members hermit who attempts to create his For a full listing of own fortune through alchemy. showtimes visit uica.org/ movies. “I want the actors to bring as much to it as I am,” Potrykus said. “I had to really get him comfortable with that, so he could try different things and experiment while shooting, just like I’m going to try new things and experiment.” Hickson concurred. “Joel was great,” he said. “He’s super cool and he knows what he wants. At the same time, he will also allow the project to grow by letting myself as an actor, or anybody on the team, make it a better film however they can.”
by Marla R. Miller
History, Hauntings and Urban Legends
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re ete d by can d e lab ras an d m i rro rs covered in dark cloth (a Victorian practice to keep souls from being trapped), you can now don your best black and experience what it was like to attend a funeral during the Victorian era. But that’s just one of the many macabre and supernatural events popping up around West Michigan this fall. Visiting reportedly-haunted sites like cemeteries, abandoned buildings and other ghost tours has become a popular pastime across the country, especially around Halloween. In Muskegon, this is the second year for the Obituary Tours at the Hackley & Hume Historic Site. They filled up last year and include details about deaths in the homes and customs around death and dying in the late 1800s (funeral attire not required). Muskegon’s most well-known lumbering families, Charles and Julia Hackley and Thomas and Margaret Hume, lived and died in the homes along with several others. It was common practice to conduct autopsies and hold funerals in private residences in Victorian times, according to Erin Schmitz, program manager for the historic sites. These tours include the staging of two funerals, reading the obituaries of the Hackleys and Humes, and information on autopsies and embalming practices. “The idea for this tour came about after a lot of people asked about deaths in the houses or if there were funerals in the homes,” she said. “We like to keep stuff as factual as we can but there also were some death practices and funeral practices that happened to bring some creep factor.” For a different outdoor adventure, the Lakeshore Museum Center has added a second
Fall Into the Arts Downtown Battle Creek Oct. 21, 5-9 p.m. Free! battlecreek.org
A celebration of the arts will transform streets in downtown Battle Creek into one big exhibit. Established and new artists will display their work in venues such as Barista Blues, Ermisch Travel, Commerce Point and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and talk about the inspiration behind their creativity. Artistic mediums will include landscape photography, oil-based paintings, and virtual pieces.
26 | REVUEWM.COM | October 2016
More Spooky Happenings It’s high time to pair some otherworldly attractions with your lakeshore color tour. Trade the commercialized haunted house, corn maze or getting spooked by a painted-face zombie for one of these unique experiences:
Obituary Tours at the Hackley & Hume Historic Site seasonal attraction at Michigan’s Heritage Park in Whitehall. Visitors can traverse a Haunted Trail through the living history park, complete with ghost stories and surprises. Or head to Saugatuck for a self-guided tour at night in The Felt Estate on select dates in October. Plus, there’s a new addition: a walk through the Dark Forest. “We added the Dark Forest this year because this is the first year where we have an established trail through the forest,” said Patty Meyer, director of the estate. “Also, much of the urban legend surrounding the estate involves creatures in the woods around the mansion.”
In addition, streetlight poles will be decorated with scarecrows created by residents of all ages as part of the “Scarecrow Row” program, and a mural designed by community members will be on display at the Battle Creek Community Foundation. Fall Into the Arts was developed by the Battle Creek Area Chamber of Commerce as a way to enhance the community’s arts and culture. Kara Beer, president of the Chamber, said these events also serve as a way to bridge the gap between businesses and the arts by helping artists to become more entrepreneurial. There is art in business and business in art, Beer said, adding that having art in business promotes creativity. —Reported by Jane Simons
The Felt Estate, once abandoned and in disrepair, has consistently made the list of Top Ten Haunted Sites in Michigan and is on the National Register of Historic Places. The mansion is allegedly haunted in a friendly sort of way by the ghosts of the original owners, Dorr and Agnes Felt. “We are hoping for another record-setting year,” Meyer said. “The Felt Mansion was boarded up and neglected for so long, it naturally took on an aura of mystery — and certainly looked like a haunted house. It no longer looks haunted, but we continue to have the occasional ‘unexplained event’ at the mansion. We encourage enthusiasts to come out, tour the mansion and grounds in the dark and have their own paranormal experience.” In the city, the Ghosts of Grand Rapids walking tour has been such a hit that organizers have developed a second tour that heads east of Veterans Memorial Park, then south of Fulton Street along Jefferson, Oakes and Commerce with plans for a third route. The original tour began in 2014 and takes visitors past reportedly haunted sites and historic buildings with sinister stories — fires, murders, decapitations and suicides — in an area north of Fulton Street, including Library, Division, Ionia, Fountain, Ottawa, Pearl and returning along Monroe Center. Based on the local bestselling book, “Ghosts of Grand Rapids,” the tour regularly sells out and includes urban legends, ghostly lore and historical insights discovered through research. n
Hackley & Hume Obituary Tours 484 W. Webster Ave., Muskegon Oct. 25-26, 7-8 p.m. and 8:30-9:30 p.m. $15 members, $20 nonmembers lakeshoremuseum.org, (231) 724-5535 Michigan’s Heritage Park Haunted Trail 8637 N. Durham Rd., Whitehall Oct. 28-29, 7-10 p.m. $15, ages 13+, limited space lakeshoremuseum.org, (231) 894-0342 Felt Mansion and the Dark Forest 6597 138th Ave., Holland Oct. 20-22 and 27-31, 8-11:30 p.m. $30, feltmansion.org Includes touring the mansion, the carriage house and the Dark Forest. Flashlights recommended. Cameras and recording equipment allowed. The only indoor lighting will be minimal e-candles in the windows, so tour at your own risk. Ghosts of Grand Rapids Veterans Memorial Park 101 E. Fulton St., Grand Rapids Route 1: Oct. 7, 21 and 28 Route 2: Oct. 1, 8, 14-15 and 22 $10, ghostsofgrandrapids.com Walking tour of historic sites around the city center begin at 8 p.m. at Veterans Memorial Park. Tour covers about a mile and lasts two hours; held rain or shine so dress accordingly. Advance ticket purchase recommended online. Additionally, Haunted History of Kalamazoo tours will be offered Oct. 8, 22 and 29. For more information, hauntedkalamazootours.com.
DÍA DE LOS
MUERTOS HONORING DAY OF THE DEAD Thursday, October 27 – Tuesday, November 1 During open hours Main Library Come celebrate Día de los Muertos with the Grand Rapids Public Library. Day of the Dead is a Mexican holiday that honors family and friends who have passed on. Loved ones come together to build altars that celebrate the life and memory of the dead. Altars from members of the community honoring family and friends will be on display. Every altar is unique and they create a fascinating portrait of what the citizens of Grand Rapids hold close to them.
SEPTEMBER 7 - JURASSIC PARK - MANGO MAGNIFICO SEPTEMBER 14 - MEAN GIRLS - RUBAEUS SEPTEMBER 21 - PULP FICTION - BREAKFAST STOUT SEPTEMBER 28 - HAPPY GILMORE - DIRTY BASTARD OCTOBER 5 - OLD SCHOOL - PC PILS OCTOBER 12 - TITANIC - PORTER OCTOBER 19 - SPACEBALLS - CENTENNIAL IPA OCTOBER 26 - YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN - HARVEST ALE NOVEMBER 2 - PSYCHO - BACKWOODS BASTARD NOVEMBER 9 - E.T . - ALL DAY IPA
Sunday, October 30 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm Main Library Families are invited to learn more about the Day of the Dead holiday, explore the altars, decorate sugar skulls, have their face painted, and do a craft. The day will include bilingual storytimes, live music from Cabildo, food from local restaurants, and Pan de Muerto provided by Panaderia Margo.
FOUNDERS BEERS HAVE BEEN HAND-SELECTED BY THE BREWERY TO PAIR WITH EACH OF THESE CLASSIC FILMS FOR THE ULTIMATE THEATRE VIEWING EXPERIENCE:
SEPTEMBER 7 - NOVEMBER 9, 8PM FOR MORE INFORMATION GO TO: celebrationcinema.com/foundersfilms TICKETS $2 21 AND UP THIS EVENT IS FREE AND OPEN TO THE PUBLIC 111 LIBRARY ST NE 616.988.5400 WWW.GRPL.ORG This event is sponsored by the Grand Rapids Public Library Foundation. Consider a gift today: 616.988.5399 or www.grplfoundation.org.
LOCATIONS: - CELEBRATION! CINEMA NORTH - CELEBRATION! CINEMA CROSSROADS - CELEBRATION! CINEMA MT. PLEASANT - CINEMA CAROUSEL MUSKEGON - STUDIO C! OKEMOS
FOR FOUNDERS FOR EXTENDED SEQUENCES OF HOPS, BOLD FLAVOR, AND INTENSE AROMA
REVUEWM.COM | October 2016 |
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FOUNDERS film series
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The Beer Issue 6th Anniversary Edition
The already long list of West Michigan craft breweries keeps on getting longer. Just in 2016 alone, 17 new breweries (and cideries and distilleries) have opened around the region, and a handful more are looking to pour their first pints before yearâ€™s end. This year, weâ€™ve added new destinations like Greyline, Creston and OpenRoad, as well as second locations for the likes of New Holland, Elk and Vander Mill. As beer drinkers, what a great time it is to be alive. Every month in Revue and online at revuewm.com, we cover the craft beer scene across West Michigan. However, the annual Beer Issue gives us a chance to dive deeper and offer you the definitive, comprehensive guide to all the region has to offer when it comes to that delicious fermented concoction of hops, malted grain, yeast and #PureMichigan water. Grab a beer before you turn the page: The 2016 Beer Issue from Revue is guaranteed to make you thirsty. Cheers! REVUEWM.COM | October 2016 |
The Beer Issue
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Ham and Doughnuts at the new Vander Mill Grand Rapids (with broadbent country ham, cider doughnuts, red barn cupola and apple butter). Photo: Katy Batdorff
Fork, Knife and Pint
Why breweries are stepping up their food game by Troy Reimink
30 | REVUEWM.COM | October 2016
hen planning his new kitchen, Rockford Brewing Company owner Seth Rivard knew, first of all, what wasn’t going to work. “We’re not just buying a bunch of frozen shit, throwing it in a fryer and saying, ‘Here you go!’”
he told Revue. Just a few years ago, most breweries could get away with treating their food menu as a greasy afterthought — maybe a few token appetizers or sandwiches to keep the regulars warming the barstools. But breweries in Beer City and throughout West Michigan are learning, sometimes the hard way, that a successful operation needs more than just good beer to distinguish itself in 2016. It’s a field that seems to become more crowded with every passing month. Now that the region is flush with craft beer and cider, what emerges from a brewery’s kitchen is just as important as what comes out of its taps.
Left: Assortment of food at Newaygo Brewing Company. Above: Justin Large at Vander Mill Grand Rapids. Justin Large photo: Katy Batdorff, others courtesy
Expanding the Experience
Holland Brewing’s Bridge Street location in Grand Rapids opened in mid-September with a food menu trendily described as “focused on mindful sourcing, scratch cooking, rustic traditions — including heirloom produce and whole animal butchery of heritage breeds.”
Enlightening Patrons Vander Mill went big when the popular Spring Lake hard cider maker opened its 40,000-square-foot Grand Rapids taproom and brewing facility in the spring. Owner Paul Vander Heide recruited Chef Justin Large — a veteran of hip Chicago establishments such as The Publican, The Violet Hour and Big Star — to craft the food menu, which he’s built loosely around a French farmhouse concept. Large said opening with a strong menu was crucial, since Vander Mill, despite its name recognition, is located in a part of Northeast Grand Rapids that does not attract much foot traffic. “I think food has to be a serious part of the conversation right out of the gate,” Large said. “You’re going to see the paradigm really shift in
Grand Rapids, in that people are going to want all facets. They’re going to want great beverages, great food, great service, not just one of the three. I think the consumer is becoming a little more savvy.” Also at their fingertips: hot wing poutine and ham and doughnuts, two starters that have caught on among Vander Mill customers looking for a sharable snack, or easing into a multi-course dining experience that might also include a pork chop, chargrilled chicken, mushroom bolognese or pot roast entree — all upscale twists on hearty farm-style dinner fare. “We wanted to play up the farm scene and what’s happening agriculturally in this part of Michigan,” Large said. “I want to bring something a little more high-minded to the city, not because I think it’s better or cool, but because I think people will genuinely like it if they give themselves up to the experience. I like sandwiches as much as the next guy, but I would like to see this town grow up a little bit and not have a sandwich with every meal.” Now that brewers have proved their capabilities in Grand Rapids, culinary risk-taking is going to be a key to surviving in a still-growing craft beverage scene, Large said. Along with a second Elk Brewing
Continued REVUEWM.COM | October 2016 |
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Brewery Vivant set an early standard, serving farm-to-table entrees and desserts along with its menu of Belgian and French-inspired beers when opening six years ago. So many other Grand Rapids breweries have followed suit: Grand Rapids Brewing Co., Perrin Brewing Co., The Mitten Brewing Co., Founders Brewing Co., Harmony Brewing, etc. The latter’s new West Side location, Harmony Hall, offers a high-end take on sausages and was voted favorite new restaurant (yeah, restaurant) in Revue’s Best of the West survey earlier this year. When Rockford Brewing opened in 2012, it had no kitchen of its own, instead partnering with a local pizzeria for delivery. But Rivard said he always planned for the brewery to offer its own food once it was established as a beer destination. “The few years that we’ve been open, our customers have been telling us, ‘We really want you guys to have food,’” Rivard said. “They’d say, ‘Hey, we just went out to eat and came here afterwards.’ … It makes a lot of sense to offer both.” After a summer of construction, Rockford Brewing this month will open a spacious new
kitchen on the north end of its building in the city’s cozy downtown. In view of outdoor passersby, the new staff prepares charcuterie and cheese boards, chorizo Scotch eggs and ramen bowls under the leadership of Ryan Bolhuis, the brewery’s first executive chef. A Hudsonville native, Bolhuis studied at the French Culinary Institute in Manhattan and spent years working in the kitchens of some of New York’s most prestigious restaurants, including Nobu Fifty Seven, Babbo and The Modern. After returning to Michigan, Bolhuis worked briefly at Pike 51 Brewery before Rivard hired him to build Rockford Brewing’s new menu, which will emphasize local produce. Bolhuis said he’s eager to blend the worlds of fine dining and craft beer. “Almost like that appreciation for wine and food, people are starting to realize beer and food pairings open you up to a whole new world of flavors and textures,” he said. In Grand Rapids, where the market is more competitive, ambitious food menus are the new normal for anyone opening a craft taproom. The new Creston Brewing and the upcoming City Built Brewery Company feature menus of Latin and Puerto Rican-inspired cuisine, respectively. New
Brewery cuisine, continued location in Comstock Park and New Holland in Grand Rapids, openings loom for Atwater Brewing and City Built in Grand Rapids. “I think we’re going to see the bubble burst here soon on the brewery scene,” Large said. “We’re still not talking about that big of a city. I think that Grand Rapids, mentally, thinks it’s bigger than it truly is. You’re competing for 250,000 people as well as against openings of every other size, shape and color. It’s not necessarily open season — it makes for a very hyper-competitive market.”
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It also opens a window for brewers outside Grand Rapids who want to step up their food game. Newaygo Brewing Co. President Nick Looman said that since opening in 2015, the majority of his brewery’s weekend food sales are to visitors from Grand Rapids who are either numbed by the abundance of the city’s dining scene or eager to see how nearby towns stack up. “We weren’t going to open with food at all, but Grand Rapids made it standard that good breweries made good food,” he said. When he added a kitchen to his brewery plan, Looman hoped food would account for 40 percent of sales, but “because of the local demand for great food to accompany great beer, we now have a 100seat taproom with 60 percent food sales, and we run a higher-end farm-to-table restaurant.” Newaygo Brewing’s kitchen manager, Chris Brandmiller, is a former Grand Rapids resident who moved to Newaygo to build the brewery’s menu and found he missed the culinary variety of the city, so he began experimenting. When his Oktoberfest plate last year became a local hit, he saw it as a sign Newaygo was ready to try new things. “They went crazy for it. That kind of gave us a cool opportunity to keep pushing Newaygo and seeing, what’s their threshold?” The taproom now boasts a menu of farm-totable specialty pizzas, pastas and gourmet desserts,
Tacos at Creston Brewery. photo: joe Boomgaard
which, along with the brewery’s diverse beer list, performs a difficult task. “We have to provide approachable beer and food for people up here who are still getting into craft, but also provide excellent beer and food for those who have already come to expect that in craft,” Looman said. As the market expands and evolves, there are opportunities as well as challenges. Rockford’s Bolhuis foresees teaming with brewers in and around Grand Rapids on collaborative beer dinners or guest-chef dishes.” What I love about working for a brewery is the beer culture in and of itself. How much brewers collaborate with each other is awesome, and I definitely want to bring that to the kitchen here,” he said. “We’re all here to help each other, teach each other, learn from each other and push the industry forward.” In other words, Bolhuis said, something about the brewing industry makes it less stereotypically cutthroat than the restaurant business. “Better access to alcohol maybe helps,” he said. n
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Justin Large at Vander Mill Grand Rapids. photo: Katy Batdorff
REVUEWM.COM | October 2016 |
The Beer Issue
Revue Brewery Road Trip: The Under The Radar Edition by Joe Boomgaard | Revue Beer Czar
alph Waldo Emerson long ago wrote the oftencited line, “Life is a journey, not a destination.” While that may be true, it’s nice to know that
the destination is worth the trip, especially when the endpoint is a craft brewery. At Revue, we’ll admit to being spoiled. There’s
more than a handful of breweries and top-notch
craft beer bars within stumbling distance of our office in Grand Rapids, at the corner of Monroe Center and Ionia Avenue. But it’s just refreshing sometimes to hit the road and see where our meanderings take us. It’s a bonus when those journeys lead to great new beers. For this edition of Revue’s occasional beer road trip series, we
Schedule Dining Sights | Sounds | Scene
headed south out of Grand Rapids with just a skeleton of a plan to explore five breweries. Little did we know the 150-mile journey would lead us to discover some new favorites along the way, including recently launched small-town pubs, a young brewery that’s on the forefront of reviving classic German-style beers, and humble but growing producers making some high-quality liquid.
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OpenRoad Brewery 128 S. Main St., Wayland openroadbrewing.com, (616) 293-7855 One of the newest additions to West Michigan’s craft beer scene, OpenRoad Brewery opened in July along Wayland’s Main Street district. At Revue, we’re happy to see the craft brewery movement beginning to take hold in outlying communities. OpenRoad offers a cafe-like atmosphere that’s one part coffee shop and one part craft brewer with a dash of small-town diner. Revue didn’t sample any of the food menu, but the beers we tried were all solid. The Hell Yeah Hefe was very clean and true to style, with the expected banana and clove flavors from the German yeast. The 90 MPH IPA was similarly crisp and clean with just enough malty backbone to it. The Blonde Yell-Ale Submarine embodied everything a blonde ale should: It was flavorful, medium-bodied and crushable, without a trace of hop bitterness. However, the surprise beer was Road Rage Double IPA, a very smooth drinker for 9.8 percent ABV. Its resinous hops mix with honey-like sweetness for a clean sipper.
Old Mill Brewpub 717 E. Bridge St., Plainwell oldmillbrew.com, (269) 204-6601 If you’ve ever wondered what it would be like to drink and dine inside a rustic mill, well, you’ve
come to the right place. The interior at Old Mill features a lot of interesting woodwork and views of passing trains. (Be sure to look for the large wall display of Pez dispensers outside the bathrooms.) As a brewpub, Old Mill features a range of in-house and outside pours, but its own beers certainly merit a taste. Revue especially liked the Crazy Beaver Cream Ale, which featured a refreshing mix of vanilla notes and creamy malts. The Sunshine Stout and Railside Red are also worth a try. Old Mill offers a full pub menu, and the dishes we saw looked very tasty. We’d definitely come back again when hungry, or just when we’re looking for a reason to pull off U.S. 131 between Kalamazoo and Grand Rapids.
Tibbs Brewing Co. 402 S. Burdick St., Kalamazoo tibbsbrewing.com, (877) 762-7397 An editor’s pick in the Revue Best of the West Awards earlier this year, Tibbs Brewing is another example of a brewery making the most of a shoestring budget. To hear owner Kevin Tibbs describe it, the company’s start was a mix of happy accidents and a DIY ethos that pervades everything about the brewery, from its space to its equipment. Tibbs Brewing has grown steadily since it opened in 2013, recently expanding with a downstairs pub, music venue and brewhouse, all without the company taking on debt or outside investors. At Revue, we love
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Old Mill Pez collection
Territorial Brewing Co. Kzoo beer tour, continued Tibb Brewing’s Belgians and were surprised to learn that Tibbs, himself, is no fan of the style. Nevertheless, he and his team make balanced Belgians — including a hybrid of dubbel and tripel style ales called Big “O” — that mix just the right amount of traditional flavors without overdoing the spice or banana notes. Other favorites during our stop included the Ben Jonesin Chocolate Toffee Porter and the Common Law IPA — not to mention Tibbs’ own non-alcoholic root beer.
Railtown Brewing Co.
Schedule Dining Sights | Sounds | Scene
3555 68th St. SE, Dutton railtownbrewing.com, (616) 881-2364 We decided to round out the day of brewery sampling with a stop to Railtown Brewing, another editor’s pick in Revue’s Best of the West Awards. Like Tibbs, Railtown remains a staff favorite brewery because it’s situated off the beaten path and makes a strong portfolio of beers that hold up well from top to bottom. As fans of Railtown’s Citra Warrior double IPA, we were intrigued by the new Ninja Training Camp, a lower ABV pale ale that’s the base of Citra Warrior without the addition of honey. Like its predecessor, Ninja Training Camp didn’t disappoint. We also enjoyed the coffee-forward Javatose! Blonde, as well as the Boysen Bliss, a fruit beer with plenty of tart to keep the sweetness in check. By the time this story hits the stands, Railtown Brewing hopes to have opened its expansion, which includes a raised stage and new sound system for live music, as well as additional seating for the pub and more production space. Co-owners Justin Buiter and Gim Lee expect the additional room will free up space to start a barrel-aging program, as well as afford the brewery more capacity for distribution. n
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256 N. Helmer Rd., Springfield territorialbrewing.com, (269) 282-1694
erritorial Brewing Co. vies for the title of being the best hidden gem in the Michigan craft beer scene. Tiny Springfield, Mich. — located on the eastern edge of the sprawling Battle Creek Air National Guard Base and the W.K. Kellogg Airport west of the Cereal City — is incredibly lucky. We wholeheartedly believe that if this brewery were in a larger city, its status would be on par with the old-guard of Michigan’s brewery scene. Trust us, that’s no hyperbole. The brewery and pub is tucked away in a small building with ample parking. Inside, the styling connotes an Old World beer hall, with flags of all the German states ringing the room. The attractive wooden bar and large tables all feature reclaimed lumber from demolished buildings in Kalamazoo. So far, so good. Fans of German-style lagers take note: Territorial’s menu has you covered. (It was refreshing to find not a single IPA on the tap list when Revue visited.) The brewery, started two years ago next month by Charles Grantier and Tim Davis, brews every imaginable variation of the traditional style, including pilsner, pale lager and golden lager, as well as other favorites like the hefeweizen, berliner weisse, marzen and bock. But brewer Davis also stretches deep into the catalog of German beer styles with a gose and a (new-to-us) Lichtenhainer, or smoked sour. Grantier and Davis may have started Territorial on a shoestring budget — their almost entirely repurposed “Franken-brew” equipment only cost about $100,000 — but they’ve poured their time and effort into perfecting their brewing process. One small example of
where Territorial invested to help improve its quality: The brewery mills all its grain in-house, which allows the malt-forward beers to shine in a way rarely seen in American craft beer, and certainly not at a brewery of this size. Our favorites were Three Nancies, a total malt bomb of a maibock; Kenny Lagers, a clean and refreshing helles lager; Leelou, a hopped-up imperial pilsner made with Cascade hops from nearby Hop Head Farms in Hickory Corners; and the 2016 Best of Craft Beer Awards gold medal-winning Samsquamch Block Party, a smoky sour ale with a unique aroma and a lingering smoke finish. We were also fond of the Ole, a Danish-style pilsner fermented with brettanomyces yeast for a citrusy and funky flavor, and the Avenue A Amber, a malty pale with a nice medium body. And then there’s the food. Lovers of German staples like spaetzle, schnitzel, wurst and more will no doubt like what they see on the menu, but that first bite is enough to induce euphoria. Chef Richard Centala calls the menu German-inspired, as he takes liberties to add his own modern twist to age-old recipes. Schmeckt gut! Grantier hinted that an expansion is in the works for Territorial. While we selfishly wish that plan included a location within walking distance of Revue’s global headquarters in downtown Grand Rapids, we’d settle for broader distribution of Territorial’s beers. Along with Cedar Springs Brewing Co., Territorial is championing the German-style craft beer renaissance in West Michigan. To that, we say: Prost!
REVUEWM.COM | October 2016 |
With ArtPrize, a growing creative class, plenty of jobs and still-affordable space where artists can create, Grand Rapids would seem to be on the verge of an artistic renaissance. So why are the city’s artists so worried about their future? See page 4A. Story by Nick Manes. Photo by Katy Batdorff. in this photo: hugo claudin
Natural Sounds GVSU’s New Music Ensemble tours National Parks
Happily Sarcastic Local playwright seeks humor in everyday life
REVUEWM.COM | OCTOBER 2016 | Through The Lens Changing the world, one photo at a time
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Dennis Lehane Live!
Like any struggling writer, Dennis Lehane waited tables, parked cars, worked in bookstores, loaded tractor-trailers and counseled mentally handicapped and abused children — a job that was so depressing it stopped him from writing. The New York Times best-selling mystery and crime fiction writer knows what it’s like to be poor and had a firsthand look into class and race wars growing up in inner-city Boston. Class has always been subtly present in his books, fitting with the “Us and Them” theme of this year’s Muskegon Area Arts and Humanities Festival. “It’s a pretty interesting story how he got into writing,” said Mary Tyler, chair of the Muskegon Writers’ Series. “His parents didn’t go to college and the nuns recognized this kid really liked to read. It also helped when Bill Clinton was seen coming off Air Force One with ‘Prayers for Rain.’” Lehane won the Shamus Award for his first P.I. novel, “A Drink Before the War.” Since then, he has published 12 more novels that have become international bestsellers. Notable titles “Mystic River,” “Gone, Baby, Gone,” “Shutter Island,” and “The Drop” were made into movies. — Reported by Marla R. Miller
Dennis Lehane Live! Frauenthal Theater, Muskegon | Oct. 27 Doors open 6 p.m. with live music by the Tim Johnson Jazz Group and book sales and signing. Tickets $20 general admission, $12 for students with I.D. Ahfest.org; frauenthal.org, (800) 585-3737
Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto
Mr. Burns, a Post Electric Play The performances that get mixed reviews can sometimes turn into an unforgettable experience. Mr. Burns, a Post Electric Play, written by New York City playwright Anne Washburn, premiered in 2012. The New York Times called the dark comedy “downright brilliant.” The play starts out in a post-apocalyptic world. A group of survivors band together and begin to recall an episode of The Simpsons. Slowly, from memory, they start to perform the bits and pieces together to form an episode. The same group returns in the second act, but only seven years later. They’re now a theatrical troupe, officially performing full episodes of The Simpsons for entertainment. The third and final act features a musical performance of the same episode, while questioning what post-apocalyptic cultural transition and theater will look like. Attendees are in for the ride of their lives. The play shows how a culture can shift in a relatively short amount of time, and how older pop culture references get passed down.
In 1877, Tchaikovsky married a star-crazed former pupil in order to quash rumors of his homosexuality. After suffering through a nervous breakdown and inevitable divorce, Tchaikovsky fled to Europe to escape his troubles. It was there that he wrote his breathtaking and devilishly difficult “Violin Concerto” in a mere 11 days. The work opens Marcelo Lehninger’s first official appearance on the podium as the Grand Rapids Symphony’s Music Director. Guest soloist Philippe Quint first appeared alongside the GRS orchestra and Lehninger back in February 2015 when he performed Bernstein’s challenging “Serenade” to ardent applause. Their reunion on the DeVos Performance Hall stage is not to be missed if you’re one for heartbreakingly beautiful melodies, violin pyrotechnics and a boisterous Cossack-inspired finale. Closing the concert is a timeless piece by another Russian master, selected by the Maestro himself for his debut. Equal parts provocative and nostalgic, Rachmaninoff’s “Symphony No. 2” is an excellent starter symphony for audience members new to classical music. — Reported by Samara Napolitan
Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto DeVos Performance Hall, Grand Rapids Oct. 28 & 29, show starts 8 p.m. Tickets start at $18, $5 for students grsymphony.org, (616) 454-9451 x 4
— Reported by Kayla Tucker
Mr. Burns, a Post Electric Play Actors’ Theatre Grand Rapids Spectrum Theater, 160 Fountain St. NE, Grand Rapids Sept. 29 - Oct. 8, shows starts 8 p.m. $28, $22 for students/seniors; $10 for student RUSH tickets, one hour before curtain actorstheatregrandrapids.org, (616) 234-3946
REVUEWM.COM | OCTOBER 2016 |
Tommy Allen at his studio. Photo
by Katy Batdorff
Despite convergence of positive factors, Grand Rapids artists worry about their future By NICK MANES
As the 2016 version of ArtPrize enters its final week, it might seem like local artists are living in a golden age. On Oct. 7, the radical art competition will announce the artists selected to share the $500,000 pot of prize money. Throw in the 400,000 art-hungry visitors who flock to Grand Rapids during the three-week competition, creating nearly $30 million in economic impact, and the potential bonanza seems to grow. There are plenty of positives for local artists the other 49 weeks of the year, too — from Kent County’s healthy job market to the region’s embrace of designcentric thinking, which has spurred freelance opportunities for commercial designers, graphic artists, illustrators and photographers. Even rents for live-work spaces along downtown’s “Avenue of Arts” — South Division from Fulton Street to Wealthy Street — have remained relatively stable, allowing artists to escape the rapidly escalating costs for space that have crept in a couple of blocks away as a result of new development. Given all this, it would seem there’s no greater time than the present to work as an artist in downtown Grand Rapids. The reality: Many artists say they’re more worried than ever about their ability to create and make a living in the city. They cite a variety of reasons, from looming gentrification and likely displacement, to the long-standing dearth of art collectors in town. Additionally, many artists struggle with navigating the institutional bu-
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reaucracy surrounding arts funding and sometimes find they must balance their creativity with frequent attempts to sanitize the city’s cultural underground. “There’s a sense when I talk to the city, builders and developers and even artists, that that’s just the way it is, and I just don’t think that’s acceptable,” said Tommy Allen, a longtime Grand Rapids writer and artist. “(Artists) are a critical part when you talk about the cultural capital of a community.”
KNOCKING ON BOHEMIA’S DOOR
While many artists are looking to cash in on the attention and momentum in the Grand Rapids arts scene, commercial real estate developers with similar hopes for profit have turned their attention to key areas of the city that are ripe for redevelopment. It just so happens that one of those areas, the South Division corridor, is the place many of the city’s veteran artists call home. That dichotomy keeps Hugo Claudin awake at night. The owner and operator of Mexicains Sans Frontieres said he just hopes to prevent his art and his contributions to the neighborhood from getting swept under the rug. “At the moment, I see a bleak outcome,” Claudin said. “How long can I afford to live on a beautiful street?” For more than a decade, the 1,300-square-foot loft at 120 South Division Ave. in Grand Rapids has served as Claudin’s home and studio base, as well as a music venue, art gallery and general neighborhood gathering spot. The list of musicians who have performed at his space over the years continues to grow, but it includes among its ranks Greg Ginn of legendary punk rock band Black Flag. A Mexican immigrant of about 50 years old, Claudin’s personality stands out as much as his vibrant
space, which is painted bright red and green and stocked with his paintings of luchadores, the colorfully masked Mexican wrestlers. When he moved into the area, Claudin saw the Heartside neighborhood as the city’s version of Bohemia, as long as he and his neighbors looked past the many people who used their doorways as a bathroom. “(I wanted to) do something exciting that no one else was doing,” Claudin said of his attraction to the neighborhood, which was largely populated by punks at the time. “There was nothing shocking there.”
“Once the poop is scooped, I’m worried that my ass will be out. When the danger is gone, the people who beautified (the street) will be gone.” — Hugo Claudin
These days, the punks have been replaced by towering construction cranes and new building projects. Just three blocks from Claudin’s space, one such crane hovers over a $40 million, 12-story tower that’s being built at 20 East Fulton St. The mixed-used building will offer ground-floor retail, parking and 110 new housing units, a mix of market-rate and incomerestricted apartments.
The project’s owner, Brookstone Capital LLC, along with its affiliate property management arm Live Downtown Grand Rapids LLC, have developed approximately half a dozen mixed-income apartment projects in and around the Heartside neighborhood. Now, Claudin believes it’s only a matter of time until the moneyed interests make their way to the stretch he calls both work and home. When that happens, Claudin says he’s positive rents will rise and he and other nearby artists will have to start over somewhere else. “Once the poop is scooped, I’m worried that my ass will be out,” Claudin said. “When the danger is gone, the people who beautified (the street) will be gone.” The issue of rents has taken center stage in the commercial real estate conversation in downtown Grand Rapids this year. Newly built one-bedroom apartments typically rent for upwards of $1,200 per month, while the costs for existing stock range from $900 per month or more. Commercial real estate developers in the area say that the best way to keep rents for artists and other residents from going higher is to invest in new product. “I have to think (new investment is) a good thing,” said Mike VanGessel, president and CEO of Rockford Construction Company Inc., a Grand Rapids-based building and development firm that’s currently investing mil-
lions in projects on the city’s West Side. “I believe that because I think if there’s one thing that will drive up the price of housing, it will be the lack of product.”
ARTS BRING THE ‘COOL’ FACTOR
Much of the available artist space in the present-day Heartside neighborhood came out of the now-defunct “Cool Cities” initiative unveiled by former Democratic Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm, who identified the area as worthy of the designation and paved the way to building subsidized live-work units. The program highlighted more than 30 attributes that led to “cool cities,” including safe and walkable streets, affordability and access to a variety of jobs. Much of the program stemmed from the work and ideas of author and economist Dr. Richard Florida, who has written significantly about the so-called “creative class.” Florida’s work essentially hypothesizes that if cities invest in the infrastructure believed to be of interest to artists and those in related fields, they’ll experience greater economic returns. “The way the state was funding things at that point, they didn’t have a lot of money allocated directly for arts-related funding, but they did a lot of infrastructure improvements in cities to create their term, ‘cool places,’” said Jenn Schaub, neighborhood revitalization specialist at Dwelling Place. “And now we hear the same sort of
Crowds gather at ArtPrize. courtesy photo
ideas around ideas of ‘placemaking.’ It was kind of the idea for placemaking.” A nonprofit development firm headquartered in the Heartside neighborhood, Dwelling Place built and maintains many of the live-work spaces for artists and others along the corridor. The organization was among the groups that helped spawn a creative renaissance of sorts along Division Avenue on the south end of downtown Grand Rapids. In the city’s history, the corridor has changed and shifted with the local economy. While it was once a key retail des-
tination for the city, it slipped into decay with multiple boarded-up and vacant buildings after decades of disinvestment. South Division became the place where the sex workers, homeless and other down-on-their-luck individuals lived, hung out and conducted their business. Today, the area might best be described as stuck somewhere between the glitz of its former retail glory days and the gritty skid row it became at its nadir. Although it still has the homeless shelters and soup kitchens, the area See ARTISTS page 6A
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[FEATURE] ARTISTS from page 5A serves as a haven for artists who’ve been attracted by the cheap rents and the plentiful spaces. The area has stayed cheap because despite many improvements, the stretch of South Division still struggles to attract many retail tenants. Still, that hasn’t stopped developer Robert Dykstra from trying. Dykstra is a principal with Harris Lofts LLC, the investment group that redeveloped the eponymous building at 111 South Division Ave. into a mixeduse facility targeted at artists, musicians and startup technology firms. The developer invested more than $4 million into renovating the facility, he said. The building operates on a membership model and offers meeting and event space, art galleries, cultural events and education in areas such as cooking and art. “We’re bullish on the area,” Dykstra said, adding that it was the focus on arts and the opportunity for eclectic retail that initially led him to purchase the property eight years ago. “This is potentially one of the better retail corridors in Grand Rapids. You need more good retail to move in.” While investors like Dykstra see a large upside in making the area geared toward retail and commercial uses, Dwelling Place’s Schaub says the socalled “Avenue of the Arts” should offer a bit of everything. The Heartside neighborhood, she contends, is not exclusive to artists, retailers, residents or homeless people. “I think ultimately, as we move forward, that’s what we need to keep in mind,” Schaub said. “It’s a space for a variety of different organizations. Hopefully, as a community, we’re mindful of creating a space where everyone can be successful.”
artist and photographer involved with Tanglefoot, a studio on Grand Rapids’ southwest side. “The artists, we know from history, are the ones who go (into a neighborhood) first. But from the artist’s perspective, we don’t ever go in with the amount of money to ever make any kind of impact on the neighborhood where we begin to see displacement. “It’s what follows — that’s where displacement begins to happen.” Put simply, artists tend to locate their workspaces — and in many cases, their living spaces — in more affordable gritty urban areas or former industrial sites. As more artists move in, so do the restaurants and galleries, and the prices eventually go up, driving out the long-time residents along with the artists. Independent journalist Peter Moskowitz wrote a story for Vice in 2015 looking at how a similar dynamic is playing out in New York City. One of Moskowitz’s sources noted that because the term “artist” is so broad and can represent such a wide variety of class statuses, there’s some hope for the future. “The changes in neighborhoods in terms of raising cost of living, raising rent, fewer opportunities for people of working class backgrounds to be able to have mobility, have been taking place in America for a long time,” New York Citybased artist and curator David Kenny said for the report. “And people still make art.
Hugo Claudin at his studio. Photo by Katy Batdorff
When they’re left alone, art spaces also impact the cultural fabric of the community, according to fellow artist Claudin. The trick is getting local government to step back and allow the arts to function on their own, without the constant threat of code violations, permits or costly fines, he said. Multiple sources contacted for this report noted that Grand Rapids authorities frequently target arts and music venues for fire and zoning codes and noise violations. As a result, establishments ranging from grungy coffee shops to houses hosting live music to sprawling former industrial complexes have come and gone for a multitude of reasons over the last 20 years. For Allen, the more the city tries to crack down on anything outside of the regularly accepted cultural arts environment, the more it will hurt itself in the long run. That’s because young creatives — the people the city is trying to lure in — will
“It’s not enough to have a symphony or a ballet here — those are more formalized, structured institutions. What we need is vibrant counterculture because the people we’re looking to attract here, (what) they crave is that counterculture experience in their city.” —Tommy Allen
A QUESTION OF DISPLACEMENT
As Grand Rapids continues to struggle with a lack of available housing, developers will push the boundaries of traditional neighborhoods to more places in the city. As they move into those new areas, build new buildings or rehab existing ones, they can breathe new life into neglected corners of the city where artists have long operated in spacious studios with cheap rents. But in so doing, the rising tide of development can also make it difficult for many of those artists to remain in their spaces. It’s an example of the classic push-pull relationship between the arts and gentrification. “Artists have always had to take on questionable spaces,” said Allen, a local
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People will figure out a way.” In assessing the current situation in Grand Rapids, Allen says the existing landscape largely comes from the culmination of work over two to three decades aimed at changing the culture in the West Michigan area to something more in line with a big-city mentality. “All of our places have been the product of sweat equity,” Allen said, noting that as artists move to an area, they tend to build upon others’ work and eventually grow it. “Once that’s done, you begin to focus on your business model. … These art spaces are not only places we can incubate our businesses, but we begin to impact policy in the community.”
head somewhere else if those authentic experiences aren’t available. “It’s not enough to have a symphony or a ballet here — those are more formalized, structured institutions. What we need is vibrant counterculture because the people we’re looking to attract here, (what) they crave is that counterculture experience in their city. Every city has one,” Allen said. “And every city tries to squash it at some capacity. … We’re in an area where we don’t have as much area to squash and expect it to bounce back. I think it would just bounce out of the area, to be honest.” Claudin notes that the constant targeting of anything perceived as “counterculture” is at least partially built into Grand
Rapids’ ever-present conservative culture. “If the authorities think there’s too much going on, they investigate,” Claudin said. “I don’t know, I think that’s a Calvinist thing.”
WANTED: ART BUYERS
While gentrification and economic pressures may be new, many West Michigan artists point to a longstanding lack of art buyers as another pressure point. Despite the number of galleries for artists to display and sell their work, the city isn’t known for its art collectors, an issue Claudin and Allen, both of whom are artists, noted in separate conversations recently. Indeed, artists interviewed by Revue have cited that challenge for years. “There is a pretty widespread consensus among most artists in GR that there aren’t enough active collectors in town,” painter Loralee Grace told Revue for a report last month. “Especially if the artwork is a bit out of the box or not obviously Michigan-related — or even if it is, but with a unique twist — there seems to be hardly any demand for it. By investing in original artwork, you support the creative culture of your community. We need more of that mindset here in GR.” Faced with a lack of local collectors, artists often have to fall back on the region’s strong job market just to make ends meet. Grace, a painter, left the area to travel for professional and personal reasons shortly after speaking with Revue last month. Artist Allen quoted elsewhere in this report also serves as the publisher of Rapid Growth Media, an online publication. “Like many other cities, making a living as an artist in Grand Rapids is difficult,” illustrator and painter Ryan Brady told Revue last year. “Most of my friends, including myself, work full- or part-time jobs to support themselves and do artwork on the side.”
NAVIGATING THE BUREAUCRACY
While selling art definitely helps to bolster an artist’s income, many organizations also step up and offer widespread institutional support for the arts. Groups like the Ford Foundation headquartered in New York City and the Flintbased Charles Stewart Mott Foundation are known for their significant grants to cultural arts.
Moreover, the state and federal government, nonprofit groups like ArtPrize and educational institutions like Kendall College of Art Design at Ferris State University offer myriad services and grants aimed at bolstering the arts and supporting local artists. But for artists who are also small business owners, working through the bureaucratic process to obtain grants and other funding can be an onerous undertaking. “Artists on South Division are worried about piss on their door,” Claudin said. “There’s no time for grants.” Claudin says he’s concerned that the major arts groups like Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park and the Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts (UICA) already have a leg up when it comes to the kinds of large-scale funding needed to make an organization sustainable in the long term. And while consumers attend the cocktail parties and gallery galas, artists say they often don’t witness the input that goes into making that happen. “Lots of people see the glamorous life of artists,” Claudin said. “But they don’t see the struggle for funds.”
OVERSHADOWED BY THE BEHEMOTH
Despite all the attention ArtPrize brings to Grand Rapids art and the millions in prizes it has awarded in its eight years in opera-
tion, most Grand Rapids artists say they don’t benefit from the annual competition. At this point, criticism of ArtPrize — whether legitimate or not — has become basically a cottage industry. Artist Claudin notes that the majority of ArtPrize winners hail from outside of Grand Rapids, meaning the funds generally leave the area. To date, only one person from Grand Rapids was awarded the competition’s grand prize. Meanwhile, other artists contend the event has vastly overshadowed what was already a successful artistic community in the city.
Allen says an arts competition with $50,000 in prize money or the existing Grand Rapids Festival of the Arts cannot compete with the kind of buzz that ArtPrize has generated. “It was all about being bold,” Allen said. Even many downtown office denizens say they try to avoid the event and the thousands of tourists it attracts, all of which makes everyday activities in downtown Grand Rapids all the more challenging. Based on a number of casual conversations, some downtown workers even have decided to get out of town on vacation during one of the weeks of ArtPrize.
“There is a pretty widespread consensus among most artists in GR that there aren’t enough active collectors in town ... especially if the artwork is a bit out of the box or not obviously Michigan-related.” —Loralee Grace
“We couldn’t have had ArtPrize, honestly, if we didn’t have a thriving arts culture,” said Allen, the long-time Grand Rapids artist and writer. “I have no beef with ArtPrize whatsoever, but it’s like they found a way to co-opt something and make it work.”
Christian Gaines, the executive director of ArtPrize, welcomes the notion that the event has become so big that locals are choosing to opt out. In fact, he says that’s an indicator that the event is drawing crowds akin to South
By Southwest in Austin, Texas or major global film festivals. “It’s one of those rites of passage for a local person — they clear the hell out,” said Gaines, who has a background running film festivals. “To me, that’s sort of an indicator of a successful event, if that’s what it’s inspiring and it’s having that impact.” Gaines takes all the criticism in stride, however. “We don’t expect everyone to go along with us,” he said. “And it’s not surprising. If you think about these big signature events … they create these massive blankets. And those involved in the arts, some people don’t want to be under the blanket. That’s understandable. … Art isn’t supposed to be a safe space.” Even for all of the criticism about ArtPrize, many said it’s had a positive impact as far as enabling a broader conversation about how art can impact a community. In fact, that larger discussion has created a disruptive environment and allowed for the general population to see what artists lend to a community, Allen said. “If we’re talking about disruption, then let’s talk about disruption this way,” Allen said. “Artists have been there for the community for 30 or 40 years, and it might be time for the community to be there for them in the future.” ■
REVUEWM.COM | OCTOBER 2016 |
Grand Valley State University’s New Music Ensemble commissioned a series of pieces about and inspired by National Parks. courtesy photo
Music, Naturally GVSU’s New Music Ensemble Celebrates the Wilderness with National Parks Tour By Samara Napolitan
When patrons visit National Parks, they expect to hear the wild sounds of nature — the wolves howling, geysers churning and insects humming, but perhaps not plucked spines of an amplified cactus. For the nationally recognized New Music Ensemble at Grand Valley State University, the possibilities of contemporary music are endless. Comprised of the school’s top undergraduate instrumentalists, the group connects diverse audiences to an ever-evolving art form through unconventional performances and projects. As they focus on music created in the past 20 years, they aim to challenge the very notion of what music is and can be. “If students don’t have an open mind when they join the group, they certainly will after they’ve spent time with us,” said
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Bill Ryan, the director who founded the group in 2006. Their ongoing National Parks project is one such musical adventure. An outdoors enthusiast, Ryan aimed to employ contemporary composers and support the environment when he first arranged the project in 2014. That year, the New Music Ensemble commissioned composers to write pieces about and inspired by National Parks, then toured each park to perform the works. The group commissioned eight new works for the National Parks System’s centennial celebration this past summer. With support from a National Endowment for the Arts grant award — the university’s first — the group traveled to the Badlands, Wind Cave, Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks. A selection of these pieces will be performed by the group at its fall concert on Nov. 4. “All the audiences were very interested in the music performed,” said Hannah Donnelly, a member of the New Music Ensemble. “Some people commented on how the music we played was reflective of their own experiences in the parks. It was very rewarding to hear that what we were doing as a group was reaching
the audiences.” Each composer in the National Parks project took a different approach to the assignment. Paula Matthusen, composer of “on the analogical understandings of space,” traveled to Wind Cave National Park, captured the sounds of caves and incorporated the recordings into her piece. Phil Kline’s “Dawn Chorus” used recordings from the Western Meadowlark, a common bird found in Badlands National Park. “Vixen” by Alexandra Gardner imitates the eruption rhythms of a geyser. Other pieces are a meditation on time and space, commenting on the soundscapes of the nation’s treasured wilderness. David Biedenbender, the rising Michigan-based composer of the
“Red Vesper,” asked the ensemble to hike through the park, recording natural sounds. When performed, the recorded sounds blend together with the live sounds surrounding the players and the audience. There are 59 National Parks in the United States. With nine parks down, the New Music Ensemble still has 50 to go. Ryan said he’s already working on commissions for a 2018 tour. He hopes to take the project to every National Park — a task that grows easier as the network of composers, park rangers and supporters grows. “I don’t know if I will be working long enough for us to visit all 59, but it is a secret dream of mine,” Ryan said. ■
New Music Ensemble Fall Concert
Nov. 4, 7:30 p.m. GVSU Performing Arts Center, Large Dance Studio 1300 Performing Arts Center, Allendale Free newmusicensemble.org
Local composer discusses the inspiration for his “Madame Bovary” concerto A Q&A with Alexander Miller It depends on who you ask, but Gustave Flaubert’s literary masterpiece “Madame Bovary” is about either a hapless dreamer or an adulterous drama queen. Alexander Miller, the Grand Rapids Symphony’s assistant principal oboist and unofficial composer-in-residence, has his own interpretation. Miller wrote his “Madame Bovary” concerto for longtime friend and principal cellist Alicia Eppinga in 2013. The Holland Symphony Orchestra will present the piece as part of its Oct. 29 program featuring Eppinga. Revue talked with Miller about the universal themes that spark his creative process and the sequence of opportunities that led to the work’s creation.
You never pursued formal training as a composer. How did you build your career in composition? I’d love to say that I had a bigger master plan, but it really came from taking advantage of every opportunity and delivering a great piece every time. I started composing in high school, but it wasn’t until my last two years studying at Juilliard that I thought I might stack up against ‘real composers.’
When did you take the leap and start composing professionally? After I got my current job as assistant principal oboe with the Grand Rapids Symphony, I was talking with [Associate Conductor] John Varineau during a long bus ride to an out-of-town concert. He suggested that I write a piece for an upcoming series of high school concerts. The piece I ended up writing, “Karawitan,” was performed at 10 or so of our high school concerts. Catherine Comet, the GRS Music Director at the time, came up to me after one and said, ‘Ale, your piece was the best on the whole program. Well, except for the Beethoven.’ [Laughter] The opportunities kept coming after that.
Why a piece about “Madame Bovary?” It was really a confluence of events
that pulled the whole project together. When Alicia Eppinga was appointed principal cellist of the Grand Rapids Symphony, she wanted more than anything to premiere a brand new concerto. We started talking about the possibility of me writing it for her and, after the commission was negotiated with the Symphony, we got to work. Alexander Miller with Maestra Marin Alsop and the Cabrillo Festival Orchestra. Photo by r.r.jones
How did the character of Emma Bovary inspire you? What got me thinking about Madame Bovary was a piece by Richard Strauss, “Don Quixote.” Listening to it, you really feel like you’re being told a story. That concept really intrigued me. I thought that if Don Quixote is the male impossible dreamer of literature, then Madame Bovary must be the female equivalent. She’s always yearning for more and has an insatiable appetite for passion. The theme that runs through that novel — the idea of always wanting more — is one that everyone can relate to.
and made a mockup of a cello fingerboard so I could know what would feel natural to a cellist.
What are you working on now? The Grand Rapids Symphony will perform a piece of mine, “Scherzo Crypto,” with JoAnn Falletta conducting next March. I just finished a piece inspired by mid-20th century detective fiction called “Dark Mirror” for the Western Brass Quintet. They’ll premiere and record it sometime this concert sea-
Do you feel like there’s something about the sound of a cello that really fits the character of Madame Bovary?
son. Right now, I’m working on a commission from the River Oaks Chamber Orchestra in Houston, an adventurous group that commissions a new piece for every one of their concerts. They’re chomping at the bit to see what the next new thing is going to be in music. As a composer, it’s freeing when you know you can push the envelope and it will be well received. ■
— Interview conducted and condensed by Samara Napolitan
Theatre Kalamazoo is a nonprofit collaboration between the live theatre organizations in Kalamazoo, Michigan. We take great pride in promoting the diversity and richness of theatre in Kalamazoo and foster a spirit of cooperation and support among this strong and talented community.
Definitely. Any other instrument wouldn’t work quite as well. Alicia’s playing, too. She can play a single note and it already sounds like music. It has a yearning quality to it that is so natural and perfect for “Madame Bovary.”
As an oboist, what is it like writing a piece for an instrument that is not your own? It’s hard! I did an awful lot of technical research for this piece. I had weekly meetings with Alicia where I would show her everything I had written. I even watched her finger positioning
Classics II: Virtuoso Cello
Oct. 29, 7:30 p.m. Jack H. Miller Center for Musical Arts at Hope College, 221 Columbia Ave., Holland $5-20 hollandsymphony.org, (616) 796-6780
P L AY I N G T H I S M O N T H : BABY WITH THE BATHWATER Sept 23 – Oct 8
Sept 23 – Oct 9
DIRTY DANCING – THE CLASSIC STORY ON STAGE Sept 30 – Oct 2
Sept 30 – Oct 16
ROMEO AND JULIET
THE BOOK OF MORMON
MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING
MARCH OF THE FALSETTOS
Oct 7 – Oct 16
Oct 7 – Oct 22
Oct 7 – Oct 29
PEPPA PIG LIVE! Oct 12
Oct 18 – Oct 23 Oct 20 – Oct 30
EMERGENCY Oct 22
Oct 28 – Oct 30
THE FOREIGNER Oct 28 – Nov 6
Check out what’s happening on the many stages of Kalamazoo!
REVUEWM.COM | OCTOBER 2016 |
Passing the Baton Raymond Harvey to retire from the Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra Interview conducted and condensed by Josh Veal
Raymond Harvey has led the Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra for 18 years, but at the end of the 20162017 season, someone else will take the stand.
However, Harvey won’t exactly be resting on his laurels. He’s already spent the last two years simultaneously directing the Kalamazoo orchestra and acting as the associate professor and music director for the Moores Opera Center at the University of Houston. Now, he’s decided to shift his focus entirely to Houston. In the coming season, the orchestra is planning some special events to celebrate Harvey’s 18-year legacy and say goodbye. Revue will also be following up in spring, looking back on all those years. For now, we talked to Harvey about what this decision means to him, the orchestra, and Houston.
Raymond Harvey, music director at the Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra. courtesy photo
Why did you decide to take on this role? People that know me well, know that I’ve always been a born teacher. They also know I’ve had a long love of opera my whole life. So when this opportunity came along to be at a university and head an opera program, it was a perfect fit for me. It was unexpected, and just an ideal situation, so I couldn’t say no.
You’ve balanced the roles in Kalamazoo and Houston for the last two years. Why leave the symphony now? They are each very, very much a fulltime job. It’s a lot of work and they’re 1,200 miles apart. I had hoped that I’d be able to keep up this crazy schedule to the symphony’s 100th anniversary, but that’s still another four years away. And I’m afraid that by that time, I would probably kill myself. It was a hard decision, I love the symphony and I’ve been there for 18 years. It’s a really great organization.
How did they take the news? We had a lot of emotional moments and some tears and shock, but they’ve been nice enough to offer me music director emeritus, so I will still have a presence there coming back once a year to give a concert. That’s really very special.
Is this in any way an unusual move? I’m retirement age. One doesn’t usually start a brand new full-time job at retirement. Most of my friends are looking at me as though I’m crazy, that I’m doing all this work when they themselves have retired. That’s what I meant.
What kind of work does the Moores Opera Center do? They put on four fully-staged opera productions a year, with multiple performances. The students who sing in these performances are not only undergrads, but also masters and doctorate stu-
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dents. So we’ve got singers with some real ability. Some of them, I know, have the opportunity to go on to a major career if the stars align. It’s a beautiful opera house that we perform in that was built about 20 years ago, right on the campus. It can hold 75 or 80 musicians.
How has this decision impacted you personally? Well, it’s sad. Whenever you’re coming to the end of something, you have that awful feeling that everything you do, it’s the last time you’re doing that. Even the fact that last week, we had a great opening concert, and I realized, ‘That’s the last time that I’ll open the season.’
Will this affect the coming season at all? Someone did ask me if I had particularly programmed my favorite music for this being the last season. And I said, ‘Well, no.’ When this season was programmed, which was more than a year and a half ago, at that point, this was not something we were considering. So this decision has come up much more recently. The ironic thing about that, though, is that the last classical concert of this season in May is an opera. We’re doing Mozart’s Don Giovanni. That’s kind of an interesting way to close my tenure here.
What’s most important to you, going forward? As a musician, of course, this has been my whole life. Any musician can still remember back to the time when you were a little kid and you fell in love with music. I’ve been extremely thankful to have had such a wonderful career and such a long career. I think as I go forward, I want to make sure that I’m still enjoying my love of music, getting the most out of it that I can and giving the most of myself in the cause of music, and doing so in a way that for me can be nurturing and comfortable and maybe a little less stressful. ■
Sorry, no Halloween-themed performances this month. But there are plenty of other sights to see and sounds to hear, ranging from jazz pianists to opera singers to even more pianists, and one performance that’s a great excuse to bring the kids along. by Dana Casadei Fontana Chamber Arts 359 S. Kalamazoo Mall Ste. 200, Kalamazoo fontanachamberarts.org, (269) 382-7774
Bertrand Chamayou Oct. 1, 7:30 p.m., $30 The French pianist is bringing his well-known elegance and style to Fontana Chamber Arts this month. Chamayou has performed in venues all over the world, including Paris’ Théâtre des Champs Elysées, New York’s Lincoln Center, Munich’s Herkulessaal and London’s Wigmore Hall. Fancy! And skilled.
Stephanie Blythe Oct. 28, 7:30 p.m., $25-$35 Called a “once-in-a-generation opera singer” by The New York Times, mezzo-soprano Stephanie Blythe is performing a variety of classic American songs during her show Sing America!. But this isn’t any old opera show — audience participation encouraged. If that’s not your thing, just try to avoid anyone who looks a little too eager to join in.
The Gilmore 359 S. Kalamazoo Mall Ste. 101, Kalamazoo thegilmore.org, (269) 342-1166
The Classical Coffee Concert Oct. 21, 10 a.m., $16 The Porter Hills Coffee Classics series kicks off this month, focusing on Mozart. The concert includes the Austrian director’s 23rd and 35th symphony and his 2nd Horn Concerto, featuring GRS hornists Richard Britsch and Erich Peterson. There’s also free coffee and doughnuts before the performance, starting at 9 a.m. You know you love free doughnuts.
The Classical Concert: Mostly Mozart Oct. 21, 8 p.m., $26-$34 More Mozart! If you didn’t get Mozart-ed out from the morning show, return to St. Cecilia Music Center in the evening for a concert featuring, well, mostly Mozart. But Boccherini and Haydn will be in there too. On stage, Israeli cellist Daniel Haas, winner of the 2016 Stuhlberg International String Competition in Kalamazoo, is making a guest appearance.
Dreamworks Animation in Concert Oct. 22, 8 p.m., $18+ If you have kids that love Shrek but think classical music is lame, this should change their minds. While projecting clips from Dreamworks flicks on the big screen, like How to Train Your Dragon and Kung Fu Panda, the GRS is performing the original scores, celebrating more than 20 years of animated films.
Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto Emmet Cohen Oct. 16, 4 p.m., $35 Emmet Cohen will continue The Gilmore’s tradition of showcasing up-and-coming pianists. Cohen, a jazz pianist, is also performing with his trio, including bassist Russell Hall and drummer Kyle Poole.
Grand Rapids Symphony 300 Ottawa Ave. NW Ste. 100, Grand Rapids grsymphony.org, (616) 454-9451
Rachmaninoff’s Paganini Variations Oct. 7-8, 8 p.m., $18+ Do you geek out over Sergei Rachmaninoff? If so, you should probably get to the Grand Rapids Symphony this month. Four of the most important works of four different directors, each considered landmarks in their respective careers, will be performed by the symphony and pianist Joyce Yang. Along with Rachmaninoff is Dvořàk, Smetana and Lutoslawski. Perry So is the evening’s guest conductor.
Oct. 28-29, 8 p.m., $18+ For his first official show as the new music director, Marcelo Lehninger is conducting the symphony and guest violinist Phillipe Quint. The evening includes pieces by two of the most well-known Russian composers ever: Tchaikovsky and Rachmaninoff. Kicking the night off is Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto, followed by Rachmaninoff’s Symphony No. 2.
Hope College Great Performance Series 141 E. 12th St., Holland hope.edu/arts/great-performance-series (616) 395-7222
Trio Con Brio Copenhagen Oct. 14, 7:30 p.m., $20 Trio Con Brio Copenhagen combines violin, cello and piano across performances, and has won most of the international competitions for piano trios around the world. Members include Korean sisters Soo-Jin and Soo-Kyung Hong, and Danish pianist Jens Elvekjaer. Fun fact: Elvekjaer is married to Soo-Kyung Hong. Good to see in-laws can get along.
Joyce Yang. Photo by KT Kim
Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra 359 Kalamazoo Mall Ste. 100, Kalamazoo kalamazoosymphony.com, (269) 349-7759
The World Of Rossini Oct. 9, 3 p.m., $30 Be careful: If you have a case of wanderlust, this performance might just push you to book a flight for Italy. Every season, Kalamazoo’s maestro, Raymond Harvey, takes a look at the lives of a few of history’s most influential composers with pieces that explore their lives, influences and inspirations. The World of Rossini focuses on the life and work of Italian composer Gioachino Rossini. Harvey is serving as the show’s conductor and mezzo-soprano Nicole Woodward is lined up as a featured artist.
Barber and Bartók Oct. 29, 8 p.m., $12-$60 As part of Kalamazoo’s Symphonic series, Barber and Bartók’s name pretty much speaks for itself. Violinist Liza Ferschtman is taking on Barber’s violin concerto, while guest conductor Stilian Kirov mans the baton. Ferschtman is a 2006 recipient of the Dutch Music Prize, the highest accolade awarded to a musician in the Netherlands.
University Musical Society 881 N. University Ave., Ann Arbor ums.org, (734) 764-2538
Beethoven Quartet Cycle by the Takács Quartet Oct. 8-9, 8 p.m. & 4 p.m., $28+ Over the course of six shows throughout the season, the Takács Quartet is attempting something only two other ensembles have done in UMS history: perform Beethoven’s string-quartet cycle in its entirety over one season. With the cycle approaching nine hours of music, the quartet clearly has some big Beethoven fans. The last time this was done was in 1977 by the Guarneri String Quartet. There is also a pre-performance talk on Oct. 8, exploring Beethoven’s string quartets with Steven Whiting.
Denis Matsuev Oct. 16, 4 p.m., $12+ Opening the 138th UMS Choral Union Series is Russian pianist Denis Matsuev. This is the musical virtuoso’s fifth appearance and second recital at UMS. The afternoon’s program includes Beethoven and Tchaikovsky, among other equally famous composers. ■
REVUEWM.COM | OCTOBER 2016 |
preview There are more than enough productions to keep West Michigan stages warm in October, with two Shakespeare classics, a musical about the Declaration of Independence, another based on a Green Day album, and so many more. by Dana Casadei
Dirty Dancing Courtesy Photo
Farmers Alley Theatre 221 Farmers Alley, Kalamazoo farmersalleytheatre.com (269) 343-2727
Kalamazoo’s Civic Theatre 329 S. Park St., Kalamazoo kazoocivic.com (269) 343-1313
Through Oct. 16, times vary, $35
Through Oct. 9, 2 p.m. & 7:30 p.m., $25
Before the story of Alexander Hamilton took Broadway by storm, there was already another hit musical about the Founding Fathers: 1776. Opening the Farmers Alley’s ninth season, this Tony-award-winning musical is all about a room where some kind of important stuff happened, like, you know, the signing of the Declaration of Independence.
With an iconic Rodgers and Hammerstein score, Oklahoma! takes viewers back to the Indian Territory at the turn of the century. Cowboy Curley McLain (yes, his first name is really Curley) competes with mysterious farmhand Jud Fry for the love of Laurey Williams. There are also rivalries between farmers and cowboys, who fight over fences and water rights.
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Much Ado About Nothing Oct. 7-22, 2 p.m. & 7:30 p.m., $25
This Shakespearean farce revolves around two couples: Claudio and Hero and Beatrice and Benedick. Beatrice and Benedick claim to hate each other, but their friends Claudio and Hero can see that isn’t true, working to help the oblivious duo realize their love for each other.
The Pirates of Penzance: In Concert Oct. 28-30, 2 p.m. & 7:30 p.m., $25
Frederic is about to turn 21 and leave his apprenticeship with a group of kind-hearted pirates. Tiny problem though: Frederic was actually born on February 29, so he isn’t really 21, and thus must continue his
apprenticeship. The opera, which premiered in 1879, will be presented by the Civic’s Senior Class Reader’s Theatre, which was designed to meet the needs of actors 50 and older. The production is presented as “reader’s theater,” so lines and lyrics are learned, but not memorized.
Miller Auditorium 2200 Auditorium Dr., Kalamazoo millerauditorium.com (800) 228-9858
Dirty Dancing Through Oct. 2, times vary, $48–$78
Adapted from the Patrick Swayze and
“The Book of Mormon” 4
Book of Mormon Miller Auditorium 1903 W. Michigan Ave., Kalamazoo Oct. 18-23 $53-$128 millerauditorium.com, (269) 387-2300
A religious satire musical that has received rave reviews from the New York Times and the Washington Post is making its way to Kalamazoo. The nine-time Tony Award-winning best musical is the work of South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone, along with Robert Lopez. Parker and Stone co-created the music with Lopez, the co-composer/co-lyricist of Avenue Q and, subsequently, Frozen. The Book of Mormon follows two Mormon missionaries as they attempt to share their scriptures with the inhabitants of a remote Ugandan village. The earnest young men are challenged by the lack of interest of the locals, who are preoccupied with more pressing troubles such as AIDS, famine and oppression from a warlord. In 2003, the trio began developing the musical, meeting sporadically for several years after Parker and Stone saw Avenue Q. Parker and Stone grew up in Colorado, and references to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints had been commonplace in their previous works. For research, the trio took a trip to Salt Lake City to meet with current and former Mormon missionaries. Beginning in 2008, they staged developmental workshops. The show’s producer, Scott Rudin, opted to open the show directly on Broadway. — Reported by Jane Simons
Jennifer Grey film of the same name, this musical follows Baby and Johnny, two kids from very opposite sides of the tracks falling in love in the summer of 1963. Featuring hit songs from the movie like “Do You Love Me?” and “(I’ve Had) The Time of My Life,” the show will have you dancing in your seat. It might even inspire you to perform that famous lift too (but wait until the show’s over).
WMU Theatre 1903 W. Michigan Ave., Kalamazoo wmich.edu/theatre (269) 387-3227
Baby with the Bathwater Through Oct. 8, 2 p.m. & 7:30 p.m., $20
This Christopher Durang play follows two parents who are clearly not ready for the child they just brought into this world. They can’t agree on parenting styles or even a name. The satirical comedy explores that baby’s journey into adulthood and the crazy journey that is parenthood.
Romeo and Juliet Oct. 7-16. 2 p.m. & 7:30 p.m., $20
Watch the Montagues fight with the Capulets while their children, Romeo and Juliet, fall in love. The tale of star-crossed lovers is one of Shakespeare’s most well-known tragedies and this production will be presented in period style. Being a teenager in love is really hard.
The Foreigner Oct. 28-Nov. 6, 2 p.m. & 7:30 p.m., $20
Charlie Baker, a very shy man, has been persuaded by his friend to pretend to be from a very exotic country (where no one speaks English) while staying at a fishing lodge in rural Georgia. As Charlie continues the act, he discovers much more about his fellow lodge guests than they, or he, would probably like.
Queer Theatre Kalamazoo 1249 Portage Rd, Kalamazoo qtkalamazoo.com, (269) 929-6781
March of the Falsettos Oct. 21-23 & 27-29, 2 p.m. & 7:30 p.m., $15
The sequel to William Finn’s 1979 musical In Trousers continues the story of Marvin, a man trying to figure out exactly what he wants and how to have a “happily ever after.” Marvin has just left his wife Trina for his male lover, Whizzer, and is determined to have a tight-knit family that involves his son Jason. Things get more complex, however, when Marvin’s ex-wife becomes involved with psychiatrist Mendel. Opera Grand Rapids 1320 E. Fulton St., Grand Rapids operagr.org, (616) 451-2741
sical centers on three disaffected young men, Johnny, Will and Tunny, as they try to find meaning in their lives. Don’t be afraid to break out your eyeliner and leather jacket. Grand Rapids Civic Theatre 30 N. Division Ave., Grand Rapids grct.org, (616) 222-6650
Holes Oct. 21-30, 2 p.m. & 7:30 p.m., $10-$16
Remember when Shia LaBeouf was pri-
marily acting and not wearing a paper bag over his head or arranging for skywriting over Los Angeles? Well, during that time he made the film Holes, which is what this play is based on. Stanley Yelnats’ family is cursed and he finds himself shipped off to Camp Green Lake for a crime he didn’t commit. During his time there, the Warden has campers digging holes to “build character,” but Stanley soon finds out there’s much more to Camp Green Lake than meets the eye. Maybe he’ll find LaBeouf’s acting career. ■
GRAND VALLEY SHAKESPEARE FESTIVAL AND THEATRE AT GRAND VALLEY PRESENTS
h a ke s p e a r
María de Buenos Aires Oct. 14-15, 7:30 p.m., $40+
Set to the backdrop of Argentine dance, María de Buenos Aires follows its heroine, Maria, as she embodies tango and the city itself in a dreamlike fashion. The genre-bending tango opera combines poetry and music, all in a milonga-inspired setting. FYI: Milonga means a place or event where tango is danced. Knowledge is power!
Actors’ Theatre of Grand Rapids 160 Fountain St. NE, Grand Rapids actorstheatregrandrapids.org (616) 234-3946
American Idiot Oct. 27-Nov. 12, 8 p.m., $28
Get back to your punk-rock days with this musical, expanded from the Green Day album of the same name. The mu-
Ellis by Roger Directed
SEP 30 – OCT 9 gvsu.edu/theatre or (616) 331-2300 Tickets also available at .com, (616) 222-4000, or (800) 585-3737.
REVUEWM.COM | OCTOBER 2016 |
Phillips brings humor, passion to community theater as a playwright By Kayla Tucker
To playwright Scott Phillips, life is meant to be funny, even when it doesn’t seem like it. The Cedar Springs resident spends his free time volunteering with the Cedar Springs Community Players as a writer, director and occasional actor. All of his productions invoke the everyday humor in life’s crazy moments, like the extended stay of a mother-in-law, the
munity Players, a nonprofit group that performs at the Kent Theatre in downtown Cedar Springs. Phillips has managed to get the whole family involved right alongside him. His sister, musician Jill Phillips — or “Jill Detroit” — writes all the original music for her brother’s musicals. “He’s just got this curiosity about him,” Jill Phillips said of her brother. “He puts things together in a really unique way. … It’s just been great to watch.” Phillips’ wife, Danielle, and two sons, Zachary and Wyatt, have also jumped on stage from time to time. During a recent play, she stepped up
“I love getting people involved in things that they develop a passion for. I know what I like isn’t what everybody else likes, but I like to invite people in and say, ‘Hey, try this out.’” — Scott Phillips, playwright doldrums of retirement and the misplaced emphasis of weddings. “I’m a very sarcastic person,” Phillips said. “I love to laugh, and I think I bug people sometimes because I make fun of everything.” The draw to the stage started in 2006 when a friend called him up and asked him if he wanted to be in a play. “I said, ‘OK, sounds all right.’ And I’ve never forgiven him,” Phillips said with a laugh. “He got me hooked. … To bring enjoyment to somebody, it’s probably one of the biggest thrills of my life.” Since then, Phillips, 57, has produced, written and directed nine plays and five musicals with the Cedar Springs Com-
Scott Phillips, 57 • Composer of nine plays and five musicals. Currently writing a new musical. • President of the Cedar Springs Community Players • Occupation: I.T. support at General Electric • Married (Danielle), two sons (Zachary, Wyatt)
Cedar Springs Community Players
Upcoming show: The Foreigner by Larry Shue Dates: Oct. 13-15, at the Kent Theatre cedarspringscommunityplayers.org or search Cedar Springs Community Players on Facebook photo by kayla tucker
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to fill in for an actor who had to drop out of the production. “She is a natural actress — that I didn’t know,” Phillips said. “She came up there and she had to play ‘the stoner.’ It’s a fun role, but it’s not an easy role to play.” With both of his sons, Phillips was able to bond with them at a time most teenagers drift away from their parents. “If you can find a passion together, it’s a wonderful thing,” he said. Eldest son, Zachary, 25, now lives in Portland, Ore. and works for Dope Magazine. Four years ago, his youngest son, Wyatt, 16, died in a tragic car accident.
“He was a natural actor,” Phillips said of Wyatt’s on-stage abilities. “Parents will say that, but I’m saying that not as a parent, but as a director. Just the enjoyment he brought kind of drew me into theater.” As a director, Phillips enjoys watching volunteer actors become passionate about what they’re doing on stage. In his own productions, he encourages the actors to develop the characters he created in his pieces, and at the same time, develop themselves as actors. “I love getting people involved in things that they develop a passion for,” Phillips said. “I know what I like isn’t what everybody else likes, but I like to invite people in and say, ‘Hey, try this out.’” When he’s not at practice or writing, Phillips works in I.T. support for General Electric. He enjoys golfing, gardening, music and traveling. In all aspects of his life, it really all boils down to integrity and honesty for Phillips. “It’s important to me that you’re honest with yourself and with other people,” he said. “And sometimes, that’s not the easiest thing to do.”
And above all, he likes to find the laughs in the day-to-day grind. “When we don’t laugh at ourselves, we miss an opportunity to enjoy life,” Phillips said. As for the role and importance of community theater in that process, he considers it a place where people can address their fears. Most recently, Phillips was elected president of the Cedar Springs Community Players. The group performs three shows a year at Kent Theatre at 8 N. Main St. in downtown Cedar Springs. Currently, about 25 actors have joined as members of the community theater group, but people can act in the performances without a membership. As president, Phillips hopes to increase participation and even has ideas for “improv nights” just to get more people interested in local theater. “It’s wonderful to be a part of a group,” Phillips said. “It becomes a passion and an enjoyment of life.” Phillips’ tenth production, a musical about people with phobias and fears, is set to hit the stage in May 2017. ■
Timeline of Scott Phillips’ original productions • 2007 – Fish & Visitors: A mother-in-law comes to visit and then announces she is staying indefinitely. Her son-in-law, with the help of the neighbor, put together a scheme to shorten her stay. • 2008 – None Would Be Old: A man finally retires and no longer has to go to work every day. He is thrilled. His wife? Not so much, as she now has to endure his constant companionship. • 2009 – Paris on the Brain (musical): A young man returns from Paris and is soon followed by a woman who wants to be his bride. The problem is she is Muslim, which upsets the groom’s father, who is a minister. • 2010 – Hamlet & Eggs: A small town theater group tries to perform Shakespeare. After a failed attempt, they decide to perform it in a redneck style. • 2011 – Devil May Care (musical): A politician, missionary and others die in a shipwreck. The devil, tired of politicians in hell, puts a virus in heaven’s computers to send the politician to heaven and the missionary to hell. Chaos ensues. • 2012 – Thanks for All You Do: When a big company moves to acquire a smaller company, the employees revolt. • 2013 – Old Folks at Home (musical): A new resident reluctantly enters a nursing home. He encounters the bizarre personalities of the other residents (and staff) and soon fits right in. • 2014 – Fish & Visitors (redone) • 2015 – Wedded Abyss (musical): A look at how much attention we give to wedding preparation and how little attention we give to marriage preparation. • 2016 – A House Divided: An older mother wants her adult children to be one big happy family. The problem is they can’t stand one another. With the help of her grandchildren, she develops a plan to make her children get along.
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From the series, "Detroit Forsaken."
Chronicling Empires by Ameera Chaudhry
Ryan Spencer Reed just wants to change the world. In 2004, the Calvin College alum sparked a national conversation on the War in Darfur with his photography, taking the exhibit on a university tour across the U.S. Since then, he’s worked as a photojournalist around the world. One well-known project put the spotlight on Detroit and the rapid rise and fall of America’s industrial empire. Then in 2014, Reed’s exhibit Despite Similarities to Reality, This is a Work of Fiction was displayed Reed at the Grand Rapids Art Museum during ArtPrize, with 61 photos documenting two years of life with the Band of Brothers Army battalion in Afghanistan.
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Now, Reed is working with local artist Stephanie Sandberg and a team of others on Stories In Blue, an entry in this year’s ArtPrize. The piece, displayed at Crossroads Bible Church, combines photography, music, film and live theatrical performance to tell the untold story of human trafficking in West Michigan. Reed spoke with Revue about his projects and artistic process.
Some of your most notable work is from your time in Sudan. How did those exhibits influence the conversation on Darfur here? Within a couple of years touring those exhibits at universities, eight out of 10 of these college campuses had Darfur-specific student activism groups advancing incredibly powerful, tangible action points, like divesting university pension funds from the corporations that were essentially underwriting genocide in Sudan through their business dealings with the Sudanese government. I can tell you, without a shadow of a doubt, that South
Sudan, the newest nation on the planet, exists because of college kids in this country.
How has the experience impacted you personally? My life since has been focused on recreating that kind of confluence of bizarre events and experiences to have that kind of effect (I had in Darfur). What I’ve become most interested in is this theme of empire. It is fascinating, and I think it’s worth examining our own struggle with that as a superpower, and as a nation as a whole.
I know you had some issues with working for publications in the past. How has working independently changed the way you tell the story? I’ve been able to free myself aesthetically, and in a way, ethically. Sometimes there are other ways to tell these stories, but I know what’s true. When I’m culling 30,000 pictures from the soldier story stuff, I am relying on my experience, not an editor that wasn’t there. I know that what I’m bringing to people is what I feel is
From the series, "Sudan: the Cost of Silence."
the essential narrative. And in that way, I’m doing what I feel is right.
Can you break down your artistic process for us? It starts with a certain set of criteria, because there are a lot of things happening around us all the time. I only have so much time and so much of a financial engine to go and find those specific images.
What are those essential criteria? First, you have to choose a topic or theme or story. For me, it has to begin at a place of extreme personal curiosity. I know that anything that I choose to tackle is something I want to take on for a long period of time, and there will be a lot of difficulties along the way. So that personal curiosity has to drive me through.
Makes sense. What else is important? I have to believe that I can cultivate a unique and extraordinary point of access to that story or issue. … From there, it also has to be something that is not just for my own pleasure or interest — it has to have some level of broader implication. Then I think it’s about choosing the right tool, whether that’s the right lens or format. And then it’s about personal relationships.
This process seems atypical for photography. It’s like you construct this story and capture the image after the fact. Is that right? I do think there is construction in there. That is a very appropriate word to use, because there are choices that are made all along the way — what books to read, what scholars to talk to, what doc films to watch, what people are going to serve as sources of information on the ground telling me where to go, what to point your camera at, etc. There’s a lot of talk involved in photojournalism and in documentary about the ethics of what is both inside and outside the frame.
Many of your photos of Detroit have a certain obscurity or uncertainty to them, especially compared to pre-
vious projects. What led to that? I think that each project, each story, each picture requires a different treatment. In some cases, it’s enough to just let it be this funky, blurry, dark picture of a house and leave it at that. If you say no more, maybe that house transcends what it is. Because you made conscious choices to drag the shutter and make it blurry and screw with the focus and obscure and abstract it, to the point that it transcends that house and becomes a symbol for whatever baggage a person in the audience would bring to that picture. How would a viewer’s “baggage” change what a photo represents? Maybe they see the idea of the American dream in that picture, or they see a home on their block that gives them a sensation of an experience that was never intended, but is equally as valuable. If you can get your audience to buy in, it’s kind of like a penny for a pound. I’m less interested in pictures that just kind of wrap everything up in a bow and present it. There’s nothing really to do with that, other than to see a representative artifact of yet another thing.
What’s your next big project? I am going to participate in ArtPrize this year in kind of a support role for a project on human and sex trafficking in West Michigan. It is much more a set of theatrical performance that will be taken to the street and performed in the street. I would say it’s like documentary theater. All of the content has emerged from hours and hours of interviews with victims.
How does working on this project tie into your philosophy? I am fascinated by the idea that in a certain place and certain time, a conversation will take place. And I’m fascinated by the challenge of hijacking that conversation, if only in some small way, or nudging it in a direction that is more about the issue of consciousness and justice. That is what I am trying to do at ArtPrize, those three years that I have entered. And I think we can do it again. ■
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Month-long Muskegon Area Arts and Humanities Festival explores ‘Us and Them’ By Marla R. Miller
Social issues around politics, religion, race, marriage and sexual orientation often polarize family, friends and neighbors — just look to the looming presidential election and debates on Facebook, at the kitchen table or around a campfire. We often view these hot button topics through the lens of “us versus them” instead of taking a step back and seeing people as part of a collective humanity. Many question the source of this divisiveness, the invisible line in the sand that keeps people separated by fear, judgment and a sense of superiority. The Muskegon community will explore themes of Us and Them in art, theater, culture and current events as it celebrates National Arts and Humanities month throughout October. Now in its 16th year, the Muskegon Area Arts and Humanities Festival (AhFest) aims to acknowledge and examine the world of ideas as they are expressed through the arts and humanities. The series of events also encourages the community to experience the arts and have conversations about them around a central theme. “Years ago, I used to say the festival feeds the mind and the spirit; that’s the kind of food we serve,” said Sheila Wahamaki, a committee member who helps coordinate the festival and teaches theater at Muskegon Community College. “We want people to go to things and read things and see things and talk about them.” The conversations may not lead to agreement, but perhaps some self-re-
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flection, understanding and less judgment, she said. For their part, MCC students will present “Avenue Q The Musical” from Oct. 12-16. The puppet-filled musical comedy follows a group of 20-somethings seeking their purpose in life. “It’s a fun way for people to take a look at themselves,” Wahamaki said. “Everyone’s a little bit racist and people have different lifestyles and we need to quit judging and start accepting. It really allows us to examine that theme.” On the eve of one of the most contentious presidential elections in recent history, AhFest examines the myriad factors — race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, socioeconomic status, nationality — that instantly turn a “brother” into an “other,” according to the theme page on ahfest.org. A subcommittee of the AhFest group develops the theme three years in advance, usually a broad, contemplative topic designed to stir introspection and intellectual discussion. “It’s always amazing to me that this committee’s themes are so timely,” Wahamaki said. “It’s kind of interesting when we talked about this theme, it started out as them and us, but it always starts with us first and then them.” The festival also features a wellknown author, poet or speaker hosted by MCC’s English Department. This year, New York Times best-selling novelist and crime writer Dennis Lehane will speak Oct. 27 at Frauenthal Theater. A Boston native, Lehane has published a dozen novels, including several that have been made into award-winning films. The Muskegon Museum of Art will present a film series free and open to the public at 6 p.m. on the Wednesdays in October prior to Lehane’s event: “Mystic River,” Oct. 5; “Gone Baby Gone,” Oct. 12; “Shutter Island,” Oct. 19; and “The Drop,” Oct. 26. The MMA is also the site of a five-part Tuesday evening lecture series, The Art
of the Five Great Religions, with talks by well-regarded speakers in the Hindu, Christian, Jewish, Buddhist and Islamic communities. The series features four speakers from the Grand Rapids Interfaith Dialogue Association and leads into the museum’s major winter exhibition, Expressions of Faith. The festival kicked off with West Michigan Symphony’s Heroes and Vil-
lians pops concert Sept. 30 at Frauenthal Theater. Other highlights include an Oct. 5 lecture on mindfulness at MCC, a special performance by Rockin’ Road to Dublin featuring Irish music and dance Oct. 2 at Frauenthal Theater, a showing of Buster Keaton’s silent comedy “Sherlock Jr.” Oct. 8 at Frauenthal Theater, and “That Sugar Film” documentary Oct. 6 at Beardsley Theater. ■
Muskegon Area Arts and Humanities Festival
The public is encouraged to participate in arts and cultural events including lectures, film screenings, art exhibits, concerts, theater and featured speakers throughout October. Information: ahfest.org
by MISSY BLACK
As our wardrobes change along with the seasons, it’s only fitting to view fashionable frocks and runway designs in a fresh light. While the world of fashion is incredibly varied (except for the models), some designers take the concept of what defines “clothing” to the next level. That means out-of-this world haute couture, technically wearable outfits moving beyond the realm of fashion into something more suited for an art installation. It’s an interesting dichotomy, something style icons Beyoncé, Lady Gaga and Bjork have continually brought to the stage, and now arriving here with an exhibit in the Grand Rapids Art Museum. Iris van Herpen: Transforming Fashion features more than 50 sculptural masterpieces filling the museum’s third floor, all designed by the eponymous Dutch designer who once interned under fashion legend Alexander McQueen. Her cutting-edge fashions combine traditional craftsmanship and futuristic techniques, including some of the world’s first examples of 3-D printed fashion.
“Our audience looks to us to show them different art and design and experiences,” said Chief Curator Ron Platt. “This show really aligns with our ideas about interdisciplinary activity.” Van Herpen’s advanced techniques unite with centuries-old concepts to create visionary clothing and one-of-akind objects featuring influences across centuries and cultures. There’s a strong sculptural identity to her work as well, according to Platt. “She’s pulling ideas from the world of fashion but also architecture,” he said. The shapes and moods she creates can seem more sculptural.” And color scheme might have something to do with that. Expect to see designs with iridescent qualities, especially as you walk around each piece, watching colors changing within the material. Some pieces incorporate Swarovski crystals to reveal sparkling colors like a prism. “There’s a reduced palette — more earth tones, silver and black and clear and the absence of color makes the shape and sculpture of the outfit take prominence,” Platt said. At the same time, there’s an element of costumery. This haute couture fashion — which operates primarily on the runways of Amsterdam, London and Paris — also conveys a sense of drama and even
science fiction. Unusual materials find their way into designs, such as umbrella ribs or synthetic boat rigging. For the Refinery Smoke collection, van Herpen developed a material made of metal. “It’s a woven, metal, gauzy fabric that’s wrinkled and shaped into dresses that look like billows of smoke,” Platt said. “The material starts off silvery and over time oxidizes to take on a tarnished and rusted look.” If that description doesn’t excite you, imagine feeling it — because you can. A hands-on section featuring six different pieces of material encourages visitors to explore some of the exhibit’s more unusual elements, providing additional information and a discussion of the creation process. There’s plenty to appreciate with careful selections from the designer’s past collections, attractions from the most recent lines, 27 pieces from van Herpen’s solo exhibition at the Groninger Museum in the Netherlands, and a sampling of her shoe designs which showcase more fantastical materials. “We have eight to 10 pairs of shoes and they are created more in response to the outfits,” Platt said. This duality of wearability and fantastic expression in van Herpen’s work has a lot to do with definitions of art and how that’s become less rigid over time. While her
designs “have function and are wearable, that doesn’t mean they aren’t also very real expressions of an artist,” Platt said. “The work is evocative of a lot of different things in nature, architecture and how we imagine the future.” Iris van Herpen: Transforming Fashion is showcased at the Grand Rapids Art Museum, Oct. 23 through Jan. 15, 2017. As always, the Grand Rapids Art Museum offers programming to coincide with the exhibit, including numerous events and speakers like Suzanne Eberle, professor of art history at Kendall College of Art & Design, and Ken Krayer, executive director of Design West Michigan. ■
Iris van Herpen: Transforming Fashion
Grand Rapids Art Museum 101 Monroe Center St. NW, Grand Rapids Oct. 23, 2016-Jan. 15, 2017 artmuseumgr.org (616) 831-1000
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Left: Mr. Sea by Geng Xue, part of Fire Within: A New Generation of Chinese Women Artists; Right: Reaching Into Infinity by Chul Hyun Ahn
For the first week of October, it may be hard to find anything in Grand Rapids that isn’t ArtPrize. But don’t forget, there are still three more glorious, art-filled autumn weeks. When the swarming throngs have dissipated from the city, you can enjoy some breathing space in these galleries, featuring everything from blossoming flora to the aesthetics of beer. by Dana Casadei Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park 1000 East Beltline Ave. NE, Grand Rapids meijergardens.org, (888) 957-1580
Almost Home: Grand Rapids in Focus (ArtPrize at Meijer Gardens) Through Dec. 31 Almost Home invites Grand Rapids artists — both locals
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and transplants — to reflect on their experiences with the city. Works are shown in a variety of mediums as vast as the artists themselves.
an artist combines one-way mirrors and LEDs to create boxes that form geometrical shapes, receding like portals into distant space. Sounds kind of trippy, looks super cool.
Chrysanthemums and More! Through Oct. 30 This Meijer Gardens annual celebration of autumn is the largest of its kind and features chrysanthemums (obviously), fall foliage and family-friendly activities. Mum Day, Giant Pumpkins, Hallowee-Ones and other fall-themed activities are all available during the exhibit.
Kalamazoo Institute of Arts 314 South Park St., Kalamazoo Kiarts.org, (269) 349-7775
Renée Stout: Tales of the Conjure Woman Through Oct. 23 Renée Stout, a Washington, D.C.-based artist, is known for many things, including exploring the remnants of African cultural tradition in contemporary America, and her own alter ego, Fatima Mayfield. Fatima is a fictitious herbalist/ fortune-teller, whom Stout has used as a vehicle to role-play and confront issues for many years.
Reaching into Infinity: Chul Hyun Ahn Through Nov. 6 Chul Hyun Ahn’s light sculptures are going to be on display in a darkened art gallery for this exhibit. The Kore-
Muskegon Museum of Art 296 W. Webster. Ave., Muskegon muskegonartmuseum.org, (231) 720-2570
Studio Brew: The Colors of Beer Through Oct. 30 Twenty-six Michigan artists produced pieces in a variety of mediums for this exhibit, all inspired by beer. Each artist picked a color from the SRM (Standard Reference Method) scale, which is used to measure the color of beer. Studio Brew celebrates the art of brewing, and here’s a good excuse as any for you to celebrate it as well (after the exhibit) with a beer or three at a nearby brewery (#SupportLocal).
David Deming: Sculpture Through Dec. 11 Twenty works from the artist’s four major series of abstract sculpture — Rockers, Tri Pods, Flora Bellas and Centurions — are all on display. Deming has been creating variations on these four series for more than four decades, and his sculptures are presented in bronze, steel and stainless steel. His outdoor sculpture, Rocker, is visible outside the museum’s Clay Street entrance and acts as a pro-bono introduction to the large-scale public works he’s well known for.
In All Its Glory by Erin Hoffman, part of Studio Brew: The Colors of Beer
Saugatuck Center for the Arts 400 Culver St., Saugatuck sc4a.org, (269) 857-2399
Not My Circus, Not My Monkeys Through Oct. 7 This site-specific art installation is an interactive experience with marionette puppets, pulley systems and narrative quilts. Area students are creating numerous sock monkeys, while trees will be yarn bombed by local artists. Sorry if this inspires any puppet-filled nightmares for those suffering from “pupaphobia.” (Look it up.)
Corridor Series: Jillian Dickson - Just as Wild Through Oct. 7 With her latest series of illustrations, artist Jillian Dickson examines the relationship between our tactile bodies and nature. Dickson’s recent pregnancy and delivery transformed the way she understands her body and its relationship to the rest of the natural world, which can be seen in this collection.
Broad Art Museum 547 E. Circle Dr., East Lansing broadmuseum.msu.edu, (517) 884-4800
Gideon Mendel: Drowning World Through Oct. 16 Drowning World showcases portraits of flood survivors from around the world, taken in deep floodwaters of sub-
merged landscapes or what remains of their homes. Should we be taking climate change more seriously? Gideon Mendel (and his photographs) offer a resounding “Yes.”
Yan Xing Through Oct. 16 Born after the Cultural Revolution, Yan Xing is part of a younger generation of Chinese artists who are allowed to be more expressive with their art than their forerunners. The exhibit brings together important pieces of his work from a variety of mediums, as well as a newly created site-specific work based on the Broad's historic art collection.
Sam Jury: To Be Here Through Nov. 27 Debuting the British artist’s new project, To Be Here captures Sam Jury’s time spent with exiled Sahrawi refugees and their daily lives near Tindouf, Algeria. The exhibit’s pieces, which were filmed with handheld cameras, are deconstructions from the original linear form of the film, creating a multi-channel video and sound installation.
Fire Within: A New Generation of Chinese Women Artists Through Feb. 12 Girl power is on high display in Fire Within: A New Generation of Chinese Woman Artists, which focuses a critical lens on the artistic production of a group of emerging women artists from China. Their pieces, done in traditional mediums, take a look at a variety of themes, including the status of women in China and cultural and gender identity. ■
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Not your grandmother’s quilt Quilters from across the globe create abstract art around the bull’s eye
By Marla R. Miller
After forming a relationship with legendary fine art quiltmaker Nancy Crow and hosting a solo exhibition of her work, Muskegon Museum of Art agreed to help develop and debut an invitational exhibition of colorful, circular abstractions that push the envelope of quiltmaking. The large-scale works in Circular Abstractions: Bull’s Eye Quilts create an impressive visual display and will hang in the MMA’s L.C. and Margaret Walker Galleries through Nov. 6. From there, the exhibit will tour nationally, making stops in Ohio, Massachusetts and New York, with hopes for more. “The show was something Guest Curator Nancy Crow has wanted to do for many, many years,” said Art Martin, the newly appointed senior curator at the MMA. “She knew she wanted to do an exhibition of bull’s eye quilts, with all original work made exclusively for this show. She just needed a venue to pull it off.” The MMA rose to the challenge to help coordinate the undertaking, including hauling the quilts to Chicago to be professionally photographed for the full-color exhibition catalog. Circular Abstractions features 51 quilts by an array of artists that improvise around the bull’s eye pattern: a fourquadrant design with a bull’s eye at the center of each quarter. The juried, invitational exhibit showcases some of the best machine-piecing and quilting being done today, as well as innovations around color, design and technique. Crow also likes to work large and wanted all the quilts at least 7 feet by 7 feet. “It really isn’t what people expect,”
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Martin said. “The chosen media is quiltmaking, but they are absolutely abstract, contemporary artwork. It’s an exploration and improvisation upon a nonrepresentational design. These are quilts being made in a much more fine art tradition.” Crow is well-known in the world of quilting as an artist and teacher, but the exhibition is a new venture for her. Students from around the world visit her Ohio farm to participate in Crow Timber Frame Barn Art Retreats and workshops on quilting, fabric dyeing, composition, color design and more, all held in several restored barns. The new exhibit premiered in late August with 32 of the artists traveling at their own expense to West Michigan to see the quilts collectively assembled into a dazzling display of art and design. Participating artists hail from across the United States and abroad, including Canada, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. “Every quilt in this case was made by someone who has been a student of hers at one time or another,” Martin said. “It was by personal invitation and the artists that replied ‘yes’ then went through quite a juried process. She reviewed their submissions and only accepted what she felt were the best.” Two West Michigan artists selected for inclusion, Monica Johnstone and Sue Cortese, said it was a real honor to receive an invitation from the MMA and Crow. Although all the artists were given the same prompt, the quilts are all uniquely different and impressive for their artistry and craftsmanship. “I think it is really helping people to understand what this kind of medium can be,” Johnstone said. “They feel like it’s one they know, but they will discover a whole other side and it appeals to their sense of color and movement and excitement.” Johnstone, who lives in East Grand Rapids, has been sewing since age 5 and “got the bug for quilting as people often do.” She joined the West Michigan Quilters Guild after she moved to Michigan and took a workshop with Crow about five years ago at the MMA. She has since traveled to Crow’s farm in Ohio for other workshops. Johnstone’s
“Roman Glass” quilt was inspired by her interest in Roman glass and ancient artifacts and features 4,400 individual pieces of fabric. She quilted it herself on her long-arm sewing machine. “It’s an enormous honor to be included in it,” she said. “It’s an amazing collection of works for this scale and a lot of men have reacted with the same sort of anecdotes. Men are quite surprised, ‘Wow this is really terrific, I didn’t expect to like this.’” Cortese also feels lucky to be included and agrees it’s a great display of pieces that are highly inventive in construction and dynamic, all with graphic and colorful designs. “As far as the show itself goes, people need to understand that these pieces are meant to be art, they aren’t meant to warm a bed,” said Cortese, who lives in Holland. “They’re not your traditional or grandmother’s quilt. "And the expert layout allows each quilt to play off each other, adding to the energy in the gallery.” Besides making quilts, Cortese teaches quilting and sells hand-dyed fabrics. She also serves as one of about 60 certified quilt judges for competitions. Her piece, “Evolution,” was inspired by a lot of personal change but also takes viewers through visual evolution as each quadrant changes from being very homogenous and orderly to chaotic and colorful. She hand dyed most of the fabrics herself, and she improvisationally assembled the quilt after cutting each
piece by hand with a rotary cutter. She also quilted it on a long-arm machine. “The other thing that is unique about these is they were all constructed in highly inventive ways,” Cortese said. “The seam lines don’t interfere with the overall impression or overall design of the quilt.” It’s a unique show, one that everyone involved hopes will leave viewers with a new appreciation for the art of quiltmaking and the new techniques being used to push the limits of this timeless tradition. “It’s very powerful to walk into the gallery,” Cortese said. “It’s almost like they envelop you. Cloth is something we wear and use every day, but to see it in this fashion and have it be shown in this way is enriching to me. We all went in such diverse ways in developing our designs. It’s amazing how different we all took the same set of directions.” ■
Circular Abstractions: Bull’s Eye Quilts Through Thursday, Nov. 6 Muskegon Museum of Art, 296 W. Webster Ave.
(231) 720-2570 muskegonartmuseum.org
Q&A: Christian Gaines Executive Director, ArtPrize Interview conducted and condensed by Nick Manes
Now in its eighth year, ArtPrize continues searching for new ways forward as an organization. Executive director Christian Gaines says the nonprofit has worked hard to establish itself as a hands-off entity, focused on proprietary technology and the events that correspond with it. Gaines spoke with Revue on the past, present and future status of the annual arts competition. Now that you’re in your fourth year as ArtPrize executive director, what still gets you excited about the event each year? I love that we evolve as an organization. ArtPrize started as a total experiment in 2009 and like any experiment, it could have succeeded or it could have failed. There’s a bunch of different ways it could have failed. We’ve kind of moved on from that.
How has the organization changed? Our challenge, once we realized that it was a successful experiment, was to organize and institutionalize. It’s a terrible word but it’s sort of what we did, beyond simply putting on a big competition. We wanted to create a great visitor experience, we wanted to make sure that we kind of held fast to certain guiding principles — the fact that it would be radically open, the fact that it would be unpredictable by design. But then we also had to think about who we were as an organization and what artist and artist development meant to us.
The unpredictability you described seems like a blessing and a curse. I’m thinking of the instance a few years ago when an artist wasn’t allowed to display a work that included Saddam Hussein hanging from a noose. One of the blessings of ArtPrize is that it’s independently organized. We invite venues to register as venues and then we invite artists to connect with venues. ArtPrize gets as little involved as we possibly can in the developments between artists and venues. You look at unpredictability that way, I look at it in other ways as well.
How so? It’s not if something like that happens, it’s when. If you think that something like that happening embarrasses us, far from it. We look at it as an occupational hazard of putting on a show like this. You don’t hope something like that happens. We expect it to happen. We just hope that it gets resolved in some way.
How would you say the economic and demographic impacts are trending? (In) the last independent economic impact survey we did … in 2013, we had about a $22 million new (economic) impact on the city, on the downtown. Last year, using the same formula, the same multiplier formula, we tracked a little over $27 million. We noticed visitors were staying longer and coming more often, which was great. We’ve seen a really steady increase in visitors since 2009 — pretty much double. But it’s flattening out … which I think is pretty normal.
Christian Gaines, Executive Director, ArtPrize. courtesy photo
a city that has the appetite for it. We’re trying to do the right thing. Even though it didn’t work in Texas, we learned an awful lot. We are very pleased with our relationships there. No one owes anyone any money. It was a real learning experience for us and I think for them. We’re lucky to have this experimental environment where we can ‘not succeed’ — otherwise known as fail.
Given the potential for other cities to hold an ArtPrize, do you see a scenario in which the event would take a year off from Grand Rapids and go somewhere else? No. I mean, never say never, but we don’t want to not do it in Grand Rapids. … I can safely say that’s never crossed our minds. This is our home. This is where it started. This is a perfect city for it. ■
ArtPrize explored the idea of branching out to new places like Dallas, which didn’t happen because the organizers failed to find funding. Do you still think another ArtPrize will pop up at some point, whether in Dallas or elsewhere else? When someone asks us what it would take to bring ArtPrize to their city, we want to be able to answer that question. We continue to want to be able to answer that question. In that process, we’re learning a lot. I do think it’s a very ingenious, urban art adventure that has a lot of potential for visitors to opt in and go on a cool art journey. I’m curious to see how it replicates in other cities, just from a purely professional curiosity. We want to see if we could do that, but we want to make sure that it’s the right situation.
Have you had conversations with other cities since Dallas? We often get queries. There’s so much that goes into it. I’m not trying to sell ArtPrize to cities. I’m just being very frank about what it takes to put on ArtPrize and the kind of qualities it takes to be
REVUEWM.COM | OCTOBER 2016 |
24A | REVUEWM.COM | OCTOBER 2016
The Beer Issue
New Look! Same Great Mouthfeel
Why your favorite brew is getting a makeover by Troy Reimink
Singapore IPA, named for a famous nearby lumber ghost town, was updated to more accurately reflect the town’s history. “We actually went back and discovered how many buildings the legend says were in the lumber town of Singapore, and we depicted all of these buildings within the artwork of the carrier,” Pruim said. Bell’s Brewery in Kalamazoo has redesigned its logo, labels and packaging for all of its beers. The subtly tweaked brewery logo now resides on the neck of the bottles, providing a bigger canvas for the artwork that has become iconic in branding some of Bell’s most popular brews — a common theme across these redesigns. The big two are the Two Hearted Ale brook trout and the brightly colored, vaguely psychedelic Oberon sun. These new labels also contain more specific information about a beer’s bottling date and anticipated shelf life. All of the year-round beers have already made the change and the seasonal beers will (slowly) too, according to Allison Horney, Bell’s marketing coordinator. New Holland Brewing repolished its labels this year as well, coming right out and announcing their goal to stand out more in stores. To that end, bright orange is now a key element across all packaging, and the brewery’s beloved characters (like the Hatters) are in the spotlight. On top of that, some espresso-fueled editor took an axe to all the text, leaving only the most essential information. Over at the orchards, Uncle John’s Hard Cider flipped its design entirely on its head this year, going from homey and cartoony to modern and minimalistic. The new branding stands out and shows that the cidery is willing to keep up with the times, while maintaining its classic, tried-and-true recipes. n
Scene | Sounds | Sights Dining Schedule
he movies don’t lie: A makeover can change everything. Whether it’s drastic (Robin Williams, “Mrs. Doubtfire”), practical (Julia Roberts, “Pretty Woman”) or painful (Steve Carrell’s chest hair, “The 40-Year-Old Virgin”), a new look is often a ticket to new frontiers. This year, a handful of West Michigan’s top breweries have gone the “She’s All That” route — recognizing that a few minor tweaks can turn a nerd into the prom queen. (Even if the nerd was just fine the way she was. All she did was take off her glasses!) Anyway, what we’re saying is: Change is hard, but sometimes necessary. Saugatuck Brewing Company recently refreshed the looks of its logo and several top brews, employing the design work of Muskegon firm Revel Marketing. Why? To stand out among the absolutely overflowing shelves of craft beer providers. “We wanted our brands to all have a consistent look,” said SBC Marketing Coordinator Megan Pruim. “We wanted you to be able to look at them all on a shelf and know they are all the same brand and stick out from the rest of the beers out there.” The popular Oval Beach Blonde has received several redesigns in its lifetime, the most recent of which had the colorful depiction of a blonde woman on a beach replaced with a more fanciful vision involving a sea of blonde hair, which newly emphasizes the “blonde” aspect. Saugatuck’s ESB Amber Ale got a full rebranding as well. To correct the novice drinker’s misperception that Extra Special Bitter-style beers are overly bitter, SBC renamed it “Third Bear,” a play on the Goldilocks story. It’s “not too hoppy, not too sweet, just right.” The brewery’s Bonfire Brown imagery was also updated to emphasize the communal idea of gathering around a fire, plus a hidden Bigfoot-related Easter egg. The label on its
Before and after packaging for Bell’s, Uncle John’s Hard Cider and Saugatuck Brewing.
REVUEWM.COM | October 2016 |
The Beer Issue
West Michigan craft brewers pick their go-to beers by Joe Boomgaard
We all have our favorite craft beers, the ones we consider the pinnacle of the style, rare big beers that only come out on special occasions, or the ones that hit the right flavor notes for our palates. And then there are the beers we buy all the time because they’re available, relatively affordable and refreshing. But that’s just for us mere mortal beer drinkers. Revue wanted to know what the go-to beers are for people in the brewing industry. Ten brewery owners let us open their refrigerators and take a peek.
Jason Spaulding, Brewery Vivant
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Sierra Nevada Pale Ale Pale Ale, 5.6% Chico, Calif. “Sierra Nevada Pale Ale. It’s not only the original but also the beer that got me into home brewing. I’ve always admired their passion for brewing, it’s evident that is priority one. It’s no coincidence you find this same passion at Founders as well.” — Mike Stevens, Founders Brewing Co.
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Blackrocks Brewery 51K IPA IPA, 7% Marquette, Mich. “I have a love for Blackrocks 51K IPA and it seems to always find its way into my shopping cart. I drink a lot of Belgian beer, which is my first love, but sometimes I just need a solid, unfiltered American IPA. Plus those dudes are cool and I like supporting their brewery.” — Jason Spaulding, Brewery Vivant
Founders Brewing Centennial IPA IPA, 7.2% Grand Rapids, Mich. “The one beer that I keep in my fridge is Founders Centennial IPA. Centennial is just a classic malty and hop blend of a beer. Founders may be big, but they still kick out solid beers.” — Dan Hain, Fetch Brewing
Scott Newman-Bale, Short’s Brewing Co.
Founders Brewing All Day IPA Session IPA, 4.7% Grand Rapids, Mich. — and —
Pabst Blue Ribbon
American adjunct lager, 4.6% Woodbridge, Ill. “My go-to beer from another brewery is All Day IPA from my good friends at Founders. As a brewer, I have to spend
the day tasting and evaluating complex flavors in beers, so the last thing I want when I get home is a 10 percent barrel-aged stout. It is nice to have something in the fridge that I know is going to consistently quench not just my thirst, but also my love of hoppy beers. I like that it comes in a can and is always fresh when I check the dates. It’s hop-forward but crisp and refreshing. … NonMichigan wise, I do keep PBR stocked in my fridge like most brewers do. The PBR is great when you want to take a complete vacation
from having to think about beer, but you never stop being a beer drinker.” — Eric Hoffman, Unruly Brewing
Rockford Brewing Hoplust IPA IPA, 7.1% Rockford, Mich. “While I don’t carry much bottled beer at home anymore, aside from cellar beers, I do keep growlers stocked several times per week. My mainstay is Rockford Brewing Company’s Hoplust
Seth Rivard of Rockford Brewing with many Hamm’s
IPA, which is lovely, balanced and always flavorful for my fresh hophead fix at home.” — David Ringler, Cedar Springs Brewing Co.
Beards Brewery Serendipity Porter, 5.5% Petoskey, Mich. “Beards Serendipity Porter. Mainly it is a go-to because I have been leaning more heavily on darker beers and it is
Stone IPA IPA, 6.9% Escondido, Calif. “I’ve had a long and great relationship with Greg Koch and Steve Wagner. Greg has been kind and gracious to me from the day we met — maybe 11 years ago now. Their IPA is an iconic beer, emblematic of San Diego-style IPA. It’s also my wife’s favorite IPA. Any day is a better day when Stone IPA is in our fridge.” — Ron Jeffries, Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales
Victory Brewing Prima Pils
Pilsner, 5.3% Downingtown, Pa. “As a lot of folks might say, my tastes tend to change with the seasons. But if there is one beer I tend to gravitate to and buy more than any other beer, it is Victory’s Prima Pils. It’s easily one of the best lagers in the U.S. As a brewer, you have to respect a good lager and it makes a great bourbon beer back. What more can you ask for? It’s a beautiful beer.” — Nathan Hukill, Brewer
Cranker’s Professor IPA IPA, 6.6% Big Rapids, Mich. “I am going to come off as an arrogant asshole, but the Professor IPA is my go-to. The El Dorado hops in that beer are so smooth, delicious and just leap out of the glass. As far as a non-Cranker’s product, I have the opinion that if you love craft beer (which I do), your goto beer is whatever is available to you at that time. There’s so much diversity and choice in craft beer right now that I believe there is no such thing as a go-to beer.” — James Crank, Cranker’s Brewery n
䰀䤀嘀䔀 䰀䤀䘀䔀⸀ 䈀䔀 唀一刀唀䰀夀⸀
꤀ ㈀ 㘀 唀一刀唀䰀夀 䈀刀䔀圀䤀一䜀 䌀伀⸀ 簀 倀栀漀琀漀㨀 刀椀瘀攀爀猀攀搀最攀 倀栀漀琀漀最爀愀瀀栀礀 REVUEWM.COM | October 2016 |
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American adjunct lager, 4.7% Milwaukee, Wis. “Hamm’s! Because everyone has their go-to swill beer. You can’t always drink craft beers. You need something in between to appreciate them — or rather, you need something to hydrate with. As an impressionable kid, the cartoon beer commercials made a lasting imprint. When we were building the main bar at RBC, it was over 100 degrees and we must have gone through 666 cases of this stuff.” — Seth Rivard, Rockford Brewing Co.
nice to have one available all year. Also, living in Northern Michigan means a lot of use for cans, which Beards is packaged in. Beards has had good quality that is critical to the continued health of the industry and are expanding into a new retail location in Petoskey, so it is great to see other companies developing the economic base of Northern Michigan and bringing craft beer to more people.” — Scott Newman-Bale, Short’s Brewing Co.
The Beer Issue
Craft Beer Style Trends: So Fresh and So Clean West Michigan brewers evolve offerings to appeal to drinkersâ€™ changing palates By Angela Steil | Special to Revue
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o explore local breweries and discover the trends that move the industry, it’s nice to stop to take stock of the new flavors and styles that approach our palates. Being in the middle of the country, West Michigan has a tendency to get the news a little late when it comes to the latest and greatest beer trends. But breweries in the Mitten seem to have quite a knack for taking these popular beer styles and recreating them with a healthy dose of Michigan innovation. To that end, Revue gathered some observations on recurring themes in the local craft beer scene and how the brewers are responding to them. If one trend sums up the last year in craft beer, it’s that many brewers have embraced crisp, clean and highly quaffable beers. It’s no doubt that these brews are delicious, pair well with food, and make for a moan-worthy moment in the heat of summer. They can also be difficult to brew and execute based on their longer production timeframes. Perhaps most importantly, the use of clean yeast in these beers and their more subtle nature means they’re THE environment for drinkers to detect off flavors. In-the-know craft beer fans often use these styles as a useful tool when scoping out a new brewery or brewpub. If the brewer can make a beer that is of the subtle and clean yeast variety with no added flavors — and pull off an exceptional product — it’s typically a great indication as to how the rest of the beers are going to fare. Look for a few key styles and menu phrases when craving these crisp and clean beers. They range from terms such as helles, lager, cream ale and blonde ale to descriptors like cold-conditioned, crushable and gateway beer. Others simply use the phrase “crisp and clean.” Most servers or bartenders can lead patrons in the right direction with those aforementioned phrases. Here’s a look at how these trends (and others) are playing out at West Michigan craft breweries.
REBIRTH OF TRADITION The pilsner, American light lager and similar styles have been prevalent in U.S. drinking culture for quite a few decades, and it’s a comforting notion that craft beer is redefining those categories in its own way. Take, for example, Quinannan Falls Special Lager Beer from Bell’s Brewery. It still holds the refreshing bitterness of a German pils, but now with an American pine-like coolness to change its direction. Pair this beer with a spicy mixed green salad with shaved beets, radish and a dill vinaigrette. In Hudsonville, Pike 51 Brewery crafts the Tall Boy, which is its version of the American light lager, as well as the Pants Cream Ale. Both beers would be absolutely dynamite with a fish fry, since their higher carbonation levels would flush out the grease and fat from the food and refresh your palate for the next bite, while the beer’s light, corn-like sweetness and flavor would resonate with the fried breading. Dutton-based Railtown Brewing Co. also offers up its Bike Ride Blonde, which can make an excellent pair with lunch staples such as a chicken caesar wrap or a turkey club. It’ll use the same cutting power with its carbonation levels, and the grainy malt will resonate with the bread or wrap, yet create another bready base for the salty and savory flavors from either sandwich. Meant to soothe and refresh, these varieties are a true staple for many beer imbibers.
BACK TO EUROPEAN ROOTS Along the lines of crushable beers, it’s appropriate to mention that traditional German styles seem to be popping back into view. Altbiers, märzens, helles and even some rauchbier (which is the true way to my heart) are appearing more and more on brewery menus. I can’t say I’m surprised, given drinkers’ aforementioned desire for refreshing, clean beer. While Cedar Springs Brewing Co., Frankenmuth Brewery, and Territorial Brewing Co. have focused on the traditional German styles in their brewhouses, other nonGerman based breweries also are getting in on the action. They include Harmony Brewing Co. with its Debacle Bock Doppelbock, Perrin Brewing’s imperial schwarzbier called the Black Goat, and Muskegon-based Unruly Brewing Co. with its Kick Ass Kölsch. On a more minor note, there has been a noticeable resurgence of the Polish style known as grodziskie. It’s a historical sour smoked wheat ale made with oak-smoked wheat malt. Although the style has been slow to make
REVUEWM.COM | October 2016 |
Beer style trends, continued
inroads into the Michigan craft beer scene, it appears that Sleepwalker Spirits and Ale has already jumped on the bandwagon. If you encounter it, remember that this is supposed to be a smoky smelling and tasting beer. It can be absolutely lovely with a classic BLT, grilled fish, or when used in a smoked beer and cheddar soup.
SOUR — ON PURPOSE Other so-called gateway beers have opened new drinkers to the enormous, complicated and often intimidating category of sour and wild ales. With all the petri dishes full of crazy goodies and a newfound love for their bacterial friends, brewers are having fun concocting an artistic beverage for the palate. For many consumers, sours seem to sit just right. It’s fascinating how craft beer seemingly exploded with bitterness and is now morphing into a scene centered around sour (and salty) palate trends. Because of its massive growth, it seems fitting to point out a few breweries that have fantastic sour beer programs and would allow for a great introduction to this ever-expanding category. Speciation Artisan Ales will be joining this wild party soon, introducing an all wild and sour beer lineup of Red, Golden and Dark Sours, along with Farmhouse and Berliner Weisse variations. The Comstock Park-based brewery also plans to offer multiple takes on its beers using various fruits and barrel-aging processes. Red Belly Brewing of Kentwood will join the fray as well, with a niche in sour beers. In the meantime, check out the classic sours that have been brewed at Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales, or explore the breweries that don’t focus solely on souring programs, but have delved into the style in recent years. For instance, the souring programs at New Holland Brewing, Brewery Vivant and Pike 51 Brewery are certainly worth noting and have been evolving over the years. Even Founders Brewing Co. is tapping some great sessionable sours, having recently introduced the gose style beer in the taproom with watermelon, apricot and honey variations. In fact, these sour, tart or salty beers become a phenomenal tool when it comes time to pair them with food. They work exceptionally with saltiness, which begs the suggestion of simply frying up some bacon to eat with it, or drinking it with a charcuterie board. You can even use a sour beer to mend a meal that accidentally became oversalted by pairing it with the kitchen mistake. (Take it from me, it can help those sad meals become far more edible.) Sours have a wine-like element to them, meaning that you can use wild beers to create some of the same flavor relationships as you would with wine. All in all, sours have cutting power, refresh the palate and can be used as an aperitif, while they also work alongside herbal, sweet, fatty, salty and fruit flavors.
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JAVA JUNKIES Many craft brewers have taken an energizing turn by connecting coffee — our favorite caffeinated beverage — with beer. To date, brewers’ blending of the two mediums has typically focused on adding coffee to porters or imperials stouts. Suddenly, however, they’ve flooded the market with coffee-tinged pale ales, blondes and beyond. It’s keeping in trend with what’s brewing in the world of coffee, namely the growing popularity of draft nitrogenated cold-brew. At this point, drinkers’ love of beer and coffee begin to meld, and soon enough they come together in either a carbon dioxide- or nitrogenrich form to bring brilliant flavors to the palate. With the addition of Creston Brewery in Grand Rapids, drinkers searching for coffee beers have even more options. Among the beers in Creston’s opening lineup, Koala Bear is a crushable and smooth beer made with Rowster’s Italian Coffee, while The Great Log Jam of 1883 is brewed with the Rowster Nicaraguan coffee. For coffee beer fans craving more styles, Walter Gets Buzzed from Muskegon-based Pigeon Hill Brewing is a blonde ale brewed with snickerdoodle coffee, making for a deliciously fine beer. Even Founders Brewing jumped into the fray with its Pale Joe, a pale ale brewed with Ethiopian coffee, which it launched as its signature beer for the 2016 ArtPrize. Pairing blonde or pale ale-style coffee beers with food can be tricky at first, but it can also soon become a secret weapon. The styles pair exceptionally with cream-based dishes, such as soups like creamy chicken, cream of mushroom or even clam chowder. Coffee and cream is a natural pairing and creates a great connection from the start. Even savory meat flavors fare well with the coffee roastiness and get smoothed out by the pale ale or blonde ale characteristics. So try one of these coffee beers with a reuben sandwich or some Swedish meatballs. For dessert, use that coffee characteristic to pair with a cannoli to cap off a meal.
THE EVOLUTION CONTINUES Since most craft beer fanatics suffer from FOMO, or the fear of missing out on the next greatest beer style, they like to pay attention to what others drink. In many ways, to be a part of the trend seems validating. To that same end, they enjoy reading up on what breweries are concocting because they’re intrigued by where the creativity will take beer next. While the West Coast or East Coast may lead the pack, craft brewers in West Michigan continue to tinker with their interpretation of styles, which will never stop evolving. No matter where the next big beer trend comes from, just remember that as long as you enjoy drinking the brew, you’re doing everything right. n
Angela Steil, a certified Cicerone, is the president of the Grand Rapids chapter of Leaders Beverage Consulting. A Grand Rapids resident, Steil indulges in cigars, continues to study for the Advanced and Master Cicerone exams, and writes and consults for the beer industry.
New Holland Brewing’s new brewpub and distillery, The Knickerbocker, has arrived. Strategically placed at the gateway to Grand Rapids’ historic Westside, The Knickerbocker is a taste of many world traditions, rediscovered and presented with a fresh perspective. The Knickerbocker features a farm-fresh menu that celebrates the best of Michigan and Midwestern agriculture, craft beer, and craft cocktails, all handcrafted onsite, under one roof.
INDOOR & OUTDOOR SEATING • 4-STORY BEER GARDEN • DAILY TOURS GROUP RESERVATIONS • STREETSIDE TO-GO SERVICE LOCATED AT THE CORNER OF BRIDGE & BROADWAY ON GR AND R APIDS’ WEST SIDE
NE W HOLL A NDBRE W.COM
The Beer Issue
West Michigan brewers carve out space in $22.3B craft beer industry by JOHN WIEGAND
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hen a teetotaling lawmaker introduced legislation last month that would have more than tripled state excise taxes paid by craft brewers, opposition to the bill was quick and fierce. Angry craft brewers chided state Rep. Tom Hooker, R-Byron Center, for embarking on a religious crusade against their homegrown companies. Business groups immediately condemned Hooker’s proposal as potentially damaging to a key West Michigan industry. Even The Detroit News took aim at the bill in an editorial calling the tax hike “lawmaking at its worst” and encouraging Hooker to leave the Legislature and take up ministry if he’s so concerned about craft beer drinkers’ morals.
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The outrage against the bill shows how far Michigan’s nascent craft brewing industry has evolved in recent years. What began with hobbyist homebrewers in basements and garages two or three decades ago has grown into a nearly $2 billion chunk of the country’s overall $22.3 billion craft beer market. For Michigan brewers, the bill was an attack on the industry they built from the ground up and an assault on the American Dream itself, where small family-owned companies have taken an active role revitalizing neighborhoods, creating new jobs and generating millions in new tax revenue. “You have an industry that’s growing up and becoming successful. I just think it’s so shortsighted to pounce on it and tax it. Let’s nurture it,” said Jason Spaulding, co-founder of Brewery Vivant in Grand Rapids. “We are, as an industry, creating significant jobs and making a difference.” Every time a company like Brewery Vivant expands or another newcomer opens its doors, a small business is creating more jobs and adding investment in the area, he said. It also creates economic activity in the supply chain as craft brewers source raw materials like hops and
malted grains or their equipment from Michiganbased producers. “We have 62 employees — and almost all of them are full-time — that we provide benefits for. We feel we’re creating solid jobs,” Spaulding said. “Many breweries are focused on getting things locally. It’s something we live and breathe here every time we source new equipment or furniture. We’re always looking for ways to source as close to home as possible. It does ripple out to all sorts of things.” As a whole, the Brewers Association — a Colorado-based trade group that focuses on craft breweries — estimates that Michigan craft brewers generated $1.85 billion in economic impact in the state during 2014, or roughly $260 per capita. That number will likely continue to grow as entrepreneurs open breweries in untapped neighborhoods and small towns, and as existing local breweries expand to meet demand. In the last year, more than a dozen new craft beverage producers have opened in West Michigan. Meanwhile, 38 breweries, cideries and distilleries remain in the planning stages across West Michigan, according to an analysis by Revue.
Experience craft beers in BREWTOPIA! Get immersed in beer culture and beerology. * Intimate guided tours * Safe comfortable ride * Beers included
* Behind the scenes * Top Breweries
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Grand Rapids Beer Tours shows you why Grand Rapids is “Beer City U.S.A”.
Breweries we visit: Brewery Vivant, Founders Brewing Co., Elk Brewing Co., Harmony Brewing Co., The Mitten Brewing Co., Grand Rapids Brewing Co., Cedar Springs Brewing Co., Saugatuck Brewing Co., Greyline Brewing Co., New Holland Brewing Co., Our Brewing Co., White Flame Brewery, City Built Brewing Co., Old Boys Brewhouse, Longroad Distillers, Creston Brewery, OddSide Ales, Unruly Brewing Co., Pigeon Hill Brewing Co., Harmony Hall, Rockford Brewing Co., Atwater Brewery, Perrin Brewing Co., Cellar Brewing Co., One Well Brewing, People’s Cider Co., The Hideout Brewing Co., Vander Mill Ciders, Dutch Girl Brewing Co., Big Lake Brewing, Gonzo’s BiggDogg Brewing Co., Tibbs Brewing Co., Grand Armory Brewing Co., Arcadia Ales, Latitude 42 Brewing Co., Bell’s Brewery, Pike 51 Brewing Co., B.O.B.’s Brewery, Arktos Meadery, HopCat and more to come…
Visit us at www.grbeertours.com & book a tour Or call: 616-901-9719 | www.facebook.com/grandrapidsbeertours REVUEWM.COM | October 2016 |
The Beer Issue
Craft beer industry, continued As a state, Michigan was home to 205 craft breweries in 2015, ranking sixth in the nation for the number of producers, according to a conservative estimate from the Brewers Association. That’s 2.9 breweries per 100,000 adults of drinking age. The Michigan craft brewing industry also ranked 10th in production, turning out nearly 770,000 barrels of beer in 2015. But craft brewers say their companies do more than produce and sell beer: They’re engines for giving back to their communities. For example, when The Mitten Brewing Co. began operations in 2012 at 527 Leonard St. NW in Grand Rapids, founders Max Trierweiler and Chris Andrus made it a point to be active members of the West Side neighborhood. “The community had seen better days and there’s a lot of money being invested into it, especially in the Leonard corridor,” Trierweiler said. “I think if it hadn’t been for our involvement in our community, we wouldn’t be where we are today. We said that if we wanted people to embrace us, we’d need to embrace the community.” Mitten Brewing has steadily increased the size of its brewery from modest roots — it began on a three-
barrel production system — and expects to reach 1,500 barrels of production this year, Trierweiler said. For Brewery Vivant, investment in its surrounding community in the East Hills neighborhood is something the company has embodied from the start. For one, it’s part of a handful of companies certified as a B Corporation — a designation that shows a business has adhered to stringent environmental and social standards, including employee pay and sustainable sourcing practices. The brewery also works closely with community organizations and has several active initiatives with Congress Middle School, located across the street from its facility. To Spaulding, Brewery Vivant’s work in the community illustrates the positive influence breweries have on their neighborhoods. “When we were first opening, we attended a lot of public meetings to get proper zoning permits and there were people who showed up that were very concerned there’d be drunk people falling in the streets and it would become a haven for crime,” Spaulding said. “They weren’t craft beer people and didn’t know the vision we had. Instead, we talked about the community and how the community could get to a better place and I think we’ve done it with some of our partnerships and initiatives.” n
rewers are a fiercely independent bunch. To that end, most craft breweries remain locally owned and operated by people in the community where the business is based. However, as the craft beverage industry has grown, it’s attracted investors ranging from private equity firms to large multinational breweries, as well as other craft producers looking to gain scale and market share in new areas of the country. Here are several examples from West Michigan where craft beverage companies have sold all or part of their businesses to outsiders.
Founders Brewing Co. (Grand Rapids) — The pioneering Grand Rapids craft brewer sold a 30-percent stake in the business to family-owned Mahou San Miguel Group, a Spanish brewer, in December 2014. According to Founders executives, the deal will help the company access international markets and get the funding it needs to ramp up production. Since the deal, the company has expanded distribution to a total of 38 states and the District of Columbia, plus built a secondary production brewery in Grand Rapids that’s expected to open this year. Perrin Brewing Co. (Comstock Park) — Founder Randy Perrin sold his
namesake brewery in March 2015 to a group including former West Side Beer Distributing co-owner Keith Klopcic and Oskar Blues Brewery of Longmont, Colo., which itself is funded by private equity firm Fireman Capital. At the time, Perrin only sold beer on draft in Michigan, but it has since expanded with a canning line and limited-edition bombers, plus distribution in Colorado, Ohio and Indiana. The brewery expects to reach production capacity of 55,000 barrels by the end of this year. Actual production could hit 27,500 barrels this year, nearly double the 14,000 barrels from 2015.
Virtue Cider Co. (Fennville) — Faced with a growing load of operational,
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marketing and financial challenges, founder Greg Hall sold a 51-percent stake in Virtue Cider to Goose Island Beer, a portfolio company of Anheuser-Busch InBev’s High End Division. In fact, Hall had history with the multinational brewer: His family sold Chicago-based Goose Island to Anheuser-Busch in 2011 for a reported $38 million. The deal gave Virtue access to Goose Island’s bottling and kegging lines and its sales personnel to drive growth in new and existing markets. Virtue has since launched its Michigan Brut cider in 12-ounce bottles, in part to target sales to big box chain stores. In a previous interview, Hall said the company could look next year to add tasting rooms around the state, potentially in Grand Rapids, Ann Arbor, Detroit and Traverse City.
Coppercraft Distillery (Holland) — Coppercraft launched in 2012
with a plan to focus on barrel-aged whiskeys, which by nature take time to bring to market. Before its whiskeys were available, the company also produced and sold vodka, gin and rum on its two production stills. But as it waited for the whiskey to become available, Coppercraft reportedly ran into cash flow challenges, which led it to explore various partnerships. The company ultimately opted to bring on an investor in Grand Rapids-based Windquest Group, the family investment office for Amway scion Dick DeVos and his wife, Betsy DeVos. Backed by the new investment, Coppercraft expects to add a full kitchen with food service, as well as to build its stockpile of aging whiskeys.
Central Michigan University offers a brewing certificate program that gives students real-world experience in breweries, including at the participating Mountain Town Station Brewing Tap Room in Mt. Pleasant.
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— Compiled by Joe Boomgaard, Revue
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REVUEWM.COM | October 2016 |
The Beer Issue
Drinking with Doggos Where to grab a pint, and bring Fido along, too By Joe Boomgaard
Take a trip to Portland or Asheville, Fort Collins or Pittsburgh and you’ll notice many of the breweries share a common theme: They welcome — if not encourage — patrons to bring their dogs. There’s just something relaxing about sharing a pint with a few buddies while also enjoying the company of our four-legged friends. Dogs also work as conversation starters with fellow patrons, connecting people over their love of the furry companions. For a number of reasons not worth getting
Grand Rapids Elk Brewing
700 Wealthy St. SE, Grand Rapids (616) 238-5227, elkbrewing.com The brewery allows dogs on its spacious gravel outdoor patio. Levon approves of the available water bowls. It’s a nice spot for a sandwich and a beer.
Gravel Bottom Craft Brewery & Supply 418 Ada Dr., Ada (616) 920-7398, gravelbottom.com
A large fenced-in patio along the Kalamazoo River provides the perfect backdrop for enjoying some classic English-style ales. Levon gave the location four paws up.
The Mitten Brewing Co.
Rupert’s Brew House
Levon hasn’t visited yet, but dogs are allowed on the outdoor patio in the warmer months. Baseball, beer, pizza and dogs — It’s like a Norman Rockwell painting.
Levon misses visiting with Captain Stooby (R.I.P), the gentle giant of a mascot at Rupert’s who would let out a signature woof from time to time. He’d love to make a return trip to visit with Uncle Bill, the owner’s new Great Dane puppy.
527 Leonard St. NW, Grand Rapids (616) 608-5612, mittenbrewing.com
Lakeshore Our Brewing Co.
into here, many Michigan breweries
76 E. 8th St., Holland (616) 994-8417, ourbrewingcompany. com
have been slow to open their doors to dogs, but that could soon be chang-
Tucked away on the parking lot side is a small patio. Levon brought his own water and dish, but he didn’t care. Plenty of nearby restaurants offer take-out for people to enjoy as well.
ing. As this report went to press, the Michigan Legislature was considering a bill that would expand the areas where restaurants could allow patrons
Unruly Brewing Co.
to have their pups. Schedule Dining Sights | Sounds | Scene
Bask in the evening light while sitting in an adirondack, sipping on one of the everrotating tap list of beers. Levon loved lying in the grass.
360 W. Western Ave., Muskegon (231) 288-1068, unrulybrewing.com
Even now, a handful of West
This is perhaps Levon’s favorite spot. He can get out of the rain (wink, wink) while his people enjoy great beers and nosh on delicious Rebel Pies, the adjacent pizza joint under the same roof. Bonus points if there’s some vinyl spinning.
Michigan breweries are dog-friendly, according to this reporter’s firsthand experiences with Levon, a mild-mannered (and very spoiled) black lab mix. Here are some breweries Levon has enjoyed, and where pet owners can start if they
want to go drinking with their dogs.
Arcadia Brewing Co.
50 | REVUEWM.COM | October 2016
701 E. Michigan Ave., Kalamazoo (269) 276-0458, arcadiaales.com
Levon at Gravel Bottom
773 W. Michigan Ave., Kalamazoo (269) 337-9911, rupertsbrewhouse.com
Southwest Michigan Cultivate Brewing Co.
961 E. Shawnee Rd., Berrien Springs (269) 422-1324, cultivatebrewing.com Set on a sprawling farm with a large outdoor area and trails to see hops and barley, Cultivate gets craft beer drinkers closer to agriculture. It’s a bonus that dogs are welcome outside, too.
Traverse City Brewery Terra Firma
2959 Hartman Rd., Traverse City (231) 929-1600 There must be something inviting about breweries being based on farms. Terra Firma’s outdoor patio is best enjoyed in full fall colors, with a pooch at your feet. (Levon only wishes he could see the vibrant colors from the maples.)
Scene | Sounds | Sights Dining Schedule
REVUEWM.COM | October 2016 |
Levon chillin’ at Elk Brewing
COHEED AND CAMBRIA
Dos and Don’ts
Bringing a dog into a public place brings with it a lot of responsibility on the part of the owner. Here are some tips.
Doggos, continued The Filling Station Microbrewery
MAGIC MEN LIVE!
MACHEILNLE Y GUN K
Schedule Dining Sights | Sounds | Scene
MILLER DEC 2
DEC 10 The Orbit Room | 2525 Lake Eastbrook S.E. Grand Rapids, MI 49546 • 616-942-1328 Tickets to all shows are available through Ticketmaster.
52 | REVUEWM.COM | October 2016
642 Railroad Pl., Traverse City (231) 946-8168, thefillingstationmicrobrewery.com The old train station beckons visitors to pull up a chair or sit at the outside bar, enjoy the un-salted T.C. air and toss back a few brews. The friendly staff greeted Levon with a fresh bowl of water, which he lapped up willingly.
The Workshop Brewing Co.
221 Garland St., Traverse City (231) 421-8977, traversecityworkshop.com It may be set in T.C.’s warehouse district, but Workshop’s great vibe and outdoor seating (in the warmer months) is a welcoming space to grab a pint and plot the day’s adventures. Levon liked watching the waves in the distance.
Traverse City Whiskey Co. 201 E 14th St, Traverse City (231) 922-8292, tcwhiskey.com
If the other patrons don’t mind, dogs are welcome on the outdoor patio and inside the bar and distillery. After a long walk, Levon caught a few easy winks, thanks especially to the dimly lit interior. n
Interested in finding more places that allow puppers to stick around while their people eat, drink or rest? These sites have you covered.
n Do call ahead. As a standard practice before you head out to one of these locations, you should always contact the business to be sure they’re OK with you bringing your dog along, even the ones listed here. n Do keep your dog leashed at all times. Your pet always should be under your direct control. n Do bring your own supplies and treats. That includes bags for any sort of cleanup and portable water dishes, although many places offer them. n Do keep your space in check. Try to tuck into an out-of-the-way area where you won’t bother other patrons. Have your dog lie down next to you — no barking or begging allowed! n Do give your dog some exercise ahead of time. This will tire your pup so he or she will be calmer and more likely to nap, rather than want to go exploring.
DON’Ts n Don’t bring a dog that has behavior issues around people or other dogs. Only well-behaved pets will be allowed back. Don’t ruin this for the rest of us! n Don’t expect special treatment. Servers are there to work, not fawn over your pet. Also, they’re doing you a favor by allowing your dog to visit, so be nice and tip well. n Don’t think everyone loves being near dogs. Some people dislike animals or even fear dogs, so be mindful of their needs. n Don’t give your dog beer. As much as you love IPA, it’s poisonous to dogs. In fact, eating hops can be fatal for pooches.
Naughty girl Stout is deeply flavored yet refreshing and cooling. An infusion of real organic mint complements rich chocolate flavors. Our chocolate mint stout delivers everything you love about chocolate mint cookies, without all the crumbs in your sleeping bag. rightbrainbrewery.com
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Trinken ein Bier STOP IN AND TRY ALL OF OUR CRAFT BREWS ON TAP
20 Monroe Ave NW Grand Rapids 616.356.2000 thebobsbrewery.com REVUEWM.COM | October 2016 |
The Beer Issue
Red at night, beer drinker’s delight
Amid crowded field, Brewery Vivant takes ‘Coq of the Walk’ honors By Joe Boomgaard, Revue Beer Czar
t was a beer that Brewery Vivant intended to brew only once. However, Big Red Coq not only stuck around after its initial run, but it has also become the No. 2 selling beer for the Grand Rapids-based brewery, according to co-founder Jason Spaulding. “We gave it a tongue-in-cheek name because we thought it would be a one-off batch, but once it started gaining traction, we thought, ‘We can’t change it now,’” Spaulding said. “Luckily, there’s a good sense of humor in the beer world.” There’s reason to see why Big Red Coq has staying power: The Belgian-American hoppy red ale took top honors in Revue’s blind tasting of 13 red and amber ales. The beer got its start in the early days of Brewery Vivant, when the company was still experimenting with what would form its lineup of mainstay beers, according to Spaulding. His initial instruction to head brewer Jacob Derylo was to come up with “a hoppy red beer,” and Big Red Coq “was an instant hit. … It just kept picking up momentum.” “Back then, having a lot of hops in a Belgian-style beer wasn’t done that often,” Spaulding said. “It was pretty new.” Brewery Vivant perfected the recipe in-house, trying different variations and serving them at the pub at 925 Cherry Street in Grand Rapids. Today, the beer is brewed with citra hops, which explains the tropical flavors, along with a proprietary blend of some other hop varieties. “It being a red, I wanted it to have a malt background to it as well,” Spaulding said. “The malt does well with mango essence of the citra. Combined with our Belgian yeast strain, it makes it unique.”
Style Notes Ambers and reds are two related styles of ale that got their start in America in the 1980s. For their part, ambers started as a new interpretation of English bitters, according to author Jeff Alworth in “The Beer Bible.” Most ambers focus on balance and feature caramel and toffee sweetness from the caramel or crystal malt. Hops are present, but they take a backseat to the pronounced malty flavors. On the other hand, red ales have more hop character (some a lot more) and a lighter body, while they also retain some of the caramel malty sweetness.
54 | REVUEWM.COM | October 2016
Highly Recommended Big Red Coq
Brewery Vivant, Grand Rapids Score: 88.5
Brewer’s description: This red ale is all about hops. It is an American-Belgian fusion of beer styles taking imported Belgian caramel malts and
slapping it with a heavy-handed dose of American hops. Expect hints of mango, pineapple and citrus to hit your nose with an assertive hop presence. Revue: This is a beer that looks the part of a red ale, but the fruity hop aroma sets it apart. Where most reds or ambers are about balance of malty and hoppy, this one definitely swings more to citrusy hops — and we’re OK with that. Big Red Coq may not be true to style, but it was true to our reviewers’ palates.
Sundog Amber Ale
characteristics that probably put it at the fringe of what many would consider an amber. Still, the banana esters are a welcome addition, providing some depth and complexity to the nicely balanced amber base.
New Holland Brewing Co., Holland and Grand Rapids Score: 79.25
Brewer’s description: Sundog is an amber ale that emulates the copper glow of a Lake Michigan sunset. A showcase for caramel malt, Sundog presents a toasty character, with subtle malty sweetness and a nutty finish.
Dark Horse Brewing Co., Marshall Score: 75.25
Brewer’s description: While the malt and hops give this beer an amazing copper color, medium body, and a smooth mouthfeel, it’s the yeast that sets this one apart from other amber ales. … We thought it
would be cool to give our Amber a little Belgian touch. We accomplish this by using an “almost Belgian” yeast strain producing similar esters and flavors commonly found in more traditional Belgian beers. Revue: As one reviewer described it, this is a “Belgian banana bread wonder.” Its American amber looks belie its Euro-inspired roots, which add yeasty
Train Wreck Ale, Mountain Town Brewing Co., Mt. Pleasant. Score: 66.5
Red Jacket Amber Ale, Keweenaw
Brewer’s description: Our (Great American Beer Fest) bronze medal winning El Rojo Red Ale has a malty, roasted flavor profile. Entered in competition as an English brown, the El Rojo is really more of an American Red — bigger than Scottish Reds with a beautiful ruby red color and a rich, roasty, caramel body.
Traverse City. Score: 62.25
Griffin Claw Brewing Co., Birmingham Score: 74.75
Revue: This amber also featured a nice hoppy characteristic in the nose. Sundog is a true-to-style amber, with an interplay of caramel malty sweetness and hoppy notes. The notable hop aroma earned high points, as did this beer’s well-balanced flavor. Definitely a beer to revisit. [Fun fact: Before starting Brewery Vivant, Jason Spaulding co-founded New Holland with Brett VanderKamp in 1997, and helped create Sundog as well.]
Revue: During our blind tasting, the reviewers wondered whether a mislabeled brown ale had somehow slipped into the roster. It’s a darker beer than most reds, although it’s still clear and free from haze. Reviewers split on the aroma of this beer, but its balanced malty flavor and lingering finish earned praise. While other beers tasted here had more character from their hops, El Rojo was all about the malt.
Brewing Co., Houghton. Score: 64
Northern Hawk Owl, Right Brain Brewery,
Amber, Bell’s Brewery Inc., Galesburg Score: 62.25
Also tasted Siren, North Peak Brewing Co., Traverse City Bulldog Red Ale, Cranker’s Brewing Co., Big Rapids Manitou Amber Ale, Brewer y Terra Firma, Traverse City Burning Sun Red Ale, Gonzo’s BiggDogg Brewing Co., Kalamazoo Lucky Enough Amber Ale, Cellar Brewing Co., Sparta n
Scene | Sounds | Sights Dining Schedule REVUEWM.COM | October 2016 |
The Beer Issue
Weird Beers Innovation spawns progress, but it’s a fine line. After all, not every innovation should move off the back of a napkin and become reality. Here are four “innovative” beers that probably should have remained barroom banter and not made it to production.
“From sewer to brewer”
Schedule Dining Sights | Sounds | Scene
Belgian scientists have been credited with many important findings in modern history, including the Big Bang Theory, electric motors and research into the division of cells. But all that Westvleteren 12 seems to have gone to their heads, as now they’ve devised a way to use solar power to turn urine into a fertilizer product and — get this — potable water for brewing, according to a Reuters report. They collected 1,000 liters of whiz during a music festival in Ghent by encouraging concertgoers with the use of clever social media, including the #PeeForScience slogan. Scientists hope to deploy the piss purifier in drought-ridden areas of the developing world. In related news, Half Moon Bay Brewing Co. in water-starved California has started ex-
MOBILE EYES miOttawa.org/SAP
perimenting with using recycled wastewater from NASA to make beer, according to a story from Bloomberg. Half Moon started with an IPA, but we hope they take up our suggestion of brewing a Flush It Down Brown next.
Thar she blows
From the “Just because it’s there, doesn’t mean they should make beer out of it” file, Australian Broadcasting Corp. reports Robe Town Brewery is using so-called whale vomit in its signature new beer. Ambergris, commonly known as whale vomit, is a “pungent, musky substance” that originates from the intestines of sperm whales. However, it’s only recovered after they die, meaning that it’s extremely rare, often going for thousands of dollars per ounce. Robe Town opted to include the ambergris in an imperial amber ale that it describes as having an “animalistic aroma” that “may not be for the faint-hearted.” In the understatement of the year, the brewer’s wife told the broadcaster that the beer had a “challenging” flavor.
Living life upside down must cause you to do some crazy stuff, since the Aussies show up again in this report with a beer fermented using yeast initially captured from the lint in a brewer’s belly button. In this case, 7 Cent
Call 911 when:
• someone is drinking while driving.
Down the happy trail
Lastly, in a show of international sexism, Polish brewer The Order of Yoni worked with a Czech model to brew a beer with lactobacillus bacteria sourced from — you guessed it — her vagina. While brewers often use lactobacillus to produce lactic acid in sour ales, The Order of Yoni creepily claims that using the vaginal bacteria imbues the beer with the “sensuality, charm, passion (and) sexuality” of model Alexandra Brendlova. In an obvious play for pervy craft beer drinkers, the company notes that Bottled Instinct is “a golden drink brewed with her lure.” Further proving that it’s literally the most despicable brewery in the world, Yoni said it also has its sights set on creating BDSM ale, “a sour ale made with smoked plums and vaginal lactic acid bacteria of a red-head or brunette model.” Shut. It. Down. n —Compiled by Joe Boomgaard
What to do next:
• explain the reason for the call.
• a car is swerving or violating traffic signals.
• give a vehicle description and the license plate number.
• someone is visibly intoxicated; walking to his/her car to drive.
• give a location
This publication was supported by a grant from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services/ Office of Drug Control Policy, through Lakeshore Regional Entity. Its’ contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of MDHHS/ ODCP or LRE.
56 | REVUEWM.COM | October 2016
Brewery’s two-bit idea was inspired by Rogue Ales’ use of beard yeast. “Sometimes to go forward, you need to be a little backwards,” the company said in a video about the launch of Belly Button Beer, which it describes as a “Belgian-ish Witbier” that’s made with orange zest and coriander. The fluff yeast is responsible for the familiar spicy clove and banana esters.
(e.g. North on US 31).
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REVUEWM.COM | October 2016 |
The Beer Issue
The Brewtiques of West Michigan by Missy Black
f there’s a strong desire for craft beer, the ever-growing business for beer merchandise is just as ravenous. Spring boarding from T-shirts, sweatshirts and hats, breweries’ offerings have spilled over into lifestyle accessories and novelty items including (believe it or not) underwear. “It’s a simple way to represent your travels and beer adventures,” said Jon Ward, experience warden at Brewery Vivant. “It’s like wearing a hat or jersey from your favorite band or sports team.”
This visual cue is a conversation starter, a touchpoint in communication that brings people together. Oh, and it’s brewery
marketing gold. “When you see somebody away from the pub representing the merchandise, it’s great,” said Nick Lockman, Short’s Brewing Co.’s merchandise manager.
Rockford Brewing Co. hat
Beer lovers want to answer questions about their favorite breweries and make recommendations. It’s also about loyalty if you ask Leeza Spear, merchandise manager at Unruly Brewing, whose edgier, more rock ‘n’ roll-style wares have an avid following. Essentially, it’s their way of being the hype boy or girl for where (and what) they’re drinking. “Customers come in and feel they’re a part of the brewery,” Spear said, adding that “craft beer drinkers are very loyal.” Whether it’s a badge of honor or a form of street cred, grabbing brewery keepsakes is a special reminder of your travels. Reminiscent of carving your name or initials in a tree, there’s a form of ownership that stays with you long after your last sip at the bar. “It’s the great experience and great beer that makes people want to take something home so they can remember it,” said Jesse Den Herder, creative director at Short’s. “It’s buying something you can’t get from a normal retail store. It’s a second experience with a souvenir vibe.” Successful merchandising creates a feeling of excitement around it.
Schedule Dining Sights | Sounds | Scene
Short’s Brewing Co. Key Lime Pie soap
“For me, personally, I love that we create art prints for every single beer,” Den Herder said. “We put a lot of care in being able to showcase the brewery. It’s another way for people to connect with us and our story.” Brewery Vivant saw a huge jump in merchandise sales that corresponded to a beer tourism spike when Grand Rapids was named Beer City the first time. Ward stocks what’s new and innovative, picks interesting colors and sticks with tried and true items, all without getting too gimmicky. Vivant offers ceramic steins with the company’s logo, along with handmade wooden steins, some with antler handles. “I brought in some sunglasses recently because I had a great conversation with a lady who buys them at every brewery she can,” Ward said. “They have been selling really well.” Ultimately, it’s about that warm and fuzzy — or in this case, cold and foamy — feeling you get inside when you put your beer goods to use. “To me, it’s more about having a collection of things that are linked to fond memories,” Ward said. “(Like) a beery version
Unruly Brewing guitar picks
58 | REVUEWM.COM | October 2016
of a record collection.” n
Brewery Ferment silver hop necklace
Founders Dirty Bastard cap
BREWERY VIVANT: ■■ If you’re rocking cool kicks, your socks better have game too. These bad boys are made in the U.S.A. and show the world your brewery of choice. $12. Brewery Vivant. ■■ This soccer scarf is the perfect thing to keep you warm in the coming seasons. $20. Brewery Vivant. ■■ If brews and bikes are your thing, check out the Borah Cycling Jersey. This custom-made jersey (also available in women’s) is relaxed and club cut, not quite as form-fitting as a racing jersey. $80. Brewery Vivant.
SHORT’S BREWING COMPANY: ■■ Shower beer, anyone? The handcrafted and moisturizing Key Lime soap is inspired from the Key Lime experimental ale made with fresh limes, milk, graham crackers and marshmallow fluff. $5.95. Short’s Brewing Co. ■■ The hoodie of your buzzed dreams, this Michigan zip hoodie shows your love for your state and for Short’s Brewing. Stay super comfortable while cradling an Autumn Ale and staring deep into the flames. $49.95. Short’s Brewing Co.
Brewery Vivant jersey
UNRULY BREWING: ■■ A hat is the easiest way to show your brewery solidarity. You can’t miss the Unruly trucker hat in crisp black and white with a snapback (one size fits all). $12. Unruly Brewing Co. ■■ Rock out with custom guitar picks in three styles: thin, medium and heavy. $1. Unruly Brewing Co.
BREWERY FERMENT: ■■ A cold one in your hand and an even cooler attraction on your wrist, these hop cufflinks are encased with real Michigan hops with gold or silver findings. $30. Brewery Ferment. ■■ Adorn yourself with a necklace featuring real Northern Michigan hops inside. This statement piece is wrapped with silver colored aluminum wire on a thin, silver-colored link chain. $30. Brewery Ferment. Perrin Grapefruit IPA beach towel
■■ Represent hardcore with the red plaid cap depicting the Dirty Bastard label art. $20. Founders Brewing Co.
PERRIN BREWING: ■■ Current mood: sweatpants. Take comfort in lazy loungewear that reminds you to get out of the house and do something — like drink beer! $35. Perrin Brewing Co. ■■ Pack a cooler of beer and head out to the water with this brightly colored beach towel that boldly displays your love for grapefruit IPA. $48. Perrin Brewing Co.
ROCKFORD BREWING: ■■ Does this shirt make you want to go fly fishing and drink beer? The Rockford Brewing staff recommends this great-fitting T-shirt, but they can also recommend the perfect beer. Notice the hat, too. $19. Rockford Brewing Co. Perrin sweatpants
REVUEWM.COM | October 2016 |
Scene | Sounds | Sights Dining Schedule
The Beer Issue
Revue’s comprehensive list of breweries in West Michigan Compiled by Revue Staff
GRAND RAPIDS AREA 57 Brew Pub & Bistro 1310 W. WASHINGTON, GREENVILLE 57BREWPUB.COM (616) 712-6226
This Greenville brewpub aims to keep it local, using as many Michigan-based ingredients as possible with their beers. For example, the 57 Chevy MIPA, as in Michigan IPA, features hops grown just a few miles away at Hopyards of Kent. They also offer a full menu. OPEN: 7 days.
B.O.B.’s Brewery 20 MONROE AVE. NW, GRAND RAPIDS THEBOBSBREWERY.COM (616) 356-2000
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 that are available year round. Be sure to check out the Crimson King and look for the delicious seasonal Peanut Butter Porter. OPEN: Thursday-Saturday.
Brewery Vivant 925 CHERRY ST. SE, GRAND RAPIDS BREWERYVIVANT.COM (616) 719-1604
Since 2010, Brewery Vivant has been making Belgian-inspired beer and promoting the sustainability
of beer in cans. The Duck Confit Nachos could be the best nachos in Grand Rapids, but Vivant took second place for Best Burger and Best Fries in Revue’s Best of the West awards. OPEN: 7 days.
Brew Works of Fremont 5909 S. WARNER, FREMONT BREWWORKSOFFREMONT.COM (231) 924-6855
This brewery was the second to open in Newaygo County. It offers a wide range of ales and stouts, as well as a full menu. OPEN: 7 days. New!
Cedar Springs Brewing 95 N MAIN ST. NE, CEDAR SPRINGS CSBREW.COM (616) 696-2337
This German-centric brewery is all about authentic Bavarian and American food and light, refreshing lagers and weissbeers. The big beer hall-style taproom creates an atmosphere of socialization as well. All these things combined have made Cedar Springs Brewing a destination spot for beer lovers from all over the region. OPEN: 7 days.
Cellar Brewing Co. 500 E DIVISION ST., SPARTA CELLARBREWINGCO.COM (616) 883-0777
Cellar is a business of many talents. Not only is it notable for
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NOW IN CANS!
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HAND CRAFTED TRADITIONAL ALES AND LAGERS
17 S. 2ND ST. GRAND HAVEN, MI 616.414.7822
W W W. G R A N D A R M O RY B R E W I N G . C O M REVUEWM.COM | October 2016 |
The Beer Issue
Brewery Guide, continued
its beer selections, but the brewing company also has a winery and onsite distillery. Yes, friends, all your craft alcohol needs can be met in one place. There are 16 beers on tap, specialty cocktails, shooters and a number of wines in various styles. OPEN: 7 days.
ters) describe the beer by flavor profile and color, not style. It’s both innovative and tasty. OPEN: 7 days.
Despite being tucked in a very competitive crevice of the Wealthy Street District, Elk Brewing has thrived since opening in 2014. In addition to brewing time-proven classics with their own little twist, Elk’s support for nearby businesses is on display with their collaboration with Rowster Coffee. OPEN: 7 days.
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454 68TH ST. SW, GRAND RAPIDS CRANKERSBREWERY.COM (616) 827-1919
The wheels have definitely been in motion with Cranker’s Brewery as they have opened up a grand total of three locations. Their recipe for success: a menu the size of a George R.R. Martin novel and a small, but strong, lineup of mainstay brews. OPEN: 7 days. New!
Creston Brewery 1504 PLAINFIELD AVE. NE, GRAND RAPIDS CRESTONBREWERY.COM
Grand Rapids’ love of craft beer can’t be contained within the confines of downtown. The newly-opened Creston Brewery is bringing delicious Latin American fare to its eponymous neighborhood, along with a wide variety of brews. The menu (and brewmas-
62 | REVUEWM.COM | October 2016
Elk Brewing 700 WEALTHY ST. SE, GRAND RAPIDS ELKBREWING.COM (616) 238-5227
Elk Brewing Comstock Park 400 DODGE ST., COMSTOCK PARK ELKBREWING.COM
Elk’s second location gives the brewers, kitchen and customers all far more room to work with. Working with three times more capacity, the brewmasters may be churning out even better brews than before, and more than 200 people can fill the taproom if the patio’s open. Plus: Food! OPEN: 7 days.
Founders Brewing Company 235 GRANDVILLE AVE. SW, GRAND RAPIDS FOUNDERSBREWING.COM (616) 776-1195
The Colossus of Craft needs no introduction. In fact, Founders has seen so much success that it’s now the 20th largest brewery in the country. The brewery is even opening a second production facility after swallowing an entire city block in downtown Grand Rapids. OPEN: 7 days. New!
Fountain Hill Brewery 151 FOUNTAIN ST. NE, GRAND RAPIDS GRCC.EDU (616) 234-3690
Owned by Grand Rapids Community College, this new brewery is only open on specific dates, when fellow students (and the general public) get 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 (616) 458-7000
Fill your pint with a piece of Michigan history: the Silver Foam Lager from Grand Rapids Brewing Co., the Midwest’s first USDAcertified organic brewery and winner of this year’s Grandwich competition. OPEN: 7 days.
it is today, Greyline garnered a reputation instantly. How do you win Best New Brewery in Revue’s Best of the West contest, despite opening a week before the contest begins? You make damn good beer, and you do it with attitude. OPEN: 7 days.
Gravel Bottom Brewery
Harmony Brewing Company
418 ADA DR., ADA GRAVELBOTTOM.COM (616) 920-7398
Gravel Bottom continues to persevere as a unique hybrid of homebrew supplier and brewpub. With six rotating taps featuring recipes from local homebrewers, every trip to the bar presents a surprise. You might end up sitting next to the guy who made your drinking possible. Stop by to pick up beer equipment, stay to try the next brainchild from these passionate homebrewers. OPEN: Tuesday-Sunday. New!
Greyline Brewing Co. 1727 ALPINE AVE. NW, GRAND RAPIDS (269) 792-2739
Here’s a brewery that didn’t hit the ground running — it was more of a sprint. With the knowledge and expertise of many of the people that made Founders what
1551 LAKE DR. SE, GRAND RAPIDS
Harmony Hall 401 STOCKING AVE. NW, GRAND RAPIDS HARMONYBEER.COM (616) 233-0063
Harmony’s made a name for itself with irresistible wood-fired pizzas in Grand Rapids’ Eastown, but its second location on the West Side has turned more than a few heads as well. Authentic, handmade sausages are the key here, but the steep increase in tap handles helps too. Plus, with the help of Mitch Ermatinger, founder of Speciation Artisan Ales, the brewery is churning out some Grade A sour and wild ales. OPEN: 7 days.
Hideout Brewing Company 3113 PLAZA DR., GRAND RAPIDS HIDEOUTBREWING.COM (616) 361-9658
Where else can you go to play Super Mario World, practice your disc golf putt, and have more than 30 different batches of original beer to choose from? Fill up a variety of different howlers and growlers with the Smuggler’s Hazelnut Porter. OPEN: 7 days.
HopCat 25 IONIA AVE. SW, GRAND RAPIDS HOPCATGR.COM (616) 451-4677
Beer Advocate rated HopCat one of the best beer bars in the world and we must concur. This brewpub’s house-made beers have always been top-notch, but unique brews like the sour Unicorn On Acid have drawn more eyes to the in-house section of the menu. With around 100 beers on draft and even more in bottles, that says something. OPEN: 7 days.
Jaden James Brewery 4665 BROADMOOR, KENTWOOD JADENJAMESBREWERY.COM (616) 656-4665
Jaden James lacks the usual bravado-laden atmosphere of West Michigan breweries, but it makes up for that in spades.
Now Offering Brunch Saturday & Sunday, 8 am Brunch & Bloody Mary Bar Daily lunch and dinner chalkboard specials Check out our full menu at olddogtavern.com
(269) 381-5677 | 402 E. Kalamazoo Ave., Kalamazoo MI 49007 Billiards opening October 1st Rail House Grill opening mid October West Michigan’s new premiere steak house and billiard center
Scene | Sounds | Sights Dining Schedule
APA League Nights & Open Table Youth leagues Saturday afternoons Cue sales and billiard supplies Happy Hour M–F, 2–5 p.m. Weekly Tournaments (See our website for details)
Late night menu - Open 7 days a week, 11 a.m.–2 a.m.
91 Douglas Ave., Holland REVUEWM.COM | October 2016 |
The Beer Issue
Brewery Guide, continued
Regardless of whether you prefer beer, wine or cider, Jaden James has the perfect adult beverage to oblige your thirst. OPEN: Monday-Saturday.
West Michigan’s Fruit Ridge is the state’s fruit belt running from Newaygo County through northwestern Kent County. So it’s no surprise the folks at Ridge Cider decided to press some of that fruit into all kinds of hard cider, from cinnamon-vanilla to lime-ginger. OPEN: 7 days.
Kitzingen Brewery 1760 44TH ST. SW, WYOMING (616) 301-1811
This brewery’s owner, Rommie Bailey, was stationed in Kitzingen, Germany 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 both IPAs and authentic Hefeweizens on tap. OPEN: Tuesday-Saturday.
Rockford Brewing Company 12 E. BRIDGE ST., ROCKFORD ROCKFORDBREWING.COM (616) 951-4677
Huge ad vo c a t e s for We s t Michigan agriculture, Rockford means local and they mean business. The American pale, Paradigm, is Pure Michigan approved, with all ingredients sourced from Michigan soil. Get excited for the new farm-to-table kitchen fare, along with an outdoor deck overlooking the White Pine Trail. OPEN: 7 days.
New Holland’s The Knickerbocker 417 BRIDGE ST. NW, GRAND RAPIDS NEWHOLLANDBREW.COM (616) 345-5642
T he K nicker bocker is New Holland’s massive, four-story Grand Rapids location, featuring multiple bars, an outdoor beer garden and a speakeasy-inspired cocktail lounge. With this expansion, the brewing company is ramping up its distilling efforts and offering a “rustic, seasonal menu.” OPEN: 7 days.
Newaygo Brewing Company
Schedule Dining Sights | Sounds | Scene
19 STATE RD., NEWAYGO NEWAYGOBREWING.COM (231) 452-6551
Newaygo Brewing Company continues to grow as 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.
Osgood Brewing 4051 CHICAGO DR. SW, GRANDVILLE OSGOODBREWING.COM (616) 379-1237
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Schmohz Brewing Company Perrin Brewing Co. 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: Monday-Saturday. New!
OpenRoad Brewing Co. 128 S. MAIN ST., WAYLAND OPENROADBREWING.COM (269) 792-2739
Wayland’s been yearning for a brewery for some time now, and OpenRoad satisfies that need pretty perfectly. The beers span the gamut of classic styles, and the in-house coffee shop means the space is welcome to all from sunrise to after-dark. OPEN: 7 days.
The Peoples Cider Co. 600 MARYLAND AVE. NE, GRAND RAPIDS THEPEOPLESCIDER.COM (616) 322-7805
Two things come to mind when thinking about The Peoples Cider Co. The first is its P.C.Co #1,
which is a bourbon barrel-aged traditional dry cider. Boasting an ABV of nearly 8 percent, this heavy cider is in a class of its own. The second is Peoples Cider’s participation in the Fulton Street Farmer’s Market. OPEN: Wednesday-Saturday.
Perrin Brewing 5910 COMSTOCK PARK DR., COMSTOCK PARK PERRINBREWING.COM (616) 551-1957
Last year’s acquisition by Oskar Blues has made tremendous strides with successful releases like No Rules, a 15 percent ABV Vietnamese Porter. Let’s mute this conversation of selling out: Perrin is still pumping out an impressive array of craft beers. Out of the 20-25 brews that could be on tap on any given day, we recommend the Li’l Griz or 98 Problems IPA. OPEN: 7 days.
Ridge Cider Company 351 W. 136TH ST., GRANT RIDGECIDER.COM
2600 PATTERSON SE, GRAND RAPIDS SCHMOHZ.COM (616) 949-0860
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. OPEN: Monday-Saturday.
Sietsema Orchards & Cider Mill 8540 2 MILE RD., ADA SIETSEMAORCHARDS.COM (616) 676-5584
You can bet the farm on Sietsema Orchards and its four generations of harvesting apples. Enjoy all the splendors of a fall afternoon as you pick for honeycrisp apples and then try the bourbon barrel-aged Orange Label. OPEN: Open Thursday-Saturday. New!
Steele Street Brewing 300 S. STEELE ST., IONIA FACEBOOK.COM/ STEELESTREET200 (269) 332-5135
It’s not often a brewery is named after a street, but it’s also not often that a street has such a cool name. Steele Street aims
for quality, true-to-style beers without too many frills. Stop by for a cask ale and killer pizza on homemade bread. OPEN: Tuesday-Sunday.
The Mitten Brewing Co. 527 LEONARD ST. NW, GRAND RAPIDS MITTENBREWING.COM (616) 608-5612
Pizza and beer seems to be a popular duality in Michigan and The Mitten Brewing Co. does both superbly. Don’t miss one-of-a-kind concoctions like A League of Their Own, a light Blonde ale made with “Treasure of the Incas” herbal tea. OPEN: 7 days.
Trail Point Brewing Company 6035 LAKE MICHIGAN DR., ALLENDALE TRAILPOINTBREWING.COM (616) 895-2793
Not only is this Allendale’s first brewery, but it is also frequently catered by Grand Haven’s famous Arturo’s Tacos. Get there before the Judo Hop (Double IPA) runs dry. OPEN: Wednesday-Monday. New!
Vander Mill Grand Rapids 505 BALL AVE. NE, GRAND RAPIDS VANDERMILL.COM (616) 259-8828
With the move to Grand Rapids, Vander Mill stepped up its game on every level. The new warehouse space allows for far more production, which means more flavors and more distribution. Specialty brews like the Loving Cup, a cider with pink peppercorn and hibiscus, have attracted outsiders and locals alike. Meanwhile, the food menu brings high-end cuisine to an industry mostly dominated by sandwiches and pub snacks. OPEN: 7 days.
Walldorff Brewpub & Bistro 105 E. STATE ST., HASTINGS WALLDORFFBREWPUB.COM (269) 945-4400
If you happen to get thirsty after slinging some plastic at Hammond Hill Disc Golf Course, stop in and show your appreciation to
Walldorff Brewpub for the two holes that they sponsored. IPA fans will love Hopnoxxious. OPEN: 7 days.
Big Hart Brewing Co. 4086 W. POLK ROAD, HART BIGHARTBREWING.COM (231) 301-8226
Offering a full spread of “beer & food made with Hart,” it’s especially hard to forget some of the unique names, like Gluten For Punishment, a German-style wheat ale, and Smoke Follows the Jive Ass, an aggressively smoked porter. OPEN: Tuesday-Sunday
Big Lake Brewery 977 BUTTERNUT AVE., SUITE 4, HOLLAND BIGLAKEBREWING.COM (616) 796-8888
From looking at the tap list, you wouldn’t expect Big Lake Brewery to belong to the category of homebrewer-turned-pro, but it’s precisely that. The thing is, they’re more of the undrafted-QBgone-MVP variety. The selection of brews is dynamic. We’re most excited about the Ryecoe IPA, an ale brewed with rye, Simcoe hops and grapefruit. OPEN: 7 days.
Dutch Girl Brewery 14964 CLEVELAND ST., SPRING LAKE DUTCHGIRLBREWERY.COM (616) 607-2026
Dutch Girl’s tap list feels polished from top to bottom. As an added bonus this year, the brewery also added a kitchen offering appetizers, sandwiches and salads. OPEN: Tuesday-Sunday.
Fetch Brewing 100 W. COLBY ST., WHITEHALL FETCHBREWING.COM (231) 638-7545
Fetch Brewing is a refreshing test of convention. From its ceramic howlers and growlers spun by a local potter to their diverse selection of brew styles, this is a business focused on an innovative future. OPEN: 7 days.
COMING next month
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355 E. Kalamazoo Ave., Kalamazoo, MI 49007 269.382.2332
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DEADLINES Ad Space Reservation: Oct. 14 Street date: Nov. 1
The Beer Issue
Brewery Guide, continued
Fireside Brewing Co. 430 W. 17TH ST., HOLLAND FACEBOOK.COM/ FIRESIDEBREWING (616) 294-3777
Fireside just opened shop last month in the Southside of Holland near Lake Macatawa. They’ve got all the classics: a wee heavy, blonde ale, coffee stout, etc. But one thing you likely won’t find anywhere else: a decaf coffee stout. OPEN: 7 days.
Grand Armory Brewing Company Brewery 16 S. 2ND ST., GRAND HAVEN GRANDARMORYBREWING.COM (616) 414-7822
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. OPEN: 7 days. New!
Grand Haven Brew House 100 WASHINGTON AVE., GRAND HAVEN GRANDHAVENBREWHOUSE.COM (616) 607-2060
This brewpub in Grand Haven features exclusive brews from HawkPeak Brewing Co., an in-house brewery, as well as dozens of
other selections from breweries all around the world. Toss in live music and a classic pub fare menu, and you’re good to go. OPEN: 7 days.
Jamesport Brewing Company 410 S. JAMES ST., LUDINGTON JAMESPORTBREWINGCO.COM (231) 845-2522
Jamesport operates from a piece of historical Ludington real estate. The Victorian storefront
was constructed in 1890 for the purpose of running a saloon. So, in a way, opening up a brewpub was the most faithful way the owners could have honored its memory. OPEN: 7 days.
Macatawa Ale Company 102 S. RIVER AVE., HOLLAND MACATAWAALECOMPANY.COM (616) 848-7677
It’s the classic homebrewer goes pro story at Macatawa. The family-run brewery brews beers
CRAFT BEER: Glossary of Terms Craft beer has a language unto itself. Here’s a glossary to help you
Beer it forward (BIF): You buy or give some-
understand Beer Geek Speak.
one a beer with the understanding that he/she must do the same in the near future.
Crowler: A 32-ounce aluminum can of craft beer filled
from the tap and sealed with a special machine developed by Oskar Blues Brewery. It’s billed as being more portable than a growler, with a better seal so the beer stays fresh longer.
Howler: A 32-ounce container, typically glass, used for
Dank: A descriptor for hops that have a smell reminis-
Infected: Imperfections in the brewing process can
cent of a certain plant known colloquially as the devil’s lettuce.
introduce rogue bacteria into a beer, giving it off-flavors ranging from buttery or grassy to metallic or skunky.
Firkin: A wooden or metal cask used for naturally car-
Mule: Someone who procures hard-to-find beer or
bonated, small-batch beers. A firkin is tapped by driving in a spout with a hammer. No carbon dioxide or nitrogen is used to carbonate the beers.
Foeder: A wooden vessel used for fermenting tradiSchedule Dining Sights | Sounds | Scene
transporting beer from the taproom for off-premise consumption. It’s a smaller version of the 64-ounce growler.
tional Belgian beers as well as wild ales.
Gose: A traditional German style of sour wheat beer that often features citrusy flavors and a salty finish.
Gravity: The measurement of a beer’s density to determine how much of the sugar from the malted grains used to brew the beer has been dissolved. Gruit: An ancient style of beer made without the addition of hops. Typically, gruits use yarrow, rosemary or other spices, herbs and berries to add bitterness.
66 | REVUEWM.COM | October 2016
ranging from IPAs to Wheats, Stouts and Blondes. OPEN: Monday-Saturday
New Holland Brewing Co. 66 EAST 8TH ST., HOLLAND NEWHOLLANDBREW.COM (616) 355-6422
New Holland Brewing Company has been a major player in the craft beer industry since 1996 and appears to have no plans of slowing down anytime soon. They’ve expanded their business model by distilling impressive spirits and developing a strong new brand. OPEN: 7 days.
Odd Side Ales 41 WASHINGTON AVE. SUITE 160, GRAND HAVEN ODDSIDEALES.COM (616) 935-7326
As the name suggests, Odd Side is enamored with crafting creative and experimental beer and providing a unique atmosphere. We can’t think of another place in the Midwest where you can drink a Mexican hot-chocolate stout and play bubble hockey as you watch a dart-throwing league compete. OPEN: 7 days.
Old Boys’ Brewhouse 971 SAVIDGE ST., SPRING LAKE OLDBOYSBREWHOUSE.COM (616) 850-9950
Session ale: A full-flavor, low-alcohol beer that’s intended to be consumed in multiples.
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.
Shelf turd: A beer that’s readily available all the time,
Our Brewing Company
beers not available in your area and transports them to you.
but may often sit on the shelf for too long past its prime.
SMaSH: An acronym for “single malt and single hop,” SMaSH beers are brewed to show off the interplay of specific malt and hop ingredients. Whale: A rare or limited-edition beer, often only released at a brewery and typically of the barrel-aged variety. —Compiled by Josh Veal and Joe Boomgaard
76 E. 8TH ST., HOLLAND OURBREWINGCOMPANY.COM (616) 994-8417
One thing that you can count on from the crew at Our Brewing Company is a tap list that never likes to stay the same for very long. OPEN: 7 days.
Pigeon Hill Brewing Company 500 W. WESTERN AVE., MUSKEGON PIGEONHILLBREW.COM (231) 375-5184
Pigeon Hill has made a major contribution to the world with the creation of their Oatmeal Cream Pie ale, but a visit to the brewery by Revue’s staff showed that the owners know their IPAs and cream ales as well. OPEN: 7 days.
Pike 51 Brewing Company 3768 CHICAGO DR., HUDSONVILLE PIKE51.COM (616) 662-4589
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. Trying to take it easy? Pike 51 has you covered with its homemade root beer. OPEN: 7 days.
Saugatuck Brewing Company 2948 BLUE STAR HIGHWAY, DOUGLAS SAUGATUCKBREWING.COM (269) 857-7222
This expansive microbrewery combines the charm and character of an Irish pub with the bold, contemporary elements of a gleaming microbrewery. With a brew-on-premise permit, you could even try your hand at brewing. OPEN: 7 days.
Tripel Root 146 EAST MAIN, ZEELAND TRIPELROOT.COM (616) 953-0050
Tripel Root has a reputation for sustainable business practices and their handcrafted stone breads. OPEN: Monday-Saturday.
Unruly Brewing Company 360 WEST WESTERN AVE., MUSKEGON UNRULYBREWING.COM (231) 288-1068
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.
All Craft Beers $3 Wine $5 Well Drinks $3
UR O H PYF MENU P A H pm M3-6
ART HOPS 5 PM | FREE
2 Sliders Smoked White Fish 1/2 Dozen Smoked Shrimp Smoked Wings - 6 pack Cup of Chili
LIVE MUSIC 6 PM | FREE
701 Wealthy SE, Grand Rapids MI 49503 - 616.551.1108
KEIL LASIK VISION CENTER email@example.com
LASER LIGHT SHOWS 8 PM | $3
kalamazoomuseum.org 269.373.7990 The Kalamazoo Valley Museum is operated by Kalamazoo Valley Community College and is governed by its Board of Trustees
REVUEWM.COM | October 2016 |
Scene | Sounds | Sights Dining Schedule
Travel unscripted with LASIK p. 616.365.5775
YOUR MONTHLY ENTERTAINMENT DESTINATION!
The Beer Issue
Brewery Guide, continued
you’ll certainly want to go there for the brewery’s killer selection of IPAs, including Super G or the Hudsonvillian, a triple IPA. If you’re lucky enough to see Black Flame listed, you won’t want to miss this maple barrel-aged imperial stout. OPEN: 7 days.
Message in a bottle? When you belly up to the bar, you may want to think long and hard about your drink order — and not just whether you want an IPA or a stout. According to a recent survey of 2,000 Americans conducted by Learndipity Data Insights for Budweiser — yeah, that international brewery — 61 percent of respondents believe that “what a person drinks at a bar gives significant clues about their personality.” Here’s a look at what your drink says about you. (Surprise: Beer drinkers come across as more congenial than other imbibers.) Chat me up: 70 percent of women and 59 percent of men who drink “domestic beer” are perceived as more approachable. Last we checked, West Michigan craft beer was made domestically, so eff you AB/InBev. Foreign and fancy: Imported beer had a positive effect for 36 percent of women and 29 percent of men. Something to “wine” about: Wine drinkers are much less approachable than beer drinkers. Just 23 percent of women and 18 percent of men who drink wine are seen as approachable.
Schedule Dining Sights | Sounds | Scene
Mixed (drink) messages: Cocktail drinkers should chose a margarita if they’re worried about approachability: 38 percent of women and 28 percent of men who drink a margarita are perceived as approachable. — Reported by Revue staff
14921 CLEVELAND ST., SPRING LAKE VANDERMILL.COM (616) 842-4337
If you’ve been peeling down Cleveland Street in Spring Lake for what seems like an eternity, stay the course: Vander Mill is worth the trek. Catering its ciders to every spectrum of the cider palate, connoisseurs of the alternative beverage market are
68 | REVUEWM.COM | October 2016
sure to find the perfect fermented apple concoction to meet their needs. OPEN: 7 days.
Virtue Cider 2170 62ND ST., FENNVILLE VIRTUECIDER.COM (269) 561-5001
We don’t know if you know Virtue Cider, but they’re kind of a big deal. If you want a classy — and we mean Burt Reynolds smoking
a stogie with a red velvet jacket, classy — 750 mL bottle of cider, you’ve come precisely to the right place. Enjoy it right on the farm. OPEN: 7 days.
White Flame Brewing Company 5234 36TH AVE., HUDSONVILLE WHITEFLAMEBREWING.COM (616) 209-5098
The tap list at White Flame offers a little bit of everything, but
432 E. PATERSON ST., KALAMAZOO BOATYARDBREWING.COM (269) 808-3455
Gonzo’s BiggDogg Brewery 140 S. KALAMAZOO AVE., KALAMAZOO GONZOSBIGGDOGGBREWING. COM (296) 217-0603
KZOO AREA AND BATTLE CREEK
If you enjoy the “sah-moooth” grove of yacht rock — or if you’ve ever harbored the desire to join a yacht club but always settled for drinking a cold one instead, Boatyard Brewing Company is just the place. Batches are brewed with local ingredients and artistic fermentation at this Kalamazoo microbrewery. OPEN: T7 days.
Gonzo’s is all about dogs, and we’re all about that. Try their Hollow Head Pumpkin Ale, Dogg Days Ale or Into the Night Stout, if you want a big dog. OPEN: 7 days.
If you want to bring back something interesting from Portage, pick up Latitude 42’s El Diablo, which is their Lil’ Sunshine Golden Ale infused with chipotle peppers. The cooks also know how to make a mean pizza. OPEN: 7 days.
103 WEST MICHIGAN AVE., BATTLE CREEK 701 E. MICHIGAN AVE., KALAMAZOO ARCADIAALES.COM (269) 963-9690
Arcadia may have launched in America’s cereal capital, but this brewery specializes in handcrafted British-style ales. It’s also since expanded to Kalamazoo. By combining the best malted barley across the pond and the best hop offerings of the Pacific Northwest, Arcadia produces beer with exceptional character and flavor. OPEN: Monday-Saturday (Battle Creek) & 7 days (Kalamazoo).
Bell’s Brewery 355 E. KALAMAZOO AVE., KALAMAZOO BELLSBEER.COM (269) 382-2332
Bell’s has become such a rock star of the industry that the perennial Oberon release is somewhat of a Michigan holiday, and 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
Bilbo’s Pizza Vander Mill Ciders
Boatyard Brewing Company
3307 STADIUM DR., KALAMAZOO BILBOSPIZZA.COM (269) 382-5544
Game of Thrones may have various beers brewed in their image, but The Lord of the Rings has had a brewpub/pizzeria dedicated to the trilogy since 1976. Although they pour drafts from several different breweries, we recommend Bilbo’s famous Wizard Wheat or Red Dragon Ale. OPEN: 7 days.
5402 PORTAGE RD., KALAMAZOO BRAVOKALAMAZOO.COM (269) 344-7700
For eight years, Bravo! has concentrated on pairing their stellar fine dining experience with small batch brews, featuring staples like the Chef’s Amber Ale and bold offerings like the Triple Vice, a bourbon barrel-aged stout brewed with cocoa nibs and local Kalamazoo coffee. OPEN: 7 days.
Dark Horse Brewing Company 511 S. KALAMAZOO AVE., MARSHALL DARKHORSEBREWERY.COM (269) 781-9940
The History Channel was truly onto something special when they decided to film a 12-episode reality show about Dark Horse. Their attitude is crass and their beer is badass. Just don’t play AC/DC or Nickelback on the jukebox there. Seriously, don’t. And don’t f*** around with the bidet. OPEN: 7 days. New!
Distant Whistle Brewhouse 118 S. MAIN ST., VICKSBURG (269) 370-7549
Distant Whistle has honed in on the four elements of what every brewery strives for: a great location, great beer, great people and great times. They wanted to be the go-to beer destination in Vicksburg and they’ve accomplished that, with brews like the C-C-C-Combo Breaker pale ale and the Bilbo Brown Baggins. OPEN: Wednesday-Sunday.
Latitude 42 Brewing Company 7842 PORTAGE RD., PORTAGE LATITUDE42BREWINGCO.COM (269) 459-4242
Millgrove Brewing Company 633 HOOKER RD., ALLEGAN MILLGROVEBREWING.COM (269) 355-8803
Allegan’s first microbrewery enjoys all the little nuances of a good ol’ boy tavern with a consistent quality of small-batch brews that loyal craft beer enthusiasts will be elated with. We recommend the Cherry Porter. OPEN: Tuesday-Saturday.
Old Mill Brewpub 717 E. BRIDGE ST., PLAINWELL OLDMILLBREW.COM (269) 204-6601
In addition to its great handcrafted beer, Old Mill also serves some delicious food, along with wine and liquor from the centuryold Historic Eesley Mill, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. OPEN: 7 days.
Olde Peninsula Brewing Company 200 E. MICHIGAN AVE., KALAMAZOO OLDEPENKAZOO.COM (269) 343-2739
Some people believe that Bell’s was Kalamazoo’s first brewery, but we know that Olde Peninsula is the real OG in the Zoo. And with a tap specifically dedicated
RA RA RIOT NOVEMBER 5 DIMNENT CHAPEL @ 8PM
Scene | Sounds | Sights Dining Schedule
Ganders offers private and semi private dinner space for groups of 8-25 people.
28th Street SE at Patterson Ave. doubletreegrandrapids.com/ganders
MICHIGAN GROWN MICHIGAN MADE MICHIGAN BREWED Open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner
REVUEWM.COM | October 2016 |
The Beer Issue
Brewery Guide, continued
for hot pepper-infused brews, it’s well worth the trip. OPEN: 7 days.
One Well Brewing 4213 PORTAGE ST., KALAMAZOO ONEWELLBREWING.COM (269) 459-9240
For OWB, the well is a symbol for the prosperity of society and that is what it hopes to accomplish with its brewery: to contribute to the growing craft beer community and help stimulate the local economy by creating employment opportunities and providing locallyproduced products. OPEN: Wednesday-Sunday.
Rupert’s Brew House 773 W. MICHIGAN AVE., KALAMAZOO RUPERTSBREWHOUSE.COM (269) 337-9911
On a budget? Check out Rupert’s Brew House on a Thursday and grab a pint of their Double HighPA (a grapefruit-flavored IPA) for only $3.50. Dogs welcome as well! OPEN: 7 days.
Territorial Brewing Company 256 N. HELMER RD., SPRINGFIELD TERRITORIALBREWING.COM (269) 282-1694
Schedule Dining Sights | Sounds | Scene
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 Penetrator Doppelbock (12.9% ABV). OPEN: Tuesday-Sunday
Texas Corners Brewing Company 6970 TEXAS DR., KALAMAZOO TEXASCORNERSBREWINGCOMPANY.COM (269) 870-7724
It’s a daunting task to set up shop in Larry Bell’s backyard, but TCBC has established itself with an impressive list of year-round brews. The brewery also moonlights as a respectable cidery. OPEN: Tuesday-Saturday.
Tibbs Brewing Company 402 S. BURDICK, KALAMAZOO TIBBSBREWING.COM (877) 762-7397
70 | REVUEWM.COM | October 2016
Tibbs set up shop in 2013, adding to Kalamazoo’s growing beer scene. Despite trying to compete in an industry of typically deep pockets, the owners bootstrapped the business and now excel at delivering small-batch brews, many brewed in the Belgian tradition. OPEN: 7 days.
SOUTHWEST MICHIGAN Arclight Brewing Co. 544 N. MAIN ST., WATERVLIET ARCLIGHTBREWING.COM (269) 332-0718
Consider this a map to hidden treasure. 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. The Fornication D.I.P.A., the Opus Kriek (a sour ale with cherries), and the sugar-rimmed Snickerdoodle Porter have all made a splash. Be on the lookout for even more sour offerings in the future, as the brewery just received two 40-barrel foeders. OPEN: 7 days.
Barn Brewers Brewery 114 N. MAIN ST., LAWTON BARNBREWERSBREWERY.COM (269) 299-0481
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. We recommend filling your glass with Rye Spreader, an amber with a subtle rye presence. OPEN: Wednesday-Monday.
Cravings Bistro and Brewpub 1599 MALL DR., BENTON HARBOR FACEBOOK.COM/PAGES/ CRAVINGS-BISTRO-AND-PUB (269) 934-9700
Cravings Bistro and Brewpub has seven taps of its own brews, plus an additional 21 taps of visiting drafts that range from local brews to domestic beverages. The food menu varies from pub fare to fine cuisine. OPEN: Tuesday-Sunday.
Cultivate Brewing Company 961 EAST SHAWNEE RD., BERRIEN SPRINGS CULTIVATEBREWING.COM (269) 422-1324
This beautiful brewery overlooking an on-site hop yard and barley plot employs a very enviro-centric business model, owning up to the copious water usage of the industry, and vowing to cut those figures in half within the means of their own operation. OPEN: 7 days.
Final Gravity Brewing 103 N. PHELPS ST., DECATUR FINALGRAVITYBEER.COM (269) 436-8052
Formerly Patchwork, this brewery went through a name change, but still sticks with brews and gourmet pizza as its staples. OPEN: Wednesday-Sunday.
Tibbs Brewing Co.
Greenbush Brewing Co. 5885 SAWYER RD., SAWYER GREENBUSHBREWING.COM (269) 405-1076
Greenbush has always been known for its propensity for experimentation and a willingness to accept trial-and-error as an essential cog of the craft-brewing machine. Some breweries have an impressive gift shop. Greenbush has an entirely separate facility right across the street where you can get beers, charcuterie and other nibbles along with your merch. OPEN: 7 days.
The Livery 190 5TH ST., BENTON HARBOR LIVERYBREW.COM (269) 925-8760
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 Half Truth. OPEN: 7 days. New!
North Pier Brewing Co. 670 N. SHORE DR., BENTON HARBOR NORTHPIERBREWING.COM (269) 757-7163
North Pier is all about that yeast, focusing especially on Belgianinspired ales and other ester-filled styles like wits and saisons. It’s
flavorful, modern and communitybased above all else. OPEN: Wednesday-Monday
Paw Paw Brewing 929 E. MICHIGAN AVE., PAW PAW PAWPAWBREWING.COM (269) 415-0145
Fall is a time of thriving for Paw Paw, releasing a strong lineup of seasonal brews that include Twisted Pumpkin (a creamy pumpkin pie-spiced ale), Bloody Zombie (a spicy bloody mary ale) and the wine and harvest festival-inspired Concorde Blonde. OPEN: 7 days.
Round Barn Brewery 9151 FIRST ST., BARODA ROUNDBARNWINERY.COM (269) 326-7059
Round Barn is a winery that just so happens to know beer. The staff uses more than 30 years of fermentation experience to create quality beer for customers who crave more than just wine. OPEN: Tuesday-Sunday. New!
Silver Harbor Brewing Co. 721 PLEASANT ST., SAINT JOSEPH SILVERHARBORBREWING.COM (269) 281-7100
There’s plenty of great brews at Silver Harbor, sure, but if there’s one experience you won’t forget there, it’s the tableside-smoked Kumbaya Brown Ale. A glass chamber shaped like a bell jar is set over the pint, resting on a wooden disc. Then hickory smoke is injected, which infuses itself into the beer over time. It’s not just exciting and innovative, it’s quality, which matters above all. OPEN: 7 days. New!
Sister Lakes Brewing Co. 92500 CO. ROAD 690, DOWAGIAC FACEBOOK.COM/ SISTERLAKESBREW (269) 332-5135
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. But above all else, they offer community. OPEN: 7 days.
Tapistry Brewing Co 4236 LAKE ST., BRIDGMAN TAPISTRYBREWING.COM (269) 266-7349
While Tapistry looks like it’s aspiring to be Emerald City, it fits right in with the Midwest craft beer
scene thanks to strong products that make it hard to want to click those heels and head home. (Hint: Don’t miss the kick-ass double IPAs.) OPEN: 7 days. New!
Transient Artisan Ales 4229 LAKE ST., BRIDGMAN TRANSIENTARTISANALES.COM (269) 792-2739
Transient’s brews are truly transcendent, specializing in beers that take time. The Cranberry Maigre, a sour wheat ale aged on cranberries, is undeniably impressive, but the oak-aged brett Dry Hopped Saison is unforgettable. Do they have food? No. But can you bring your own, and your dog too? Yes. And that’s all that really matters. OPEN: Thursday-Sunday New!
Watermark Brewing Co. 5781 ST. JOSEPH AVE., STEVENSVILLE (269) 281-0872
Watermark wants to serve good beer, plain and simple. The Leisure Ale description explains it all: “Nothin’ snooty. Just beer.” OPEN: 7 days. n
Sweet Potato Curry
Pumpkin Spice Latte
ENJOY THIS SEASONâ€™S MENU!
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820MICHIGAN MichiganSTSTNENE 820 Grand GRAND Rapids, RAPIDS, MI MI 49503 49503 616-454-0444 616-454-0444
Coming next month The Drinking issue Celebrating local pubs, taverns, distilleries and more. Scene | Sounds | Sights Dining Schedule
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Open for Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner: 7 days a week
Schedule Dining Sights | Sounds | Scene
Note Worthy Dining.
NOT YOUR AVERAGE BAR FOOD.
Downtown Grand Rapids
10% OFF Inside Holiday Inn 310 Pearl St. NW (616) 235-1342 www.pearlstreetgrillgr.com
72 | REVUEWM.COM | October 2016
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Restaurant listings arranged by region
Grand Rapids Bistro Bella Vita 44 Grandville Ave. SW. 616-222-4600 ITALIAN. One of Grand Rapids’ best dining experiences, featuring Mediterraneaninspired country cuisine, a swanky yet comfortable downtown atmopshere and personable service. BBV’s culinary team creates authentic, housemade recipes made with locally grown produce, fresh seafood and rotisserie roasted meats. Specialty gluten-free menu, and can prepare custom dishes for lactose intolerant, vegetarian, and vegan diets. » SERVING: Lunch Dinner OPEN ON: Open 7 days. GO THERE FOR: Mediterranean Country Cuisine and Martinis. CitySen Lounge 83 Monroe Center St. NW. 616-608-1720 AMERICAN. CitySen Lounge, located in the heart of downtown Grand Rapids, is a bar with a big-city feel, offering exciting options for lunch, dinner and breakfast on the weekends. The focus is on fresh ingredients and a full bar with local brews, wine and creative cocktails. » SERVING: Lunch Dinner (Breakfast on weekends). OPEN: Open 7 days GO THERE FOR: Daily happy hour Divani 15 Ionia Ave. SW. 616-774-WINE. ECLECTIC. Divani offers a sophisticated environment, with chefs using Michigan-made ingredients in their creations, such as Dancing Goat Creamery, Otto’s Chicken, S&S Lamb, Ingraberg Farms, Mrs. Dog’s and Madcap. For the thirsty, the bar serves more than 300 types of liquor, 300 wines and 50 beers to complement each handcrafted meal. » SERVING: Dinner after 4 p.m. OPEN ON: Everyday but Sunday. GO THERE FOR: Wine and Local Cuisine.
Graydon’s Crossing 1223 Plainfield NE. 616-726-8260 TAVERN. An authentic take on the English Pub, with a huge selection of beers on tap and a menu that includes classic English dishes like Fish & Chips, Shepherd’s Pie and Irish Stew, as well as Indian specialties like
Marie Catrib’s 1001 Lake Dr. 616-454-4020 ECLECTIC. The East Hills eatery makes everything from scratch with local ingredients, and there are plenty of vegetarian and vegan options. Get there early for lunch, as there is almost always a wait. » SERVING: Breakfast Lunch Dinner OPEN ON: Open 7 days. GO THERE FOR: Salads, soups and sandwiches. Rockwell-Republic 45 S. Division Ave. 616-551-3563 ECLECTIC. Menu offerings range from sushi to burgers and everything in between. The craft cocktail menu runs the gamut from classics like the Manhattan to more modern concoctions and the beer and wine menus are nicely curated. » SERVING: Lunch Dinner OPEN ON: Open 7 days. GO THERE FOR: Specialty cocktails, broad menu, lively atmosphere. San Chez Bistro 38 West Fulton St. 616-774-8272 SPANISH/ECLECTIC. San Chez is both a café and a Tapas Bistro, now both housed in the same room. This is a social setting where people can remember the one rule of kindergarten: sharing. Featuring small, delicious dishes, San Chez can satiate your desire for variety. It’s also a hidden secret for breakfast in downtown Grand Rapids, offering a great start to any day. » SERVING: Breakfast Lunch Dinner OPEN ON: Open 7 Days. GO THERE FOR: Tapas, Breakfast, Sandwiches Terra GR 1429 Lake Dr. 616-301-0998 AMERICAN. Terra boasts fresh, healthy ingredients in every dish. The restaurant doesn’t feature one menu, either. It offers a Saturday and Sunday brunch menu, as well as menus for lunch, dinner, dessert, beverages, wine, happy hour and kids. The food is inspired by the seasons and ingredients come straight from one of Michigan’s many farms. » SERVING: Brunch Lunch Dinner. OPEN ON: Open 7 days. GO THERE FOR: Fresh foods with ingredients from regional growers.
Wheelhouse Kitchen & Cocktails 67 Ottawa Ave. SW, Grand Rapids. 616-226-3319 AMERICAN. Nestled into the ground floor of Grand Rapids’ new Arena Place tower, this casual/fine dining bistro is all about refined, locally-sourced versions of classic dishes in a modern, yet intimate, atmosphere. With an 85-seat porch, Wheelhouse wants to provide a true community experience. » SERVING: Lunch, Dinner. OPEN ON: 7 days (Sat.–Sun. dinner only). GO THERE FOR: Tartines, outdoor dining.
The Winchester 648 Wealthy St. SE. 616-451-4969 ECLECTIC. This upscale bar and restaurant feels like it was plucked from Chicago’s Bucktown or Logan Square neighborhoods. A comfortable spot to drink or dine, with an always evolving menu featuring shared plates, salads and inventive sandwiches and specials. When available, some produce items are harvested from their garden across the street. » SERVING: Brunch Lunch Dinner OPEN ON: Open 7 days. GO THERE FOR: DIY Bloody Mary Bar Special, Yucca Fries.
Kalamazoo/Battle Creek Central City Taphouse 359 S. Kalamazoo Mall. (269) 492-0100 TAPHOUSE. If Central City doesn’t have the kind of beer you want on tap, you’ll probably find it with the 75+ bottles. OH, you say you’re not a beer drinker? Well, Central City offers 20 wine ‘taps’ and a full bar. If you’re not the drinking type, that’s cool too. There are a number of food options to pick from, including a raw menu, a pizza menu and the all-day menu, which features burgers, soups and entrees. » SERVING: Lunch Dinner OPEN ON: Open 7 days. GO THERE FOR: Diverse beverage selection. Fieldstone Grille 3970 W. Centre St., Portage. 269-321-8480 AMERICAN. Lodge-retreat atmosphere overlooking the Moors Golf Club natural wetlands. The “field-to-plate” menu features burgers, pizzas, steaks and some eclectic items like quail. Try the FSG chips, a combination of potato, beet and sweet potato chips. » SERVING: Lunch Dinner OPEN ON: 7 days. GO THERE FOR: Blue Burger, Almond Crusted Walleye, FSG Chips.
Lakeshore 8th Street Grille 20 W. 8th St., Holland. 616-392-5888 AMERICAN. This eclectic grille offers a mix of draft and bottled craft beers and a variety of pub classics and new, American beer-inspired dishes. Happy hour includes half-off appetizers and $1 off drafts. » SERVING: Lunch, Dinner OPEN ON: 7 days. GO THERE FOR: 28 taps of craft beer.
CityVu Bistro 61 E 7th Street, Holland. 616-796-2114 AMERICAN. A distinctive rooftop dining experience in downtown Holland with fresh gourmet flatbreads and an array of seasonal entrees. The contemporary-yet-casual atmosphere, full bar and unique menus make it the ideal spot for lunch, dinner and Sunday brunch. » SERVING: Breakfast Lunch Dinner OPEN ON: Open 7 days GO THERE FOR: flatbreads
Everyday People Cafe 11 Center St., Douglas. 269-857-4240 AMERICAN. REVUE Publisher Brian Edwards calls Everyday People Café his favorite restaurant along the lakeshore. The atmosphere is casual and upbeat, the staff knows its stuff about wine and food, and the seasonal menu is filled with meticulously prepared, eclectic comfort food like Butternut Squash Risotto, Braised Lamb Shank and Ahi Tuna. A great wine list and tremendous desserts. » SERVING: Brunch (Weekends) Lunch Dinner OPEN: 7 days. GO THERE FOR: Gorgonzola Pork Chop, Greek Salad with Grandma Gigi’s Dressing (Edwards). Kirby House 2 Washington, Grand Haven. 616-846-3299 AMERICAN. The Grill Room doesn’t pretend to be anything other than what it is — a chop house and grill. Atmosphere is warm with Tuscan tones, atmospheric lighting, classically cool music and leather booths. The menu focuses on steaks and chops and makes no apologies. The steaks are prime USDA choice, the seafood selection immaculate, and the wine and beverage list is top shelf. Relaxed and unpretentious atmosphere. » SERVING: Lunch Dinner OPEN ON: 7 days. GO THERE FOR: Nightlife. Salt of the Earth 114 East Main St., Fennville. 269-561-7258 AMERICAN. Salt of the Earth is a farm-to-table-inspired restaurant, bar, and bakery located in the heart of SW Michigan farm country in Fennville. Focuses on fresh, seasonal, and local ingredients whenever possible. Also serves up live music on weekends. » SERVING: Lunch Dinner OPEN ON: 7 days. GO THERE FOR: House made rustic cuisine.
To submit or to correct information in a dining listing, e-mail email@example.com.
REVUEWM.COM | October 2016 |
Scene | Sounds | Sights Dining Schedule
Erb Thai 950 Wealthy St. SE #1A. (616) 356-2573. Additional locations at 4160 Lake Michigan Dr. NW, Suite B, and 820 Michigan St. NE. THAI. Food rooted in traditional Thai cuisine, but also made to accommodate health conscious and special diets. Not too strong, not too weak, like harmony and melody. Marketing representative Molly Rizor was a Thai virgin when she went and is now glad Erb Thai was her first experience. » SERVING: Lunch Dinner OPEN ON: Open 7 days. GO THERE FOR: Peanut Curry Noodles.
Tandoori Chicken and Tikka Masala. A great casual atmosphere for drinking and dining. » SERVING: Lunch Dinner OPEN ON: Open 7 days. GO THERE FOR: Beer and authentic pub food.
REVUE’s dining listings are compiled by staff and minions. This is not intended to be a comprehensive list of restaurants in the region. For an expanded list, be on the lookout for new and improved dining changes on our website, revuewm.com. The listings are not intended to be reviews of West Michigan restaurants, although we will inject some opinions into the listings based on staff experiences and personal preferences. To submit or to correct information in a dining listing, e-mail editor@ revuewm.com.
by Nick Macksood
Display case and signage at Fish Lads at the Downtown Market
Jeff Butzow of Fish Lads Schedule Dining Sights | Sounds | Scene
There’s no shortage of primo fish to reel in from our state’s tens of thousands of inland lakes (including four of the largest lakes in the world) and 300-plus rivers. And yet, nothing compares to an oceanic jewel like fresh king or coho salmon. That’s where Fish Lads comes in — purveying only the finest fillets in Grand Rapids’ own Downtown Market. We talked with Jeff Butzow, owner of Fish Lads, about his aquatic philosophy and plans for the new meat emporium, Carvers, set up just a few feet away.
74 | REVUEWM.COM | October 2016
So you spent a good deal of time in Seattle working with fish. How’d that come about? I grew up in Traverse City, went to school around Grand Rapids, and I just got tired of Michigan. I was 21 and had family in Seattle so I saved up some money and moved out there. I ended up going to Pike’s Place Market, saw the guys who throw fish and act all goofy and said, “That’s just not me.” I didn’t want to do that kind of corporate show. What did you want to do? I found a place down the hall called Pure Food. These guys were super laid back and had more of a natural attitude. They had a beautiful display and definitely knew what they were doing. I was checking things out and asked this older guy behind the counter if they needed any help. He looked at me and said, “Come back tomorrow at 7 and we’ll see how you do.” I came back the next morning at 7 a.m. and stayed there for the next nine years. And then you pretty much packed up and drove across the country to start Fish Lads, right? Yeah. I didn’t have a couple hundred thousand dollars to throw into a new business, so through a lot of negotiating, wiggling around and creating relationships, we made it happen. My buddy from Seattle helped me drive and start things up here. We’d start at 6 in the morning and go until about 9 or 10 o’clock at night. For three months straight. [Laughter] It was crazy. How does authenticity play into the Fish Lads model? Whenever I go out some place and find someone immediately in my face trying to oversell me something, it makes me want to turn around. I’d much rather interact with someone in the same way you’d talk with your friends or your family. And the same goes for our employees. I try not to impose a whole lot of structure on our guys because then you feel boxed in. Why not remove the box entirely and let people fall into their own? Tell me about the case. There’s a lot going on up in there. The whole experience — the fish, the ice, the way the display looks — there is a reason that it’s done that way and there’s a lot of psychology in it. Stack it high and watch it fly — it actually works. It throws people for a loop at first and they wonder what we do
Photos: Josh Veal
with all that product, which is funny to me because it’s never an issue. For one, the case is a storage unit in itself, but two, the biggest mistake you can make is leaving that case empty. That’s the flipside of perception. And all of this is moving onto land, so to speak, with Carvers, correct?* Yeah, right next door is going to Jeff Butzow have a lot of product from Snake River Farms, which works with a number of cattle farmers from Idaho, western Montana, Washington and Oregon. They’re the largest producer of American Kobe in the United States. We’re also going to have a line of grass-fed, Michiganraised beef. We want to have a quality option for whatever you’re looking for. That’s what I wanted to get at next, this discrepancy between the best ingredients and local ingredients. Well, there’s all this hype over words that have become major buzzwords in the food industry. It happened to “organic.” The consumer wanted organic, so then everything became organic to the point that it wasn’t any longer. Unfortunately the same thing is happening to words like “local” or “sustainable.” They become words to market a business. What really matters, then, if the labels aren’t really reliable? What I care about most is: Wherever in the world that product is coming from, it had better be the best. Because when people bite into that Copper River King Salmon or the American Kobe, none of that matters anymore. There are people that will pay a premium for local products, and that’s perfectly fine, but if you’re going to pay top dollar for salmon or steak from us, it really is going to be the best your money can buy. n *Editor’s Note: Carvers is open now, but was still a work in progress at the time of this interview.
S A– I Y A D Y R E V –E
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OCTOBER GROOVES WICKED 01 LADIES NIGHT/DJ DANIMAL 05 ACOUSTIC ROULETTE 06 CABIN FEVER THURSDAY 07 NEW RULE 08 LADIES NIGHT/DJ DANIMAL 12 ACOUSTIC ROULETTE 13 CABIN FEVER THURSDAY 14 MOMZ ATTIC 15 LADIES NIGHT/DJ DANIMAL 19 ACOUSTIC ROULETTE
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ACOUSTIC ROULETTE AREA’S FINEST JOIN FORCES 7-11P
$8 QUESADILLAS $5 SEASONAL COCKTAILS $3 SELECT DRAFTS
OCT 28-31 DJ s SPINNING Costume Contests Photo Booth Spooky Specials
DJ MATT B $8 QUESADILLAS $15 WOODY BUCKET
20 CABIN FEVER THURSDAY 21 ELECTRIC RED 22 LADIES NIGHT/DJ DANIMAL 26 ACOUSTIC ROULETTE 27 CABIN FEVER THURSDAY 28 BAND TBD 29 LADIES NIGHT/DJ DANIMAL
sunday funday $7
WITH SIDECAR OF BEER
LOADED CABIN BLOODY $3 ALL DRAFTS
$7 CHEESEBURGER AND FRIES
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Published on Sep 29, 2016
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