WEST MICHIGAN’S ENTERTAINMENT GUIDE FOR 29 YEARS
» OCTOBER 2017
Kettle to the Metal
Exploring Our Local Beer Scene
Also Inside: Brewery Guide, Beer Style Trends, The Pixies, Demetri Martin, Halloween
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REVUEWM.COM | OCTOBER 2017 |
The Michigan Brewers Guild 13th Annual
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Feb 23 Feb 24 5 TO 9 P.M.
SATURDAY 1 TO 6 P.M.
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OCTOBER 1 MODEST MOUSE w/ Mass Gothic
OCTOBER 14 YURI
OCTOBER 3 GOJIRA w/ Torche, Code Orange
OCTOBER 19 311 w/ Tropidelic
OCTOBER 7 PIXIES w/ Mitski
OCTOBER 8 HANSON
OCTOBER 21 GAVIN DEGRAW
OCTOBER 21 O.A.R.
OCTOBER 27 KIP MOORE w/ Drake White + The Big Fire, Jordan Davis
OCTOBER 28 MONSTER’S BALL
OCTOBER 11 MASTODON w/ Eagles of Death Metal, Russian Circles
OCTOBER 22 DEMETRI MARTIN
OCTOBER 13 THUNDERSTRUCK America’s AC/DC Tribute
OCTOBER 24 ALT-J w/ Bishop Briggs
OCTOBER 29 BEN FOLDS w/ Tall Heights
NOVEMBER 1 COLIN HAY w/ Brian Vander Ark
NOVEMBER 4 REGINA SPEKTOR
NOVEMBER 5 THE USED w/ Glassjaw
NOVEMBER 9 AARON LEWIS & BLACKBERRY SMOKE w/ Alex Williams
NOVEMBER 18 DESCENDENTS w/ Mustard Plug, Frank Iero
NOVEMBER 11 NEEDTOBREATHE
NOVEMBER 19 RALPHIE MAY
NOVEMBER 12 KARI JOBE w/ Cody Carnes
DECEMBER 9 DAMIEN ESCOBAR
NOVEMBER 13 ODESZA w/ Sofi Tukker, Louis Futon
DECEMBER 17 DUSTIN LYNCH w/ Ryan Hurd
NOVEMBER 15 HOLLYWOOD UNDEAD w/ Butcher Babies, Demrick
JANUARY 27 JIM NORTON
11 OTTAWA AVE NW • DOWNTOWN GRAND RAPIDS • 20MONROELIVE.COM
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NOVEMBER 17 MAGIC MEN LIVE!
October 2017 | Volume 29, Issue 10
SCENE 18 24
What’s Going On this Month Eclectic: Halloween Events
SOUNDS 27 28 30
On Tour: The Pixies On Tour: Third Eye Blind Local: Desmond Jones
33 34 36 38
Style Notes Comedy: Demetri Martin Comedy: GR Improv Festival Film: Funny Laugh Productions
REVUE ARTS: 1A
Visual arts, classical music, theater, arts event previews and more. (See the center of this issue)
SPECIAL SECTION: THE BEER ISSUE 44 46 48 50 52 53 54 56 58 66 67 68
Rising styles and trends in craft beer Brewer profiles Macro beer taste-off Cooking with beer Will weed kill craft beer? Weird beers Q&A: Sharkman Brewers recount when they converted to craft beer Brewery guide Brewery news GR Beer Tours Beer events
DINING & DRINKING:
71 72 78
Restaurant Guide Table Talk: City Built Brewing Co. Last Call: Buffalo Lounge
NOVEMBER 2, 2017
LETTER FROM THE EDITOR
f you pull aside many professional craft brewers and ask them about their go-to style of beer, you’re likely to hear a common response, one that’s potentially surprising for craft-crazy drinkers in West Michigan. While they spend their days making full-flavored IPAs, stouts and ales, local brewers often are reaching for the classics like pilsners and lagers when it comes time to wind down and have a drink on their own. What’s more, they’re often eager to tell you that those styles get an unfair reputation among craft beer enthusiasts. On their time, they’re drinking beers like PBR, Coors Banquet and Miller High Life, or imports like Tecate and Modelo. The godfather of them all — Pilsner Urquell from the Czech Republic — remains another favorite, especially now that it’s available stateside in tall cans. (Pro tip: Avoid drinking it from a green bottle.) Debate macro-brewers’ practices and policies all you want, but even craft brewers can respect the consistency and product reliability the macro brands have achieved, even if it comes with a lack of flavor. (See our massive brewer-decided taste-off of macro beers on Page 38.) While the craft brewing revolution started as a reaction to the blandness of mass-produced American adjunct lagers, more of the craft producers are coming full circle by embracing traditional styles like pilsners and lagers. For example, a recent collaboration between Transient Artisan Ales and Speciation Artisan Ales — both known for their sour and wild ales — yielded the wryly named Sorry to Disappoint You, a Saaz dryhopped wild pilsner. “We knew people would expect us to brew a sour, so we decided to do the exact opposite … and disappoint everyone,” the companies said at the release.
As well, Cedar Springs Brewing based its business model on traditional German-style pilsners and weissbiers. Bell’s has been offering its Czech pilsner Lager of the Lakes for years now. And even Founders started experimenting with lagers in its taproom following the launch of PC Pils, its hopped-up take on the classic style. You’d be forgiven if you’re thinking: “Surely, we’re not going to see a craft light lager anytime soon.” Well, brace yourselves: Perrin Brewing Co. now seems poised to go after the calorie-conscious drinker with its own Perrin Light Lager, a 3.8 percent ABV beer “brewed in the true American lager tradition,” according to a label the company submitted last month to federal regulators. After all, these are strange times for craft brewers, especially the larger regionally-focused companies who’ve seen their sales stagnate as drinkers shift to smaller breweries that offer hyperlocal options. How it all shakes out is anyone’s guess, but what’s almost certain is that the ranks of craft-brewed lagers will continue to grow as the companies look to broaden their audiences. As a fan of well-made, smooth and delicate pilsners, I know I’ll be trying many of them.
W E S T M I C H I G A N ’ S E N T E RTA I N M E N T G U I D E
EDITORIAL Publisher Brian Edwards Associate Publisher Rich Tupica / firstname.lastname@example.org Editor Joe Boomgaard / email@example.com Managing Editor Josh Veal / firstname.lastname@example.org Copy Editor Claire Boomgaard DESIGN Creative Director Kim Kibby / email@example.com CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Andy Balaskovitz Missy Black Kelly Brown Dana Casadei Mark Deming Maureen DiVirgilio Dwayne Hoover Nick Macksood
Marla R. Miller Eric Mitts Samara Napolitan Nate Peck Jane Simons Elma Talundzic Kara Toay Kayla Tucker
CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS Katy Batdorff ADVERTISING / 616.608.6170 / firstname.lastname@example.org Kelli Belanger / email@example.com Joe Langlois / firstname.lastname@example.org DIGITAL EDITORS Kim Kibby, Josh Veal
Joe Boomgaard, Editor
FIND US ONLINE! Website: revuewm.com Twitter: twitter.com/revuewm Facebook: facebook.com/revuewm Instagram: instagram.com/revuewm
UPCOMING IS SUE S NOVEMBER: The Things We’re Thankful For...
DECEMBER: Holiday Entertainment
Living in West Michigan, we have a lot to be thankful for — and we’re not just talking about craft beer, top 10 lists, and benevolent billionaires. For this issue, we plan to spotlight the organizations and people who help make West Michigan what it is today.
There’s never a shortage of holiday-themed events in West Michigan. We wade through them all and give you our top picks for what’s worth your time and hard-earned money.
TO ADVERTISE: Call (616) 608-6170 or email email@example.com. Space reservation is the 13th of the month before publication.
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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 ©2017, 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.
ON THE COVER: Sharkman, photographed by Katy Batdorff at The Mitten Brewing Co. Interview on page 54. See the Beer Issue on page 43.
GUN LAKE CASINO YOUR PLACE TO WATCH MONDAYS, THURSDAYS, SATURDAYS & SUNDAYS DURING LIVE FOOTBALL GAMES Eat, drink and cheer on the action. It’s all here, all at a great price. Come enjoy the game with good friends and good food.
ENJOY THESE DEALS. MONDAYS & THURSDAYS
SATURDAYS & SUNDAYS | 11:30AM -7:30PM We’ll spin the wheel each hour to see what specail it is. $1 Bud Lights, $2 Well Shots, $3 Fireball, and lots of food specials!
24/7 SLOTS, GAMING AND DINING - US 131 | EXIT 61 Must be 21+ and have a Passport card and valid photo ID. ©2017 Gun Lake Tribal Gaming Authority. All rights reserved.
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DOWN TOWN GR Brewing since 1836
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WHAT’S GOING ON THIS MONTH | Compiled by Emily Claus, Kara Toay and Revue Staff
The Pyramid Scheme 68 Commerce St., Grand Rapids Oct. 3, 7 p.m., $15 pyramidschemebar.com, (616) 272-3758 It’s hard to pin down Deerhoof’s unique and influential sound — it’s a little noise, a little punk, a little indie rock and a whole lot of experimenting. The band is known for its unusual live shows, as well as its influence on bands as well-known as Radiohead, St. Vincent, Foo Fighters and Sleigh Bells. Opening the show are Sad13 and Lily And Horn Horse.
ArtPrize After Dark
20 Monroe Live 11 Ottawa Ave. NW, Grand Rapids Oct. 6, 9-11 p.m., $10 artprize.org
After the ArtPrize 9 awards wrap up, awarding $500,000 in prizes determined by both the public and a jury, the 20 Monroe Live
floor will turn into one big dance party. The soulful, Detroit-based ONEFREQ will get the party started, with “traphouse jazz” artist Masego headlining.
Cedar Springs Brewing Fall Festival
Cedar Springs Brewing Co. 95 N. Main, Cedar Springs Oct. 6-7, free entry csbrew.com, (616) 696-2337
For the second year running, Cedar Springs Brewing will celebrate the beginning of fall with beer, flannel and local music. Grab an Oktoberfest or check out the new Red Flannel Ale, a collaboration with the town’s Red Flannel Festival. Hazy Past and Deep Greens & Blues will provide the tunes, along with DJ (and Cedar Springs bartender) Reduce Reuse.
Grand Armory 2nd Anniversary Street Party
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Deerhoof at The Pyramid Scheme, Oct. 3 Grand Armory Brewing Co. 17 S. 2nd St., Grand Haven Oct. 7, 12 p.m.-12 a.m., $10 grandarmorybrewing.com, (616) 414-7822
Saugatuck Center for the Arts 400 Culver St., Saugatuck Through Nov. 10, free sc4a.org, (269) 857-2399 From beaded necklaces and clothing to intricate baskets and ceramic vessels, the exhibit Tomorrow’s Stories at Saugatuck Center for the Arts offers a modern look at the centuries-old stories, traditions and utilitarian art of the artists’ tribes. Tomorrow’s Stories features five nationally recognized contemporary Native American artists, and marks the first time the artists’ works have been displayed together. The 2- and 3-dimensional pieces include large stone sculptures, baskets, clothing and accessories – rooted in the
October is a popular month for brewery birthdays and Grand Armory is no exception. Put on your jacket and head outside to drink some special release and barrel-aged brews from the Grand Haven brewery, along with the usual favorites like Crop Duster
artists’ Native cultures, but with their own unique spin. A few of the artists include: Jason Wesaw, a mixed-media artist known for his contemporary ceramic and fiber pieces (Turtle Clan, Potawatomi Nation); Summer Peters, an accomplished bead artist, rendering both wearable and decorative pieces (Saginaw Chippewa Tribe of Michigan); Jason Quigno, a noted stone sculptor with major public sculptures in Grand Rapids and Holland, Michigan (Saginaw Chippewa Tribe of Michigan); and many more. The SCA has planned a variety of special programs and meet the artist events in October as well, so visit the website for more information. —by Marla Miller
IPA and Nutter Your Business, a peanut butter and chocolate milk stout. Meanwhile, local bands like Jesse Ray and the Carolina Catfish, The Way Down Wanderers and The Mainstays will provide the soundtrack. Find tickets at brownpapertickets.com or at the brewery.
The Sovengard 443 Bridge St. NW, Grand Rapids Oct. 7, 12-10 p.m., free entry sovengard.com, (616) 214-7207 Last February, when the sun broke through and a winter weekend reached the mid-70s, Sovengard opened its biergarten for the first time ever with a celebration of all brews sour and wild. Now, Sourgarten is back in all its puckery glory. If the last event was any indication, expect brews from Brewery Vivant, New Belgium Brewing, Speciation Artisan Ales, Transient Artisan Ales and much, much more. Admission is free, then tickets are purchased for beer samples.
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8th Annual Vander Fest
Vander Mill Spring Lake 14921 Cleveland St., Spring Lake Oct. 7, 4-10 p.m., $35 vandermill.com, (616) 259-8828
Vander Fest is for just about everyone 21 and older. If you love cider, there obviously will be no shortage of that (both alcoholic and not), but breweries like Big Lake Brewing, Unruly Brewing Co. and Greenbush Brewing will make a showing as well. Meanwhile, you can stuff your face with donuts or food trucks, including Righteous Cuisine, Dalty Raes and Standard Pizza. Check out the Laser Beam Lounge, a tented area filled with lasers and live music, or the Crystal Court, a wooded area surrounded by fog, with a dozen Vander Mill ciders on nitro. Or, for some-
thing a little more standard, head to the barrel-aged booth, which is exactly what it sounds like. Tickets include a Vander Fest souvenir glass.
10/8 Bello Spark
Salt of the Earth 114 E. Main St., Fennville Oct. 8, 7 p.m., $15 saltoftheearthfennville.com, (269) 561-7258 Bello Spark isn’t your typical folk band. The quartet utilizes atmospheric guitar and three-part vocal harmonies to create a sound that’s soft and heavy at the same time, with thoughtful, heartfelt lyrics. At Salt of the Earth, dinner and drinks will
be served during the show. J.O. Bittinger opens.
10/13 Midnight at the Museum
Grand Rapids Children’s Museum 11 Sheldon Ave. NE, Grand Rapids Oct. 13, 6-10 p.m., $15 vaultofmidnight.com This may be held at the Children’s Museum, but Midnight at the Museum is exclusively for people 21 years or older. It’s a night of tabletop games, adult beverages from Elk Brewing and shameless exploration all over the museum. The games range from easy-to-learn party games to in-depth strategy games and everything in between, including a few specifically spooky titles (Betrayal at House on the Hill, Mysterium). Vault of Midnight’s friendly game masters will be on hand to help you learn as well. Each ticket includes one drink.
Bello Spark at Salt of the Earth, Oct. 8
Van Andel Arena 130 W. Fulton, Grand Rapids Oct. 16, 7:30 p.m., $39.50+ vanandelarena.com, (616) 742-6600
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ACADEMY OF ST. MARTIN IN THE FIELDS OCTET Dalton Center Recital Hall 2200 Auditorium Dr., Kalamazoo, MI Oct. 7, 7:30 p.m., $28-$38 fontanamusic.org, (269) 382-7774 Renowned for fresh, brilliant interpretations of classical, romantic and modern music from the last century, The Academy of St. Martin in the Fields is one of the world’s finest chamber orchestras. The eight-member Academy Chamber Ensemble was created in 1967 as an offshoot of the orchestra to perform works of all shapes and sizes. The performance in Kalamazoo this month not only offers an opportunity to experience the ensemble’s distinctive, elegant sound, it also prompts reevaluation of what a precocious teenager looks like. Korngold composed his Sextet for Strings in D Major when he was only 17 and later became one of the most prolific film composers of his era. Meanwhile, both movements of Shostakovich’s double string quartet signal the genius of an edgy, young modernist. On top of that, Mendelssohn wrote his vivacious Octet for Strings in E Flat (the first true eight-part string piece) at the ripe age of 16. —by Samara Napolitan
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Strap on your boat shoes and grab your shades, because yacht rock legend Steely Dan is coming to town. Donald Fagen and Walter Becker practically defined the smooth, smooth sounds ’70s jazz rock, recording with plenty of other stars, like Michael McDonald. Unfortunately, Becker passed away just last month, but Fagen is keeping the dream alive by continuing this cross-country tour regardless.
Taste of Italy
Amore Trattoria 5080 Alpine Ave. NW, Comstock Park Oct. 16, $35 grsistercities.org This fundraiser for Perugia Italy Committee has a few components, the first of which is a raffle. The prize: a selection of various gift certificates to local Italian restaurants, with the top prize being worth $500. Tickets start at $25 each. But you can also purchase a ticket to a special dinner at Amore Trattoria for $35, with all proceeds going to support Perugia’s programs, including language learning scholarships for students, pen pal exchanges with el-
Steely Dan at Van Andel Arena, Oct. 16 ementary students and hosting Perugian ArtPrize artists.
10/18 Lucy & Andy
Neanderthal Book Release
Schuler Books & Music 2660 28th St. SE, Grand Rapids Oct. 18, 7 p.m., free schulerbooks.com
Author Jeffrey Brown is a Grand Rapids native and New York Times best-selling author and illustrator, thanks to his Jedi Academy and Star Wars: Darth Vader and Kids series,
all childrens’ books set in the Star Wars universe. Now, Brown is back with a new book in his series centered around two Neanderthal siblings, Lucy and Andy, and he’ll be talking about the book and signing copies at Schuler Books.
Broadway Grand Rapids 122 Lyon St. NW, Grand Rapids $49+ broadwaygrandrapids.com, (616) 235-6285
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Jodi. Meanwhile, panels like Representation on Set: Why Having Women on Your Crew Mat ters take place around the institute.
Making its Grand Rapids premiere, the Broadway phenomenon Wicked takes a look at the Land of Oz through the eyes of someone way more interesting than Dorothy.
Grand Rapids Comic-Con
Wood & Wild
DeVos Place 303 Monroe Ave. NW, Grand Rapids Oct. 20-22, $15-$45 grcomiccon.com The Grand Rapids Comic-Con is a celebration of all things nerdy, from games to cosplay, anime and LEGOs. But of course, the focus is on the comics. Dozens of comic book and animation guests and celebrities from shows like Star Trek: The Next Generation, The Flash and Dragon Ball Z will be on hand.
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Grand Rapids Feminist Film Festival
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Find more events in the Revue Arts section and at revuewm.com!
HopCat 25 Ionia Ave. SW, Grand Rapids Oct. 22, 11 a.m.-8 p.m. hopcat.com, (616) 451-4677
Grand Rapids Feminist Film Festival at UICA, Oct. 21 UICA 2 W. Fulton St., Grand Rapids Oct. 21, 12-10 p.m., free grfff.org The fourth annual GRFFF is moving to the UICA this year, but it’s still the showcase of local talent and platform for underrepresented groups it always has been.
In just one day, 32 local and international short films will hit the screen, along with 15 panels, speakers and performances. Watch fiction films like When the Fat Girl Gets Skinny, a film about unhealthy weight loss; documentaries like Anti-Social Freaks, a documentary centered on three homeschooled teens; and music videos like That’s So Great (She Likes Boys) by Lipstick
Whenever someone makes a bold claim, I’m inclined to investigate further. And HopCat has done just that, stating that Wood & Wild will be a “tapping of the best barrel-aged and sour beers in existence.” To start, the first 100 guests will receive a limited edition Wood & Wild logo beer glass. More than 35 breweries will bring at least one barrel-aged and/or sour beer, cider or wine. For example: Divine Sauvage from Green Flash Brewing Co., a French red wine barrel-aged Belgianstyle tripel; and the 2016 Sobrehumano
Palen’ole, an oak barrelaged American wild ale with Michigan cherries and Hawaiian passion fruit from Jolly Pumpkin and Maui Brewing Co.
Bass Country - Halloween
The Intersection 133 Grandville Ave. SW, Grand Rapids Oct. 31, 8 p.m., $20 sectionlive.com, (616) 451-8232 Some people trick-or-treat, some people have costume parties at home, and some people rage hard to dubstep, house and EDM — Halloween brings out all types. The Intersection is using both of its venues this month to host nine DJs for an allnight Halloween-themed dance-apalooza. Costumes are welcome, and so is getting crunk.
THIS IS HALLOWEEN!
Revue’s Guide to All Hallow’s Eve in West Michigan by Eric Mitts
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very year, when that first real chill hits the fall air and the nights creep on a little longer, thoughts turn to the spooky, the scary, the shadowy and the sinister. It’s Halloween season, and for many in West Michigan that means more than just candy, costumes and pumpkin spice lattes (or Leelanau Cellars’ Witches Brew). Our region boasts some of the best frights and freak-outs around, with long-running locations cranking up the fear factor year by year while new haunts add spinetingling surprises. Here’s our guide for where to get your scream on this month.
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RATED R FOR REALLY SCARY: Haunted Houses, Trails and More The Haunt
2070 Waldorf St. NW, Grand Rapids Sept. 29-Oct. 31 the-haunt.com Established in 2001, The Haunt is the largest haunted house in West Michigan. It has terrified nearly 400,000 visitors in its 20,000 square-foot compound, complete with Hollywood-worthy sets and special effects. The award-winning location is home to plenty of creepy clowns for those still shivering from this year’s box office smash It, as well as other fiendish frights lurking around every corner.
Forest of Fear
8758 Patterson Ave. SE, Caledonia Fridays & Saturdays in October forestoffear.com Opening at dusk, this outdoor attraction has welcomed visitors to its dimly lit trails for close to two decades. The interactive site allows those brave enough to make their own way through the dark across five acres of sprawling woods and swamps where all sorts of ghastly ghouls and creepy creatures are ready to scare.
New SalemCorn Maze
4516 24th St., Dorr Oct 1-31, Fridays and Saturdays witchesofnewsalem.com The “Witches of New Salem” have absolutely packed this outdoor location with a huge variety of activities. Choose between two different routes (the twisted trail or the wicked path) through the witches’ woods, experience the stalking terror of the haunted corn maze, or take the action into your own hands (and paint ball gun) with the all-out blast of the Zombie Attack.
Fear the Farm
20309 Capital Ave. NE, Battle Creek Sept. 29-Oct. 31, Fridays and Saturdays fearthefarm.com Climb aboard one of six real Army trucks and shoot your way through a full-blown zombie apocalypse with a paintball gun at this relatively new Halloween venue. Inspired by the popularity of The Walking Dead, passengers will have the chance to fire upon “real” and animatronic zombie targets during this safari-style hunt in hopes of saving the farm … and themselves!
7656 Ravine Rd., Kalamazoo Oct. 7-28, Fridays & Saturdays Oct. 29 & Oct. 31 hauntpark.com Known for its long-running Psycho Ward, in which a twisted clan of sick misfits has overrun an asylum, this multi-event park plans to stake a claim on the most extreme haunted attraction in the area with its new Extreme House of Terror. Zombies run amok here as well, both within the District of the Dead and on the Zombie Revenge Firing Range.
Moonlight Manor Haunt
5420 Fieldstone Dr. SW, Wyoming Oct. 31 moonlighthaunt.com Run by a volunteer staff of “scareactors,” the Moonlight Manor only plans to open on Halloween night this year, but be ready for a truly unpredictable living nightmare. Changing its theme every year, the slightly smaller location prides itself on packing more screams per square foot than any other haunted site in the area.
RATED PG FOR PARANORMAL: Ghostly Haunted Tours
Dark Mansion Tours
Felt Mansion 6597 138th Ave., Holland Oct. 21, 22, 27-31 feltmansion.org Normally the site of elegant weddings and other private functions, the Felt Mansion in Holland transforms this time of year into a one-of-a-kind trip through the manor’s history of ghostly incidents. Featuring world-renowned magician Steve Marshall and members of the Shadow Spirit Paranormal Investigators, the guided tour and performance abounds with intrigue, illusion and the eerily unexplainable.
Ghosts of Kalamazoo Historic Tour
Multiple Locations Through October ghostsofkalamazoo.com Run by the Kalamazoo Jaycees, this guided tour focuses more on storytelling and sharing the strange lore associated with downtown Kalamazoo and several area cemeteries than setting people up for shocks and screams. Those looking for the truly weird in West Michigan may go home knowing more than they bargained for.
Downtown Grand Rapids Oct. 21 thezombiedash.com If there’s one takeaway from the 2009 flick Zombieland, it’s that cardio matters when you and the shuffling hordes of brain-eating corpses are left alone. The best place to get prepared for such a scenario is the sixth annual Zombie Dash, where runners and walkers are equipped with “life-strips” and attempt to make it unscathed through a winding course in downtown Grand Rapids overrun by the living dead.
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So many concerts. So little time.
WE HOST GRAMMY® WINNERS. LEGENDS. EMERGING ARTISTS. SINGERSONGWRITERS. FULL BANDS. ROCK. ROOTSAMERICANA. FOLK. BLUEGRASS. Artists and fans say we’re one of the best live music venues in the country. We have a full bar available with craft & domestic beers, fine wines & premium spirits.
Box office 616.930.4755 or visit PinDropConcerts.com
Scan for info and while you’re at it, sign up for our email newsletter!
Seven Steps Up www.sevenstepsup.com
SEVEN STEPS UP
Live Music & Event Venue
/// ON TOUR
PHOTO: TRAVIS SHINN
LIVIN’ THE FANTASY
PAZ LENCHANTIN REFLECTS ON LIFE WITH THE PIXIES | by Dwayne Hoover
ference. You just continue where you left off. That’s how I felt. He just gave me a call, and I showed up and played some of the songs that they wanted me to learn. It didn’t happen right away, but I’m glad it happened the way it happened.” This connectedness was apparent in her debut with the Pixies, as practice quickly transformed into recording almost on the spot. After going through several dozen songs, the band decided it was time to lay down a track. “My very f irst day with the Pixies, with the whole band at the Calvin in Northampton in January of 2013, I think we went over 65 songs in the back catalog including Indie Cindy,” Lenchantin said. “Black Francis was like, ‘Enough with the practicing. Let’s record,’ and we just started recording a B-side for Indie Cindy called Women of War. We spent the majority of our rehearsal time making this cool B-side, and when that happened, I was so excited, because I felt right away, from the beginning, before my first show, (I was) in the history of the Pixies.” To be part of that continued Pixies legacy, and to help drive it in years to come,
is something that Lenchantin is extremely proud of and humbled by. Her role in the band’s latest album, Head Carrier, as well as her direct contributions to the song All I Think About Now, have the bassist in awe about her place in the group’s history. “I thought it was a really cool moment that I’ll never forget, this exact moment: Black Francis of the Pixies is asking me, Paz Lenchantin, what I want to sing for a song that may be on the next record,” she said. “I got goosebumps. In my mind I was like, ‘How did I even get here?’” As for the future? More touring, more writing and more recording. “I’ve got a few more records to make with them, that’s for sure,” Lenchantin said.
PIXIES WSG. MITSKI 20 Monroe Live, 11 Ottawa Ave. NW, Grand Rapids Oct. 7, 7 p.m., $36.50-$57.15 20monroelive.com, (844) 678-5483
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HE STORY OF THE PIXIES ISN’T NEW: An enormously inf luential band instrumental in ushering in a dynamic style of alt-rock that helped shape the very music of the ’80s and ’90s. The group influenced bands from Nirvana to Radiohead, and even gained respect from the likes of U2 and David Bowie. So it was no surprise that after the band’s brief career and breakup in the early ’90s, the reunion and return to touring in 2004 saw shows that sold out almost immediately, multiple festival appearances and touring across the globe. Unfortunately, the tumultuous relationships that plagued the band’s past eventually became problematic once again, and bassist and vocalist Kim Deal left the band in 2013. After a brief attempt to bring in Kim Shattuck from The Muffs for touring, the Pixies reached out to Paz Lenchantin, known for her role as bassist in groups like The Entrance Band, Zwan and A Perfect Circle.
But this wasn’t Lenchantin’s first run-in with the Pixies, or at least with one of them. There was a connection that had begun some 20 years earlier. “Almost two decades ago was my very first little, tiny tour in southern California outside of L.A., before I did anything else with A Perfect Circle or Zwan,” Lenchantin said. “Joey (Santiago) called me. It was about 1996 or 1997, and he was looking for a bass player/backup singer for his side project The Martinis. … It was just like a week of touring up the coast, up to maybe Portland or something and then back. It was really, really exciting, but then I didn’t hear back from him for another couple of decades, and this time it was because he needed a bass player for the Pixies.” Lenchantin likens the experience to that of time-travel, one where people can flow in and out of each other’s lives regardless of duration spent apart, yet the relationships remain largely unchanged. “I like to consider the band time travelers,” Lenchantin said. “What that means is that (whether it’s) one day or maybe two decades later, there’s not really much of a dif-
/// ON TOUR
Third Eye Blind
EYES WIDE OPEN
Third Eye Blind looks back while moving forward
SCHEDULE | DINING | SIGHTS | SOUNDS | SCENE
| by Eric Mitts
AST SUMMER , ALT-ROCK R A D I O M A I N S TAY Third Eye Blind made major headlines all across the country following its concert at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, just outside the Republican National Convention in Cleveland. The reason: Frontman Stephan Jenkins and company live-trolled the event, scraping their usual set list of massive mainstream hits like Semi-Charmed Life and Never Let You Go in favor of more politically charged but far lesser-known tracks like 2008’s Non Dairy Creamer — much to the dismay of the many Republican fans in attendance. “We woke up trending number one on Twitter in the morning,” Third Eye Blind lead guitarist Kryz Reid told Revue. Facing down boos from the crowd, Reid said the band had no idea what it was in for when it booked the charity gig months in advance for Musicians on Call — a nonprofit that brings live and recorded music to patients and families in health care facilities.
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“As soon as we get onstage, very quickly Jenkins and I realized that we were playing to a majority of staunchly Republican people who were there for (the RNC), but who were also fans of the band. And I don’t think the first song was even finished when he turned around and said to me, ‘We’ve got to change the set!’ I think ( Jumper, off the band’s 1997 self-titled LP) was the only hit we played, because it fit the same kind of message that we wanted to put out that day, and that’s a story about a gay man who jumped off a bridge.” The widespread attention reignited interest in the band from many outside of its longtime devoted fan base, people who hadn’t followed Third Eye Blind — often shortened to 3EB — since the days of its radio hits and platinum-selling albums in the late ’90s and early 2000s. It also attracted new fans who hadn’t discovered the band’s distinctive mix of arena-rock guitars, pop hooks and candid lyrics. Surprisingly, the band is more active than it has been in years, touring before the infamous RNC show in support of its 2015 LP Dopamine, while simultaneously leading
into the release of We Are Drugs, a six-song EP that came only a year later, marking the fastest turnaround between records for 3EB during its 24-year history. “I’d like to take credit for the band putting stuff together faster, but the thing is, it feels like we’re really a band now,” Reid said, alluding to the current lineup, which includes himself, Jenkins, longtime drummer Brad Hargreaves, keyboardist Alex Kopp and bassist Alex LeCavalier. “Before putting out Dopamine, we went through three different bass players,” said Reid, who joined 3EB in 2010. “So We Are Drugs feels far more like this band, because it’s the songs that we wrote all together in a room … and it feels like a really good snapshot of this band, of our band — not just Stephan’s or Brad’s band.” Reid joined 3EB through Hargreaves, who he had played with in another band years earlier. Ironically, Reid had never heard of 3EB before being asked to fill in at a show for the band. “I grew up in Ireland, so I never heard of the band,” he said. “One of my friends reminded me recently that at some point I did say, ‘Yeah, Brad plays in another band called Three Blind Mice or something.’ So I had no real clue.” Hitting it off with Jenkins right away, Reid joined 3EB just days after that first gig and has remained with the band for the past eight years.
This fall, 3EB will host an “evening with” tour — which stops at The Intersection on Oct. 13 — in which the band plans to play even more deep cuts from all five of its albums, and to open up acoustically during a longer set each night. Don’t be surprised if the band brings out a little bit of politics as well, as its most recent single, Cop vs. Phone Girl, directly addresses the issue of police brutality, and follows in a long line of socially outspoken songs from Jenkins and the group. “There were certainly political songs before I joined the band,” Reid said. “I don’t know how active Stephan was politically back then, but there’s this old saying, ‘When the common man is interested in politics, then politics is failing.’ And literally every single person you speak to in America right now has a pretty well-informed opinion about what they think about policy and politics right now. So there’s something broken. And I guess when that happens, we just step forward and try to mirror what we see going on in society.”
AN EVENING WITH THIRD EYE BLIND: FALL OF THE SUMMER GODS TOUR The Intersection 133 Grandville Ave. SW, Grand Rapids Oct. 13, 8 p.m., $35-$40, all ages sectionlive.com, (616) 451-8232
GET RE A DY TO SEE STA RS
BIG & RICH
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 7
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AUSSIE ADVENTURE 2017 TOUR
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 11
FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 10
GEORGE LOPEZ SATURDAY NOVEMBER 18
Tickets available now at the FireKeepers Box Office, FireKeepersCasino.com or 877.FKC.8777.
GET RE ADY. GET SET. GET YOUR
Must be 21 or older. Tickets based on availability. Schedule subject to change.
REVUEWM.COM | OCTOBER 2017 |
/// LOCAL MUSIC
THE SOUND OF SILENCE
Rising GR jam band Desmond Jones honors mimes with music
| by Eric Mitts
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O ONE IN DESMOND JONES IS NAMED DESMOND JONES. The genre-blending Grand Rapids band just thought it would be cool to have an obscure Beatles reference for a name, and took its rather unusual moniker straight from the song Obla-di Ob-la-da!. However, upon Googling the name, the band discovered a real Desmond Jones — a professional mime who teaches in London. “Mimes have been a theme in our art and music ever since,” drummer/vocalist/ guitarist John Nowak told Revue. On the cover for Desmond Jones’ upcoming self-titled debut album, the five members don the familiar striped garb and white face paint of the forgotten art-form, all in tongue-in-cheek tribute to their unintentional real-life namesake. “Even sillier, I found out a few years after we named the band Desmond Jones that my uncle Willem has studied under the Desmond Jones in London,” Nowak said. The band first formed in 2012 in East Lansing while several of its members attended Michigan State University. Made up of Nowak, guitarist/vocalist/drummer Isaac Berkowitz, guitarist/vocalist Chris Bota, saxophonist/vocalist George Falk and bassist/vocalist John Loria, the group built a solid following playing college house parties before ultimately facing the realities of graduation. “None of us were even thinking about letting go of the band,” Nowak said. “With all of us about to start a new chapter, we dedicated ourselves to the idea of keeping the
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band going and foregoing the conventional route of getting a full-time job and starting a career after graduation.” Weighing their options here in Michigan — where the fan base continued to grow — the members of Desmond Jones chose to relocate to Grand Rapids in 2015. “Isaac (Berkowitz) and I were both born and raised in Grand Rapids and were familiar with the city and the scene, and had family in town,” Nowak said. “We knew the local music scene was strong and desperately wanted to be a part of it.” Together, they moved into a house in Eastown and soon after secured a weekly residency at the Tip Top Deluxe Bar & Grill, where the band went on to play every Monday night for more than 60 weeks. “Our Monday night residency at the Tip Top was one of the best things to ever happen to us as a band,” Nowak said. “We owe a lot of our success in Grand Rapids to our residency at the Tip Top and we are proud of ourselves for sticking with it and using it as an opportunity to establish ourselves in the local music community.” Playing for more than three hours at the bar every week, the residency helped the band work on old and new material while taking risks and opening up jams. The band drew a regular bunch of fans, or “Jonesies,” who would groove along to the extended jams until 1 a.m. All in all, Desmond Jones has played more than 400 shows, including an opening slot for The Verve Pipe at The Intersection in 2014, tour stops as far out as Colorado and West Virginia, and a triumphant New Year’s Eve celebration at the Tip Top this past year. Following two EPs, Desmond Jones will release its first full-length album on Oct. 7 during a special show at Founders Taproom.
Desmond Jones album cover
“Founders is one of the best venues in Michigan, the Midwest and even the country. We put in our time in order to finally get up on that stage, and to be releasing our debut album there is a point of pride and excitement for us.” “Founders is one of the best venues in Michigan, the Midwest and even the country,” Nowak said. “We put in our time in order to finally get up on that stage, and to be releasing our debut album there is a point of pride and excitement for us.” From February to August, Desmond Jones recorded the eight-song, self-titled LP with manager Kevin McKay at Inmuso Studios in Webberville, pouring hundreds of hours into the release. It was mixed by Alex Gauthier and mastered by Glenn Brown (who’s worked with everyone from Greensky
Bluegrass and Billy Strings to Eminem and Kid Rock). “We ended up going with a mix of songs that gives the listener a little bit of everything we have to offer,” Nowak said. “A short and sweet song, some extended jams, a little bit of R&B, a little bit of funk and jazz. We wanted it to span across genres and show the many facets of our original sound and songwriting process.” With more than 65 original songs in its repertoire, Desmond Jones is just getting started. And after the album is released this month, the band plans to head out to the East Coast in November before returning for more shows in Michigan and ending the year with yet another New Year’s Eve party at the Tip Top.
DESMOND JONES ALBUM RELEASE SHOW Founders Taproom 235 Grandville Ave. SW, Grand Rapids Oct. 7, 9:30 p.m., $5 foundersbrewing.com, (616) 776-1195
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REVUEWM.COM | OCTOBER 2017 |
by Missy Black
YOU PLAID, BRO? T
H I S FA L L , W H I L E YO U ’ R E KICKING UP LEAVES on a walk and making your obligatory pumpkin patch visit, sporting your plaid is imperative — it’s fall’s wingman, but it carries into wintertime. Plaid is puffer-vest approved and gets tons of mileage with all kinds of apparel. While there’s no shortage of plaid out there, look for the standout pieces — the styles that have people asking where you shop, rubbernecking on your shirt and sizing up your scarves. Meijer makes it easy with one-stop shopping and a very inclusive size representation. Blanket scarves still hold court and the Falls Creek black-white-grey plaid version ($20) is going to elevate any sweater or chambray shirt. Keeping in theme, look for the dressier Massini plaid top still in crisp black and white, but with rolled cuffs and a feminine front bow ($26). As for the red-hot Falls Creek snow boot in tough plaid and faux fur ($50), well, that’s just showing off.
My heart skips a beat for a cheeky plaid accent. Step into the Levonne sneaker from Sam Edelman that takes classic plaid and adds an element of luxe and fun with faux fur and a white platform sole for a contemporary look, $100 at Leigh’s in Grand Rapids.
Like a loyal girlfriend, plaid never lets you down. This super soft shirt features an added frayed hem and button side details to become the perfect piece to announce fall is here, $149 at Lee & Birch in Grand Rapids, Rockford and Grand Haven.
Good luck hiding under this hat. Each perfectly distressed plaid hat features a unique pattern made especially for cool fall evenings and bonfires, $15.50 at Pink & Frillos in Gowen.
REVUEWM.COM | OCTOBER 2017 |
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It’s a simple strategy that always works: layering. This plaid bottom open vest in a soft fleece material drapes nicely over the body and perks up tunic dresses, $52 at Tikal in Holland.
by Eric Mitts
Demetri Martin embraces the fine line between comedy and tragedy
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At the time, he was a junior at Yale VER HIS 20-YEAR CAREER University and well on his way to law school, IN STAND-UP COMEDY, which he attended before dropping out durDemetri Martin has emerged as ing his final year to pursue comedy. one of his generation’s greatest “I think what really had an effect on masters of the one-liner. Known my decision-making at that age was losing a for telling short, discreet jokes parent,” he said. “I was not only young, but — sometimes accompanied by my dad was too. He was only 46, so to see lilting guitar or oversized sketchpads — he somebody disappear at that age, it does make has refined a deadpan style that’s simultaneyou think. It’s only a natural result that you ously silly and cerebral. start thinking about your own mortality and So when Martin comes to Grand Rapids how much time do you have and what are this month on his Let’s Get Awkward tour, you going to do in that time. And of course, longtime fans should know that among his you die and it’s over. There’s not any, as far many new jokes, he also hopes to share some as we know, second act. … So why not get more personal stories. on with it? Why not find something I’m pas“Stand-up is an interesting job, because sionate about? That definitely had an effect you get a lot of feedback,” Martin said. “And on getting me into comedy.” I’ve heard people say, ‘Oh yeah, he’s kind of After starting out doing stand-up and awkward.’ I’ve just heard the word ‘awkward’ one-man shows in New York, a lot. Now, I’ve never thought I Martin went on to land a writwas that awkward, but I kind ing job at Late Night With Conan of just said, ‘All right, let me DEMETRI MARTIN O’Brien and worked on T he embrace it. Let me pay attention LET’S GET Daily Show before breaking out and see what this is all about.’” AWKWARD TOUR and earning his own Comedy The tour follows shortly 20 Monroe Live Central series, Important Things after the summer theatrical 11 Ottawa Ave. NW, with Demetri Martin, which ran release of Martin’s directorial Grand Rapids Oct. 22, 6 p.m., $39-79, from 2009 to 2010. His most debut film, Dean. A personal all ages recent special, Live *at the time, project, Martin wrote, produced 20monroelive.com, (844) premiered on Netflix in 2015. and starred in the low-budget 678-5483 Now 44 with two children indie comedy, which deals with of his own, Martin appreciates the grief of losing a parent — a the more personal connection a subject he knows entirely too project like Dean allowed him to have with well having lost his own father back in 1994. audiences, and said he has decided to bring “When my dad was sick, when he was that type of comedy back into his stand-up. still around, I don’t think that I had quite “I’m still trying to just dip my toes in figured out that I would really try comedy,” that style, because I do really like jokes and Martin said
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it does sometimes feel like we’re in the era of oversharing,” he said. “A lot of comedians are telling their life stories up there, and I’m just doing a little bit of that, but not too much.” This fall, Martin also released his latest book, If It’s Not Funny It’s Art, which is his third collection of jokes, drawings and short stories. “As a comedy fan and as somebody who does comedy for a living, I love funny movies, and I think comedies can be really challenging. I don’t know why, but there’s no Oscar category for comedy,” Martin said. “I know there is fine art that is considered funny, but it doesn’t seem like there’s tons of
it. And I don’t know too many people who consider comedy art. But sometimes, I think some of the best comedy, some of the stuff I really love, feels like art. “But I mainly titled (the book) that because I like drawing and I like painting, and sometimes I post stuff online. I’ve noticed, sometimes I post things that aren’t supposed to be jokes, but some people — I’m a comedian, I guess — they come at me pretty hard. … And it’s like, ‘It’s a drawing of a dog, just relax.’ So I just figured, ‘Hey man, if you get my book and you don’t laugh, just call that drawing art, move to the next one, and don’t worry about it.’”
A night of outrageous comedy with
10/5 Nick Thomasma 10/7 That Beatles Thing 10/12 Robin Connell Trio 10/14 Thirsty Perch Blues Band
Howie Mandel Saturday
October 14 8 pm Sponsored by:
10/19 Boogie Woogie Babies 10/21 Natchez Trace 10/26 Kathy Lamar
TUE-WED 11 -10 T H U R - F R I 1 1 AM - 1 1 PM S A T 5 PM- 1 1 PM & S U N 1 1 AM- 4 PM AM
10/28 Troll for Trout
The Mendel Center at Lake Michigan College 2755 E. Napier Ave., Benton Harbor, MI
Order Tickets at TheMendelCenter.com
Box Office (269) 927-8700, option 1 Box Office Hours: Mon. â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Fri. 10 a.m. â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 6 p.m. and one hour before show times
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*POJB "WF 48 4VJUF (SBOE 3BQJET REVUEWM.COM | OCTOBER 2017 |
by Kayla Tucker
COMEDY At The B.O.B. Grand Rapids, MI 616.356.2000 thebob.com
Prepare to Be Surprised
Grand Rapids Improv Festival provides laughs, community and the unexpected CHRIS BAR5N-E7S October
October ING 12-14
GREG FITZSIMMONS SCHEDULE | DINING | SIGHTS SOUNDS | SCENE
October 26 & 27 #drgrins
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R O M L O S A N G E L E S TO CH ICAGO AN D MADISON, WIS., the Grand Rapids Improv Festival is bringing in performers from all across the country. Throughout the week-long festival, nearly 40 troupes will travel in and out of Dog Story Theater in Grand Rapids for a wide variety of performances. “There are going to be shows all throughout that week,” said Kristin Hirsch, a member of the festival’s planning committee. “It’s a Monday to Monday. A lot of the out-of-town troupes perform on the weekends, just because that’s when they can come into town.” The weekday shows will cost $7 and the weekend shows will cost $10 per ticket. Most shows are set to take place at Dog Story Theater. Every night, audience members can expect to see something completely different than the night before, varying from Musical Improv Night to Ladies Night, Improv Chaos and more. On Saturday, Nov. 4, there will be three different improv workshops offered, available to beginners and experienced performers alike. “The great thing about improv is that there’s really something for everybody,” Hirsch said. “I think a lot of times, improv mirrors real life. Even if it’s a crazy scene, something that is wacky and off the wall, I think you can always draw something from it.” Joshua Heller, another member of the planning committee, said there’s an intensity in improv that you don’t see in movies or TV. “You know that the handful of people on stage have no idea what will happen that night,” Heller said. “They’re feeding off of what the audience shouts at them, what’s in the news and what’s going on in town. When it’s magic, you’re part of it.” Another exciting new event this year is Improv Hop, in which attendees essentially go on a bar crawl in downtown Grand
Rapids, at each stop enjoying a show and drink specials. Not surprisingly, many shows are 18-and-up. “We don’t really put a restriction on our performers,” Hirsch said. “They can perform how they are used to doing so. … I think we wouldn’t turn a kid away, but it would be at the parent’s discretion.” In addition to the Dog Story shows, a variety of troupes will be performing Nov. 1 at The Pyramid Scheme for a showcase night. On top of that, this year’s festival will offer craft beer and mixed drinks for the first time ever during all Friday and Saturday shows, as well as on Halloween. Heller is participating for a second time this year and will be with two troupes: Plant Parenthood and Sofa. He said the audience is guaranteed to see some of the best talent in West Michigan at the festival. “Going to my first GRIF, I was blown away by how much comedic talent there was right in the city,” Heller said. “The festival creates an opportunity for people who might not normally seek out improv in a theater to
know that if they show up any day that week, they’ll get an evening packed with smart, current comedy.” Hirsh said she is excited to see the improv community grow year after year. “That’s one of the reasons No Outlet Improv Troupe started this, because we just wanted to continue to grow the improv community in Grand Rapids,” Hirsch said. “A few years ago, there weren’t a lot of improv troupes, and just over the past few years with Comedy Outlet Mondays at Dog Story Theater, that’s sort of been a nursery for new improv troupes. “It’s been fun to watch all of the different collaborations between people who might not have been in a troupe together otherwise.”
GRAND RAPIDS IMPROV FESTIVAL Dog Story Theatre 7 Jefferson Ave. SE, Grand Rapids Oct. 30–Nov. 6 grandrapidsimprovfestival.com
Grand Rapids Community College Fountain Hill Brewery Experience the art and science of brewing in this student-run brew pub laboratory. Visit grcc.edu/fountainhillbrewery for hours of operation.
REVUEWM.COM | OCTOBER 2017 |
by Kara Toay
LAUGHING WITH | by Kara Toay
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E O P L E A LWAY S T O L D HALEY SIMPSON SHE HAD A HILARIOUS LAUGH. When the time came to name her film company, Simpson decided to embrace that, landing on Funny Laugh Productions. With the support of her friends and peers Jackie Jorgenson and Mary McDonald, Simpson formed Funny Laugh in Logan, Utah in 2014. The three of them write and shoot short films, fashion films and anything else they can get their hands on at the micro-budget company. For Simpson, Jorgenson and McDonald, their work is about supporting diverse storytelling, such as stories of the LGBT community and people of color. Though the company is small and independent, it’s international, with Jorgenson in Grand Rapids, Simpson still in Utah, and McDonald in Toronto, Ontario. The three members work predominantly online with one other. The company is currently in pre-production on a web series that will be going live on Instagram Stories. Beyond this, the three members all have written projects ranging from stage plays to TV pilots and feature films. This year, Funny Laugh also is participating in ArtPrize. The project was spearheaded by Jorgenson, who waited until this year to submit any films so she could understand how it all worked. “I wanted to get a sense of what other f ilmmakers were doing at ArtPrize and how accessible it is for people to view films at ArtPrize,” Jorgenson said. “I wanted to understand the culture of how people walk around and engage with the pieces.” When the submission process came up this year, Jorgenson wanted to figure out a way to incorporate the work the company already has, figuring out how to make them accessible for the ArtPrize audience. Because of the wide range of subject matter and characters that Funny Laugh’s films feature, Jorgenson thought it would be best to submit
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an entry based on the “blind date with a book” concept, in which books are wrapped up and sold just with a few key descriptors (i.e. romance, countryside, touching). That way, the reader/shopper doesn’t judge the book on its cover. The films Funny Laugh submitted are accessible via QR code or hyperlink and range from one to 15 minutes in length. The one common thread is that they were all produced and directed by women and feature women in the leading roles.
“What I would really love would be to support artists who have a similar thought process to ours, who would want to work with people of color, LGBT people, women and bring those stories to the forefront.”
Funny Laugh Productions wants to bring people together Jorgenson thought this would be the perfect way for people who don’t follow the company to get a taste of its work, and it would keep viewers from pre-judging a movie based on anything superficial. “It was a way for people to let their guard down about their judgments on a film and introduce people to short films,” Jorgenson said. In the future, the three members hope to continue working on small micro-budget projects. Simpson and Jorgeson said they would be happy to work with other artists and are always looking for anyone who has something they want to say, whether as an actor, writer or producer. “What I would really love would be to support artists who have a similar thought process to ours, who would want to work with people of color, LGBT people, women and bring those stories to the forefront,” Simpson said. Creatively, Simpson would like to see more short films from the company. They have been working on a couple of fashion films. She would also love to see the company
supporting the members in their individual endeavours as well as in Funny Laugh Productions. “If it was a picture perfect world, I would love to be able to do this full-time for a living and keep other artists being able to do this for a living,” Simpson said. “That would just be amazing, being able to let people do their art without having to worry about what their bill would be.” In the meantime, Simpson said she wants to focus on putting in the time and energy to get emotion out of her audience, whether via comedy or drama. But above all, she wants the funny laughs. “I just love the thought of everybody having a different laugh and having a funny laugh and everybody getting to connect,” Simpson said. “Laughing is universal. Somebody slips on a banana peel and everyone is going to laugh at it. That’s what we’re going for: this universal truth of emotion.” For more information, visit facebook.com/ funnylaughproductions.
Funny Laugh Productions’ Haley Simpson, Jackie Jorgenson and Mary McDonald
SEPTEMBER 6 - DIRTY DANCING - GREEN ZEBRA SEPTEMBER 13 - CLUE - PORTER SEPTEMBER 20 - THE USUAL SUSPECTS - DIRTY BASTARD SEPTEMBER 27 - FAST TIMES AT RIDGEMONT HIGH - REDANKULOUS OCTOBER 4 - THE BREAKFAST CLUB - BREAKFAST STOUT OCTOBER 11 - THE FIFTH ELEMENT - ALL DAY IPA OCTOBER 18 - FIELD OF DREAMS - HARVEST ALE OCTOBER 25 - THE SHINING - REDâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;S RYE IPA NOVEMBER 1 - THE CABIN IN THE WOODS - BACKWOODS BASTARD NOVEMBER 8 - PITCH PERFECT - RUBAEUS
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SEPTEMBER 6 - NOVEMBER 8, 8PM FOR MORE INFORMATION GO TO: celebrationcinema.com/foundersfilms
REVUEWM.COM | OCTOBER 2017 |
New Season. New Vision.
See the Fall colors the way you should,
KEIL LASIK VISION CENTER
SCHEDULE | DINING | SIGHTS SOUNDS | SCENE
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FRIDAY–SUNDAY, OCT. 20–22 | TIMES VARY
NOW ON SALE!
For more information visit us online at millerauditorium.com or call (269) 387-2300 | (800) 228-9858
FALL CONCERT SERIES
Grammy winner and multi-platinum-selling singer/songwriter of the hits “Where Have All the Cowboys Gone?” and “I Don’t Want to Wait.”
PAULA COLE October 14 | 8:00PM $37 Advance | $41 Day of Show
Perhaps best known for his roles in movies, Daniels is also a talented musician and vocalist who has been writing songs for 30 years
JEFF DANIELS WITH THE BEN DANIELS BAND November 5 | 4:00PM $36 Advance | $39 Day of Show
One of America’s most accomplished jazz families
BRUBECK BROTHERS QUARTET November 17 | 8:00PM $36 Advance | $39 Day of Show TICKETS AT SC4A.ORG OR 269.857.2399 SPONSORED BY HILLIARD LYONS | Stephen Kiss
DÍA DE LOS
MUERTOS SATURDAY, OCTOBER 28 – WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 1, 2017 Main Library 111 Library St NE Altars from members of the community honoring family and friends will be on display during open hours.
SUNDAY, OCTOBER 29, 2017 1:00 pm – 4:30 pm Main Library 111 Library St NE Kids and families can come to the library to listen to live music by Gabriel Estrada III, decorate sugar skulls, get their faces painted, and listen to a bilingual storytime. Light refreshments will be served.
THIS EVENT IS FREE AND OPEN TO THE PUBLIC 616.988.5400 WWW.GRPL.ORG/DAYOFTHEDEAD This event is sponsored by the Grand Rapids Public Library Foundation. Consider a gift today: 616.988.5399 or www.grplfoundation.org.
ONCE YOU’VE SEEN IT, YOU’LL FIND IT HARD TO SETTLE FOR LESS EVER AGAIN.” —The Wall Street Journal
—The New York Times
AN AMERICAN IN PARIS MUSIC AND LYRICS BY
GEORGE GERSHWIN AND IRA GERSHWIN BOOK BY
CRAIG LUCAS DIRECTED AND CHOREOGRAPHED BY
CHRISTOPHER WHEELDON Illustration: Don Oehl; Logo: Esther Wu
NOV. 14-19 | MSU’s Wharton Center | ON SALE NOW!
WHARTONCENTER.COM · 1-800-WHARTON
East Lansing engagement welcomed by Foster, Swift, Collins & Smith, P.C.; Jackson National Life Insurance Company; and Portnoy and Tu, DDS, PC.
OCTOBER 2017 Local Author Night MONDAY 10/9 7PM
SATURDAY 10/14 11AM
WEDNESDAY 10/18 7PM SATURDAY 10/21 11AM
MONDAY 10/23 7PM
THURSDAY 10/26 7PM MONDAY 10/30 7PM
Featured authors include John Borkovich, author of Wildlife 911: On Patrol, Dr. Phil Johnson, author of Lead Like a Heretic: How to Challenge the Status Quo - And Thrive; Kathryn A. Remlinger, author of Yooper Talk: Dialect as Identity in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula; and Phillip Sterling, author of the poetry collection And Then Snow.
Special Story-time: Halloween Good Night Join us for a special story-time with Rebecca Grabill, author of the new picture book, Halloween Good Night. Count up to ten and back again with this sweet and clever Halloween bedtime story starring your favorite monsters!
Talk and Signing with NYT bestselling Author Jeffrey Brown We are delighted to welcome Grand Rapids native and New York Times bestselling author and illustrator Jeffrey Brown to the store for a talk and signing celebrating the release of Lucy & Andy Neanderthal: The Stone Cold Age!
Special Sandra Boynton Hog Wild! Story-time Join us for a story-time celebrating the release of beloved children’s book author Sandra Boyton’s newest title, Hog Wild!
NYT bestselling Author Doug Stanton presents The Odyssey of Echo Company We are honored to welcome internationally recognized Michigan author Doug Stanton – author of the New York Times books In Harm’s Way and Horse Soldiers – to the Schuler studio to speak about his newest title, The Odyssey of Echo Company: The 1968 Tet Offensive and the Epic Battle to Survive the Vietnam War.
Michigan Author Vic Foerster presents Hidden in the Trees Meet Vic Foerster, 2017 Great Lakes Reads Selection author, as he presents his newest publication, Hidden in the Trees: An Isle Royale Sojourn!
Schuler Books present Denis Leary at the Wealthy Theatre Dr. Leary is back to school us again with Why We Don’t Suck, a searing comic look at these divisive times, skewering liberals and conservatives alike with a signature dose of sarcasm and common sense. For tickets and more information, visit SchulerBooks.com.
Visit www.SchulerBooks.com for a complete list of events. All events are subject to change.
St. Cecilia Music Center PRESENTS
IT’S JUST SO GOOD
MUSIC LIVES HERE
OCTOBER 26, 2017
24 Ransom Ave NE Grand Rapids
Two-time Grammy-nominated fingerpicking guitar legend
CHAMBER MUSIC SOCIETY
NOVEMBER 2, 2017
The stunning “Essential String Trios” of Beethoven and Mozart
October 13 & 14
7:30 PM DeVos Performance Hall TICKETS Start at $25 | Students $5
THE ARNOLD C. OTT LECTURESHIP IN CHEMISTRY OCTOBER 5 AND 6, 2017
Brian Shoichet, Ph.D. Professor of Pharmaceutical Chemistry University of California – San Francisco Public Lecture
Thursday, October 5, 2017
How Are New Drugs Discovered? Reception — 5 p.m. Evening Lecture — 6 p.m. Grand River Room Russel H. Kirkhof Center, Allendale Campus Seminar
Friday, October 6, 2017
Structure-Based Discovery for Under- and Over-Studied GPCRs 1 p.m. Pere Marquette Room Russel H. Kirkhof Center, Allendale Campus Hos ted by
Free and open to the public For more information, call (616) 331-3317 or visit gvsu.edu/chem/.
Create art. Design a career. Spark your world. 800.676.2787 kcad.edu
Live Orc hestra
Tickets start at
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GRAND VALLEY SHAKESPEARE FESTIVAL AND THEATRE AT GRAND VALLEY PRESENT
Sep 29-OCT 8
MAKING ITS GRAND RAPIDS PREMIERE
OCTOBER 18 – NOVEMBER 5 DEVOS PERFORMANCE HALL GREEN MEANS GO Ticketmaster.com • 800-745-3000 Groups 15+ 616-235-6285
REVUEWM.COM | OCTOBER 2017 |
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404 Ionia Ave, SW., Grand Rapids, MI 49503
Downtown GR Featuring Over
Featuring 24 individually wrapped & numbered beers representing a variety of styles and breweries. Limited releases included! QUANTITIES ARE LIMITED Order Online grandrapids.craftbeercellar.com
Beer Advent Boxes will be ready for pickup on Wednesday November 15th
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Beer & Board Game Mondays Beer Education Tuesdays Kick the Keg 1/2 Price Draft Wednesdays Free Beer Tastings Thursdays & Saturday Happy Hour Mon-Thu Noon-6pm
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BEER ISSUE Exploring Our Local Beer Scene
Grand Rapids is one of the fastest growing cities in the Midwest, and it seems likely West Michigan’s ever-growing beer scene is at least somewhat to thank for that. Even with construction, licensing and finance issues leading to sometimes year-long delays, breweries, brewpubs and craft beer bars continue to open doors throughout the region. Meanwhile, existing breweries are expanding their reach year after year, opening additional taprooms and distributing states away. Yes, a few breweries have closed up shop, but typically for good reason. As such, our Beer Issue continues to be one of the largest issues of the year. This time, we gathered local brewery owners to determine the best in macro lagers, asked other brewery owners which beer they first fell in love with, and profiled the brewers actually making your beer. You’ll also find an interview with Sharkman, a DJ/craft beer lover/metalhead/skater/father, a look at how recreational weed may or may not affect craft brews, and a breakdown of what beers may be the next big styles, according to local beer experts. Even all that doesn’t cover everything in the pages ahead — the rest, you’ll just have to see for yourself.
Barrels of beer at Founders Brewing Co. COURTESY PHOTO
The Beer Issue
WHERE DO WE GO FROM BEER? Rising styles and trends in the craft beer world BY MAUREEN DI VIRGILIO
f you ask Michiganders what M-43 is, they might answer that it’s a highway, a state road running from South Haven to Webberville. But after the summer of 2017, many will
assume you’re talking about the beer. Old Nation, a brewery from Williamston (just outside Lansing), rocketed onto the craft scene this year with the debut of M-43, a New England IPA — NEIPA for short — that has taken beer lovers by storm. Despite its recent nationwide popularity, the NEIPA isn’t recognized yet as an official style, but most people can agree they’re characterized as unfiltered IPAs with a prominent hop profile. Often dry-hopped, these beers typically boast a hazy appearance and a juicy mouthfeel that balances the hops’ bitterness, appealing to a wide range of drinkers. To give some perspective: Ford Field has announced that M-43 will be served there this season, breaking into an arena market normally reserved for domestics and craft heavy hitters like Bell’s or Founders. The NEIPA trend shows no signs of fading, and a plethora of Michigan breweries are hastening to populate store shelves and draft lines with their own takes on the style. But there’s a lot more brewing in the local beer scene for the rest of 2017 and beyond. “The biggest general beer trend of note is the overall shift to session beers,” said Ben Darcie, the beer education specialist and homebrew shop manager at Gravel Bottom Craft Brewery & Supply. “The craft scene has gone out to the farthest reaches of beerdom, and seems to be circling back around to creating more sessionable styles — that is, beers that fall around 5-percent ABV or less. “We forget that the Session IPA was practically unheard of less than five years ago,” he noted of the now popular style. Drew Archer, general manager of 7 Monks Taproom, agrees.
a very summertime take on an old German “Sours, wild ales, gose, berliner weiss, style. Goses acquire their characteristic kolsch — lighter, sessionable beers with sourness through lactobacillus, and this flavor seem to be on the uptick,” Archer particular gose has a hint of watermelon said. in it.” While proclamations of a shift away Green Zebra is also Founders’ 2017 from heavily-hopped IPAs and barrel-aged ArtPrize beer, which means you’ll be stouts may sound outlandish to some, the seeing a lot of this sessionable release. proof is in the pudding (or rather, the wort). On the opposite end of the spectrum, “I remember having a conversation Founders has also recently experimented with Ed Collazo (of City Built Brewing with malt liquors. The “fantastically Co.) when he was getting ready to open —Ben Darcie, hopped” DKML is barrel aged and prohis brewery,” Archer said. “He was really Gravel Bottom Craft duced with corn and lager yeast. Founders excited about his opening tap list, but I was Brewery & Supply touts it online as “what could be the first like, ‘Wait, where’s your IPA?’” malt liquor worthy of a glass.” In the Yet even without a traditional IPA to same vein, Dark Horse Brewing recently appease the hophead masses, City Built is partnered with Old Nation to produce its thriving on its atypical list of offerings. German Hobo Malt Liquor, which may Archer cites Speciation Artisan Ales of mean we’ll see more craft malt liquors soon. Comstock Park as another newer local brewery that has made a big Asked what he thinks is up next for the industry, Evans said splash, with experimental sours and goses as its main attraction. to be on the lookout for “more goses, as well as traditional la“What an impact Mitch (Ermatinger) has had on the beer comgers.” And Darcie of Gravel Bottom is definitely on board with this munity in the last eight months,” he said. “The masses cannot get prediction. enough. I’m asked numerous times on a weekly basis if we have “The next general beer trend that I’m extremely excited about anything from Speciation. … Luckily, most of the time, we do. I feel is a shift to lagers,” he said, pointing out that “many people tend like he has hit a stride with the sour and wild influx going on, and it to forget the diversity of the lager style, reverting to the standard happened at the exact right time.” example of (the) fizzy yellow American Macro. Lagers include evSours are definitely here to stay. Even Founders, Beer City’s erything from that fizzy yellow lager to the easy, malty Oktoberfest, most well-known brewery and a mecca for hop lovers all over the to the hoppy, bright India Pale Lager, to the dark, raisiny Bock and world, has begun producing amazing examples of the style. Doppelbock, to the black, roasty Baltic Porter and Black Lager.” “We have been getting into a good amount of sour beers, which resulted in our latest release, Green Zebra,” said Tracy Evans, a packaging lead on the brewery team at Founders. “Green Zebra is
TRY THESE LOCAL BREWS:
“The biggest general beer trend of note is the overall shift to session beers.”
NE IPA Brewery Vivant, Dawn of Vim Cellar Brewing, Main Squeeze Grand Armory, Cloudy with a Chance of Hops
Odd Side Ales, Mosaic Dank Juice Old Nation, M-43 Petosky Brewing, Juicy
Sour Brewery Vivant, Plein de Vie series Founders, Green Zebra
HopCat, Unicorn On Acid Jolly Pumpkin, La Roja
Newaygo Brewing, Himalayan Gose Speciation, Incipient
Session Saugatuck, Backyard IPA Perrin, No Problems
Bellâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Brewery, Oarsman Big Lake Brewing, Citra Session
New Holland, Full Circle Beards Brewery, Oh! The Citranity!
Malt Liquor Dark Horse/Old Nation, German Hobo Founders, DKML
Lager Creston Brewery, Creston Pilz Founders, PC Pils
The Beer Issue
BEHIND THE BARRELS Sitting down with the brewers of West Michigan BY KELLY BROWN
JOHN STEWART, Director of Brewing at Perrin Brewing Co.
LAURA HOUSER, Brewer at Founders Brewing Co.
From New Holland Brewing to Saugatuck and now at Perrin, John Stewart’s brewing career spans the surge of the craft beer industry. His passion for brewing, especially in Michigan, has landed him a spot as head honcho of one of Michigan’s finest breweries.
In a male-dominated industry, Laura Houser has made a name for herself. A brewer at Founders Brewing since 2004, Laura has stood the test of time and continues to be one of the leading women in the brewing industry.
What are the pros for brewing at a place like Perrin? Each day brings its own issues and adventures when working at a production brewery. That’s part of what keeps the job exciting for me. I enjoy the people I get to work with and the team that we have put together here. The beer will only be as good as the people making it. You can make the best wort in the world, but if the yeast isn’t healthy, you get bad beer. It’s the same with people. If you could convince Perrin to brew one beer, what would it be?
An IPA brewed with light stable hop extracts, packaged in a clear glass 40 oz. bottle. What’s your favorite beer to drink? If I had to pick a favorite, or ‘if you could only drink one beer,’ the style of beer would be a classic German Oktoberfest lager. Clean, technically solid German lagers were one of my first loves in beer. I still think I could drink one on the hottest summer day or coldest winter night. Do you think craft beer has the longevity to stick around for a long time? People, community and quality. Again: people, community and quality. Everyone looks at ownership, branding or beer styles being offered, but if you don’t support people (including your own), community (your lifeblood) and quality (the trust built with the community), then no brewery will have longevity in an up-and-down market. Winter is coming. What are your thoughts on the current state of Beer City? To make a long answer short, there is still plenty of room for brewpubs and on-premise sales. Going to other cities like Portland and Denver shows that cities can support larger numbers of breweries than we currently have. Now, opening up a regional brewery and trying to get packaged beer onto store shelves is another issue in today’s competitive market. Finally, a piece of advice for anyone looking to get into brewing? Brewing requires mostly cleaning and sanitizing. Be prepared to clean and then clean again. Be prepared for long hours. Put the beer first and your greatest compensation will be enjoying the final product.
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How did you get into brewing? I first got into brewing when my sister gave me a Mr. Beer Brewer Kit for a Christmas present in 2001. I started working at Founders in 2004. I love brewing because it is equal parts creative, scientific, intuitive, physical and cerebral. It’s rewarding to enjoy the fermented fruits of my own labor. What, for you, are the pros and cons of brewing on the scale of somewhere like Founders? As Founders has grown, so has all the brewery equipment. It’s an exciting challenge to stay proficient and knowledgeable about everything. When I first started brewing, we had one brewhouse — now we have five. Even though they are all essentially the same, they each have their own varied nuance. Yet, I enjoy brewing in all of them.
What was the first craft beer you fell in love with? Founders Porter, because it is really rich, dark and sexy. What are your thoughts on the current state of Beer City? If you make good, clean, tasty beer, people will come and drink it. If you don’t, they won’t. It’s as simple as that. No more. No less.
What’s your favorite beer to brew? All the different brands of beer I brew are like my children. Some folks may think I have a favorite, but like any good mom, I will never admit that I have a favorite, let alone which one it is.
Is there a brewer from anywhere that you really respect? I respect all my fellow women, because they have to work twice as hard to be thought of as half as good in this male-dominated industry.
Do you think craft beer has the longevity to stick around? Trends come and go, but beer is here to stay. People love fermented beverages, and as long as there are people around to brew them, there will be people to drink them.
A piece of advice for anyone looking to get into brewing? Good brewing is primarily about cleanliness and sanitation. If you can excel at those, then the rest will fall into place.
MATT PETERSON, Brewer at Cedar Springs Brewing This year, Cedar Springs Brewing Company took home two gold medals at the 2017 Los Angeles International Beer Competition. The two beers were the Kusterer Heller Weissbier and the Kusterer Weizenbock, and helping to make it all happen is Matt Peterson. One of a handful of brewers at CSBC, Peterson works hard to bring traditional Bavarian ales to West Michigan. How did you get into brewing? What do you enjoy about it? I got into brewing because the cost of my favorite imported weissbier went up $0.50 for a 500-mL bottle. I heard a lot of commercials on the radio for a home brew shop and thought, ‘I can do that.’ What do I like about being a brewer? What is there not to like? I get to create my versions of traditional styles of beer. What are the best parts about working for CSBC? Dave Ringler and I are on the same page. We both have a lot of love for traditional brewing styles. (And) it is a very open and encouraging work environment.
How about favorite beer to drink? Probably Sierra Nevada Pale Ale. (You) always know what you’re going to get. Will craft beer fade away? If so, what will you be up to? I believe that craft beer is here to stay. So, I don’t believe I’ll be joining the professional rodeo clown circuit any time soon. What makes Michigan a great place to brew beer? Michiganders. They are so proud of ‘Made in Michigan.’ Who else is going to stand out in the dead cold of winter in Michigan to drink just as cold beer at an outside beer festival where it is likely snowing? Between the Brewers Guild and the people of Michigan that attend the festivals, I would not change a thing about the beer culture here. If you could give one piece of advice to someone looking to brew, what would it be? Never stop learning or cleaning.
What’s your favorite beer to brew? I enjoy all our beers. The Original Weissbier and our Pilsner I tend to gravitate to, but I also love our seasonal beers.
REVUEWM.COM | OCTOBER 2017 |
The Beer Issue
Sultans of Swill
West Michigan craft brewers taste 20 macro beers — for science BY JOE BOOMGAARD / PHOTOS BY KATY BATDORFF
n 2016, the Toyota Camry sold better than any other passenger car in the country. More than 388,000 people went into a dealership and willingly signed on the dotted line for a shiny new automotive equivalent of a white T-shirt. You see, a Camry is inoffensive to a fault, a mass-marketed vehicle built for the generic American family who likes to go to Applebee’s on Fridays to order an over-salted, well-done steak with a side of limp, overcooked vegetables. And, more likely than not, they’re probably going to wash down that flavorless plateful of American mediocrity with none other than a Bud Light. That’s because Bud Light — or any macro-produced American lager or light lager, really — is to the beer world what the Camry is to the automotive industry: safe, predictable, mass-produced and cost-engineered. And it explains why craft beer enthusiasts deride the mass-produced American lager style as fizzy yellow beer, macro swill or lawnmower beer. In a word, they’re boring. But even boring beer sells. Bud Light, the best-selling beer in these United States of America, moved 35 million barrels last year, according to industry estimates. To put that in perspective, the collective in-state sales for all Michigan craft breweries last year reached about 549,000 barrels, or around 1.6 percent of just Bud Light sales nationwide. If you are going to reach for a macro lager, you might as well know which ones taste the best. To help in that decision-making process, Revue conducted a blind tasting of 20 beers using a panel of expert tasters from four West Michigan craft breweries: Mitch Ermatinger, Speciation Artisan Ales (Comstock Park) Eric Hoffman, Unruly Brewing Co. (Muskegon) Seth Rivard, Rockford Brewing Co. (Rockford) Scott Schultz, Creston Brewery (Grand Rapids) As this was a blind tasting, the panel did not know which beers they were trying. We asked the panel to rank the beers, which were presented in a random order, based on the following criteria: 5 points: “Tasty.” I would drink this regularly and stock it in my fridge. 4 points: “Decent.” It’s not my first choice, but it’s beer. I’d drink it at a concert or at the beach. 3 points: “Just OK.” This passes as beer, but just barely. It might work for the style, but it’s not my thing. 2 points: “Ugh.” It doesn’t taste very good, and I’m starting to question my life choices. 1 point: “Nope!” This is terrible and I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy.
TOP, FROM LEFT: Eric Hoffman (Unruly), Seth Rivard (Rockford), Mitch Ermatinger (Speciation), Nick Manes, Joe Boomgaard, Josh Veal, Scott Schultz (Creston) BOTTOM LEFT: Scott Schultz (Creston)
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Here’s how they stacked up, from worst to first. (Scores listed are an average.)
Josh Veal, Scott Schultz (Creston) and Eric Hoffman (Unruly)
20. Michelob Ultra: 1
Surprisingly, this beer was skunked — you could smell it across the room — and also very watery.
18. (tie) Genesee Beer: 1.25
“Smells like a wet, eggy fart.”
18. (tie) Bud Light: 1.25
“Feet aroma,” watery and "tastes like a cheap, light beer knock-off.''
17. Genesee Cream Ale: 1.75
Tastes of “corn and Band-Aids,” leaving one taster “personally offended.”
15. (tie) Milwaukee’s Best: 2.125
Totally neutral and unenjoyable. Tastes like “air and yeast.”
15. Busch Beer: 2.125
N o t h o r r ible f o r c ar b o n ated water; some green apple off-flavors.
14. Stroh’s Lager: 2.7
Super light with not much flavor, except for sulphur on the nose. “Shocking” head retention.
13. Miller Lite: 2.875
Very light and neutral without much flavor. Heavily carbonated and dry.
12. Pabst Blue Ribbon Beer: 3.125
7. Icehouse: 3.8
Actually has hop bitterness of the mineral variety and some body. Balanced. Moderate sweetness.
6. Rolling Rock Extra Pale Lager: 3.875
Slightly more aroma and flavor than some, although still bland. Reminiscent of a Euro lager.
Tastes like an ale, with light fruity notes. A very drinkable beer with some body.
11. Coors Light: 3.2075
4. (tie) Schlitz: 4
Interesting aroma. Tastes more like an ale, with fruity, estery notes. Crushable.
10. Miller High Life: 3.225
Seems like a generic light beer. Tastes of “corporate nothingness.”
8. (tie) Old Style: 3.625
Little to no aroma. So neutral it’s hard to describe. Finishes with nothing.
8. (tie) Miller Genuine Draft: 3.625
A clean beer with good head retention. Flavors include some corn-derived sweetness.
More hops than most, although vegetal in nature. Nice body. “It actually tastes like something.”
4. (tie) Budweiser, a.k.a. America: 4
Nice aroma. Super clean, fruit-forward, with some corn notes. “Tastes like a lawnmower beer.”
2. (tie) Hamm’s Beer: 4.5
Nothing unlikable. Nice aroma with generic hops. Corn-forward flavor, with perceivable bitterness.
2. (tie) Coors Banquet: 4.5
“Super good” balance of malty and corn toastiness. Tastes familiar. “I’d crush some of this.”
1. Stroh’s Bohemian-style Pilsner: 4.875
Tastes fresh with pilsner malts and Saaz hop coming through really well. “Way different” than anything in the tasting.
ANALYSIS: E ven in a comple t el y blind tasting, four Michigan brewers picked the Michigan-made beer as their favorite. Brew Detroit, a contract brewery in Detroit’s Corktown neighborhood, produces Bohemian-style Pilsner for Stroh Brewery Co., a brand owned by Milwaukeebased Pabs t Brewing Co. Stroh’s started brewing in Detroit in 1850 and operated in the city until 1985. Its original Bohemian-style Pilsner, which inspired the recipe for the current beer, won numerous awards, including at the World’s Fair in 1893. The company revived the name last year in partnership with Brew Detroit, declaring on the label that it’s “proudly brewed in Detroit, Michigan.” According to Brewmaster Greg Deuhs, the 5.5 percent ABV beer is made with Saaz and Magnum hops and Vienna malt for “a crisp, balanced pilsner with a floral aroma, subtle hop spice, and a rich, bready maltiness.”
REVUEWM.COM | OCTOBER 2017 |
The Beer Issue
The Sovengard's sour beer fries
Cooking with Beer
Out of the Bottle, Into the Frying Pan BY MAUREEN DI VIRGILIO
eer for mussels! Beer for mussels, please!” Above the din of busy service at The Green Well Gastropub on Cherry Street in Grand Rapids, this particular phrase is a common refrain throughout the evening. An apron-clad food runner waits by the end of the bar, having emerged from the kitchen with a large container in hand for the bartender to fill with a light lager. Michigan Beer Steamed Mussels, one of the most popular appetizers on Green Well’s menu, uses beer in place of wine in the familiar seafood dish (though wine-steamed mussels are still an option for gluten-free diners). “Traditionally, with mussels, you use white wine to deglaze the pan,” explained Chef de Cuisine Ana Randall. “But, we are in Beer City. This recipe has been around since before I started here — it was actually the first dish that I had when I came to eat at the Green Well. … Using beer just adds a different depth of flavor than wine. And you get a certain bitterness, as opposed to sweetness, that really complements the mussels themselves.” The chefs at Green Well are no strangers to experimenting with local beers. The restaurant runs an ever-changing features menu in
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addition to its regular lunch and dinner menus, and it’s there you’ll often find beer-infused cuisine. Randall cites the annual release of Bell’s Oberon as an example: “Every Oberon season, I like to use Oberon in desserts. … You get a nice floral note from it. You get the orange flavor. I prefer to use it in a sabayon (a light, custard-esque Italian sauce). My particular dessert style is a combination of sweet and savory, so the beer lends bitterness, but you still get the orange and floral notes with it.” Over at The Sovengard, a West Side restaurant known for its adventurous Scandinavian cuisine and beautiful outdoor biergarten, it’s no surprise that one of the most ordered share plates on the menu is a beer-infused dish. In the less than two years that Sovengard has been open, its diverse draft and bottle list has already made this establishment a destination for craft beer nerds. The sour beer fries are an ideal complement to many of these Belgian and European-style offerings. “Potatoes and vinegar are pretty ubiquitous to European/ Scandinavian cooking,” said Chef Patrick Conrade, citing the popularity of fries and the ease of sharing as two other incentives to run the simple but addictive dish. The kitchen makes its own vinegar with
Brewery Vivant’s Søvengård House Sour Foeder Aged Sour Ale — more commonly referred to as “the house sour” — and the kennebec potato fries are tossed with this beer vinegar and served with dijonnaise. Beer samplers, or flights, are usually something one expects to find in breweries and beer bars — not chocolate shops. But on Wealthy Street, Mokaya is providing a different sort of experience: a flight of chocolates made with local beers. The inspiration behind the project was simple for father-son team Charles and Max Golcyzynski. “It seemed pretty straightforward, being in Grand Rapids,” Max said. For a newly opened chocolate shop in Beer City, it was a “nobrainer.” But while the project was easy to conceive, the chocolatiers were hesitant. Unlike wine or liquor, ingredients more commonly used in chocolate creations, “beer will change everything. The flavor combinations are just exponential,” Max said. “The flavors don’t just enhance each other, they make something new.” Not even sure if the experiment would yield results up to Mokaya’s high standards of quality, the Golcyzynskis nevertheless began what would be a months-long process of testing and tasting. “We basically took three types of chocolate, and we picked six breweries, and then went and just got flights of all their year-round beers,” Max said. “We did each chocolate with each beer, and weeded it out. … I have a list somewhere that’s like 50 or 60 beers with all the chocolate combinations. … We had to really whittle it down.” Needless to say, the endeavor was a success. The original beer flight is a regular offering at Mokaya’s retail store and has inspired additional beer and chocolate concoctions, including a limited release all-Founders flight. Surprisingly, “All Day makes a killer truffle,” Max said. Asked if Mokaya may one day expand its selection of beer truffles, he said it isn’t out of the question. For now, the shop is focused on a number of other new projects, including collaborations with Long Road Distillers and neighboring bar Donkey Taqueria, together creating a Prickly Pear Margarita ice cream sandwich.
REVUEWM.COM | OCTOBER 2017 |
The Beer Issue
DANK, STICKY, RESINOUS, HEADY, OH MY! West Michigan craft brewers welcome — not fear — marijuana legalization BY ANDY BALASKOVITZ
As the movement to legalize recreational marijuana gains steam in Michigan, many craft breweries have started to take notice. On their minds is a key concern: Would legalizing pot negatively affect sales of craft beer? It’s a question — speculated about in states like Colorado and Washington that have legalized the recreational use of marijuana — that market experts say has no clear answer at this point based on available data. Moreover, some West Michigan craft brewers welcome the idea, seeing a path for increased business and the potential to marry the two products and cultures.
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“I don’t believe it will have any immediate profound effect on our business or industry directly, but in the long run may add to it as opposed to take from our industry,” said Seth Rivard, cofounder of Rockford Brewing Co. “In my personal experience, there is a ‘high’ correlation of crossover in the demographics between craft-beer lovers and pot lovers. If pot use does grow over time because of legalization, we’ll probably see an uptick in craft beer fans as well.” Rivard — who supports marijuana legalization because it is “safer than alcohol, hands down” — added that Rockford Brewing “would consider a 420 happy hour with half-off munchies and dank brew! The craft beer industry is already well connected to the Mary Jane culture.” After Michigan voters approved cannabis for medical use in 2008, advocates in recent years have launched ballot initiatives to legalize recreational use for adults. However, the question hasn’t yet made it to voters. MILegalize, which spearheaded an effort in 2015, failed to gather enough signatures in the required timeframe to make the ballot. Earlier this year, though, the group backed a similar effort now being led by the Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol, which said in late July it had half of the signatures it needed and had raised more than $800,000. A second ballot effort, by Abrogate Prohibition
Michigan of Midland, looks to amend the state constitution to allow recreational use. If put to voters, advocates believe Michigan is poised to join other states in legalizing recreational cannabis. A February poll by Lansing-based EPIC-MRA (commissioned by the Michigan chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, or NORML) found 57 percent of 600 people surveyed would vote to legalize marijuana. Eight states have now legalized marijuana for recreational use. Elsewhere, some observers have claimed that legalization has contributed to declining beer sales in those states, and that marijuana acts as a substitute for beer, though experts say there isn’t enough available data to show that. One of the challenges in finding a correlation is that “we still don’t really know how much the cannabis market is growing given the shift from the black market to the legal market,” said Bart Watson, chief economist at the Colorado-based Brewers Association, the trade group for the independent craft beer industry. In Colorado, beer shipments are up this year, Watson said, and “in general appear to conform to per-capita trends we see nationally.” He adds that changes in consumption also don’t tell the full story, and that population growth should be considered
to look at per-capita consumption, and that other variables or changes across the alcohol industry should also be considered. He added that there’s a “strong possibility” legalization will hit total beverage alcohol — beer, wine and spirits — in “different ways, but also different parts of the beer market, too.” For example, macro breweries like Anheuser-Busch and MillerCoors could more likely be hit than craft beer companies. “But it’s too early to tell,” Watson said. “Anyone telling you there is a strong effect one way or another is probably jumping to conclusions.” Long-term, though, Watson said there could be market changes with new cohorts of 21-year-old drinkers. If there are any immediate effects being seen, he added, it’s how breweries train the staff to recognize different forms of intoxication impairment. Like Rivard, Newaygo Brewing Co. co-owner Nick Looman sees pot legalization as an economic boon, and one that can bring more revenue and population growth to communities. Looman,
Weird Beers It was the late musician Prince who sang, “Let’s go crazy, let’s get nuts” on 1984’s Purple Rain album. While the eccentric songwriter typically eschewed alcohol, one could make the argument that legions of craft brewers have heeded his call. In an unending game of one upmanship, brewers are always looking for strange ingredients and off-the-wall techniques to bring their crazy concoctions to their fervent fans. Here are a few of the weirder beers we’ve heard about lately.
“The craft beer industry is already well connected to the Mary Jane culture.” —Seth Rivard, co-founder, Rockford Brewing Co.
They say Denmark is perhaps the happiest country in the world. We’re betting Copenhagen brewery Nerrebro Bryghus is laughing all the way to the bank with its recent beer idea. The crazy Danes took to the massive Roskilde Music Festival and solicited salty streams from its more than 100,000 attendees. They then took the resulting 13,200 gallons of urine and used it to fertilize their crops of malting barley, which they used to brew Pisner, their take on a classic Czech-style Pilsner. The brewery made about 60,000 bottles of what it’s pretentiously calling “the ultimate sustainable hipster beer” made by “beercycling” waste. Piss off, Mikkel.
Spit-take who serves on the boards for the City of Newaygo’s Economic Development committee and Principal Shopping District/ Downtown Development Association, said the city is considering a proposal for a large marijuana growing facility there. “As we are the only microbrewery in our rural county, our long-term growth is dependent upon population growth in our city and county,” said Looman, who also supports legalization. “Any business looking to open a new multi-million dollar production facility in the county, let alone in my city limits, will bring workers, bring demand for housing, bring additional demand for jobs … and will boost our local economy. More importantly to me, these families will bring youngsters who will increase my hiring pool. That is what I need most.” While legalizing marijuana may affect sales of other types of alcohol, many in the craft beer sector see a cultural similarity between their products and pot, which shows in the way some craft beers are marketed. In some cases, brewers have even used non-mood-altering derivatives of the cannabis plant in making beer. Cannabis and hops are even from the same family of flowering plants. “A casual observation is that there is a high correlation between craft beer lovers and tokers,” Rivard said. “You may see more niche-based grass-themed things happen, but it’s already common.”
Milton, Del.-based Dogfish Head Brewery was one of the earliest pur veyors of extreme craft beers, in the sense that it used strange ingredients in the brewing process. The brew team has used everything from sediment from ancient tombs to moon rocks in making their prized craft beers. But Chicha was weird even by their standards. To make the traditional Latin American corn beer, the brewing team followed the authentic method of milling the corn, and then having its brewers chew it to moisten it before spitting it out. The saliva-soaking method converts starches in the purple corn into sugar, which can be fermented to make alcohol. But to be fair, it’s not like you’ll be swapping spit with the brew team, as the resulting slimy corn cakes are boiled for at least an hour.
It’s no secret that Tony Magee, the founder of Lagunitas Brewing Co. in Petaluma, Calif., is an unabashed fan of marijuana and admitted stoner. In fact, an incident involving the wacky weed at the company’s original taproom forced it to cease operations
for 20 days back in 2005. In another case, the feds made the brewery rename its beer called “The Kronik” because they said it overtly referenced a banned substance. (The beer’s now called “Censored” as an F-U to the man.) So it was only a matter of time before Lagunitas toked over the line and used cannabis in beer. Earlier this year, the company collaborated with a fellow California-based company that made THC-infused vapes. As such, they infused a beer with cannabis terpenes or resins, and put hop resins in the vape juice. They say it wasn’t a stretch of the imagination, since the hop and cannabis plants are closely related. Supercritical sold out quickly, but here’s hoping the Golden State tipplers don’t bogart it all and send some of the next batch our way.
Have a seat
Yeast is everywhere in the environment, and brewers will go to no lengths of absurdity to capture some of the critical beer-making ingredient. In the case of London’s 40FT Brewery, that search for pedigreed yeast took them to the estate of novelist Roald Dahl, author of children’s books like James and the Giant Peach, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and The Twits. More specifically, the brewers swabbed the wood of the late Dahl’s special writing chair and used it to culture the wild yeast needed to make Mr. Twit’s Odious Ale. It’s likely the writer of all things weird would be pleased to know the remnants of his arm sweat fostered the right milieu for the yeast in the smoky sour brew. —Compiled by Joe Boomgaard
REVUEWM.COM | OCTOBER 2017 |
The Beer Issue
West Michigan’s leading heavy metal DJ and craft beer aficionado BY MARK DEMING / PHOTO BY KATY BATDORFF
If the West Michigan craft beer and hard rock community had a superhero, it would have to be Sharkman. By day, he’s a mild-mannered husband and father who runs a painting business. By night, he dons his oldschool denim jacket laden with dozens of patches, puts on his mirrored shades, slips on a few skull rings and goes “Shark Style,” spinning vintage metal and classic
Are you more passionate about heavy metal or craft beer? That’s so hard, because they go good together. That’s why I do it! I would have to go with heavy metal, because I’m really steeped into that. That’s part of my legacy, growing up with heavy metal. Craft beer comes second to me. That’s probably why I don’t make it. What do you think heavy metal and craft beer have in common? Beer and spirits all go with the music scene, because a lot of the guys that wrote that music in the ’60s, ’70s and ’80s, they were on something when they wrote those songs. The best songs were written because they had a glass of bourbon or beer by them while they were writing. And you can’t go to a bar and just sit there and drink beer. There’s no life to it! You have to have the music to have the beer.
rock from his sizable collection of LPs. Sharkman spins every Thursday night at Our Brewing Company in Holland, and appears frequently at Unruly Brewing in Muskegon. He’s been DJing hard rock for four years, and his passion for both craft beer and hair metal has made him something of a celebrity — some breweries have even named brews after him. Born and raised in West Michigan, Sharkman picked up his nickname in high school for his rowdy ways, and for a while he was a professional skateboarder and rollerblader. The loquacious DJ took some time on a sunny Saturday afternoon to answer a few questions.
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What’s your favorite beer or beer style at the moment? I love IPAs, and right now my favorite IPA is from Stormcloud Brewing Company. They’re a little bit newer, and they came out with this 31 Planes IPA, and I really like that. Another one is from Revolution Brewing Company (in Illinois). The IPA they make, that is a tasty beer. But I always like the Our Brewing beers. They make a Careless Whisper beer, and it’s like drinking tulips with that smell. It goes with Holland so well. If you could bring any band to the brewery, who would it be? I would like to see Cinderella. That would be a band I’d love to see. I saw them in ’89, in Grand Rapids, and I’d love to see them play at a brewery. It’s funny about Cinderella — I have that patch on my jacket. And I had a young lady came up to me, she goes, ‘Gosh, you like Disney World?’ She thought that Cinderella patch was something I bought at Disney World! What are your favorite West Michigan breweries? Perrin Brewing Company in Comstock — John Stewart is the head guy over there. I like that place. Perrin Brewing is one I really recommend. And Mitten Brewing Company, Max Trierweiler and Chris Andrus run it. That is a nice, clean company. And Harmony Brewing Company, that’s got a great atmosphere to it as well. Gravel Bottom is another one, in Ada. That’s a tasty little place to hang out. And Brewery Vivant, that’s one I would definitely put up there. In Holland, of course, there’s Our Brewing Company — of course that’s my favorite here. Saugatuck Brewing Company is awesome. And if you go into Muskegon, Pigeon Hill and Unruly are great guys.
REVUEWM.COM | OCTOBER 2017 |
The Beer Issue
Love at First Sip Craft brewers recount when they converted to craft beer BY NATHAN PECK
David Ringler, Cedar Springs Brewing Company
At some point in most craft beer drinkers’ lives, they move from the stale kegs of pale fizzy mass-market beers in young adulthood or college to something with more substance. For craft brewers around the state, that first experience of brews beyond the stale set them on a sometimes circuitous paths toward brewing beers to their liking. For some, it was foreign beers not frequently distributed in the Midwest, for others it was some of the first craft breweries in the nation or state. For this writer, the catalyst was two beers: a properly poured pint of Guinness and a pint of Smithwick’s Ale at Angler’s Rest Pub while studying abroad in Ireland. Sure, Guinness could be found stateside in 2001, but it had either been on a container ship for weeks or was brewed in Canada. Whether the (Guinness-mandated) ritual of pouring half a pint, letting the amber bubbles cascade within the glass, pouring off the head and topping it off really affected the taste of final product, I don’t know — but it did mark a shift from my mass consumption of beer to something that was fresh, with culture behind it. Revue spoke with six regional brewery owners to discuss the drink that set them on their careers.
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Kris Spaulding, Brewery Vivant
For David Ringler, founder of Cedar Springs Brewing Company, it was a job at a party store that first turned him on to craft beer through Anchor Steam, the iconic regional San Francisco beer. “When I started going crafty, Anchor was the first that was my go-to beer. I went to school in Kalamazoo, so there was Two Hearted, and Sierra Nevada, my first big hoppy beer,” he said. Then, a post-college stint playing football in Europe afforded “a lot of downtime” where Ringler took day trips to small towns to explore. “I discovered some really awesome places and entered an apprenticeship in brewing,” Ringler said. “It was a little, small fourth generation brewer east of Munich making the most interesting Weissbier.” After undertaking a two-year apprenticeship in Germany, Ringler returned to the U.S. and attended the Siebel Institute of Technology, a Chicago-based technical school, for brewing
science. After leaving brewing in the late 1990s, he looked to others to bring these styles to American craft drinkers. “When I got out … I always felt someone was going to come along and do this (brew German styles) someday,” he said. As craft brew drinkers started to seek out more of the traditional styles of brewing, Ringler found an audience for his passion. “The styles we have done are classics that have been around forever for a reason. Sure, we do IPAs and those styles, but Weissbiers are a misunderstood style by most people. Having fallen in love with that 20 years ago, that is something I wanted to share with folks who I thought would like (it) as well. We are fortunate we get to do that now.” Kris Spaulding, co-owner of Brewery Vivant in Grand Rapids, remembers Bell’s Amber Ale fondly as the first craft beer she drank in college. Friends in her apartment building gave her a bottle of the ale and she was hooked.
Joel Kamp (right) with Michael Brower, Pigeon Hill Brewing Co.
“My first real beer love was Bell’s Amber — it was a good one to have as a first,” Spaulding said. “I definitely drank a lot of Bell’s Amber.” When she was introduced to her husband Jason, who was a co-founder and brewing at New Holland Brewing Co., it was a somewhat inauspicious first meeting. “The first memory he has of me is my telling him their amber was not as good as Bell’s,” she said, laughing. “We didn’t go on our first date for a few years after that — it apparently took a few years to wear off.” When the Spauldings looked to open their own brewery, they wanted to bring styles of beer that few people would have had fresh. “There is a natural artistic style that comes with Belgian and French style beers,” she said. “There’s a lot more you can do to pair (food) with different flavor profiles.” But the beer would be one aspect of what would become Brewery Vivant — the other piece would be that it reflects the community in which it resides. After a trip to France and Belgium, “We liked how small breweries integrated other voices, not just in how they made beer, but how they included other voices from the community,” Spaulding said. Joel Kamp, Pigeon Hill Brewing Co. co-founder and CEO, credits three beers with starting him on the path toward opening the Muskegon-based brewery. “Three beers: Leinenkugel Creamy Dark, Guinness Stout and Sam Adams Boston Lager. Those were my gateways into craft,” Kamp said. “Like most people, I started looking for more flavorful beers. I didn’t know homebrew was a thing until … I starting drinking those beers that set me on the craft beer track.” Thornapple Brewing Co.’s Eric Fouch and Jeff Coffey both credit European beers
and discontinued regional styles with sparking their love of craft. “Two beers opened my eyes to there being more than just bad keg beer: Guinness and Coors Extra Gold,” Fouch said. “They’re not craft, of course. But Guinness was a completely different beer than what I was drinking.” Coffey remembers the regional beers in Wisconsin and the Midwest that disappeared into mergers, such as Old Style Dark, as well as the ESBs and ales he found while traveling in Europe. Recreating those beers became his hobby and, eventually, his business. “I started brewing because I knew they were out there, and I couldn’t get them here,” Coffey said. “If they were here, they’ve been bottled months ago and been sitting on the shelf.” Meanwhile, growing up in upstate New York, Arcadia Brewing owner Tim Suprise said it all started with tasting a smoked porter at one of the shrines of American craft brewing, Greg Noonan’s Vermont Pub & Brewery in Burlington, Vt. “It’s an easy question for me — it was the Vermont Pub & Brewery. Greg was a trendsetter and pioneer of craft beer,” he said. “A buddy and I stopped in 1989 and tasted a smoked porter for the first time — it changed my life forever.” Noonan actually wrote some of the books at the core of American craft brewing. Suprise and a partner worked to build a business plan to open a brewery in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., but the venture fell through. In 1996, Suprise realized his dream, opening Arcadia Ales. “We kept trying to put our heads together, but couldn’t get it done at the time,” he said. “I wonder sometimes how things could’ve been if it worked out and we could’ve been that far ahead of the curve.”
REVUEWM.COM | OCTOBER 2017 |
The Beer Issue
Revue’s comprehensive list of breweries in West Michigan COMPILED BY REVUE STAFF
GRAND RAPIDS AREA NEW!
5 Lakes Brewing 1638 142ND AVE., DORR 5LAKESBREWING.COM
5 Lakes opened less than a year ago, but the brewery has already become well-loved for its solid brews and self-distilled spirits. Start off with a Citrus Vodka, then move on to the Wooly Mammoth Double IPA and a burger, pizza or other entree from the food menu. OPEN: 7 days.
57 Brew Pub & Bistro 1310 W. WASHINGTON, GREENVILLE 57BREWPUB.COM
Featuring an extensive menu f r o m a w a r d - w in nin g c h e f Christopher Montgomery, 57 Brew Pub & Bistro has been faithfully serving patrons since 2012. Try the Arange Juice, Dr. Wills Pils or Sun Kissed Blonde. OPEN: 7 days. NEW!
Big Boiler Brewing 318 E. MAIN ST., LOWELL BIGBOILERBREWING.COM
Big Boiler is the first to bring selfbrewed malt, hops and yeast to Lowell, with simple styles like hefeweizens, brown ales and IPAs. Meanwhile, the food menu is ambitious, featuring all kinds
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of sharables, burgers and sandwiches. OPEN: 7 days.
B.O.B.’s Brewery 20 MONROE AVE. NW, GRAND RAPIDS THEBOBSBREWERY.COM
B.O.B.’s Brewery, located in the lower level of The B.O.B., offers a variety of different food options, but the real treat lies in the multitude of beers available year-round. Be sure to check out the Crimson King and look for the delicious seasonal Peanut Butter Porter. OPEN: Wednesday-Saturday.
Brewery Vivant 925 CHERRY ST. SE, GRAND RAPIDS BREWERYVIVANT.COM
Since 2010, Brewery Vivant has been making Belgian-inspired beer and promoting the sustainability of beer in cans. Lately, the brewery has stood out with its Plein de Vie project, a series focusing on special wood-aged and wild-fermented brews. On top of that, Vivant has taken second place for Best Burger and Best Fries in Revue’s Best of the West awards two years running. OPEN: 7 days.
Brew Works of Fremont 5909 S. WARNER, FREMONT THECOMMONSOFFREMONT. COM
After some ownership changes, Brew Works is back open with a new food menu featuring bratwurst, stuffed burgers and
quesadillas. The brewery, adjacent to a bowling alley, arcade and golf course, offers a wide range of ales and stouts. OPEN: 7 days.
Cedar Springs Brewing 95 N MAIN ST. NE, CEDAR SPRINGS CSBREW.COM
This German-centric brewery is all about authentic Bavarian food and light, refreshing lagers and weissbiers. The big beer hall-style taproom creates an atmosphere of socialization as well, making Cedar Springs a destination spot for beer lovers from all over the region. OPEN: 7 days.
Cellar Brewing Co. 133 E. DIVISION ST., SPARTA CELLARBREWINGCO.COM
Cellar is a business of many talents. With more than 20 beers on tap, the brewing company also has a winery and onsite distillery. Stop in for brews like the Maine Squeeze, a New England IPA, or the Mango Tango, a fruit blonde ale. The brewery also recently added a full food menu, with burgers, entrees and appetizers like the Irish Nachos — a plate of hand-sliced Russet potatoes with corned beef, cheddar cheese and green onion. OPEN: 7 days.
Cranker’s Brewery 454 68TH ST. SW, GRAND RAPIDS CRANKERSBREWERY.COM
The wheels have definitely been in motion for Cranker’s Brewery,
which now has three locations across the state. The brewery’s recipe for success: a food menu the size of a George R.R. Martin novel and a steady lineup of mainstay brews. OPEN: 7 days.
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. Creston Brewery has brought delicious Latin American fare to its eponymous neighborhood, along with a wide variety of brews, earning it first place as Best New Brewery in this year's Best of the West poll. The menu (and brewmasters) describe the beer by flavor profile and color, not style. It’s both innovative and tasty. OPEN: 7 days.
Elk Brewing Wealthy 700 WEALTHY ST. SE, GRAND RAPIDS
Elk Brewing Comstock Park 400 DODGE ST., COMSTOCK PARK ELKBREWING.COM
Despite being tucked in a very competitive crevice of the Wealthy Street District, Elk Brewing has thrived since opening in 2014, expanding to a second location with three times more brewing capacity in Comstock Park. Head to Wealthy for a more cozy atmosphere with local music and games, or to Comstock Park for a full food
try something new like the Sur La Lune, a tart farmhouse saison aged in Chardonnay barrels. OPEN: 7 days.
handmade sausages are the key here, but the steep increase in tap handles helps too. OPEN: 7 days.
235 GRANDVILLE AVE. SW, GRAND RAPIDS FOUNDERSBREWING.COM
Gravel Bottom Brewery
Hideout Brewing Company
The Colossus of Craft needs no introduction. In fact, Founders has seen so much success on an international level that it recently ascended the ranks beyond the official craft designation. Last year, the brewery opened yet another production facility after swallowing an entire city block in downtown Grand Rapids. OPEN: 7 days.
Gravel Bottom continues on as a unique hybrid of homebrew supplier and brewpub. With six rotating taps featuring recipes from local homebrewers, every trip to the bar presents surprise. OPEN: Tuesday-Sunday.
menu and patio overlooking West River Drive. OPEN: 7 days.
Founders Brewing Company
Fountain Hill Brewery 151 FOUNTAIN ST. NE, GRAND RAPIDS GRCC.EDU
Owned by Grand Rapids Community College, this brewery is only open on specific dates, when the general public gets to taste the exciting results of the Craft Brewing, Packaging and Service Operations certificate program. OPEN: Check website for dates.
Grand Rapids Brewing Co. 1 IONIA AVE. SW, GRAND RAPIDS GRBREWINGCOMPANY.COM
GRBC said it’s reinvented itself this year, bringing on a new brewmaster and new head chef, as well as building a free game room in the back. Fill your pint with a piece of Michigan history: the Silver Foam Lager, or
418 ADA DR., ADA GRAVELBOTTOM.COM
Greyline Brewing Co. 1727 ALPINE AVE. NW, GRAND RAPIDS
Here’s a brewery that didn’t hit the ground running — it was more of a sprint. Greyline garnered a reputation instantly. How do you win Best New Brewery in Revue’s Best of the West poll, despite opening a week before the contest begins? You make damn good beer, and you do it with attitude. OPEN: 7 days.
Harmony Brewing Company 1551 LAKE DR. SE, GRAND RAPIDS
Harmony Hall 401 STOCKING AVE. NW, GRAND RAPIDS HARMONYBEER.COM
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,
Regardless of whether you prefer beer, wine or cider, Jaden James has the perfect adult beverage to oblige your thirst. OPEN: Monday-Saturday.
Kitzingen Brewery 1760 44TH ST. SW, WYOMING KITZINGEN-BREWERY.COM
3113 PLAZA DR., GRAND RAPIDS HIDEOUTBREWING.COM
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? Stop in for creative brews like the Gingerbread Milk Brown and Mango Banana Strawberry Gose. OPEN: 7 days.
HopCat 25 IONIA AVE. SW, GRAND RAPIDS HOPCATGR.COM
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. There’s a reason this Grand Rapids-based concept is appearing in cities all over the country. 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.
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.
Mitten Brewing Co. 527 LEONARD ST. NW, GRAND RAPIDS MITTENBREWING.COM
Pizza and beer seems to be a popular duality in Michigan, and The Mitten Brewing Co. does both superbly. Head in for a flight of both, mixing and matching classic beers and specialty pizzas like the Westerdog, with Chili bean sauce, all-beef franks, Colby-Jack cheese, diced white onions, shredded kosher pickles, ketchup and yellow mustard. OPEN: 7 days.
REVUEWM.COM | OCTOBER 2017 |
The Beer Issue
Brewery Guide, continued
Thornapple Brewing Co.
New Holland’s The Knickerbocker 417 BRIDGE ST. NW, GRAND RAPIDS
New Holland Brewing Co.
66 EAST 8TH ST., HOLLAND NEWHOLLANDBREW.COM
T he K nicker b o cker is Ne w Holland’s massive, multi-level Grand Rapids location, featuring multiple bars, an outdoor beer garden and a speakeasy-inspired cocktail lounge. Meanwhile, the lakeshore location still offers excellent pizzas, killer cocktails and outdoor seating of its own. OPEN: 7 days. NEW!
New Union Brewery 400 W. MAIN ST., LOWELL NEWUNIONBREWERY.COM
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.
Merlot barrels. Meanwhile, Perrin Black has become a mainstay in just about every bar in Grand Rapids, thanks to its unique but extremely approachable character. OPEN: 7 days.
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.
OpenRoad Brewing Co.
Steele Street Brewing
3555 68TH ST., DUTTON RAILTOWNBREWING.COM (616) 881-2364
300 S. STEELE ST., IONIA FACEBOOK.COM/ STEELESTREETBREWS
Beer always puts us in a good mood, but at Railtown you can even drink a Good Mooed, the brewery’s award-winning milk stout that medaled last year at the Great American Beer Fest. The rotating tap list features quality selections from top to bottom, but be sure to check out mainstays Citra Warrior IPA and Bike Ride Blonde. OPEN: Monday-Saturday.
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.
Rockford Brewing Company
6262 28TH ST., GRAND RAPIDS THORNAPPLEBREWING.COM
128 S. MAIN ST., WAYLAND OPENROADBREWING.COM
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.
4051 CHICAGO DR. SW, GRANDVILLE OSGOODBREWING.COM (616) 379-1237
More than 150 years ago, Union Brewery opened in downtown Grand Rapids. The beer scene may have changed a bit since then, but New Union is trying to keep the spirit and history alive in Lowell with beers like the Showboat Heffeweizen and Red Arrow Amber. Stop in throughout the week for community events, Geeks Who Drink and live music. Open: Tuesday-Sunday.
The people of Grandville demanded a brewery and were not disappointed when Osgood Brewing rose from the ashes of Hiram Osgood’s legacy in 2012. Since then, the brewery has maintained quality craft beverages and imaginative pizza creations. OPEN: 7 days.
Newaygo Brewing Company
5910 COMSTOCK PARK DR., COMSTOCK PARK PERRINBREWING.COM
19 STATE RD., NEWAYGO NEWAYGOBREWING.COM
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
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Cedar Springs Brewing Co.
Since opening, Perrin has made tremendous strides with releases like No Rules, a 15-percent ABV Vietnamese Porter, and Caesar’s Gimp, an Imperial Red Ale fermented with Cabernet Sauvignon grape juice and aged in California
12 E. BRIDGE ST., ROCKFORD ROCKFORDBREWING.COM
H u g e a d v o c a t e s f o r 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. The recently opened farm-to-table kitchen is serving up nothing but quality as well, with dishes like the Braised Pork Belly BLT. OPEN: 7 days.
Schmohz Brewing Company 2600 PATTERSON SE, GRAND RAPIDS SCHMOHZ.COM
forward beers with quality and care. Beers like the CIPApotamus, a citra IPA, focus on doing one thing and doing it right. OPEN: 7 days.
Walldorff Brewpub & Bistro 105 E. STATE ST., HASTINGS WALLDORFFBREWPUB.COM
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 they sponsored. IPA fans will love Hopnoxxious, while anyone with a mouth and a stomach will enjoy the wood-fired pizzas and grilled burgers. OPEN: 7 days.
Thornapple Brewing Co. Here’s the new guy in town, opened by two Steelcase workers who decided to get out of the office and into the brewhouse. Thornapple also already offers its own ciders and meads, and spirits and cocktails are on the way. The brewery wants to stand out, so expect fewer IPAs and more beers like the Salted Caramel Brown and the Snowbird, an orange ale with loads of citrus. OPEN: 7 days.
Trail Point Brewing Company 6035 LAKE MICHIGAN DR., ALLENDALE TRAILPOINTBREWING.COM
As Allendale’s first brewery, Trail Point focuses on creating straight-
LAKESHORE Big Hart Brewing Co. 4086 W. POLK ROAD, HART BIGHARTBREWING.COM
Offering a full spread of “beer & food made with Hart,” it’s especially hard to forget some of the brewery’s unique names, like Gluten For Punishment, a German style wheat ale, and Screeching Sands, an amber ale brewed with blue agave syrup. OPEN: Tuesday-Sunday
Big Lake Brewing Co. 977 BUTTERNUT AVE., SUITE 4, HOLLAND BIGLAKEBREWING.COM
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-QB-goneMVP 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. NEW!
Brewery 4 Two 4 321 DOUGLAS AVE., HOLLAND BREWERY424.COM
This year, Holland gained another brewery with Brewery 4 Two 4, named after the last three digits of the building’s zip code (49424). Check out the Breakfast In Maui, an imperial coffee stout, or any one of the multiple IPAs and pale ales. The taproom is BYOF (bring your own food) , with darts, foosball and multiple TVs for sports viewing. OPEN: Wednesday-Sunday.
Fetch Brewing 100 W. COLBY ST., WHITEHALL FETCHBREWING.COM
Fetch Brewing is a refreshing test of convention. From its ceramic howlers and growlers spun by a local potter to its diverse selection of brew styles, this is a business focused on an innovative future. OPEN: 7 days.
Fireside Brewing Co. 430 W. 17TH ST., HOLLAND FACEBOOK.COM/ FIRESIDEBREWING
Fireside opened last year in Holland near Lake Macatawa. The
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The Beer Issue
Brewery Guide, continued
the creation of its 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
Brewery 4 Two 4 PHOTO: STEPH HARDING
brewery’s got all the classics: a wee heavy, blonde ale, coffee stout, baltic porter and so on, along with live music, team trivia and yoga happening throughout the week. OPEN: 7 days.
Grand Armory Brewing Company 16 S. 2ND ST., GRAND HAVEN GRANDARMORYBREWING. COM
Grand Haven’s newest brewery has paired up with Righteous BBQ and Aldea Coffee to cover all your bases in one room. The beer is solid, true-to-style and pays homage to the lake town’s history. Try the Wheezin’ The Juice IPA, which lives up to its name, or the Dewey Hill On Fire, an American amber ale flavored with serrano and ghost peppers. OPEN: 7 days.
Grand Haven Brew House 100 WASHINGTON AVE., GRAND HAVEN GRANDHAVENBREWHOUSE. COM
This brewpub in Grand Haven features exclusive brews from HawkPeak Brewing Co., an inhouse 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
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410 S. JAMES ST., LUDINGTON JAMESPORTBREWINGCOMPANY.COM
Jamespor t operates from a piece of historic Ludington real estate. The Victorian storefront was constructed in 1890 for the purpose of running a saloon. So, in a way, opening up a brewery was the most faithful way the owners could have honored its memory. OPEN: 7 days.
Ludington Bay Brewing Co. 515 S. JAMES ST., LUDINGTON LUDINGTONBAYBREWING.COM
Ludington Bay has one focus: Good beer. Stop in for a plethora of true-to-style brews, from an Oktoberfest to an American wheat, West Coast IPA and tropical stout. As for food, you’ll find burgers, pizza, tacos, mac & cheese — just about everything. OPEN: 7 days.
Macatawa Ale Company 102 S. RIVER AVE., HOLLAND MACATAWAALECOMPANY. COM
It’s the classic homebrewer goes pro story at Macatawa. The family-run brewery brews beers ranging from IPAs to wheats, stouts and blondes. OPEN: Monday-Saturday.
Odd Side Ales 41 WASHINGTON AVE., GRAND HAVEN ODDSIDEALES.COM
As the name suggests, Odd Side is enamored with crafting creative and experimental beer, while 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
A man should never have to choose between his dog and his beer. At Old Boys’ Brewhouse, this crisis is not only averted, it is disregarded completely with its walls adorned with the pictures of patrons’ canine companions and a patio section perfect for the pooch. OPEN: 7 days.
Our Brewing Company 76 E. 8TH ST., HOLLAND OURBREWINGCOMPANY.COM
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, but that doesn’t matter, because you’re sure to find something quality any day of the year. OPEN: 7 days.
Pigeon Hill Brewing Company 500 W. WESTERN AVE., MUSKEGON PIGEONHILLBREW.COM
Pigeon Hill has made a major contribution to the world with
and handcrafted stonebreads. Head in for classic brews like the Perception Defines Reality, a Belgian tripel, or the Ace in the Valley, an IPA brewed with hops grown in Ada. OPEN: Monday-Saturday.
Unruly Brewing Company 360 WEST WESTERN AVE., MUSKEGON UNRULYBREWING.COM
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, and if you’re trying to take it easy, Pike 51 has you covered with its homemade root beer. OPEN: 7 days.
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.
Saugatuck Brewing Company
White Flame Brewing Company
2948 BLUE STAR HIGHWAY, DOUGLAS SAUGATUCKBREWING.COM
5234 36TH AVE., HUDSONVILLE WHITEFLAMEBREWING.COM
This expansive microbrewery combines the charm and character of an Irish pub with the bold, contemporary elements of a gleaming microbrewery. You’ll find Saugatuck’s beers on just about any shelf in the region, including the Oval Beach Blonde and Blueberry Maple Stout. With a brew-on-premise permit, you could even try your hand at brewing. OPEN: 7 days.
The tap list at White Flame offers a little bit of everything, but you’ll want to head there for the brewery’s killer selection of IPAs, including Eagle Eye Rye or the Big Willy, a barrel-aged double IPA. OPEN: 7 days.
Starving Artist Brewing Co.
KZOO AREA AND BATTLE CREEK
634 S. STILES RD., LUDINGTON STARVINGARTIST.BEER
Starving Artist’s brewhouse and storage facility is roughly the size of most people’s first apartment, but owner Andrew Thomas has shown you don’t need much space to create some of the best beers in the state. Beers like Blood Forge, a blood orange double IPA, show how an artist approaches the craft — with creativity, balance and boldness. You won’t find a taproom, but feel free to stop by for a few tastes Friday and Saturday, or call to make an appointment. OPEN: Friday-Saturday.
Tripel Root 146 EAST MAIN, ZEELAND TRIPELROOT.COM
Tripel Root has swiftly grown a reputation for its commitment to sustainable business practices
701 E. MICHIGAN AVE., KALAMAZOO ARCADIAALES.COM
Arcadia may have begun in America’s cereal capital, but this brewery has since expanded to Kalamazoo and specializes in handcrafted British-style ales. 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: 7 days.
Bell’s Brewery 355 E. KALAMAZOO AVE., KALAMAZOO BELLSBEER.COM
Bell’s has become such a rock star of the industry that the perennial Oberon release is somewhat of a Michigan holiday, and 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
Boatyard Brewing Company 432 E. PATERSON ST., KALAMAZOO BOATYARDBREWING.COM
If you enjoy the “sah-moooth” groove 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, Boat yard Brewing Company is just the place. Batches are brewed with local ingredients and artistic fermentation at this Kalamazoo microbrewery. OPEN: 7 days.
Bravo! Restaurant and Café 5402 PORTAGE RD., KALAMAZOO BRAVOKALAMAZOO.COM
Bravo! concentrates on pairing its stellar fine dining experience with small batch brews, featuring bold offerings like the Sour Power Berliner Weisse, a blackberry sour. OPEN: 7 days.
Dark Horse Brewing Company 511 S. KALAMAZOO AVE., MARSHALL DARKHORSEBREWERY.COM
The History Channel was truly onto something special when it decided to film a 12-episode reality show about Dark Horse. The brewery’s attitude is crass and its beer is badass. Just don’t play AC/DC or Nickelback on the jukebox there. Seriously, don’t. OPEN: 7 days.
Distant Whistle Brewhouse 118 S. MAIN ST., VICKSBURG DISTANTWHISTLE.COM
Distant Whistle has honed in on the four elements of what every brewery strives for: great location, great beer, great people and great times. The brewery wanted to be the go-to beer destination in Vicksburg and has accomplished just that. OPEN: Tuesday-Sunday.
PASSIONATE ABOUT CRAFT
Smooth, Nutty, Caramel Flavors & A Medium Body, With A Hearty Addition Of Oats Balanced Out By Subtle English Varietal Hops.
Look For DEEZ NUTZ On Tap & In Cans! AT SPECIALTY STORES ACROSS WESTERN MICHIGAN
215 LAKE ST. / PETOSKEY, MICHIGAN WWW.BEARDSBREWERY.COM REVUEWM.COM | OCTOBER 2017 |
The Beer Issue
Brewery Guide, continued
Gonzo’s BiggDogg Brewery 140 S. KALAMAZOO AVE., KALAMAZOO GONZOSBIGGDOGGBREWING. COM
Gonzo’s is all about dogs, and we’re all about that. Head in for about 15 beers to choose from, including the Cloak of Darkness Black IPA and the award-winning Geyser Brown Ale. OPEN: 7 days.
Latitude 42 Brewing Company 7842 PORTAGE RD., PORTAGE LATITUDE42BREWINGCO.COM
If you want to bring back something interesting from Portage, pick up Latitude 42’s Nectar of the Goddess, a blood orange, passion fruit, honey and wheat ale. The cooks also know how to make a mean pizza. OPEN: 7 days.
Old Mill Brewpub 717 E. BRIDGE ST., PLAINWELL OLDMILLBREW.COM
In addition to its great handcrafted beer, Old Mill also serves some delicious food, along with wine and liquor, from the 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
The first brewpub in the Zoo, Olde Peninsula offers its own beer along with cocktails, wine and American food. With a tap specifically dedicated for hot pepper-infused brews, you know it’s worth the trip. OPEN: 7 days.
One Well Brewing 4213 PORTAGE ST., KALAMAZOO ONEWELLBREWING.COM
When it opened, One Well wanted to be a symbol for the prosperity of society (you know, like a well), and it has since doubled its taproom size while serving up unique beers like Sweet Water Street, made with donut holes and a special roast of coffee from Water Street Coffee. Also check out the food menu for sandwiches, pizzas and other munchies. OPEN: Tuesday-Sunday.
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Rupert’s Brew House 773 W. MICHIGAN AVE., KALAMAZOO RUPERTSBREWHOUSE.COM
On a budget? Check out Ruper t’s Brew House on a Thursday and grab a pint of their Double HighPA (a grapefruitflavored IPA) for only $ 3.50. Bring your own food as well! OPEN: 7 days.
Territorial Brewing Company 256 N. HELMER RD., SPRINGFIELD TERRITORIALBREWING.COM
We don’t see many breweries in Michigan who are resolved to brew almost exclusively in the German tradition. Territorial not only does that, but focuses on German cuisine as well. And guess what? It’s all absolutely to die for. Try a Schnitzel and wash it down with a Kenny Lagers, which expertly showcases freshly milled malt. OPEN: Tuesday-Sunday.
Texas Corners Brewing Company 6970 TEXAS DR., KALAMAZOO TEXASCORNERSBREWING.COM
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. OPEN: Monday-Saturday.
Tibbs Brewing Company 402 S. BURDICK, KALAMAZOO TIBBSBREWING.COM
Tibbs set up shop in 2013, adding to Kalamazoo’s growing beer scene. Despite trying to compete in an industry of typically deep pockets, the owners bootstrapped the business and now excel at delivering smallbatch brews, many brewed in the Belgian tradition. OPEN: 7 days.
SOUTHWEST MICHIGAN Arclight Brewing Co. 544 N. MAIN ST., WATERVLIET ARCLIGHTBREWING.COM
Arclight may be tucked away in the small farming town of Watervliet, but its beers easily stand up to the standard-bearers
of Grand Rapids and Kalamazoo. Last year, the brewery received two 40 BBL foeders, and has since pumped out some killer sours (with extremely high marks on Untappd), including a mango sour, a cherry sour and a kriek lambic. OPEN: 7 days.
Barn Brewers Brewery 114 N. MAIN ST., LAWTON BARNBREWERSBREWERY. COM
Barn Brewers was established in 2014 by a group of friends who liked to congregate in — you guessed it — a barn. The brewery is their ode to camaraderie, live music and jovial libations. OPEN: Wednesday-Monday.
Final Gravity 103 N. PHELPS ST., DECATUR FINALGRAVITYBREW.COM
Formerly Patchwork, this brewery went through a name change, but still sticks with brews and gourmet pizza as its staples. OPEN: Wednesday-Monday.
Greenbush Brewing Co. 5885 SAWYER RD., SAWYER GREENBUSHBREWING.COM
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. S ome br e w erie s have an impressive gift shop. Greenbush has an entirely separate facility right across the street where you can get beers, charcuterie and other nibbles. OPEN: 7 days.
Greenbush Brewing Co.
Paw Paw Brewing 929 E. MICHIGAN AVE., PAW PAW PAWPAWBREWING.COM
Paw Paw has it all — beer, mead, cider. Try the seasonal Twisted Pumpkin or a mainstay like the KUA Extra Pale Ale, and then pair that with a panini. OPEN: 7 days.
Round Barn Brewery 9151 FIRST ST., BARODA ROUNDBARNWINERY.COM
Round Barn is a winery that just so happens to make beer too, and plenty of it. The staff uses more than 30 years of fermentation experience to create quality beer for customers who crave more than just wine. OPEN: 7 days.
Silver Harbor Brewing Co. 721 PLEASANT ST., SAINT JOSEPH SILVERHARBORBREWING.COM
North Pier Brewing Co.
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.
670 N. SHORE DR., BENTON HARBOR NORTHPIERBREWING.COM
Sister Lakes Brewing Co.
The Livery 190 5TH ST., BENTON HARBOR LIVERYBREW.COM
Hand forged by the Benton Harbor brew gods, these guys pump out some of the best barrel-aged brews in the state, including the Bourbon Barrel Aged Half Truth. OPEN: 7 days.
Nor th Pier is all about that yeast, focusing especially on Belgian-inspired ales and other ester-filled styles like wits and saisons. It’s flavorful, modern and community-based above all else. OPEN: 7 days.
92500 CO. ROAD 690, DOWAGIAC FACEBOOK.COM/ SISTERLAKESBREW
The town of Sister Lakes has 10 lakes in a 5-mile radius, and now one brewery. They offer classic
beers, live music and a whole fleet of soda floats — root beer, chocolate milk stout and more. OPEN: 7 days.
Tapistry Brewing Co 4236 LAKE ST., BRIDGMAN TAPISTRYBREWING.COM
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.
Transient Artisan Ales 4229 LAKE ST., BRIDGMAN TRANSIENTARTISANALES. COM
You know Short’s. It’s pretty much impossible to get into craft beer without having downed a Soft Parade (or six) at some point, or even a Bellaire Brown, Huma Lupa Licious or Space Rock. That’s not to mention the more than 250 (we counted) beers the brewery has pumped out over 15 years. At the moment, we recommend the Exeter and Peachy Pom Pom, two of the most affordable, pucker-inducing sours around. OPEN: 7 days.
Jolly Pumpkin 13512 PENINSULA DR., TRAVERSE CITY JOLLYPUMPKIN.COM
Transient’s brews are truly transcendent, specializing in beers that take time. The Maigre, a sour wheat ale, is undeniably impressive, as is the Salarium, a farmhouse gose. 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.
If you seek a pleasant sour, look around you. Jolly Pumpkin has been brewing up approachable sour and wild ales for years now, offering beers like Oro de Calabaza, an oak-aged golden sour, and Clementina, an oakaged sour fruit saison. Find the brewer y’s beautiful bottles on the shelf or take the trip to Traverse City for an in-person experience. OPEN: 7 days.
Watermark Brewing Co.
Right Brain Brewery
5781 ST. JOSEPH AVE., STEVENSVILLE WATERMARKBREWING.COM
Watermark wants to ser ve good beer, plain and simple. The Leisure Ale description explains it all: “Nothin’ snooty. Just beer.” OPEN: Tuesday-Sunday.
UP NORTH Short’s Brewing Co. 121 N. BRIDGE ST., BELLAIRE SHORTSBREWING.COM
225 E. 16TH ST., TRAVERSE CITY RIGHTBRAINBREWERY.COM
Right Brain is one of the best of the northwest, producing crushable brews like Cake Walk, which tastes just like its namesake without being too sweet, and Blue Magic, a perfectly balanced lavender wheat ale. If you’re looking for something heavier, the Concrete Dinosaur is a brown rye IPA that will do you right. OPEN: 7 days.
-24 taps -Brewery, Winery, Distillery -10 Best Wings in MI by MLive -Just minutes north of Grand Rapids 133 E Divison St. Sparta MI (616)-383-1234
Michigan Brewed Ales Pub Grub | Premium Pizza | Wine & Cider Bowling Alley | Hand-crafted Spirits | Arcade 1638 142nd Ave. | Dorr, MI | 616.359.9555 | 5lakesbrewing.com REVUEWM.COM | OCTOBER 2017 |
The Beer Issue
Founders Brewing Co. founders Mike Stevens (left) and Dave Engbers at the location of their planned new Detroit taproom on Charlotte Street. COURTESY PHOTO
BREWS NEWS COMPILED BY REVUE STAFF
North Channel Brewing Co. expects to open this fall. The brewery is renovating an old building on the north side of the Manistee River in downtown Manistee. They’ve also recruited a pedigreed brewer, Bill Joslyn, with 17 years of pro brewing experience. He most recently worked for Oskar Blues Brewery in North Carolina, and for Schlafly (a.k.a. Saint Louis Brewery) and Boulder Beer of Colorado before that. TwoGuys Brewing Co. in Wyoming is planning to open soon. Co-owner Tom Payne is a veteran brewer, having recently worked as brewmaster at 57 Brew Pub in Greenville. The brewery expects to offer sandwiches and other food as well, recently debuting a “killer” pulled pork burrito at a pre-opening sampler event. Brass Ring Brewing, set right in the Alger Heights neighborhood of Grand Rapids, hopes to open by Thanksgiving of this year. Owner Christopher Gibbons has been homebrewing for 10 years (while working as a local attorney) and wants to bring a strong sense of community to the brewery and the neighborhood both. Brass Ring will launch with a seven-barrel system. Eventually, Three Blondes Brewing & Restaurant plans to open in a space attached to the VanDerZee Motorplex in South Haven. The brewery is being opened by three sisters — Amanda Johnson, Carrie Troyer and Megan Zernicke — with the help of their husbands and their father, Ray VanDerZee, who owns the motorplex. The sisters hope to open hit the ground running with a 15-barrel system, a food menu and about 20 employees. Founders Brewing Co. is opening a second location in Detroit this winter, just in time to provide a safe
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haven from the cold and snow. The 14,000-square-foot facility is setting up in the Cass Corridor area and will serve some beers exclusive to its location. Guardian Brewing Co. is set to take over the historic Red Barn Playhouse near Saugatuck, with plans to open in fall 2018. Owner and head brewer Kim Collins relocated from Colorado to work on the project. She has a certificate in brewing and malting from the Master Brewer’s Association of the Americas, and previously brewed at Boulder Beer, Epic Brewing Co. in Denver, Barrels & Bottles Brewery and Wynkoop Brewing Co.
One of the long-time faces of New Holland Brewing Co. has stepped away from his role at the company. Fred Bueltmann, a.k.a. the “Beervangelist,” is stepping down to focus on This Craft Nation, a book project, and running his horse ranch. Arcadia Brewing Co. has closed its downtown Battle Creek location, but only to open a new downtown location early next year. Arcadia began in the space 21 years ago. Meanwhile, the headquarters and brewing operations in Kalamazoo will remain open.
It’s already known that Big Lake Brewery is moving its current taproom location to downtown Holland at the former Serafino’s. However, it appears a new brewery, Hopland Brewing Co., is angling to take over Big Lake’s former location on Butternut Avenue, according to state filings. There are no details known yet about the new brewery.
Libation Transportation BY ELMA TALUNDZIC
hether you’re a novice or a seasoned connoisseur when it comes to craft brews, Grand Rapids Beer Tours can teach you a thing or two about all things beer (and throw in some history along the way). Owner Brian Haik started up Grand Rapids Beer Tours back in June 2014. While working at Founders part-time and going to college full-time, Haik thought of the idea when an out-of-town tour group walked in with more than a few questions. “They were asking me, ‘Where should we go? What other breweries should we go to?’” Haik said. “I thought, ‘That’s a good idea — there’s no one in Grand Rapids doing tours.’” While most beer tours just play the transportation role and taxi people from one brewery to the next, GR Beer Tours stays with its group the entire time, making sure to give guests the full beer city experience, including knowledge about beer stylings and some history on the breweries they visit. You don’t have to worry about cramped brewery visits either, as the public tour group sizes range from 12 to 14 guests. “We want to keep our tour groups small, because it’s easier for me to communicate with people — it’s easier for the breweries to handle the smaller groups,” Haik said.
Grand Rapids Beer Tours offers three different tour options: public, private and walking. The average tour length is three to six hours, but don’t let that stop you from signing up. People tend to be surprised at how quickly those hours go. All public tours include four samples at each brewery and a behind-the-scenes brewery tour at one of the designated stops. This is a great chance for guests to talk with the brewers and get a peek at the beer making process. “I decided when I was going to college I was supposed to be a high school history teacher, so now I’m teaching the history of beer instead,” Haik said. With more than 30 breweries listed as possible tour stops, from Grand Rapids to Kalamazoo, up north and to the lakeshore, there’s sure to be something to pull the interest of every beer fanatic. “I have a passion for what I do. I read beer books all the time. This is my dream job,” Haik said. “I loved working for Founders in the past, but I wanted to take it a step further and put it upon myself to actually educate people about beer and show them a good time on top of that.”
GREEN APPLE ON TAP NOW FOR A LIMITED TIME! A historic German gose relic brought back to life with seasonal tart green apples & a hint of cinnamon.
THE B.O.B. • 20 MONROE AVE GRAND RAPIDS • 616.356.2000 THEBOBSBREWERY.COM
Grand Rapids Beer Tours
grbeertours.com, (616) 901-9719
Brian Haik of GR Beer Tours. COURTESY PHOTO
REVUEWM.COM | OCTOBER 2017 |
The Beer Issue
BEER BASHES AND BLOWOUTS Calling all beer enthusiasts — here’s a look at some of this year’s best upcoming beer events and festivals. If you don’t want to wait until 2018 (assuming the world even lasts that long), don’t miss ’em this time around. BY ELMA TALUNDZIC
One HAPPY HOUR EVERY DAY FROM 4-7PM cityflatshotel.com / 616 608 1725
FOUNDERS 20TH ANNIVERSARY PARTY Founders Brewing Company 235 Grandville Ave. SW, Grand Rapids Oct. 14, 1 p.m.-2 a.m., free foundersbrewing.com, (616) 776-1195 Founders is turning 20, so come on down, grab a beer and celebrate (you still have to be 21 though) with this annual party commonly referred to as Founders Fest. This cover-free celebration starts at 1 p.m. in both the taproom and the street out front. There will be live music from area bands like FBC All Stars, along with food trucks and special offerings from the Founders deli. Keep an eye out on Founders’ event listings for more details to come. KD ALE BOOK CLUB: CEDAR SPRINGS BREWING CO. Cedar Springs Brewing Co. 95 N. Main St., Cedar Springs Oct. 24, 6:30-8 p.m. kdl.org/events, (616) 784-2007 Grab a beer, crack open a good book and get ready to discuss at Cedar Springs Brewing Co. with this very cleverly named monthly book club. Join for an informal talk about what books the group has been reading, along with book recommendations from KDL librarians. KALAMAZOO CRAFT BEER FESTIVAL 2017 Wings Event Center 3600 Vanrick Dr., Kalamazoo Nov. 4, 1-6 p.m., $45-95 facebook.com/kalamazoocraftbeerfestival Kalamazoo’s fourth annual beer festival features craft breweries from Michigan and across the country. The day includes beer tasting, specialty tappings, cornhole, the infamous keg curling and more. Last year had dozens of breweries, each bringing a handful (or two or three) of their finest brews. General admission tickets get you a fancy souvenir sample glass and 15 tasting tokens. 13TH ANNUAL WINTER BEER FESTIVAL Fifth Third Ballpark 4500 W. River Dr. NE, Comstock Park Feb. 23-24, 2018, tickets on sale Nov. 30 mibeer.com/winter-festival
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Keg curling at Kalamazoo Craft Beer Festival With more than 125 Michigan breweries featured and approximately 1,000 unique craft beers available to sample, it’s a good thing this is a two-day event. A guest ticket comes with 15 tasting tokens that can be exchanged for 3 oz. beer samples (that’s like four full bottles of beer). Along with all that fine beer, enjoy music from local bands, ice sculptures and cozy fire pits to keep you warm, along with plenty of barbecue and other food to fill you up. COOL BREWS. HOT EATS. Grand Rapids Feb. 15-March 15, 2018 experiencegr.com/beer-month For a full month, restaurants and breweries all over the city will make a special effort to highlight beers right alongside their food. We’re already known as “Beer City” (even if we did just give ourselves that name), and we were recently named Michigan’s Best Food City by Thrillist. Participating restaurants will offer both special food/beer pairings and new dishes cooked with local brews.
(269) 775.1390 5003 PARK CIR. DR KALAMAZOO
(269) 492.3500 TAPHOUSEPORTAGE.COM 3251 W. CENTRE AVE. PORTAGE
(269) 492.0100 CCTAPHOUSE.COM 359 S. KALAMAZOO MALL
REVUEWM.COM | OCTOBER 2017 |
Restaurant listings arranged by region
GRAND RAPIDS Angel’s Thai Café 136 Monroe Center NW. 616-454-9801 THAI. This downtown restaurant makes your order fresh, fast, and hot. You can order your entree with your choice of meat and spice level, or create your own. » SERVING: Lunch Dinner OPEN ON: Open 7 days. GO THERE FOR: Thai Steak and Yum Talay. Anna’s House Multiple locations BREAKFAST/LUNCH. Anna’s House recently went through a dramatic makeover, going from an already-beloved breakfast hot spot and neighborhood staple to an ever-growing concept with five locations across West Michigan. Why all the success? The menu is unique, but accessible. The interior design is refreshing, and the service is great. » SERVING: Breakfast, Lunch OPEN ON: 7 days. GO THERE FOR: Inventive breakfast specials. Bistro Bella Vita 44 Grandville Ave. SW. 616-222-4600 ITALIAN. One of Grand Rapids’ best dining experiences, featuring Mediterranean-inspired 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.
Butcher’s Union 438 Bridge St. NW 616-551-1323 AMERICAN. Butcher’s has its fortes — meat and whiskey — but it’s not exactly niche. Expertly-crafted cocktails (made with every kind of spirit) are here at a refreshingly affordable price, along with
a high-end food menu for carnivores and vegheads alike. The historic building sets the mood, giving off an “old fancy-bar in London” vibe. » SERVING: Lunch, Dinner OPEN ON: 7 days. GO THERE FOR: Meat, whiskey, cocktails.
sists mainly of flavorful handcrafted deli sandwiches that can stand up and complement the beers (or vice versa). » SERVING: Lunch Dinner OPEN ON: Open 7 days. GO THERE FOR: Award-winning beer, handcrafted sandwiches.
Brewery Vivant 925 Cherry St. SE. 616-719-1604 FRENCH/BELGIAN. Housed in a refurbished funeral chapel, this brewery won Best Ambiance in Revue’s Best of the West with its stained glass windows and European beer hall setup. Along with farmhouse style beers, the LEED-certified BV is known for its French-Belgian cuisine, from duck nachos to roasted bone marrow. » SERVING: Dinner OPEN ON: Open 7 days. GO THERE FOR: The Burger (2nd place Best of the West).
G.R.P.D. (Grand Rapids Pizza and Delivery) 340 State St. SE. 616-454-9204 ITALIAN. The current location opened in 2004 as the first established pizzeria in Heritage Hill A common meeting spot for local folks, business professionals and college students, a place where one could gather for a quick meal or a reflective lunch. It offers both hand-tossed pizza and Chicago-style stuffed pizza, as well as pasta, sandwiches, salads, and wings. Online ordering, too. » SERVING: Lunch Dinner OPEN ON: Open 7 days. GO THERE FOR: Pizza.
Chapbook Café 2660 28th St. SE, Grand Rapids. 616-942-0595. CAFE. Take a break from browsing the shelves at Schuler Books with a homemade selection of soups, sandwiches and quiches. Soups are prepared in-house daily and served with fresh baked bread to accompany a small-but-elegant sandwich menu. Try a quiche or traditional Italian Panini grilled on fresh ciabatta bread, or for a quick bite, grab a bagel or scone from the dessert case. » SERVING: Breakfast Lunch Dinner OPEN ON: 7 days GO THERE FOR: Homemade soups and sandwiches 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 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. » SERVING: Lunch Dinner OPEN ON: Open 7 days. GO THERE FOR: Peanut Curry Noodles. Founders Brewing Company 235 Grandville SW. 616-776-1195 BREWPUB. A beerlover’s paradise with a national reputation for flavorful, award-winning beers. Likewise, the brewpub’s menu con-
Grand Woods Lounge 77 Grandville Ave. SW. 616-451-4300 AMERICAN. The restaurant’s interior exudes a warm, casual ambiance reminiscent of the great eateries of the Pacific Northwest; the outdoor porch features two outdoor bars and a fireplace. Menu stocked with affordable appetizers great for sharing, plus salads, sandwiches, and entrées. Lots of domestics and microbrews, plus an array of martinis including the “Woodstini,” a tasty mix of Stoli Orange Vodka, mandarin oranges and raspberries. » SERVING: Lunch Dinner OPEN ON: Open 7 days. GO THERE FOR: Cocktails. Harmony Brewing Company 1551 Lake Dr. SE (616) 233-0063 BREWPUB. Harmony features 12 craft-brewed beers in addition to signature root beer for the kiddos. Named one of the top-five brewpub menus in West Michigan by yours truly, Harmony offers 10” rustic wood-fired pizzas and great soups and sandwiches. Check out their new location, Harmony Hall, at 401 Stocking Ave. NW. » SERVING: Lunch Dinner OPEN ON: Open 7 days. GO THERE FOR: Pizza and brews. Lindo Mexico Restaurante Mexicano 1742 28th St. SW. 616-261-2280 MEXICAN. One of the less-discussed Mexican eateries is also one of the most popular, especially on the weekends. The atmosphere? Very communal, occasionally with excellent live music. The food? Full of flavor on the cheap. The service? Always friendly, always helpful. » SERVING: Lunch, Dinner OPEN: 7 days. GO THERE FOR: Unique margaritas made fresh. One Trick Pony 136 E. Fulton. 616-235-7669 AMERICAN. One Trick Pony unveiled a new menu last April with the tagline “Fresh,
Local Fare with a Beat.” The restaurant is a part of FarmLink and supports local growers and remains focused on sustainability. Connected to the Cottage Bar, the menu spans pizza, salads, homemade soups, smoked prime rib and more. Pair the food with live music, which OTP features weekly. » SERVING: Lunch Dinner OPEN ON: Open 7 days. GO THERE FOR: Eclectic pizzas. The Pita House 1450 Wealthy SE, 3730 28th Street, 4533 Ivanrest SW (Grandville). 616-454-1171 MEDITERRANEAN. Gyros so big you can club someone with them, the smoothest hummus in town and other Mediterranean fare, including kibbe, kafta and falafel. Additional locations on 28th Street and Kalamazoo SE. Sandwiches are made to order with fresh vegetables and ingredients. » SERVING: Lunch Dinner OPEN ON: Open 7 days. GO THERE FOR: Fresh pita wraps. 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. The Sovengard 443 Bridge St. NW 616-214-7207 NEW NORDIC. There’s really nothing like The Sovengard. The menu changes with the seasons, but the quality doesn’t. Expect innovative, beautiful dishes in the Scandinavian tradition. It’s not cheap, but you get what you pay for. The West Side restaurant also boasts an excellent taplist, perfect for sipping in the biergarten. » SERVING: Dinner OPEN ON: 7 days. GO THERE FOR: Something special.
KALAMAZOO/BATTLE CREEK Arcadia Brewing Co. 103 Michigan Ave., Battle Creek. 269-963-9520 BREWPUB. You’ll find some of the usual suspects on the Battle Creek brewpub’s menu, including wood-fired pizzas and some of the best barbecue in the region. But you’ll also find some delightful surprises — Osso Bucco in a brewpub?! — on the menu, courtesy of award-winning Chef Sean Kelly. » SERVING: Lunch Dinner OPEN ON: 7 days. GO THERE FOR: Handcrafted ales and barbecue.
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The B.O.B. 20 Monroe Ave. NW. (616) 356-2000 ECLECTIC. If you’re not sure what kind of dining you want, you can just head into The B.O.B., where you can choose from one of its several venues. Go into Gilly’s, where you can dine on seafood or B.O.B.’s Brewery, the restaurant’s in-house brewery. You can dress down for some pizza at Bobarino’s or dress it up for a steak at Judson’s Steakhouse. For after dinner, take in a show at Dr. Grins or enjoy live music at H.O.M.E. » SERVING: Lunch Dinner OPEN ON: Open 7 days. GO THERE FOR: Beer and numerous dining options.
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
Ed Collazo, City Built Brewing This month, Revue sat down with Ed Collazo of City Built Brewing to talk about the recently opened brewery’s clinical approach to beer and a 101 course on Puerto Rican food, including some choice words about taco styles. In short: two corn tortillas are one corn tortilla too much. Food fight?
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I’ve heard you’re new to the restaurant/ brewpub scene. What brought you to the industry? I was a homebrewer, to start. My first batch was made with my partner here, Dave (Petroelje). But I was always a student of craft beer. I’d trade craft beers with people from all over the country. And as an adviser, I enjoyed the conversations I’d have with business owners. I appreciated the culture that these different businesses created around their staff. … I started to look for businesses to buy. Luckily, my now-partner Dave was also looking to start a company. The stars aligned for us.
craft brewery because it was inventive — it’s just what we’ve always done! And City Built is certainly not the first Puerto Rican spot in town, but it might be the most widely recognized one at this point. Yes, there are Puerto Rican restaurants around town, but they’re not necessarily places where most people would want to go. Consequently, certain people look at our menu and think, ‘Sheesh, that’s expensive,’ especially for a cuisine that is made up of a lot of rice and beans. But we’re downtown! We gotta pay our rent, right?
As far as Grand Rapids beer goes, the bar has been set pretty high. So don’t take this as a slight when I say that I was pleasantly surprised by how solid yours are. Thank you, no, I get it. We’re new. There’s a lot of great beer to choose from in town, and from the start — this might sound a little cheesy — but we just tried to be honest. A lot of these beers aren’t anything groundbreaking, they’re mostly recipes that Dave’s been making forever, and now we get to see them made on a much larger, more professional level. And what about the food? Same with the food. These are the dishes that we’ve always been eating with our beer. My wife learned how to make Puerto Rican food because it was fascinating to her. She has a culinary background, so she wanted to master it, see how it worked. But we didn’t decide to be a Puerto Rican restaurant and
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City Built co-owner Ed Collazo (center) COURTESY PHOTOS
Ultimately, the goal was to find a spot near town that we could introduce the town to our culture and share that food with them. And it’s not authentic! Puerto Ricans don’t even eat tacos, much less make them with two corn tortillas. But, West Michiganders love their tacos, man. So we put our flavor on a shell and called it good. Only, we use one shell, because we feel that two masks the flavor. If you were to explain Puerto Rican food to someone who wasn’t familiar with it, how would you sell them? Puerto Rican food is flavorful, not spicy. It’s comfort food. The base ingredient for pretty much all the food is called sofrito, which is a mixture of cilantro and garlic, oil, green pepper, onion, cilantro. It’s also peasant food. I was talking to a Puerto Rican friend the other day who told me a story — he’d been reminiscing with his mom about food, like, ‘Why don’t we eat this anymore?’ And she said, ‘We ate that because we were poor!’ You know, so often we get together as a family, laugh and tell stories around the
simplest things like rice and beans, pastelillos, tostones, it doesn’t need to be much. And for us, at the end of it all, it’s food that makes you say, ‘Hey, get me another beer!’ Last question: You’re still new, but anything on the horizon that we should look out for? We have some exciting ideas to change up the menu a little after ArtPrize. I’d like to do a Caribbean barbecue style meat plate — smoked meats: brisket, chicken, pork and maybe some sausage, too. We’re already making sausage in-house, but I’d like to round it out with a full Caribbean barbecue, I think. That would make this place smell great, too. Well, if you go in our bathrooms, you’ll get an idea. It smells like our pork, but not on purpose! We didn’t plan it that way, but it’s hooked up to the same heating and cooling as the kitchen and that’s why. At first, I was like, ‘Why would the engineers do that?’ But it’s worked out. It’s its own way of marketing.
Burger and Beer Every Wednesday
Nov. 8-19, 2017
MATCHBOXDINER.COM | 1345 LAKE DR SE. GRAND RAPIDS, MI
Celebrating the Michigan craft cocktail scene! Celebrando el arte del coctel de Michigan! Get into the spirits with: Pair and Share. Get 2 Michigan cocktails + a shared-plate appetizer for $25 (or less) at participating bars and restaurants. 2 cocteles Michigan + una entrada compartida por $25 o menos. International Wine, Beer & Food Festival. Nov. 16-18, 2017. Now with an expanded spirits selection. Amplia selecciรณn de bebidas.
For details and participating venues, visit Para mรกs detalles y lugares de participantes, visite
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Enticing Extras. Stay tuned for a full schedule of cocktail events taking place during Cocktail Week GR. Actividades Adicionales!
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. Food Dance 401 E. Michigan Ave. 269-382-1888 AMERICAN. Food Dance is committed to building a thriving and sustainable local food system, supporting artisans who practice craft food processes. It’s about the connection with people and places the food comes from. Offering breakfast, lunch and dinner, private dining space, catering and delivery, while an on-site market offers humanely raised meats, artisan cheeses, fresh bread and pastries. » SERVING: Breakfast Lunch Dinner OPEN ON: Open 7 days. GO THERE FOR: Fresh Local Foods.
Old Dog Tavern 402 East Kalamazoo Ave., Kalamazoo. 269-381-5677 AMERICAN. The food at Old Dog Tavern is just about as eclectic as the entertainment offered. The menu has so much on it that it might even bring some harmony between picky and adventurous eaters. » SERVING: Brunch Lunch Dinner. OPEN ON: Open 7 days. GO THERE FOR: The eclectic menu options.
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Olde Peninsula 200 E. Michigan Ave., Kalamazoo 269-343-2739 BREWPUB. Downtown brewpub serves up the expected (e.g., steaks, ribs), the authentic (e.g., London Broil) and some pleasant surprises (e.g., extensive vegetarian offerings, Italian food). Offers a range of beers brewed
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on the premises and served on tap, plus a full bar. Check out the seasonal porters on tap right now, including the Vanilla Porter (5.5% ABV) and Stout Chocula (5.25% ABV). » SERVING: Dinner OPEN ON: 7 days. GO THERE FOR: Beer-B-Que Ribs, London Broil.
Union Cabaret & Grille 125 S. Burdick St., Kalamazoo. 269-384-6756 AMERICAN. A partnership with WMU, Union features eclectic food and cocktails, plus live jazz music performed by WMU faculty and students. » SERVING: Lunch Dinner OPEN ON: Closed Sunday. GO THERE FOR: Portabella Fries, Bloody Maries with infused vodkas.
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).
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Fricano’s Pizza Tavern 1400 Fulton Ave., Grand Haven. 616-842-8640 ITALIAN. Claims to be the first pizzeria in Michigan, but customers care less about its longevity than the amazingly crispy thin crust and simple ingredients atop its much-lauded pies. Four other locations around West MI, including Comstock Park, Muskegon, Holland and Kalamazoo. » SERVING: Dinner OPEN ON: 7 days. GO THERE FOR: Pizza. Kirby House 2 Washington, Grand Haven. 616-846-3299 AMERICAN. Formerly a historic hotel, The Kirby House retains its oldworld charm while providing all the pleasantries of new world fare, with a diverse but primarily American-influenced menu. Check out the new island bar with 5 HDTVs and walk to Lake Michigan right after. The Kirby House also hosts The Grill Room and a pizzeria (complete with pool tables) called K2. The lower level has also been renovated to include a wine cellar and a premier nightclub, Dark. » SERVING: Lunch Dinner OPEN ON: 7 days. GO THERE FOR: Nightlife.
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New Holland Brewing Company 66 E. 8th St., Holland. 616-355-6422 BREWPUB. One of West MI’s premier microbreweries serves up better than average pub grub, including savory sandwiches chock full of Michigan ingredients, plus a seasonal entree menu. Also try their artisan spirits. » SERVING: Lunch Dinner OPEN ON: 7 days. GO THERE FOR: Mad Hatter IPA, Dragon’s Milk.
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Phil’s Bar & Grille 215 Butler St., Saugatuck. 269-857-1555 AMERICAN. This cozy (some would say “small”) bar and grille in downtown Saugatuck is one of those unassuming spots you might easily overlook, though locals in Saugatuck will tell you about their love affair with Phil’s. Eclectic menu is all over the place, but in a good way, and the staff is super-friendly. » SERVING: Lunch Dinner OPEN ON: Open 7 days. GO THERE FOR: Portabella Mushroom Fries. 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. Saugatuck Brewing Company 2948 Blue Star Highway. 269-857-7222 BREWPUB. Enjoy a traditional Irish-style pub that features quality beer, wine, food and service. Try one of 12 unique brews that are served in the pub and bottled and distributed throughout the Midwest. » SERVING: Lunch Dinner OPEN ON: 7 days. GO THERE FOR: Beer in a family friendly pub environment.
To submit or to correct information, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Last Call by Nick Macksood / photo by Katy Batdorff
THE OLD CUBAN
Buffalo Traders Lounge 950 E. Fulton St., Grand Rapids When helping to create Buffalo Traders Lounge, Grand Rapids’ latest cocktail bar, Duncan McCargar decided that we as a city had skipped a step in our zeal for specialty spirits. “It was like we tried to be New York’s inventive cocktail scene before we ever even had a place to get a reliable classic.” Truth. The new bar on Fulton Street has plenty of staples to choose from — they are the same folks behind Sidebar, after all — but the Old Cuban has been the most popular: Minty, sweet and a little limey. And the cava, a Catalonian sparkling wine, gleams like teeth around a cigar. It’s a drink to enjoy during (or remember, at this point) the dog days of summer. INGREDIENTS: 1 1/2 oz. aged rum 1/2 oz. fresh lime juice 1/2 oz. simple syrup 2 oz. Cava 2 dashes Angostura bitters 4-5 fresh mint leaves Pour rum, lime juice, simple syrup and bitters into an iced shaker. Give it a good shake and strain into glass. Splash the cava on top and garnish with torn mint leaves. SEE HOW IT’S MADE: Check out revuewm.com for an exclusive video tutorial.
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THURSDAY COLLEGE NIGHT NO COVER SATURDAY, OCTOBER 7TH
DJ @ 10pm s t e k c u B y d o o $15 W $5 Bombs
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