For this edition of Revue’s occasional beer road trip series, we headed south out of Grand Rapids with just a skeleton of a plan to explore five breweries. Little did we know the 150-mile journey would lead us to discover some new favorites along the way, including recently launched small-town pubs, a young brewery that’s on the forefront of reviving classic German-style beers, and humble but growing producers making some high-quality liquid.
Revue wanted to know what the go-to beers are for people in the brewing industry. Ten brewery owners let us open their refrigerators and take a peek.
Just a few years ago, most breweries could get away with treating their food menu as a greasy afterthought — maybe a few token appetizers or sandwiches to keep the regulars warming the barstools.
But breweries in Beer City and throughout West Michigan are learning, sometimes the hard way, that a successful operation needs more than just good beer to distinguish itself in 2016.
There’s no shortage of primo fish to reel in from our state’s tens of thousands of inland lakes (including four of the largest lakes in the world) and 300-plus rivers. And yet, nothing compares to an oceanic jewel like fresh king or coho salmon. That’s where Fish Lads comes in — purveying only the finest fillets in Grand Rapids’ own Downtown Market. We talked with Jeff Butzow, owner of Fish Lads, about his aquatic philosophy and plans for the new meat emporium, Carvers, set up just a few feet away.
A new brewery is breathing life into a long-vacant former furniture showroom on Plainfield Avenue in Grand Rapids’ burgeoning Creston neighborhood. Launched last month by two couples — Vince Lambert and Cailin Kelly, and Scott Schultz and Molly Bouwsma-Schultz — Creston Brewery aims to bring an inclusive environment to the local craft beer scene with something for people of all backgrounds and tastes, including non-beer lovers.
In Kitchen Confidential, the bestselling chronicle of the food industry’s colorful underbelly, Anthony Bourdain warns of the mayhem and mediocrity that can occur “when the chef starts thinking of himself as an artist rather than a craftsman.” But can food be art? Revue asked some of the area’s top chefs to explain what in the restaurant world, if anything, qualifies as artistic.
Although craft brewers once maligned mass-produced American lagers as “fizzy, yellow beer,” many have started to embrace the traditional German styles as consumers seek out sessionable options.
Let’s face it: Sometimes you just want a flavorful, crushable beer. Lagers are the so-called lawnmower beers, but that doesn’t mean they have to forego nuance and flavor, as this sampling proved.
Brewery Vivant is now selling tickets to the sixth-annual Wood-Aged Beer Festival.
Several restaurants have firmly established themselves in West Michigan as go-tos for vegetarian-friendly menus. But if you can’t always convince your friends or significant other to patronize those, you can still find good vegetarian food in unexpected places. Consider this your guide to off-brand, below-radar veggie cuisine in Grand Rapids, broken down by meal.
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