In America, the IPA reigns supreme among craft beer drinkers. But many beer lovers have discovered a new-found love for some of the oldest of beer styles that date back centuries to the earliest of brewing traditions in Europe.
Back in the day, brewers made sour beers and wild ales because that’s all they could make. They didn’t have the cultured brewers yeast that’s available today. Rather, they relied on the natural “bugs” and open fermentation to do its work.
The styles have undergone a renaissance in recent years and are growing in popularity among local breweries.
West Michigan native Mitch Ermatinger brewed award-winning sour beers at Denver-based Former Future Brewing Co. He and his wife, Whitney, have returned to the region with plans to launch Speciation Artisan Ales, an all-wild brewery. The pair are still working to identify a location in Grand Rapids but the plan is to open a taproom for a bottle release one day per month and later expand to weekly hours. In the meantime, Ermatinger is helping Harmony Brewing Co. to launch its own sour program.
This month I sat down with Kate Leeder: A St. Louis native, closeted Bud Lite fan and co-owner of Aperitivo — a cheese, charcuterie, wine and beer shop at the Grand Rapids Downtown Market (435 Ionia Ave., SW). Bonus: The shop is paired with a bar featuring a sampling of its select stock.
If you’re looking for someone to geek out with over cheese, or for the best wine to pair with Pringles (yes, Pringles), perhaps you should pay Leeder and her staff a visit. You’ll never look at wine the same way again.
In February, BarFly Ventures closed the 10-year-old McFadden's restaurant, pub and dance club to redesign the space and replace the concept with a British-style pub, The Waldron Public House. With a completely revamped menu, The Waldron claims to serve the best fish and chips in Grand Rapids — a bold statement, but does it live up to the promise? Here is our dining writer's assessment.
Too often I’m guilty of turning down dessert at the end of a meal.
That was not the case this month, because I sat down with Katy Waltz, the talented head pastry chef at Brewery Vivant. Waltz, 31, of Grand Rapids, talked desserts and beers. Here’s what she had to say.
Every self-respecting person has a go-to chili recipe, forged and perfected in the foul depths of innumerable Michigan winters. If not, then at the very least, everyone should have a set of finely calibrated preferences for chili that is served to them.
Like, how much kick? What kind of meat, if any? How chunky/liquidy? Sweeten or don’t? What kind of beans?
How much garlic?
In any case, chili is personal and these equations are not to be messed with.
Long Road Distillers' new whisky series, Short's Brewing Co. releases the special edition "Batch 5000", The People's Cider Co. gets a tasting room, plus a huge list of upcoming breweries, meaderies and distilleries.
The Black Heron on the West Side of Grand Rapids makes The Jungle Bird with a tincture of the sunset shone warm about the verdant lime wedge.
In this cocktail, the Campari and pineapple burst onto one’s palate like a phantom grapefruit lemonade inception. This Bird alights upon the tongue.
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