Wednesday, 27 July 2022 10:53

7th Annual Best of the West: Drinking

Written by  John Kissane
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We’ve all heard it: Grand Rapids is Beer City, USA. And there’s truth to that — the craft beer scene, anchored by world-class brewery Founders, has only grown over the years. Everywhere you turn, someone’s offering something hoppy, or sour, or dark and rich, or light and refreshing; beer, in other words, that great balm to the soul and aid to comradeship.

This year, we have three excellent taprooms joining the New Brewery category. Archival Brewing is known for resurrecting recipes of brews past. 3 Gatos Brewery brings together German and Brazilian culture with both food and drink. Brewery Nyx is dishing out exclusively gluten-free beers, and just opened a new taproom!

But beer isn’t all we drink, even if it’s most of what we drink. Voters swear by Robinette’s wine, Long Road Distillers’ vodka, and, above all, by Donkey Taqueria’s margaritas.

You wouldn’t be blamed for thinking Donkey Taqueria is nothing but tacos – after all, “taqueria” is in the name – but as undeniably tasty as they are, they’re even better when paired with a cool margarita. Sold by the glass or the pitcher, they range from the classic drink to the spicy margarita (with house-infused jalapeno tequila), and even the mezcal margarita. 

Donkey has a cocktail menu, as well, but it’s the margaritas that take the prize. The next time you stop in for tacos al pastor, order a pitcher of reposado margaritas. You’ll sing better, dance better, and look better; or maybe you won’t, but nevertheless, you won’t regret it. 

Read on to see which spirits, beers and bars came out on top.

BAR/PUB/TAVERN

Blue Dog Tavern, 1st

bluedogtaverngr.com

SpeakEZ Lounge, 2nd

7 Monks Taproom, 3rd

BEER BAR

HopCat, 1st

hopcat.com

7 Monks Taproom, 2nd

CBK, 3rd

BLOODY MARY

Rockwell Republic, 1st

rockwellrepublic.com

The Winchester, 2nd

Steel Cat Bar, 3rd

BOURBON

Long Road Distillers, Straight Bourbon, 1st

longroaddistillers.com

New Holland Brewing, Beer Barrel Bourbon, 2nd

Eastern Kille Distillery, Straight Bourbon, 3rd

BREWERY

Founders Brewing Co., 1st

foundersbrewing.com

Brewery Vivant, 2nd

Cedar Springs Brewing Company, 3rd

CIDER

Vander Mill, Totally Roasted, 1st

vandermill.com

Farmhaus Cider Co., Midwest Nice, 2nd

The Peoples Cider Co., Ginger Adams, 3rd

CIDERY

Vander Mill, 1st

vandermill.com

Farmhaus Cider Co., 2nd

The Peoples Cider Co., 3rd

CRAFT COCKTAILS

Long Road Distillers, 1st

longroaddistillers.com

Buffalo Traders Lounge, 2nd

Eastern Kille Distillery, 3rd

CRAFT LAGER

Founders Brewing Co., Solid Gold, 1st

foundersbrewing.com

Cedar Springs Brewery Company, Küsterer Märzen, 2nd

Third Nature Brewing Company, White Pine Pilsner, 3rd

DISTILLERY

Long Road Distillers, 1st

longroaddistillers.com

Eastern Kille Distillery, 2nd

Wise Men Distillery, 3rd

GERMAN BEER

Cedar Springs Brewing Company, Küsterer Original Weissbier, 1st

csbrew.com

Third Nature Brewing Company, El Hefe, 2nd

3 Gatos Brewery, Minskin, 3rd

GIN

New Holland Brewing, Knickerbocker, 1st

newhollandbrew.com

Long Road Distillers, Michigin, 2nd

Eastern Kille Distillery, Barrel Aged Gin, 3rd

HAPPY HOUR

Rockwell Republic, 1st

rockwellrepublic.com

Max’s South Seas Hideaway, 2nd

Birch Lodge, 3rd

IPA

Founders Brewing Co, All Day IPA, 1st

foundersbrewing.com

Rockford Brewing Company, Hoplust IPA, 2nd

Third Nature Brewing Company, 3NEIPA, 3rd

MARGARITA

Donkey Taqueria, 1st

donkeygr.com

Luna, 2nd

MeXo, 3rd

NEW BREWERY

Archival Brewing, 1st

archivalbrewing.com

3 Gatos Brewery, 2nd

Brewery Nyx, 3rd

SOUR BEER

Brewery Vivant, Jam Jar, 1st

breweryvivant.com

Speciation Artisan Ales, Incipient, 2nd

Arvon Brewing Co., Caribbean Breakfast, 3rd

SPORTS BAR

The Score, 1st

thescoregr.com

Peppino’s, 2nd

Uccello’s Ristorante, 3rd

STOUT

Founders Brewing Co,
Breakfast Stout, 1st

foundersbrewing.com

Rockford Brewing Company,
Sheehan’s Stout,
2nd

3 Gatos Brewery, Bengal, 3rd

VODKA

Long Road Distillers,
Original Vodka, 1st

longroaddistillers.com

New Holland Brewing, Lake Life, 2nd

Eastern Kille Distillery, Utility Vodka, 3rd

WINE BAR

Reserve, 1st

reservegr.com

GRNoir Wine & Jazz, 2nd

House of Wine, 3rd

WINERY

Robinette’s, 1st

robinettes.com

Hudsonville Winery, 2nd

St. Julian, 3rd

RevAug22 BOTW Drinking2

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