Mixed drinks from a tap. The very idea seems almost … sacrilegious, somehow, doesn’t it?
But with craft distilleries putting a deeper footprint in West Michigan’s food and beverage economy, spirit-makers are embracing yet another big-city trend — the draft cocktail. While the idea is relatively new, establishments in the area have found undeniable upsides to the format.
The path to opening a distillery can take many twists and turns. Just ask Nic and Joanna Merrill. The couple have been working on The Kalamazoo Stillhouse since 2013, when they purchased the building at 618 East Michigan Ave. Some three years out, they’ve yet to open, but the runway for them to start producing spirits is significantly shorter now.
Whether it’s a squat rocks glass carrying a perfectly crafted old fashioned or the long stem of a sophisticated martini glass, cocktails have an inherent style that speaks a language of personality and fine taste. It’s the reason you see so many people posing with an upscale drink in their Facebook profile pictures. But where exactly does the fascination come from? Check out these area bars who are creating cocktails that not only please the palate, but are also aesthetically interesting.
Bartenders play many roles, depending on the bar and the patron — armchair psychologist, liquid pharmacist, philosopher of debauchery and so on. Between all these roles, they play a valuable (crucial, even) part in the community. Ask pretty much any bargoer their favorite barkeep and the name of at least one enigmatic drink-slinger will rise to the top.
Earlier this year, Revue asked West Michigan that very question with our Best of the West survey. Here, we chat with the top 3 winners.
During this year’s ArtPrize, downtown Grand Rapids was filled with the expected sights — oversized artwork, misused crosswalks, the guy riding a fish bicycle. But there was a surprise greeting visitors who flocked to the eighth-annual event: Food trucks. All over the place. With lines in front of them.
By nature, distillers are a reflective lot. They make spirits and then often store them away in barrels for years on end to allow the wood and alcohol to mellow into a delicious quaff. That time-consuming process creates opportunities for introspection — and drinking, of course. Revue asked distillery owners from around West Michigan about their favorite spirits and cocktails. Here’s what they had to say.
As West Michigan’s craft beer scene continues to grow, so too does the number of festivals that honor our microbrewery mecca. The Kalamazoo Craft Beer Festival at Wings Event Center, now in its third year, boasts its own unique offerings to set it apart from the other beer fests in West Michigan.
Six West Michigan breweries had a little something extra in their luggage when they headed home from the Great American Beer Fest held last week in Denver — and no, it wasn’t related to a certain legal herb in Colorado.
If there’s a strong desire for craft beer, the ever-growing business for beer merchandise is just as ravenous. Spring boarding from T-shirts, sweatshirts and hats, breweries’ offerings have spilled over into lifestyle accessories and novelty items including (believe it or not) underwear. Here's a roundup of cool Michigan beer gear.
To explore local breweries and discover the trends that move the industry, it’s nice to stop to take stock of the new flavors and styles that approach our palates.
Being in the middle of the country, West Michigan has a tendency to get the news a little late when it comes to the latest and greatest beer trends. But breweries in the Mitten seem to have quite a knack for taking these popular beer styles and recreating them with a healthy dose of Michigan innovation.
To that end, Revue gathered some observations on recurring themes in the local craft beer scene and how the brewers are responding to them.
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