Hops, malt, lactose, oh my! As the global craft beer selection gets larger and more complicated, getting into beer can be like stepping into a zoo full of a hundred animals you didn’t even know existed, much less knowing what their names are. Luckily, all it takes to learn is asking the right people and getting some “practice” in. We asked local brewers and brewery staff to break down the top current terms to know in the craft beer industry.
From local craft breweries rolling out small batches of cannabis-themed beer to some of the world’s largest macrobreweries infusing beverages and investing billions in growers, a marriage is unfolding between cannabis and suds at an international scale.
Drinking beer can create lifelong memories — depending on how many you have — and brewing beer makes memories too.
There’s this theory, The Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon, that supposes every person on Earth is six or fewer acquaintances away from Kevin Bacon. For example, if your dogwalker’s cousin’s dad was a gaffer on the set of Footloose — boom — you’re four degrees from Bacon. It’s a goofy theory, but it’s one that posits this large world is actually small and our relationships cast a wider influence than we know. For those with even a toe in Grand Rapids’ beer scene, the steps separating you and the hosts of In MI Pint, Kati Spayde and Ben Darcie, are unquestionably less.
Like fine wine and cheese, every beer has its soulmate. With exotic menus hitting breweries across West Michigan, it can be hard to identify the perfectly paired beer for your locally sourced, hand-caught, seasonal dinner. Luckily, if you know who to ask, the staff themselves can help you out! To get you started, we asked some local brewers to weigh in on their menu pairing favorites.
In a world of near-infinite choice and instant communication, breweries are constantly trying to keep up. The moment you hear about a new trend, you need to hop on board before the wave crashes.
When a brewery’s maximum occupancy caps at eight, it doesn’t take a mathematician to calculate that said brewery can’t sell a lot of pints. Since opening in 2017, Arvon Brewing Co. has occupied a hidey-hole in Grandville roughly the size of a storage locker. Like playing pool while your cue bangs against the wall, I can only imagine the frustrations owners Jake Stanko and Brett Bristol have experienced while raking spent grain from their fermenters.
You might notice that new breweries aren’t arriving at quite the same rate as they used to. Does that mean that the infamous Beer Bubble has finally “popped?” We don’t think so — West Michigan still has far more breweries opening than closing. If you take a look at our brewery guide, you’ll notice quite a few breweries that expanded in a major way.
The hype surrounding Grand Rapids casts a length that stretches counties long. It is the Cool City. It has the Hot Eats. And have you heard? It has Beer. I read so on a billboard.
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