Thursday, 27 September 2018 13:28

Beer Bonanzas: Where to party with a brew in hand this fall Featured

Written by  Elma Talundzic
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Founders Harvest Party Founders Harvest Party Courtesy of Founders Brewing Co.

Like apple cider and pumpkin pie, beer always hits the spot in the fall. There’s something special about stepping out into cold weather and warming up with a great brew. Here’s a look at some of the upcoming beer bashes that are anything but basic, with food, music and cider in tow.


Jolly Pumpkin Vintage Beer Cave Run
25 Ionia Ave. SW, Grand Rapids
Oct. 4, 5 p.m.
(616) 451-4677

If you love a good sour, join HopCat for four vintages from Jolly Pumpkin that have been hiding away. The tap list includes: 2014 Dandelion Rhubarb, 2016 Madrugada Obscura, 2015 La Roja Oak BA Sour Red Ale and 2015 iO Saison with rose hips, rose petals and hibiscus. 

Vander Fest
Vander Mill
14921 Cleveland St., Spring Lake
Oct. 6, 4-10 p.m., $10-35
(616) 842-4337

The Michigan Cider Association presents Vander Fest 2018. The event features live entertainment, local food truck eats and excellent cider and beer. With more than 15 local cideries and breweries participating, this is a party you don’t want to miss. A general admission ticket gets you a complimentary event glass, eight drink tokens and live entertainment.

Harvest Party: A Tribute to American Hops
Founders Brewing Company
235 Grandville Ave. SW, 
Grand Rapids
Oct. 13, 11-2 a.m., $10
(616) 776-1195

Harvest Party is a celebration of American hops and Founders’ award-winning Harvest Ale. The $10 cover will get you a class-one pour, commemorative glass and sticker. Enjoy live music from Ghost-Note, The Truth, El Brandino and more, as well as special seasonal fare, Harvest Ale, CBS, KBS, Blushing Monk and other thirst-quenching beer options. 

Binder Park Zoo
7400 Division Dr., Battle Creek
Oct. 13, 6-10 p.m., $25-70
(269) 979-1351

Raise a glass with the bonteboks (a kind of antelope) at Binder Park Zoo. This after-hours event features live music, food and some of the best Michigan craft brews, ciders, meads and wines. Guests can sample beer from several local breweries, go home with a souvenir Bonteboktoberfest tasting glass and get the opportunity to have the first taste of Arcadia Ales Brewing Co.’s Binder Park Zoo brew. Admission includes 12 drink tickets, small-plate food pairings, live music, free train rides and adorable animal viewings.

Fall Color Tour
Grand Rapids Beer Trolley
861 Emerald Ave. NE, 
Grand Rapids
Oct. 19-20, 5-7:30 p.m., $40
(616) 439-4677

Enjoy a scenic ride through the colorful fall trees with a drink in hand. The GR Beer Trolley tour highlights the best hard cider spots in West Michigan, such as Vander Mill, Farmhaus and People’s. One flight of cider is included with a ticket purchase.

Chicken & Beer Festival
Arcadia Brewing Company
701 E. Michigan Ave., Kalamazoo
Oct. 21, 3-8 p.m., $25-45
(269) 276-0458

Chicken wings and a cold glass of beer is a classically delicious pair. Join Arcadia Brewing Company in celebrating this combo with a food, beer and music festival. This 21+ event features more than 20 craft beers, all you can eat wings and live entertainment. A portion of the event ticket purchases will be donated to local food recovery partners and national charities.

Fork Fest presented by Brewery Vivant
Romence Gardens and Greenhouses
265 Lakeside Dr. NE, Grand Rapids
Oct. 26, 5-9 p.m., $45
(616) 719-1604

The 8th annual Fork Fest, presented by Brewery Vivant, is an evening of samples from more than 40 local restaurants, farms, grocers, bakeries, breweries and more. It’s all hosted in the beautiful Romence Gardens, and admission gets you all samples and one drink ticket. Vendors and more will be announced soon.

Wine, Beer & Food Festival
DeVos Place
303 Monroe Ave. NW, Grand Rapids
Nov. 15-17, $15-40
(616) 742-6500

Entering its 11th year, the Wine, Beer & Food Festival presents 1,500 wines, beers, ciders and spirits from around the world. This event is not only for the beer connoisseur but for those who appreciate a whole range of libations and plates from the area’s finest restaurants.

14th Annual Winter Beer Festival
Fifth Third Ballpark
4500 W. River Dr. NE, 
Comstock Park
Feb. 22-23, tickets on sale Nov. 30

This one isn’t in the fall, but it’s too big not to mention. The Annual Winter Beer Festival is a craft beer enthusiast’s paradise. This year’s festival will feature more than 140 Michigan breweries and brewpubs. Each ticket comes with 15 tasting tokens and additional tokens can be purchased for 50 cents. Tokens can be exchanged for three-ounce samples, but good luck choosing from more than 1,000 different craft beer options. Along with the brews, the event features local music, beer-friendly eats, ice sculpture demonstrations, other entertainment and fire pits to cozy up with.

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