The movies don’t lie: A makeover can change everything.
Whether it’s drastic (Robin Williams, “Mrs. Doubtfire”), practical (Julia Roberts, “Pretty Woman”) or painful (Steve Carrell’s chest hair, “The 40-Year-Old Virgin”), a new look is often a ticket to new frontiers.
This year, a handful of West Michigan’s top breweries have gone the “She’s All That” route — recognizing that a few minor tweaks can turn a nerd into the prom queen.
When a teetotaling lawmaker introduced legislation last month that would have more than tripled state excise taxes paid by craft brewers, opposition to the bill was quick and fierce. What began with hobbyist homebrewers in basements and garages two or three decades ago has grown into a nearly $2 billion chunk of the country’s overall $22.3 billion craft beer market. For Michigan brewers, the bill was an attack on the industry they built from the ground up and an assault on the American Dream itself.
Big Red Coq is the champ in a Revue taste-off of local ambers and reds.
Take a trip to Portland or Asheville, Fort Collins or Pittsburgh and you’ll notice many of the breweries share a common theme: They welcome — if not encourage — patrons to bring their dogs. Many Michigan breweries have been slow to open their doors to dogs — that could soon be changing, but for now, here are a few that are already dog-friendly.
Innovation spawns progress, but it’s a fine line. After all, not every innovation should move off the back of a napkin and become reality. Here are four “innovative” beers that probably should have remained barroom banter and not made it to production.
For this edition of Revue’s occasional beer road trip series, we headed south out of Grand Rapids with just a skeleton of a plan to explore five breweries. Little did we know the 150-mile journey would lead us to discover some new favorites along the way, including recently launched small-town pubs, a young brewery that’s on the forefront of reviving classic German-style beers, and humble but growing producers making some high-quality liquid.
Revue wanted to know what the go-to beers are for people in the brewing industry. Ten brewery owners let us open their refrigerators and take a peek.
Just a few years ago, most breweries could get away with treating their food menu as a greasy afterthought — maybe a few token appetizers or sandwiches to keep the regulars warming the barstools.
But breweries in Beer City and throughout West Michigan are learning, sometimes the hard way, that a successful operation needs more than just good beer to distinguish itself in 2016.
There’s no shortage of primo fish to reel in from our state’s tens of thousands of inland lakes (including four of the largest lakes in the world) and 300-plus rivers. And yet, nothing compares to an oceanic jewel like fresh king or coho salmon. That’s where Fish Lads comes in — purveying only the finest fillets in Grand Rapids’ own Downtown Market. We talked with Jeff Butzow, owner of Fish Lads, about his aquatic philosophy and plans for the new meat emporium, Carvers, set up just a few feet away.
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