Founders' growth and current success began in 2007 on Grand Rapids' Monroe Avenue in Grand Rapids, nearly 10 years after Dave Engbers and Mike Stevens opened the brewery in the Brassworks Building.
Trevor Doublestein and Dane Sexton have been friends for nearly 12 years. Sexton went to WMU for finance and has held a position with Morgan Stanley for 13 years, while Doublestein went to Columbia for film and worked for his family's construction business in Petoskey.
Co-owner Bill Weier's quote "give me some crusty bread, simple food, good friends and a bottle of wine ... now that is a meal!" does not give Rustica a fair description. This small, cozy Kalamazoo Mall wine bar has a ton more to offer.
Jarred Sper moved to West Michigan in 2010 with an intense love of craft beer, and was intent on starting up a brewery. He had been a homebrewer for years, and upon meeting Randy Perrin, they decided to go all in and work together to make their mutual dream a reality.
Brewery Vivant has an ever-evolving rotation of French, Belgian and Bavarian-inspired dishes that deserve a published cookbook. Dinner specials change often and past plates have included roasted half-chickens in a vivacious pan jus and a cumin and bee pollen rubbed pork tenderloin sided with rosemary scented beets.
With so many businesses devoted to craft brews, and new ones constantly popping up, it's safe to say Grand Rapids loves beer. Recently voted Beer City USA and named one of the Top 10 Vacation Cities for Beer Lovers, the city is home to dozens of microbreweries and counting.
Grand Rapids Brewing Company has finally found a home, back where it started: in downtown Grand Rapids. The original brewery opened in 1893 on the corner of Michigan and Ionia, and found itself defeated by Prohibition in 1920.
Chances are you already know last year was chaotic for couple Gianni and Lisa Licari, having been featured on the Food Network's "3 Days to Open with Bobby Flay." The couple opened the only authentic Sicilian restaurant in Grand Rapids last April with Flay's help, whose greatest accomplishment was convincing Gianni's mother to share several of her secret recipes. Nearly a year later and the Licari's kitchen has settled into a north side pizza staple.
Cue Vader's Imperial March and storm to downtown Grand Rapids for the inevitable return of Founders Imperial Stout. This 10.5% ABV silky smooth stout is brewed in 10 varieties of malted barley and remains complex and rich.
Food and drinks just taste better outside. But winter always seems to ruin this luxury by making it unbearably cold. Defy Mother Nature this winter by going to any of these four locations that harmonize our love for the outdoors with our love of reasonable levels of body heat.
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