In our West Michigan brewery scene, we've just about seen it all. And if there's one thing you need when opening a new brewery in this climate, it's a niche; something to help you stand out and separate yourself from the other breweries — and Gravel Bottom (418 Ada Dr., Ada) has done just that.
A long night out doesn't truly commence until food is involved. The biggest problem, however? Finding a place that's open past midnight. Here is a guide to some locales where you can go to soak up some of that alcohol.
Competition in business is normal, sometimes healthy and even expected. But when it comes to beer, the craft brewing industry throws competition out completely, with brewers creating a beer fraternity of sorts.
Beer City USA. That's quite a title. And this year it belongs to Grand Rapids. Again. Last year, the title was shared with Asheville, N.C. In 2013, however, Grand Rapids won it outright and decisively, clobbering the next closest vote-getter and West Michigan neighbor, Kalamazoo.
When one thinks of microbreweries in West Michigan, it's easy for the mind to quickly jump to the usual players in the usual cities, like Bell's in Kalamazoo and Founders in Grand Rapids. And even as these mainstays continue to be a centerpiece for the area's craft brew excellence, communities along the lakeshore are also contributing in significant ways to our reputation as one of the best damn beer destinations anywhere.
With so many beer options in the West Michigan area it can be easy to get stuck in our own brewery bubble. People all over the state are serious about their lagers, stouts and ales though, and for hopheads willing to make day trips up north or to the east side, delicious destinations await.
The growth of the craft beer scene in Southwest Michigan means that from Kalamazoo to Paw Paw or from Marshall to Battle Creek, drinkers can find beers to fit their palates, whether it's the wild experimental brews at Dark Horse or summer wheat beers like Bell's Oberon and Arcadia Ales' Whitsun.
Ok, so you can't judge a book by its cover. However, others can tell a lot about you just by the beer you are holding in your hand. Find out what your beer is saying about you with our guide below. We even threw in some local microbrew suggestions to suit every palate.
Legend has it that during the mid-19th century, hard cider (henceforth referred to simply as cider) was a mainstream staple of the old-timey U.S. consumers. In fact, scholars maintain that the alcoholic beverage was so mainstream, a significant part of workers' salaries were paid in cider until some kind of bogus amendment in 1887 made it illegal.
If you've recently watched Pulp Fiction, take your friend/date/Tarantinophile to McKay's Downtown for the Grandwich-winning Royale With (Bleu) Cheese for a definitive chuckle and conversation. If you expect an actual burger by normal definitions, you'll be surprised by its brioche bun stuffed, quarter-pound grass-fed ground ham and beef, candied bacon, pickled slaw, bleu cheese ice cream and chocolate balsamic reduction.
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