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.
Farm-to-table Radix Tavern serves up southern-style cuisine with local ingredients courtesy of Chef Jayson Leek, a Kansas transplant and former sous chef of Judson's Steakhouse and Gilly's.
Three different people wanted the same thing in the same place: their own brewery in Rockford. Rather than standing alone to achieve their visions, they joined forces to open Rockford's first microbrewery on Dec. 20.
Engine House No. 9 has been a fixture of Leonard Street in Grand Rapids since 1890. It has housed many businesses since being decommissioned as a fire station in 1966. Currently residing within its walls is the newest addition to the West Michigan beer scene.
Friends since kindergarten, co-founders and brewers Chris Andrus and Max Trierweiler went into their separate careers, but wanted to find something they could do together.
The growler is having a moment. The 64-ounce vessel reminiscent of a moonshine jug can often be seen lining the shelves of brewpubs, ready to be filled with a beer geek's favorite beer and toted home to enjoy. Though they are undoubtedly trendy, growlers offer far more than artisanal accessorization.
"I think any brewery should offer growlers," says Kris Spaulding, the co-owner and sustainability director of Brewery Vivant. "Not because growlers are unique, but because being very community-focused, a growler makes sense."
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