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Monday, 20 November 2023 12:16

The Craft Connoisseur Gift Guide

Written by  Josh Veal
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The lover of all things “craft” isn’t a snob, they just appreciate the finer things in life, and more than that, they love to support local. It’s not about pure luxury or opulence, but about thought and intention being put into what they enjoy. Lucky for you, West Michigan has plenty of that.

Local Epicurean
1440 Wealthy St. SE, Grand Rapids  |

We often suggest the cooking classes at Local Epicurean—casual, fun, illuminating—as a great gift for just about anybody in your life, especially if you can join them. But it’s also an amazing shop selling high quality food products, with a focus on handmade, small-batch pastas infused with only the finest ingredients. And they even come with recipes!

435 Ionia Ave. SW, Grand Rapids  |

For a stunning charcuterie board that will impress anyone with any amount of taste, head to Aperitivo. The full-service cheese and charcuterie counter will help you pick out the perfect treats for your connoisseur friend, not to mention wine and sweets. Or, just get them a gift card so they can pick it all out themselves!

Long Road Distillers
537 Leonard St. NW, Grand Rapids  |

Frequently voted as having the Best Cocktails in our annual Best of the West poll, Long Road gets their name from a lack of shortcuts, doing things the right way. Any craft connoisseur would be more than happy to receive a bottle of MICHIGIN, whose ingredients are all entirely sourced from the Mitten state, including wild juniper handpicked by staff on Beaver Island. And that’s just one option of many!

A Night in Bordeaux: Bernard Magrez Wine Dinner
Reserve Wine & Food  |  Nov. 15, 6 p.m.

This nearly 5-hour event is a big one for true connoisseurs of the nicest things in love, with tickets going for $280. If you can swing it, this is an evening your loved one will never ever forget, taking a deep dive into Grand Cru Classe Bordeaux, paired with a handcrafted, six-course seasonal menu created by Chef Luek VerHulst.

Multiple locations  |

For a more affordable option that still appeals to connoisseurs, HopCat is the place to be. Each location has dozens of taps pouring beer from all around the world, across every style there is. Wild beer, stouts, saisons, wheat ales, IPAs, even ciders and mead—there’s a whole world to explore.

Principle Food & Drink
230 S. Kalamazoo Mall, Kalamazoo  |

Having a restaurant upstairs and cocktail lounge downstairs will always be a good idea, especially if the food and drinks are as excellent as Principle’s, widely considered to be one of the best restaurants in Kalamazoo. The cocktails here are next-level, mostly based on century-old recipes that have been remixed for modern times. Plus, the prices are reasonable and the staff is incredibly friendly, always there to educate and help you find the perfect drink.

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