Are you a beer snob? Are you tired of getting grief from your friends who still chug PBR and your dad who just doesn't see why you'd ever want to infuse beer with chili peppers? Truth is, it's a tough world out there for someone who doesn't drink shit for beer. But luckily, there's a safe haven for you — a utopia for beer snobs and craft brewers alike. But where is such a glorious, hoppy place? Grand freakin' Rapids.
Here are some of the many reasons why all craft beer lovers should be flocking to Michigan's Beer City right now.
They’ve got one of the most sought after beers in the United States.
Yup, the Kentucky Bourbon Stout. This baby’s brewed with coffee and chocolate before being aged in oak bourbon barrels for a year in caves under the city. Not to mention, Grand Rapids is also home to a brown ale brewed with pecans toasted in pizza ovens. Pizza ovens, y’all. Why that’s not also one of the most sought after beers in the country, the world may never know.
You can get a beer from a funeral home.
Okay, well, a former funeral home. Brewery Vivant is the world’s first LEED-certified commercial micro-brewery, given life in a refurbished historic funeral home, complete with stained glass windows and an array of Belgian- and French-inspired beers. Because how else would you want your life to be celebrated than everyone you love harmoniously coming together and drinking beer called the Undertaker or Big Red Coq?
There’s the International Wine, Beer, and Food Festival.
It’s the largest wine, beer, and food tasting event in the Midwest with over 1,200 wines and 200 beers. Not to mention culinary works of art in food form scattered about the convention hall to make you feel totally cultured in taste testings. Take my advice though — skip the wine part of the festival and head straight for the beer. Root beer that’s over 5% ABV and a beer that tastes like a thin mint cookie? Gimme.
There’s more beer per square mile than anywhere else in the world.
And if you don’t understand properly, let me translate — that’s a lot of goddamn beer.
You can drink and still care about the environment.
The Great Lake’s Pub Cruiser is Michigan’s only “Green Pub”, a 15-person party bike powered solely by pedals to get to tastings at various bars. Or you can always use your god-given feet and follow your own tour by way of the printable Beer City Ale Trail. Either way, both the environment and your lust for craft beer will thank you.
You can get a little messy off some high gravity beers and still be safe.
Grand Rapids is home to the GR Hopper Shuttle, which will chauffeur — yes, chauffeur — you around to pretty much anywhere (nightclub, brewery, hotel, restaurant, whatever). Later on, you can simply hop on the Hopper at any hour of the night within the “Hopper box”, free of charge. You can then schedule them to drop you off at your original pick-up location for whatever time works for you. Seriously guys, it’s almost 2016. We know better than to drink and drive at this point. And let’s be real, if you’re in Grand Rapids, you’re more than likely going to be drinking.
Initial costs are $5 per person for residents of downtown, $7 per person from Standale or Alpine Hotels, and $10 per person from Allendale and other locations.
They have Founders — the number one brewery in the world.
Okay, well, technically the third. But who’s really keeping count? Simply put, it means they have the Breakfast Stout and the Backwood’s Bastard. And if that isn’t reason enough to book a trip to Grand Rapids right now, then I don’t know what is.
You can even become a Brewsader.
That’s right --- a mother f’in Brewsader. To achieve this title, you must snag yourself a Beer City Passport and collect passport stamps from any eight of 23 breweries in Grand Rapids. Ta-da. You’ve done it. And you get a Brewsader t-shirt as forever proof of your beer snobbery.
And most importantly, it’s literally called Beer City.
It was voted Beer City USA in national polls and given the name of Best Beer Town by USA TODAY readers. So what are you waiting for? Get to chuggin’!