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Clips: Handmade Films, Handmade Beer

8:30 to 11:30 pm at Ah-Nab-Awen Park


Like movies? Or Beer? Or being a part of a great cause? We do, too! Which is why we are pumped for Clips of Faith, presented by New Belgium Brewing. The event takes place on Friday, June 20 starting at 8:30 pm in Ah-Nab-Awen Park.


Here’s the lowdown on Clips of Faith and an estimate of how much fun will be had that night.




The Fun Estimate: great movies + great cause + great beer(x17) + outside summer fun + local awesome food = Super, don’t miss out, best time ever fun. 

What it is: Part, film expo, beer extravaganza, and part nonprofit fundraising Clips of Faith is full on fun.


The films: One-of-a-kind short films created and submitted by fans (many locally made) will be viewed on an outdoor screen at the park.


The Cause: Greater Grand Rapids Bicycle Coalition will receiver 100 percent of the proceeds from this event.


The Beer: So many kinds of beer to choose from! There will be over 16 different New Belgium beers, including multiple beers from the Lips of Faith, Hop Kitchen and Explorer series. Here is the list.


Here’s the list.

  • Cascara Quad
  • Heavenly Feijoa Tripel
  • Dieu de Ciel Collaboration
  • Biere de Gaarde, Brewery Vivant Collaboration
  • Rolle Bolle
  • Paardebloem
  • Hoppy Bock Lager
  • Pluot Ale
  • Rampant
  • La Folie
  • Ranger
  • 1554
  • Fat Tire
  • Trippel
  • Abbey
  • Blue Paddle
  • Shift


That right there presents quite a few reasons to go. You should go. 

Summer Beer List


Summer Beer List


First came the song (Summer Beers) now comes the beer list and hopefully afterwards the summer weather will follow. Here’s is what we have to offer in the Grand Rapids area for summer seasonals. Some are new while some are old favorites.


Your Summer Beer List 


Arcadia Ales Whitsun

Wheat beer brewed with local Michigan honey for a rich and smooth taste.


Blue Point Blueberry Ale

A blonde ale brewed with fresh blueberries to create a light and tart flavor.


Blue Point White IPA

A wheat beer and IPA hybrid that is partially creamy with a dry, bitter hop finish.


Brooklyn Brewery Summer Ale

A light ale with citrus/floral aroma, slightly bready flavor and mild hop finish.


Buffalo Bill’s Orange Blossom

A cream ale that combines with orange and honey to create a slightly sweet summer drink.


Flying Dog Woody Creek

Belgian wheat with light coriander and citrus notes.


Frankenmuth Brewery Twisted Helles

A traditional lager brewed with German noble hops and citrus.



Magic Hat Elder Betty

Weiss-style beer brewed with elderberries for a creamy and unique flavor.


New Belgium Rolle Bolle

Brewed with monk fruit and soursop this is a blonde and fruit ale hybrid.


Perrin Brewing Grapefruit IPA

Slightly hazy with a huge citrus aroma and bright citrus flavor that finishes bitter.


Samuel Adams Summer Ale

Wheat beer brewed with noble hops and citrus peel. Hazy, slightly sweet and citrusy.


Shock Top Lemon Shandy

Wheat Ale brewed with citrus and coriander to create a bright flavor profile 

Summer Beers Song


Summer Beers Song


Inspired by my favorite summertime jam from the middle school era, "Summer Girls" by LFO. I’ve revamped it to be fit more into my new lifestyle so naturally it's about beer. 




Summer Beers 



New beers on the block, had a bunch of drinks

Liquor after beer makes me sick

And I think its fly to have new beer for the summer, for the summer

I like beers with a citrus kick

I’d try all the beers if I had one wish

But I’ve don’t want to get fat this summer…

Not this summer.


Barley, hops, malt and beer in a can

I met you one summer and it all began

You’re the best brew that I ever did see

This is the Great Beer State and we’re beer city


When I take a sip I feel full of cheer

Tim Surprise brewed a whole bunch of beer

Call me Sam Adams cause I love to brew baby

Something in those hops went and drove me crazy


Now I can’t stop drinking you and it feels real rad

Tried craft beer and never looked back

Will be sipping them all, one after one

Craft Beer all summer, its gonna be fun



New beers on the block, had a bunch of drinks

Liquor after beer makes me sick

And I think its fly to have new beer for the summer, for the summer

I like beers with a citrus kick

I’d try all the beers if I had one wish

But I’ve don’t want to get fat this summer…

Not this summer.


Meet Your New Neighbor, Arcadia Ales


Won’t You Be My Neighbor?

Arcadia Ales is heading the neighborhood 


I love getting new neighbors (as long as they don’t obnoxiously practice their techno DJ skills 24/7) and I’m very excited to see Arcadia Ales heading to the neighborhood in the near future. Here’s the lowdown on what will soon be your neighborhood brewery.


The View


Arcadia West will be just 400 feet from the Kalamazoo river, ensuring a brew with a view for all who visit.  Easy access to the river, including portals, will be available. Geography never was my strong suite so I have no idea if there is a way to canoe or kayak from Grand Rapids to Arcadia West but the Yooper in me is willing to find a way.


The Grub


Arcadia West will support the West Michigan community while serving them fresh, locally sourced grub. The wood-fired smoke house will provide unique twists on traditional American BBQ while Middle Eastern and South American cuisine will also make a play.


The Size


The new facility will be 30,000 square feet with the potential to yield 60,000 barrels of beer annually. Initially, Arcadia plans on an initial brewing capacity of 30,000 barrels.


The Plan


Arcadia West will transition into the main brewpub and brewing facility for Arcadia Ales. At the outset, it will create 40 new jobs in Kalamazoo. The brewery’s facility in Battle Creek will retain its current employees and remain open, brewing experimental batches.


The Grand Opening


TBA. I’ll let ya know.


The Conclusion


Arcadia Ales is soon only going to be a mere half hour drive from Grand Rapids.  Since that is the amount of time I probably waste in rush hour traffic on a regular basis, I’m considering Arcadia Ales as yet another local, neighborhood brewery. You should, too. 

May is Session Beer Month


Session Ales


“We humbly declare the month of May to be dedicated to Session Beers. May the tyranny of the Imperialists be cast down. Raise your pints, and declare with pride, less is more.”

– Session Beer Month Facebook



Since May is Session Beer month it’s time to explore this beer category a bit more in depth.


A session beer pretty much means the beer packs a bunch of flavor at a low ABV, meaning you can sit down and have more than a couple of these brews in one session.  Technically, it must have low gravity and be at or under 4.5% ABV or 5% ABV, depending on your source.


Try and tempt your palette with these paragons of session beers.


Perrin Brewing Razzberry Blonde

4.5% ABV 7 IBU


Crisp with a slightly sweet fruit flavor full of raspberries.


Summit Brewing Co. Pilsener

4.5% ABV  25 IBU


A pilsener brewed in the classic Czech Republic style this beer is full of Saaz hops that lend a slight spiciness that finishes crisp.


Flying Dog Brewery Woody Creek Belgian White

4.8% ABV 17 IBU


A classically brewed Belgian-style wheat beer full of citrus notes and wheat, coriander and orange flavors. 

Brooklyn Brewery and BBQ


Brooklyn Brewery and BBQ: Food Pairing


“And this is what real beer can do: it can make every single decent meal you have an interesting and memorable flavor experience. It can be something that will light up your senses and make you actually want to pay attention to what’s happening on your palate.” – Garrett Oliver, the Brewmaster at Brooklyn Brewery. From his book, The Brewmaster’s Table.


The great thing about beer, that Oliver makes quite clear in his book, is that beer can pretty much be paired with anything. So, celebrate summer with a nice grill out with some beer pairing options, Brooklyn style.


First, get your grill started so it will be prefect temp by the time you crack open your first brew. Now, read on with these suggestions pairings that match Brooklyn Brewery.


Brooklyn Brown. Brown Ale. 5.6% ABV. 30 IBU.

Ribs have a strong, sticky sweet flavor that can easily overwhelm a lighter beer. A brown ale will match the ribs in terms of flavor, while the malty backbone helps complement the ribs’ flavor. In addition, the caramel flavors work well to enhance the sweet and dark flavors.


Brooklyn Lager. Amber Lager. 5.2% ABV. 33 IBU.

Burgers need a beer that won’t overwhelm the palate that won’t be drowned out by the meat and toppings. An amber lager provides a depth of flavor with a clean, crisp finish that cuts through to refresh the palate.


Brooklyn Sorachi Ace. Farmhouse Saison. 7.6% ABV. 34 IBU.

This single-hopped Farmhouse Saison pairs well with grilled corn on the cob. The Sorachi hop adds an acidic aroma that complements corn on the cob, especially if you eat it how I do, which is with fresh-squeezed lemons or limes and chili seasoning. Clean malt flavor matches the corn’s carb levels while the hop bitterness balances out the corn’s sweetness.


Brooklyn Summer Ale. Pale Ale. 5% ABV. 18 IBU.

Pair it with grilled shrimp and pineapple kebabs. The pale ale has a light citrus aroma that complements the pineapple. The British malts and four different kinds of hops make sure its flavor is bursting, while not overpowering the delicate flavors of the shrimp. 

American Craft Beer Week


A Guide to Celebrating American Craft Beer Week

The most wonderful time of the year is upon us, once again! American Craft Beer Week (May 13-19) is in full swing, which means it’s time to celebrate with fun, beer-filled activities. For those who want to go beyond simply drinking beer to celebrate, since in reality that is no different than any other week of the year, here is a guide for appropriately celebrating every beer drinker’s favorite holiday.


Step One: Pair that beer with some grub.

This is a holiday so feel free to go beyond your beer and cheese option and do some wild pairings. Test out different dishes to see what beer flavors they accentuate or mask or do a themed pairing with all breakfast food. Or, go the route of spontaneity and assemble whatever you have in your fridge then take out your beer and start trying whatever is available. This is what some of us call making dinner.


Step Two: Travel the world through beer.

Growing up I never could master the around-the-world slinky trick. However, I’m quit proud of my world traveling skills when it comes to beer. Start off local, spread out from the Midwest and hit up Southern, Western and Northeastern brews before getting out of the states. Europe’s rich brewing history shouldn’t be overlooked, nor should the up and coming craft beer hotbeds in Chile or Asia.


Step Three: Play a new kind of drinking game.

See how long you can go this week without drinking a beer you already have tried. Pushing the limits and expanding your view of beer will not only expand your palette but also introduce you to new breweries you may have previously ignored.


Step Four: Don’t get wasted.

American Craft Beer Week is about appreciating and enjoying beer, not chugging it to reach such an inebriated state that you can’t remember half of what you drank the night before. Plus, May is session beer month so this is the perfect time to segue into lower ABV beers that you can drink a few of without the room spinning.


Step Five: Make friends.

The craft beer community is known for getting together in the name of beer. So, for the sake of beer, go out there, have fun and be nice and make new friends. 

Happy Mothers' Day


My Mothers’ Day Card in Beers

Dear Mama,


Last year I made you a rap mixtape for Mothers’ Day. This year you get a mix of beer to symbolize all the ways I’m thankful that I get to have the kind of mom who has always supported me through all my misadventures and who will hang out at breweries with me, even though you don’t really like beer.


Here’s to you, Ma! Cheers!



My Mama and Me


Oskar Blues Mama’s Little Yella Pils

You raised five moody and rebellious kids without (completely) losing your sanity and without the help of those magic yella pils. Shuttling us to hockey, soccer, dance and swim classes while keeping us from killing each other couldn’t have been easy but you did it.


Right Brain Will Power

My siblings and I outnumbered you but you held your ground didn’t let us forget our responsibilities. Instead you raised us to be independent and hard working, then recognized us for that.


Sixpoint Righteous Ale

You taught me right from wrong so I could make better decisions in my life. I may not have always listened but I remember.


Perrin Razberry Blonde

This is just because I know you will really like this beer. Light, fruity and with a hint of sweetness and a crisp finish.


New Belgium Shift

The tagline for this beer is “finish your shift. Start another,” which is exactly what you do. Whether it’s going beyond what your nursing job responsibilities for the patient, teaching extra classes, taking care of us kiddos or now spoiling your grandkids, you are always tirelessly working and caring for others.


Magic Hat Elder Betty

Although you’re getting up there in years and may soon be considered an elder I still think you’re lookin’ good.


OK, Mama. That about sums up how awesome you are. Happy Mothers’ Day and Cheers to you and all the other fantastic mothers like you!





Michigan Mobile Canning


Mobile Canning


Recently I sat down and talked with the guys from Mobile Canning about the benefits of craft beer in a can. Canning continues to grow with the increasing momentum behind the craft beer industry. To get an in-depth look at how the beer gets into the can they’ve provided this handy video that shows the process.


To get a better idea on the inspiration and mission for mobile canning I sat down with Scott Roberts and discussed the can revolution.  Scott is half of the team behind Mobile Canning, Michigan’s first mobile canning line.


Scott lived in Colorado from 1993-1999, which is where he caught the craft beer bug. When he visited the state again in 2011 and went to his favorite beer store he couldn’t find any bottled beer – they were all in the back. Instead, up front and center were cans of craft beer. According to Scott, aluminum accounts for at least 75 percent of the beer in Colorado, with West Coast brewers embracing the vessel. Scott thought this would be the perfect vessel for Michigan, considering the new activities and places beer could be taken in a can without fear of breakage, in comparison to a glass bottle.


Back in Michigan, Scott partnered with Andrew McClean to provide a mobile canning option to brewers who are unable or wary of investing in a long-term a canning line. They were surprised by the lack of pushback from brewers who, knowing the benefits of the can, welcomed this innovation.


Not only are brewers aware of the benefits of using aluminum cans, Scott also believes that the current beer drinking demographic is ready for more beer products in cans. The younger generation, 21-34 years old, grew up with aluminum products, from soda to energy drinks. Expanding that line up to include craft beer is a logical step.


Mobile canning is just another addition to the aluminum craft beer wave. West Side Beer provides over 40 different craft beers in cans, currently. That number is slated to grow as Right Brain Brewery becomes the first brewery to use Mobile Canning this summer as they can their Will Power, CEO Stout and Northern Hawk Owl beers.


As this trends grows to the point of becoming a solidified part of the craft beer arena, I’ll be sure to do my part by supporting craft can products. 

Top 5 Reasons being Beer City USA Rocks



Top 5 reasons being Beer City USA Rocks morning on the radio the DJs discussed with a caller whether being Beer City USA is something Grand Rapids should be proud of or not. The caller considered it a negative title since essentially it made Grand Rapids famous for drinking. However, such a stand point is silly in consideration of what being Beer City USA actually entails for the Grand Rapids community.


In celebration and explanation for the Grand Rapids push to retain the Beer City USA title (have you voted yet?) here is a top five list for why being Beer City USA rocks. 

1. It promotes Grand Rapids

Grand Rapids and Michigan's tourism, in general and brewery-specific, increases dramatically with the possession of the national title. 


2. Craft beer is an experience, not just a way to get drunk.

This is such an important concept to understand – the title Beer City USA goes beyond the number of beers sold or the number of breweries within the city limits. The title Beer City USA is a nod to the culture of the craft beer community. Craft beer drinkers enjoy sharing, discovering and tasting new craft beers and create an entire experience around the brew. This is drastically different than someone who is shotgunning beers or downing shots in an inebriation effort. 


3. Craft Beer supports the community


The craft beer community is not separate from the city, it plays an active role in supporting many local organizations, causes and events. For instance, Perrin Brewing will be supporting a local artistic endeavor, called Trip the Light this weekend.


4. Craft beer helps the economy


With staggering double digit growth in the industry during the past year, craft beer contributed $2 billion to the Michigan economy. It also accounted for 37,2200 jobs and $949 million in wages within the state. With many breweries like Arcadia Ales and Frankenmuth Brewery continuing to expand and open new production facilities, these numbers will continue to grow.


5. Being Beer City USA is fun

Along with the pride that comes with the title, there’s a lot of fun to be had as Beer City USA.  As part of the fun, there will be a 3-day pub crawl this week and brewers are collaborating together on a new beer called #55555513. New beer, fun events and lots of people loving and enjoying beer together – that’s what rocks about Grand Rapids being Beer City USA.


Now go out and vote! 



Cinco de Mayo: Craft Beer and Cactus


Celebrating Cinco de Mayo with Craft Beer and Cactus


Time to celebrate Cindo de Mayo with a craft beer and cactus pairing! Cactus salsa is the perfect way to enjoy a traditional Mexican cuisine (nopales) in a very American way: chips, salsa and beer. 


courtesy of are Nopales?

Nopales are the leaves of cacti and are often used in Mexican cooking. To prepare the cactus leaves, wash then remove any cactus thorns with a knife and trip the outside edges.


Nopales Salsa Recipe

Chop up the cactus and place into a heated skillet with two tablespoons of hot oil. Add a bit of salt and stir for a minute before putting a lid on the skillet and cooking for 20 minutes on medium heat, or until all the gooey stuff that looks like aloe vera gel is dried out.


Cool the cactus bits before adding to a mixing bowl with diced up tomato, onion, Serrano peppers, cilantro, fresh lime juice, salt and avocado. Serve with tortilla  chips.


Nopales add a protein, almost beanlike flavor to the salsa, which will be full of bright citrus flavors and a bit of smokey spice from the Serrano peppers. Best beer pairings will be either a light pale ale, with a bit of hops to complement the spice level or a lager to refresh the palate.


Frankenmuth Helles A light summer lager with citrus notes and a crisp finish.


Oskar Blues Dale’s Pale Ale

npoA perfectly balanced West Coast-style pale ale. 

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