There’s no doubt that Grand Rapids is known for its award-winning craft beer.
While many cities across the United States have burgeoning beer scenes, Grand Rapids has been voted “Beer City, USA” twice and been named Best Beer Town by USA Today.
What helps Grand Rapids stand out is a diverse selection of some very excellent brews, which the city celebrates during Beer Month GR, which takes place February 15 - March 15.
The Grand Rapids area is also home to over 40 breweries, all of which are producing a variety of award-winning beer, year round.
Here are just a few of the breweries who received awards over the past two years:
Directly north of Grand Rapids, Cedar Springs, Michigan, is only a short 20-mile drive from downtown.
Photo Credit: Cedar Spring Brewing Company
Cedar Springs Brewing Co.’s Kusterer Original Weißbier
Cedar Springs’s line of classic German lagers pays tribute to Christoph Kusterer, a German immigrant who paved the way for early Grand Rapids brewers.
Kusterer was an early Grand Rapids brewer and one of the most powerful men in early Grand Rapids history.
Multiple Kusterer beers have won awards, including the Original Weißbier, which won a Great American Beer Festival medal for German Wheat Beer in 2016 and a 2017 London World Beer Award.
Did You Know: Rockford Brewing Co. is also known as a live music and artist venue.
Photo Credit: Rockford Brewing Company
Rockford Brewing Co. Sheehan’s Stout
Rockford Brewing Co. had a great year in 2017, being named Best Small Brewpub and Small Brewpub Brewer of the Year at the Great American Beer Festival in Denver.
The award was due in part to the brewery’s medals awarded to its Sheehan's Stout and Rogue River Brown.
Sheehan’s Stout is a perfect winter warmer as a classic Irish stout. A beer that has been on tap since the brewery’s launch, it’s been spot on for the style since its first release and has garnered appropriate attention and should be worth at least a few sips on a visit to Grand Rapids.
Railtown Brewing Good Mooed Milk Stout
Railtown Brewing is south of Grand Rapids, but well worth a visit to grab a pint of Good Mooed Milk Stout.
The creamy and sweet stout snagged a medal at the 2016 Great American Beer Festival.
Fact: The Mitten Brewing Co.'s building used to be "home" to the historic Engine House No. 9!
Photo Credit: Experience Grand Rapids
Mitten Brewing Co. Triple Crown Brown
West Michigan is home to a load of excellent brown ales, ranging from Rockford’s Rogue River Brown to Bell’s Brewery’s Bell’s Best Brown.
The Mitten Brewing Co.’s brown ale, Triple Crown Brown, represents an even more underappreciated style, English-style Mild Ale, for which it brought home a silver medal from the 2016 World Beer Cup.
At 4.2 percent ABV, Triple Crown Brown is a light beer but packs a good amount of nuttiness and caramel.
Brewery Vivant celebrated their seventh anniversary in December 2017, and brewed a limited-edition batch of its award-winning barrel-aged sour ale, Angelina.
Photo Credit: Experience Grand Rapids
Brewery Vivant Plein De Vie series
Brewery Vivant helped expand Grand Rapidians’ palates when it opened in 2010 making Belgian- and French-inspired beers.
The Cherry Street brewery has always experimented with wood-aged beers but has seriously ramped up its efforts in the past two years.
The barrel-aged sour ale Angelina, one of its Plein De Vie series beers, took home a bronze medal at the 2016 Great American Beer Fest.
Brewery Vivant’s Plein De Vie series beers aren’t always available at its pub, but there’s a good chance another tasty wood-aged beer will be.
Also, don't forget about Founders Brewing Co.'s KBS Week, which celebrates its award-winning imperial coffee chocolate stout. Founders' annual KBS Week will take place March 5-10.