With nearly 80 breweries within an hour of its downtown, Grand Rapids – also referred to as Beer City, USA – is a hotbed for craft beer. From hops to dark stouts, you can always find an interesting new brew to sip in Grand Rapids.
Grand Rapids’ craft beer scene gets even better during #BeerMonthGR, which runs from February 15 - March 15! Beer enthusiasts from near and far can “savor the craft” by participating in a variety of beer-related activities, such as celebrating food and beer during Cool Brews. Hot Eats. and attending the annual outdoor Michigan Brewers Guild Winter Beer Festival.
Stay up-to-date with announcements and activities by following Beer Month GR's Facebook page and using #BeerMonthGR across all social media.
The Beer City Brewsader Passport mobile app
Photo Credit: Experience Grand Rapids
Become a Brewsader®
Beer Month GR is a great way to make progress on your Beer City Brewsader status!
To get started, download our free Beer City Brewsader app (Google Play and Apple stores). When you’re at a participating brewery, collect your “stamp” by checking in. The staff will give you a password to enter, and the GPS will validate your location. Super easy!
If you prefer, you can also still use a paper Brewsader passport. Grab one at participating breweries or from the Welcome Center at the Grand Rapids Art Museum to earn stamps from every local brewery you visit. It takes eight stamps to become a Beer City Brewsader and 40 stamps to reach Ultimate Brewsader status.
If you become a Brewsader during Beer Month GR, you’ll earn limited-time gifts, including a Brewsader keychain bottle opener, Brewsader decal sticker, and, for the first few people who become Brewsaders during Beer Month, LaughFest is offering coupons for LaughFest swag available at LaughFest Central. This is in addition to the awesome Brewsader T-shirt you earn for becoming a Brewsader any time of year!
For even more perks, become an Ultimate Brewsader during Beer Month GR to enjoy deals and discounts from area businesses all year long, like $3 off growler refills at Rockford Brewing Company or buy-one, get-one-free admission to TreeRunner Grand Rapids Adventure Park.
If you’re already a Brewsader and would like to start using the app instead of your paper passport, we’ve made it easy to switch. When you download the app, go to the brewery and hit “check in.” You’ll see an option to “transfer stamps.” Simply upload a photo of your paper stamp from that brewery for approval and you’ll be on your way. Note that approvals can take one to three business days, so be sure to plan ahead on your Brewsade®!
Check out our Beer City Brewsader website for more information, or to join the fun!
Creston Brewery, like many of Grand Rapids' breweries offer excellent food menus to pair with their craft beer.
Photo Credit: Experience Grand Rapids
Cool Brews. Hot Eats.
Not to be outdone by our Beer City, USA moniker, our excellent restaurants have earned Grand Rapids the designation of Best Food City in Michigan! You can experience the delight of both brews and eats during the 6th annual Cool Brews. Hot Eats. (CBHE) event, which runs concurrently with Beer Month GR.
CBHE is an annual celebration of unique food and beer pairings that highlights what’s happening in the kitchen as well as what’s on tap. Chefs around the city serve award-winning food all year long and Beer Month GR is a fun time to try new venues.
Take your crew to try something new from the mouthwatering menus, while you savor the craft at a few of the 40+ participating restaurants. Check out the Cool Brews. Hot Eats' website to see the menus at participating locations.
Fun fact: Many CBHE food pairings use local craft beer as a main ingredient!
Brewer’s Grove Project: Tree Beer
In 2013, the Beer City Brewers Guild partnered with Friends of Grand Rapids ParksOpens (FGRP) to celebrate the City of Grand Rapids earning two exciting designations: Beer City, USA and Tree City, USA.
Each February, more than 20 local brewers join forces to create a tree-themed beer through the Brewer’s Grove Project: Tree Beer.
The participating breweries donate to FGRP’s Grand Rapids Urban Forest Project for tree plantings. Since its inception, the Brewer’s Grove Project has raised more than $32,000 and they’ve planted 159 trees, including saplings in Grand Rapids’ Coit Park, Riverside Park, and Highland Park.
This year’s Tree Beer Kick Off will be hosted at Harmony Hall on February 15th from 5:30-8: 30 PM. Tree beer will be available throughout Beer Month GR, or while supplies last. Breweries participating can be found on FGRP’s website.
Tap takeovers often feature hard-to-find brews and special batches.
Photo Credit: Use Information: For Experience Grand Rapids
One especially fun part of Beer Month GR is finding a new favorite beer through tap takeovers. These events take place at craft-beer-loving restaurants, bars, and breweries and are often announced last minute! In the past, tap takeovers have featured hard-to-find brews and special batches.
Be aware of preplanned and spontaneous takeovers by searching #BeerMonthGR on social media, and by following your favorite Grand Rapids craft breweries.
Winter Beer Festival (February 22-23)
Back for its 14th year, the highly anticipated Winter Beer Festival will take place at Fifth Third Ballpark on Friday, February 22 and Saturday, February 23. Tickets for Friday (5 PM – 9 PM) are $45 in advance and $50 at the gate. Tickets for Saturday (1 PM – 6 PM), are sold out, so make sure to purchase Friday tickets in advance.
A huge highlight of this year’s Winter Beer Festival includes the opportunity to choose samples from more than 1,000 craft beers brewed by more than 140 breweries. Your ticket includes 15 tasting tokens that can be traded in for the beers of your choice (Note: many beer samples require 1 token but some require 2).
Sip and sample while you enjoy local musicians and ice sculpture demos, or simply relax by the firepits.
You can ride the Winter Beer Festival Shuttle, which will depart from the JW Marriott's Motor Lobby and provide transportation to and from the Winter Beer Festival. The buses will run on a continuous loop from the JW Marriott to Fifth-Third Ballpark. Shuttle tickets are $10 round trip and are available for purchase through the Winter Beer Festival Shuttle page.
New this year, Winter Beer Festival guests staying at participating suburban hotel properties will receive a $20 Uber code. One Uber code is provided per guest room, to transport you to and from the Festival! More details on participating downtown and suburban hotels, as well as shuttle reservations, is available on the “Getting to Winter Beer Fest” webpage.
Go behind the scenes at local breweries and see how your favorite craft beers come together.
Photo Credit: Experience Grand Rapids
Fun Beer-Related Activities
There are a variety of fun and interesting beer-related activities in Grand Rapids also available year-round. Here are a few ideas to get you started! Check out the Grand Rapids Beer Events page on our website for more information and details.
Brew and Renew Spa Package
Or, try the 80-minute Brew Polish & Massage that includes a beer-inspired body scrub, an aromatherapy massage, and a gift card to enjoy one beer of your choice.
Take a peek behind the scenes at your favorite local breweries. Many Grand Rapids breweries have set times for tours or schedule them upon request.
Try something new and delicious at MoKAYA, an artisan chocolatier that makes beer-infused chocolates as well as other confections. MoKAYA’s chocolates are infused with beers from local brewers like Founders Brewing Company, Brewery Vivant, The Mitten Brewing Company, Grand Rapids Brewing Company, and Elk Brewing.
Design-Your-Own Pub Crawl
If your family, friends, or co-workers are interested in visiting several of our award-winning local breweries, you can hire Beer City Runner for just $20/person to take you to the breweries of your choice. No parking and no walking in the cold! Just enjoy your day or evening and local craft beer.
Sign up to build your own beautiful wooden holder for flights of beer at Rivertown Woodcraft. The two-and-a-half hour lesson focuses on building your four-glass beer flight holder from hardwood while using appropriate tools (tools are provided).
The DIY classes take place on Tuesday nights from 6:30 - 9:30 PM and are $35-50 per person. Glassware is included.
Check Rivertown Woodcraft’s website for dates and prices on upcoming workshops.
Craft Beer Cellar
Visit Craft Beer Cellar to attend fun classes and events, like Navigate Brew’s Tuesday Tastings, where you can learn about things like Debunking Dark Beers, Understanding Food & Beer Pairings, and mixing coffee-flavored beer with donuts!
Class day and times vary.
Beer City USA Hotel Packages
To help you make the most of your stay during Beer Month GR, a wide range of hotels offer diverse Hotel Beer Packages with room discounts and tickets to local hotspots.
Don’t forget that when you stay at participating hotels, you can reserve a spot on the Winter Beer Festival Shuttle (downtown hotels) or receive a $20 Uber code (suburban hotels).
For an in-depth behind the scenes look at Grand Rapids’ delicious brews, check out Beer & Brewery Tour options.
Beer City Ale Trail
As you navigate the more than 80 breweries, plus cideries, meaderies, and distilleries, our Beer City Ale Trail will come in handy. This map is the perfect way to plan when to check out local hotspots, and where they are located. For guided tours, check out guided Beer & Brewery Tours options.
Still not sure what to expect? Check out this video on Beer Month GR: