Dan VanderKooi

Dan VanderKooi

Dan VK has been following the Michigan Craft Beer scene since before Oberon has been available in 6-packs. Besides making the rounds at all the local craft breweries and beer bars, Dan also supports the local music scene, reads crime fiction, and enjoys playing volleyball with his wife and friends.

Website URL:

recap summer beer fest 2014

This year was my third visit (out of four) for John Ball Park’s annual Summer Craft Beer Fest, and also my first time to participate as a judge in the blind taste test challenge. With ten categories, and being my first beer judging experience, I was a little apprehensive I might be chosen to judge a style that wasn’t my favorite, or at least not my personal area of expertise. However, my fears were not justified as the first category bestowed upon my group (which also included fellow beer blogger Bryan Esler of Mittenbrew) was the coveted top spot for IPA (India Pale Ale)....

unruly bike garden article

Muskegon Bike Time is a festival transforming downtown’s Western Ave into “Steel Horse Alley” for four days of bands, beer, and food for the tens of thousands of motorcyclists visiting from all over the United States and even internationally. New to bikers this year along this stretch of Western is the addition of Muskegon’s two new breweries Pigeon Hill and Unruly bringing in both their busiest 4-day stretch since their respective openings. Additionally, Unruly used the festival as an incentive to launch their brand new outdoor beer garden in the space directly outside their home in the Russell Block Building, something that has been a focus of theirs since first choosing the location and opening late last year.

Macker jam street party article

The 8-year anniversary of Walldorff Brewpub in Hastings is coming up on Saturday, July 26th and the brewery has been keeping plenty busy this year with events including a series of sold-out Brewpub Comedy Club nights, their annual Pub Club Party and most recently the Hastings “Macker Jam” Street Party. I decided stopped by despite the late afternoon downpour which kept the pub plenty busy with many seeking shelter from the rain. Fortunately, the pub has plenty to offer with a full food menu and current beers including summer favorites such as Strawberry-Rhubarb Cream Ale and the “Purple Haze” brewed with blueberries.

monelli recap summer bash beer fest 2014

Monelli’s Italian Grill and Sports Bar is a family-own eatery in Wyoming, MI located near the intersection of 56th Ave and Byron Center in Southwest Grand Rapids. Each summer the restaurant throws a weekend-long summer bash with live music and an outdoor beer tent and every year the event gets bigger with this year’s event including a record of over 60 different beers on tap inside and outside the establishment. A friend and I agreed this year’s bash was a great excuse to check out Monelli’s and see what it was all about.

big lake brewing article

Big Lake Brewing in Holland just celebrated it’s 1-year anniversary with day full of music, prizes, and beer specials. The brewery’s first year has included several accomplishments including expanding the capacity to accommodate 20 tap handles of beer, wine, cider, and mead including a series of barrel aged releases as well as the Our Big Lake English-style pub ale collaboration with Our Brewing and New Holland for American Craft Beer Week. Earlier this year the pub also expanded hours to 7 days a week, opening at 5 PM on weekdays with weekend hours starting at noon.

tapistry article

Tapistry Brewing Company is getting ready to celebrate their one year anniversary. Opening just last Summer in the City of Bridgman in Southwest Michigan, Tapistry is conveniently located about 6 miles north of Sawyer’s Greenbush Brewing Co. I recently had an opportunity to stop in and check out the brewery and I was very impressed. I will certainly be including Tapistry in on any future brewery rounds in the area and also found it to be a great stop for lunch with a menu sure to please everyone with sandwich options including turkey, beef, and house made pulled pork as well as multiple vegetarian options and snack plates including beer cheese with pita chips, a brewhouse salad, and a “Brewer’s Board” featuring a rotating selection of meats and cheeses.

round barn brewery new patio

The Round Barn Winery and Distillery has a many year history of wine, beer, and spirits. The “Round Barn” namesake is a reference to the reconstructed turn-of-the century building that has has housed the winery and distillery since being moved from rural Indiana to Barodia, Michigan in the late 90’s by founder Rick Moersch. Barn Round barn began brewing beer in 2007, and while they have opened an additional tasting room in Union Pier, their first full fledged production “brewery and public house” opened just last summer. As the new public house nears it’s first anniversary, construction has recently completed with the addition on a new outside patio.

pike hudsonville anniversary article

Hudsonville Winery’s 3rd anniversary 2 years ago also marked the grand opening celebration for the addition of the Pike 51 Brewing Co. So for 2014, the winery is now celebrating 5 years in a shared celebration with Pike 51’s 2 years and this year the outdoor festival was boosted by some of the best weather yet.

Two years ago New Holland Brewing Co. celebrated their 15-year anniversary with the first ever Hatter Days Street Party, and the event has continued annually with this year’s 3rd annual Hatter Days celebration. Festivities included live music, food, circus performers, and assuredly the latest lineup of Mad Hatter IPA beers. The party is held each year on College St. between 8th and 9th Streets in downtown Holland adjacent to the brewery and also now serves as a showcase for New Holland’s beer patio, part of last year’s $1 million dollar expansion of the pub.
Monday, June 30, 2014

Recap of Founders Fest 2014

A beautiful Saturday afternoon in downtown Grand Rapids, and Founders Taproom, even the Beer Garden is closed? Well, of course, this must be Founders Fest 2014 with the streets closed down surrounding the brewery filled with street performers, art, food, non-stop music, and of-course Founders world-renowned beer!
<< Start < Prev 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Next > End >>
Page 1 of 18