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.

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greenbush 4year article

Sawyer’s Greenbush Brewing Co. recently celebrated their 4-year anniversary on Wednesday June 10th with a day-long celebration featuring contest and prizes, specialty tap lists at both the pub and annex, and the release of the anniversary Village Idiot IPA on draft and in bottles. I stopped down early with some friends for the bottle release at the annex at 11 a.m. Village Idiot is an 8.5% ABV IPA hopped with Citra, Mosaic, & Centennial hops and was available in bottle (with no limits) at the annex as well as on draft at both the annex and the pub. My friends & I all found the anniversary ale to be very delicious. Other specialty taps available at the annex included Mr. Hyde sweet stout on nitro, BA Vanderbush brewed with Vander Mill cider, and Brother Hezekiah, a barrel aged version of the brewery’s popular Brother Benjamin Imperial IPA.

unruly article breakfast

Unruly Brewing Co. has teamed up with Rebel Pies to make breakfast pizza and beer available every Friday in downtown Muskegon opening at the third-shifter friendly hour of 7 AM. Rebel Pies breakfast pizzas feature an egg and three cheese blend with several varieties featured including a Denver Omelette pizza, Morning Wood with sausage gravy, bacon, and Lil Smokies, and Huevos Rancheros which includes poblano pepper, black beans and a chili lime sour cream finish.

long road distillers article

Long Road Distillers held it’s grand opening to the public on Thursday, May 28th at 5 PM. The distillery is located at 537 Leonard St NW in Grand Rapids with The Mitten Brewing Co. as their neighbor and the also the recently opened Two Scotts Barbecue across the street. The distillery is a true “grain-to-glass” operation with everything milled, mashed, fermented, and distilled in-house. Their handcrafted vodka, gin, and whisky is sourced with as locally available ingredients as possible. The tasting room features a full cocktail menu of speciality drinks with Long Road’s spirits as a base and also features a kitchen with salad, and sandwich options.

 ridge cider article

Ridge Cider Co. is West Michigan’s newest cidery to open and is located in Grant right on M-37 and 136th St. in Newaygo County. The Grand Opening / Blossom Fest celebration was held on May 16th with smoked pulled pork and hard cider plus live country rock from Lansing’s Bear Creek Brothers.

 on tap michigan brews michigan art article

On Tap. Michigan Brews. Michigan Art.” returned to the Museum of Art in Muskegon for a 2nd year bringing local breweries, restaurants, and new works from Michigan artists all under one roof for an evening of food, beer, and fun. Artwork featured for the event included hundreds of submissions for the MMA’s 87th Regional Exhibition and restaurants and breweries included the best of Muskegon and surrounding areas such as Spring Lake, Holland, and Grand Rapids. Attendees received a scorecard along with tasting tickets to track their experience and note their favorite food and beverage pairings.

greenbush brewing article2

Every year Sawyer’s Greenbush Brewing Co. has something new to offer. Last year, I stopped in to join the mug club as a lifetime member which is still one of the best deals you’ll find. The kitchen continues to serve some of the best BBQ in the area and the pub draws a good crowd just about any night. I stopped by earlier this year to enjoy lunch and tried a few new taps including the Indispensable IPA and Helmut of Remnar Belgian Strong Ale. I also discovered that Greenbush has expanded into the building across the street and had to stop by after lunch to check out the new Greenbush Annex.

muskegon party in park article

With Muskegon now having a thriving downtown brewery scene, Parties in the Park is boosting the beer selection to accommodate evolving local tastes for more craft beer. Last year, the event featured rotating draft selections from downtown Pigeon Hill and Unruly breweries and this year the weekly event is planning on expanding taps and include more craft selections than ever. The expanded craft options were unveiled for the event at this year’s Party in the Mark, an event held annually at the Watermark 920 allowing attendees to vote on and help secure their favorite beers.

recap beercity springfest 2015

This year’s Beer City Springfest at the Hudsonville Fairgrounds was another success with amazing spring weather complementing a stellar lineup featuring food trucks, live music, and some of the best craft beer, cider, mead and spirits the area has to offer. This year my wife & I got to add a little “behind the scenes” to the experience as we were invited and took the opportunity to participate as volunteers. Being able to enjoy the festival both as an attendee as well as volunteer beer pourers for The Mitten Brewing Co. of Grand Rapids gave a unique perspective on this year’s great event.

vandermill may 5th event 2015

What a better way to celebrate spring than with a pig roast? Vander Mill did just that for their 2nd year in a row, hosting their now annual SOWco De Mayo Spring celebration on their recently opened outdoor deck equipped with a stage for entertainment and of course, plenty of food and cider. As last year, the event was preceded by an underground whole pig burial roasting outside the mill and featured an all-you-can-eat fresh roasted pork taco and sandwich bar.

pike 51 ipa day may

Hudsonville’s Pike 51 Brewing Co. is one of several breweries that has made it a tradition to unleash a wide range of specialty beer releases on (or near) the date of April 20th (“420”) each year in honor of their favorite plant. Just in case you have any strange ideas about this; of course, we are talking about hops. Seeing that this year April 20th fell on a Monday, Pike 51 chose to start the celebration a couple days early on Saturday April 18th. The celebration began, appropriately enough, at high noon.
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