Monday, July 15, 2013

Downtown Holland Groovewalk features bands, bars, and breweries

Written by  Dan VanderKooi
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Downtown Holland Groovewalk features bands, bars, and breweries

Downtown Holland’s Groovewalk featured 13 bands at 13 venues and including great local breweries and beer bars and a variety of both national and Michigan acts. The cost for a wrist-band was $15 and basically served as the cover charge for all of the locations plus free rides on the GrooveXpress (if preferred, although most of the locations were in easy walking distance also for those who preferred a pub crawl.) Live musicians entertained patrons while on opting for rides on the bus.
The great thing about the event was the opportunity to visit some new locations and/or hear some new bands that might not be familiar along with the tried and true. I made sure to visit the breweries of course, and they did not disappoint. Our Brewing had over a dozen taps available including some I had not previously tried including great brews like Careless Whisper IPA, Handlebar Hopstache, and the already famous Andes Mint Milk Stout. The band on hand here was Cash O’Riley and the DownRight Daddies, a very enjoyable rockabilly style group. New Holland Brewing featured the hip-hop / funk of Sophistafunk and now on tap is the revisited Paleooza with all Michigan hops. I also made a stop into 8th street grille, Holland’s premier beer bar always with a large selection of Michigan drafts. Music was provided by Eddy & The Breakers with covers spanning 5 decades of music to present.

Based on a recommendation, I paid a visit to participating Butch’s Dry Dock to grab a bite to eat. I was very impressed with both the food and beer selection. I ordered the Turkey Lentil Soup and Black Bean Sliders, both were very delicious. A great selection of craft beer can also be found here, including selections from Short’s such as one of my favorites, Goodnight Bodacious. I was also impressed that the restaurant supports sustainable seafood and I’ll definitely be making a return trip to give a try. The featured duo here was West Michigan’s own Drew Behringer and the Politician with a diverse selection of covers.

The furthest participating venue from downtown was the VFW post 2144, but those who make the trek down the end of 8th street were rewarded with Kalamazoo’s own 7-man band Funktion. For those not in the know, Funktion is an amazing not-to-be-missed group that blends current hits with a revue of old school funk and R&B. I regrettably did not make it out to Park Theater which was featuring another great band Andy Frasco and the UN. Other participating venues and acts included Audiodacity at Serafina’s Bar & Grille (located at the location once occupied by a brewpub, Via Maria and before that Back Street Brewery,) and Kung Fu Rodeo at the CitySēn Lounge just to name a few. Groovewalk was a great opportunity to experience some great brews and bands at some of Holland’s finest establishments.

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.