Saturday, May 18, 2013

GR takes Beer City 2013 with Kalamazoo and Ann Arbor also among top vote getters

Written by  Dan VanderKooi
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Grand Rapids -2013 Beer City USA

Michigan is starting craft beer out with a bang with competition among Michigan cities inciting some of the highest vote getters in last week’s Beer City USA polling. Grand Rapids, which tied for 1st place last year alongside Asheville, North Carolina, this year took exclusive rights to the title getting over twice as many votes as any other nominated city. Kalamazoo took 2nd place, with Asheville slipping to 3rd, cementing Michigan’s reputation as The Great Beer State. The only other Michigan city to be nominated, Ann Arbor, rounded off the top 4.
Six One Six ToastOne man who definitely deserves credit for doing his part in promoting Grand Rapids as Beer City USA is the City’s own Mayor George Heartwell. Whether it’s his own endorsement of multi-million dollar tax breaks for Founders Brewing or special events like his toasting of local homebrewers at the recent Siciliano’s Market sponsored Big Brew at Calder Plaza (an event that took place right in front of the local City, County, and Federal buildings,) the Mayor has certainly inspired the masses to recognize Grand Rapids as the mecca of this Great Beer State. Campaigning all week long to secure votes for Beer City, he even participated in a pub crawl and video shoot to show support. The Grand Rapids Society of Beer also contributed to the frenzy with their most intriguing entry to the Beer City series of collaboration brews yet: #55555513 IPA. The brew was released by 10 participating breweries on 5/5, and is a single hopped beer featuring one malt with rye, clocking in at 55 IBUs, and 5.5% ABV.

Feel like celebrating? Join in on the “Six One Six Toast” next week (a shout out to Grand Rapids area code,) participating breweries will be doing a synchronized toast at 6:16 PM on Monday, May 20th and featuring some amazing tap specials. Participating breweries and restaurants include Hopcat, Stella’s Lounge and Grand Rapids Brewing Company which will all be doing $1.50 Michigan pints all evening long as well as White Flame and Pike 51 which will also be offering discounted drafts.

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.