This year could be a bit of a different story for the polling. In the nomination votes alone, Grand Rapids received twice the amount than last year's runner up, San Diego, CA. As the industry has grown, Grand Rapids has become one of the major hubs of craft beer in the Mid West, both in terms of production and excitement. Operations like Founders Brewing Company, Brewery Vivant, Schmohz Brewing, Hideout Brewing & Harmony Brewing Company have helped achieve this with creativity, perseverance, and advocacy both for their industry and for consumers. Also, The Michigan Brewer's Guild has helped spear-head the wildly successful Michigan Winter Beer Festival which is held annually at the minor league baseball stadium, Fifth Third Ballpark. In the dead of winter, this festival brings thousands of people from all across the Mid West to sample and celebrate Michigan beer. Grand Rapids also lays claim to one of the world's foremost beer bars (as recognized by Beer Advocate), Hopcat, which always has a tremendous tap lineup and serves delicious bar food. From local business leaders to families to college kids, the embrace for this industry has been warm and welcoming, and it is paying dividends back to the community.
This year's poll is yet another piece of evidence in the growing case for Michigan to be judged as one of the major players in American craft beer. Grand Rapids and Asheville are currently in a dead heat in the polls, and with all due respect to Asheville, let's do our part and help vote Grand Rapids this year's Beer City USA! Click here for the poll.