Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Grand Rapids Brewing Company, HopCat and Brewery Vivant “Collabeerate” with Strolling Dinner For GR Beer Week and Special Edition Brew

Written by  Paul Starr
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Three top West Michigan breweries have teamed up to create and release a special beer this week and will host a strolling dinner Feb. 21 to mark  the reopening of Grand Rapids Brewing Company (GRBC), HopCat’s fifth anniversary and Brewery Vivant’s second anniversary. The dinner event coincides with GR Beer Week, which begins Feb. 18 and is capped with the sold out Winter Beer Festival Feb. 23 at Fifth Third Ballpark.
“The collaborative spirit of local breweries and restaurateurs is part of what is making Grand Rapids such an exciting place for people who love innovative food and beer,” said Mark Sellers, owner of Hopcat and GRBC. “We'll continue to look for opportunities to make BeerCity USA even better.”

Jason Spaulding, owner of Brewery Vivant, said the collaboration provides an outlet for the creative professionals involved in creating food and beer at HopCat, GRBC and Brewery Vivant.

“As breweries we’re all fighting the same battle, trying to get people to appreciate a craft product,” Spaulding said. “We compete on some level, but we’re all passionate about the same thing. When we all get together we all take something away and usually learn something from each other.”

On Thursday the breweries will debut three draft-only variations of a brew dubbed Ménage à Trois using organic Wakatu hops from New Zealand. The variations include:

  • GRBC, 1 Ionia Ave. SW: Brewed 100% USDA Certified Organic, this deep tan India Brown Ale smells of toasted malts and spicy, earthy hops.  Flavors of caramel and chocolate malts mix with the slightly citrus hop profile. American Ale yeast gives this beer a smooth finish.  7.7% ABV - 50 IBU
  • HopCat, 25 Ionia Ave. SW: English Brown style brewed using Burton Ale yeast. Brown in color with notes of caramel, toffee, chocolate and a mild sweetness. It is balanced out by a peppery citrus nose and a light apricot finish.  6.5% ABV - 50 IBU
  • Brewery Vivant, 925 Cherry St. SE: Brewed using their house Belgian yeast, which dominates the flavor profile, adding hints of pear, toffee and light chocolate.  6.7% ABV - 50 IBU

The strolling dinner event will be held on Thursday, Feb. 21 from 6 to 10 p.m. Tickets can be purchasedfor $100 per person (excluding tax and gratuity) at each of the three sites beginning Friday, Feb. 8 at 3 p.m. Attendance is limited to 60 guests with 20 tickets being sold at each venue.

Strolling dinner guests will receive a one-of-a-kind Ménage à Trois beer chalice, a ride on the “HopCat Express” between venues and a seven-course dinner. Two courses will be served at each brewpub as attendees make their way through the tour with the seventh course being dessert served upon returning to their starting site.  Special dessert and Bourbon barrel-aged variations of Ménage à Troisalso will be available exclusively at the dinner event.

The strolling dinner menu includes:

  • House Cured Bacon-Wrapped Sea Scallop with mango “beer-salmic,” blue cheese and smokey mashers; served with GRBC’s Rosalynn Bliss Mango Blonde.
  • Whole Roasted Quail with braised leeks, crawfish, almonds and sauce romesco; served with GRBC’S Ménage à Trois.
  • “Beer-B-Que” Meatball with local greens and grilled Nantucket Baking Company brewer’s bread; served with HopCat’s Sassafras Smoked Porter.
  • Duck Two Ways: IPA Braised Leg and House Smoked Breast with roasted root vegetable hash and parsnip puree; served with HopCat’s Ménage à Trois.
Brewery Vivant
  • Mushroom Consommé with tempura shiitake, pancetta lardon; served with Brewery Vivant’s Escoffier Bretta Ale (Vivant/New Belgium collaboration).
  • Brown Ale and Apricot braised Pork Shoulder with Michigan apple and celeriac slaw and Lubbers Farm "hot & dirty mustard" vinaigrette; served with Brewery Vivant’s Ménage à Trois

About BarFly Ventures:

BarFly Ventures was founded by Grand Rapids native Mark Sellers and his wife Michele as a holding company for the couple's pubs. BarFly’s flagship establishment, HopCat, opened in 2008 and has been rated No. 3 Beer Bar on Planet Earth by Beer Advocate magazine and the No. 2 Beer Bar in America by the readers of CraftBeer.com.  In 2010, BarFly purchased McFadden's Irish Saloon in downtown Grand Rapids. In 2012 GQ magazine declared the burger at BarFly’s Stella's Lounge as the “Best Burger in America.” In December 2012, BarFly opened the state’s first all-organic brewery, Grand Rapids Brewing Co., in downtown Grand Rapids. In 2013, Barfly will open HopCat (East Lansing).

About Brewery Vivant:

The brewery is located in the East Hills neighborhood of Grand Rapids, in a renovated funeral chapel built in the early 1900’s. Their staff of over 45 employees specializes in Belgian/French inspired beers and fare in a unique monastery-like setting. Husband and wife partners Jason and Kris Spaulding opened the doors for business in December of 2010. Brewery Vivant is the first commercial brewery in the nation to receive Silver LEED Certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.

Paul Starr

Paul Starr

Paul Starr is the creator of the I'm a Beer Hound and one of the organizer and the driving force behind Art & Craft Beerfest, Lansing Beer Fest, Beerfest at the Ballpark Spring & Fall. When he's not working on Beer Hound he's probably watching the Lions, Tigers or Red Wings. Being a recent new Dad of twins, he doesn't have much extra time these days for mischief.