Discover Beer City, Grand Rapids, Michigan

grand rapids michigan

  • A city with more than 40 breweries, we had to check it out. We’ve even included some fun places to explore for a brewery break. Download the Beer City Brewsader app or pick up a passport and embark on the Grand Rapids Beer City Ale Trail. Note: the map is far from being drawn to scale.

brewsader app

  • Check in or receive a stamp from 8 breweries to reach Brewsader level and earn a free t-shirt exclusive to Brewsaders. The app has an interactive map to locate the closest breweries, public transportation, available tours, and more. 

Harmony Brewing Company

harmony hall GR

harmony brewing company

  • Harmony Brewing Company has 2 locations. The original location, Harmony Eastown, has 10 beers on tap, outdoor seating, and delivers their award winning wood-fired pizzas. The newest location, originally a sausage factory, has been converted into a mystical, brick beer castle, Harmony Hall, with about 20 beers on tap and a lot of seating.  

East West Brewing Company

east west brewing

  • Across the street from Harmony Eastown, is East West Brewing Company. This small brewery shares a space with the Indian restaurant, Bombay Cuisine. Sip on a beer flight while the smell of curry emits from the nearby buffet. We recommend ordering an Ambrosia, an amber lager with hints of pepper and pine.

Elk Brewing 

elk brewing grand rapids

  • Elk Brewing has 2 locations; Wealthy Street and Comstock Park. Recently the brewers discovered a hybrid hop growing in Michigan. The hop was seeped, rather than dry hopped, into the Late Harvest Ale Trail Hops 3-73-4 Hop Yards bringing out a hint of strawberries and melons. There are 20 beers on tap in the spacious tap room with an outdoor patio. We recommend their signature PB & J’ale’y, a blonde ale with grape juice and peanut butter.

Brewery Vivant

brewery vivant grand rapids

  • Located in a restored funeral home Brewery Vivant, focuses on farmhouse ales and a European style menu. Choose between the Vivant Flight of year round beers: Farm Hand, Hop Field, Big Red Coq, and House Sour for $10 or create your own Cambier Flight of 4 samples from the 28 beers on draft for $12. 

Grand Rapids Brewing Company

grand rapids brewing co

  • In addition to the large taproom, Grand Rapids Brewing Company also has a dining area and game room with ping pong, air hockey, corn hole, foosball, and arcade games. It’s $6 for a flight of 6 – 1 oz. pours of the 16 beers on draft. Brunch is served Saturday and Sunday 10:00am – 3:00pm.  The regular menu features sandwiches, burgers, salads, appetizers, and a small selection of entrees.

Atwater Brewery

atwater brewery

  • Atwater Brewery has 3 locations in Michigan. Choose a flight of 4 from more than 30 beers on tap. The large menu features tacos, pizza, sandwiches, burgers, appetizers, soup, and salad.

Founder’s Brewing Company

founders stained glass

founders brewing co

  • Founder’s Brewing Company has a large taproom, plenty of outdoor seating complete with fireplaces, and over 20 beers on tap. There are 4 beers per flight and each 5oz. pour is priced according to the beer’s class. We recommend Breakfast Stout, a double chocolate oatmeal coffee stout, and Nitro Rubaeus, a raspberry ale on nitro. Once a week the Grand Rapids location has a firkin tapping at 12:00pm. Firkin: the product of a brewer adding experimental ingredients to a current beer on draft. Some firkins are better than others.

New Holland Brewing

new holland brewery dining room

new holland distillery

  • One of America’s first Barrel Bourbon aged stouts, Dragon’s Milk, was brewed by New Holland Brewing. It has evolved into a line of Triple Mash, Reserve, Limited Release, and White. Bourbon barrels all over the United States are shipped to New Holland Brewery that no longer meet industry standards for distilling liquor to age Dragon’s Milk. When the barrel no longer meets regulations for aging beer it is shipped to Scotland, for what purpose, the New Holland staff are unsure of.
  • We visited The Knickerbocker location in Grand Rapids, 1 of 3 locations in Michigan. The Knickerbocker location has a large tap room, gift shop, upstairs Zeppelin bar, outdoor patio with a fire pit and corn hole, and dining room featuring the Table of the Legends. 

dragons milk tacker

new holland brew tanks.png

  • New Holland offers brewery tours for $5. Tour the brewery, small distillery, learn about the history of New Holland, and take home a New Holland glass. The tour takes about 60 minutes including 3 beer samples and a cocktail made with Knickerbocker spirits. Tours occur every Saturday at 1:30pm and 3:30pm. Tickets can be purchased at Eventbrite. We recommend signing up for a brewery tour and ordering a Dragon’s Milk Limited Release and the Bee’s Knees, made with Knickerbocker Blueberry Gin.

Jolly Pumpkin Pizzeria & Brewery

jolly pumpkin pizza

  • We ate enough wood-fired pizza in Grand Rapids to confidently vote Jolly Pumpkin Pizzeria and Brewery‘s our favorite. The menu also consists of appetizers, bowls, sandwiches, and salads. There are over 20 beers on tap to create a flight of 6.

 Even we need a brewery break.

Downtown Market

greenhouse at the downtown market

downtown market

cheese at the GR downtown market

Field & fire

  • Field & Fire Bakery & Cafe features a bread of the month in addition to a variety of breads, pastries, breakfast options, toasts, sandwiches, and salads.

spices at the market

  • The indoor Grand Rapids Downtown Market has over 20 vendors selling breads, sweet treats, spices, coffee, teas, meat, cheeses, made to order Thai, Vietnamese, Mexican, sandwiches, and barbecue. Check the calendar for workshops, cooking classes, and events. We recommend ordering a coffee from Madcap Coffee and lunch at Tacos El Cuñado

Sacred Springs Sounds Infused Kombucha 

sacred springs kombucha

  • We could’ve spent all day in the relaxing Sacred Springs Sound Infused Kombucha taproom. Create a flight of 4 of the 19 kombuchas on tap for $7. We recommend Fruit of Life: strawberry vanilla, Green Dragon: jalapeno lime, and Pump-Ken Pi: pumpkin, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, and all spice on nitro. 

The B.O.B.

grand rapids

big old building

  • The massive 5 floor Big Old Building, known as The B.O.B., was originally a grocery warehouse. The building now has 9 separate venues.  B.OB.’s Brewery can be found in the basement. Judson Steak House, Gilly’s Smokehouse, and H.O.M.E. (House of Music and Entertainment) are located on the 1st floor. If the brewery is crowded we recommend grabbing a seat a Gilly’s and ordering the Burnt Ends, Jumbo Chicken Wings, Street Corn, and a flight to sample the 7 beers on draft.

Bobs decorated for halloween

  • Bobarinos, a pizza restaurant with pool tables and the entrance to 20 Monroe Live, a 5 story comedy club, can be found on the 2nd floor. The 3rd floor features Dr. Grin’s Comedy Club and the nightclub Eve is located on the 4th floor. Outside is B.O.B.’s Beer Garden.

The Blue Bridge

blue bridge grand rapids

  • The Blue Bridge, originally constructed across the Grand River in 1892 as a railroad bridge is now only accessible to pedestrians. At night, the illuminated blue bridge is a popular photography spot. 

Fulton Street Farmer’s Market

fulton market sign


henni's book coop

  • The year round, outdoor Fulton Street Farmers Market has been in operation more than 92 years and now has over 120 vendors. Produce, flowers, dog treats, scarves, fall decor, meat, homemade pies, granola bars, bread, and more can be found at the market. Hours are adjusted for the winter season November – April. 

Stella’s Lounge

stellas lounge

graffiti wall

arcade at stella's

  • Stella’s Lounge serves over 250 whiskeys and award winning stuffed burgers, including a stuffed vegetarian burger. There are over 15 arcade games throughout the graffitied lounge. Most games still cost 25 cents to play. We recommend ordering the vegetarian Hakuna Tostadas or Meat Tornado stuffed burger.

Free Little Library

library in GR

  • The Grand Rapids area is thriving with registered Free Little Libraries. Take a book, share a book, is the world’s largest book sharing movement. Not all are registered and libraries come in all shapes, sizes, and colors. Keep an eye out walking throughout the city and have a book to share. 

hockey stadium grand rapids

October 2019

Author: The Traveling Gingerbread

The Traveling Gingerbread is a place for us to share budget travel tips for people with full time jobs, fun facts, itineraries, and where to find the best craft beer. We have been traveling together since 2013. Living and working full-time in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, we travel as much as our vacation days and finances allow. We cram each adventure with activities, tours, experiences, and local breweries. We can't walk by an Irish pub without stopping in for a pint of Guinness. In 2019, we brewed our first beer and were hooked, although, we have no intentions of brewing more than small batches. We'll continue our self appointed roles of professional testers and creating craft beer trails.

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