A few weeks ago my friend Mike, and I made a pilgrimage to Grand Rapids to visit a favorite brewery of ours: Founders Brewing Company. This trip had been the top item of our beer to-do list for nearly 4 months. So, saying we were excited to get to Founders would be a grand understatement. We eventually decided that to make it happen, and to avoid spending an entire weekend in
Our bus ended up arriving in
After escaping my art-induced hypnosis, Mike and I finally made our way to Founders. When we walked in the front doors, we were immediately blown away by how homey of a place it is. Founders’ utilizes simple tables, an old wood bar, and plenty of windows to create an environment that is very relaxed and approachable. Simply put, Founders dining/bar area is the club house you wish you had.
After finding a seat, Mike and I ordered our first beer: the Newaygo County Cherry ale. This beer utilizes cherries sourced from
After that, Mike ordered their Endurance Ale (a GABF 2010 silver medal winner in the session ale category), and I tried their oatmeal stout. Both beers were quite nice, but Mike’s choice won that round for its aromatic bounty & ballet dancer-esque mouth feel (pleasantly jumping all around).
I am quite grateful that Michigan Microbrews recommended Martha’s because it is quite a store that not only offers plenty of Michigan beer (from breweries of all sizes), but it also caters to the pastry, snack food, and fine liquor folk of Grand Rapids. It is definitely worth a stop if you have time.
While at Martha’s, Mike picked up a variety of things, but I focused on getting some beer from Short's Brewing. They are a brewery that, up until this trip, I had only read about, and their decision to only distribute in
Of all of the Short’s beers I have read about, their Key Lime Pie (a 2010 GABF gold medal winner) was the Alpha-1 numero uno beer I hoped to find. Unfortunately, I did not have any luck finding that beer, but I did find & get the Shorts beers listed below.
- Bellaire brown
- The Magician
- Did not care for this one, but Sunshine did.
- Nicie Spicie
- The Soft Parade
- A great spring/summer beer that would go well with vanilla ice cream
- The Golden Rule
- Sustenance Black Beer
- A filling beer that pulls no punches
- Black Licorice Lager
- A nice lager that highlights anise but does not force it down your throat like an agent does a young pop star. Short’s is much gentler than that.
Some of the non-Shorts beers I picked up were the following:
After picking up the aforementioned beers, Mike and I returned to Founders for a few final rounds before going to the bus depot. Mike chose to go with the Backwoods Bastard and Nemesis as his 3rd & 4th picks. I chose the Breakfast stout and the Devil Dancer. I had the good fortune of having tried a bottle of all of them before except for the Devil Dancer. That beer is one of the smoothest, most sneaky, yet enjoyable triple IPAs I have ever had the good fortune of trying. It could be compared to a golden retriever in that it is friendly and playful but you had best not ignore it lest you want to risk being knocked down by its (unleashed) playfulness.
In summary, the trip was definitely worth it, the beers were truly great, the people at Founders were very friendly, and
P.s. If you are interested in seeing the rest of my pictures from this trip, go here