Friends of Grand Rapids Parks plants trees in parks, such as Mary Waters Park. Photo via fb.com
This week, West Michigan breweries will serve up beers that will combine two Grand Rapids honors: Beer City, U.S.A. and Tree City, U.S.A.
Seventeen regional establishments will raise money for Friends of Grand Rapids Parks’ Urban Forest Project, which will go toward planting special Brewers Grove sections of trees in city parks.
Some breweries will donate $1 from each pint of “tree beer” sold, while others will have parties to benefit the cause.
Although some breweries released their beers Sunday, an official kickoff party with city commissioners will be held at Harmony Brewing Co. today at 4:30 p.m.
Grand Rapids was voted Beer City, U.S.A. for the second straight year in May, and the Arbor Day Foundation named Grand Rapids a Tree City, U.S.A. for the 15th year in April.
“We were looking for a tangible way to give back to the city that has been so supportive and enthusiastic about our industry,” said Barry VanDyke, of Harmony Brewing Co. “All the brewers are having a blast coming up with tree-themed beers. I think folks will see some ridiculously delicious beers come out of this.”
Each beer has to have some sort of tree element to it.
For example, Brewery Vivant and Founders Brewing Co. barrel-aged existing beers, Big Red Coq and Centennial IPA. Mitten Brewing Co. brewed an IPA with maple syrup, and Harmony Brewing Co. brewed a beer with linden flowers from a local park.
“Grand Rapids is becoming a national leader on urban forest issues, and I can't think of another city in the country that could pull off such a unique way for the community to show their support of trees and parks,” said Steve Faber, executive director of Friends of Grand Rapids Parks.
The first Brewers Grove will be planted on Oct. 17 at Riverside Park.
The Brewers Grove project is the latest collaboration among regional brewers: Last summer, Beer City Pale Ale was released to celebrate the Beer City moniker. In October, the Grand Pumpkin was released. The #5555513 beer was created in May to help promote the ’13 Beer City vote.
Brewers Grove beer sellers
Crankers Brewery, 213 South State St., Big Rapids
Schmohz Brewing Co., 2600 Patterson Ave. SE, Grand Rapids
Mitten Brewing Co., 527 Leonard St. NW, Grand Rapids
BOB’s Brewery, 20 Monroe Ave. NW, Grand Rapids
Jaden James Brewery, 4665 Broadmoor Ave. SE, Grand Rapids
Founders Brewing Co., 235 Grandville Ave. SW, Grand Rapids
Hopcat, 25 Ionia Ave. SW, #100, Grand Rapids
Brewery Vivant, 925 Cherry St. SE, Grand Rapids
Harmony Brewing Co., 1551 Lake Drive SE, Grand Rapids
Grand Rapids Brewing Co., 1 Ionia Ave. SW, Grand Rapids
Rockford Brewing Co., 12 E. Bridge St., Rockford
Perrin Brewing Co., 910 Comstock Park Drive, Comstock Park
White Flame Brewing Co., 5234 36th Ave., Hudsonville
Pike 51 Brewery, 3768 Chicago Dr., Hudsonville
Hideout Brewing Co., 3113 Plaza Dr. NE, Grand Rapids
Cellar Brewing Co., 500 E. Division St., Sparta
People’s Cider Co., 600 Maryland Ave. NE, Grand Rapids