Bureau ready to focus on Beer City USA


Diners at 55 area establishments will enjoy craft beers paired with unique dishes as part of Experience Grand Rapids' "Cool Brews, Hot Eats" promotion starting Feb. 18.

(As seen on WZZM TV 13) Experience Grand Rapids is pulling the tap on a brand new event in a few weeks, one that will showcase and celebrate the growth of the local craft beer industry and link those popular products to some of the area’s top restaurants.

"Cool Brews, Hot Eats” will run for 13 days starting Monday, Feb. 18, and 55 restaurants are taking part.

“The rules are the chef has to cook with beer and pair their food with beer somehow (to) make the two things go together. They gave us their menu items, their specials, and they’ve agreed to serve it in their restaurants from Feb. 18 to March 2,” said Janet Korn, vice president of marketing for Experience Grand Rapids.

“I’m thrilled,” she said of the response the bureau has received to the promotion. “For a first-time event to get 55 restaurants to kind of come together again and jointly promote around one topic is a fabulous collaboration.”

Having 55 participants in Cool Brews, Hot Eats matches the number of eateries Experience GR had in its first Restaurant Week in 2010. “What we’ve found is we have many of the same returning fans participating in this, plus some new ones,” said Korn.

A difference between the two promotions is Experience GR hasn’t asked the restaurants to follow a strict menu or a price point, such as having to offer a three-course meal for $25. This event allows the restaurants to offer their choice of items, which range from specially created desserts that feature beer in some manner to complete meals that do the same. Prices start at $5 and go up to $30.

For instance, Gilly’s at The B.O.B, 20 Monroe Ave. NW, is offering a buffalo meatloaf wrapped in bacon and topped by a gravy made with B.O.B Brewery Space Boy Stout for $13.50. Charley’s Crab, 63 Market Ave. SW, will offer Prince Edward Island mussels braised in Founders Centennial IFO for $9.99.

Bar Divani, 15 Ionia Ave. SW, has Moroccan spiced ribs paired with a snifter of New Holland Dragon starting at $15.99. And the Acorn Grille at the Thousand Oaks Golf Club is offering a bacon-wrapped pork loin paired with Founders Red’s Rye PA for $15.

The timing seems right for the promotion.

In a sense, the Experience GR event helps to unofficially make February “craft beer month” in Beer City USA, as a number of local breweries are holding their own beer dinners this month, and the Michigan Brewers Guild is making its appearance here for the eighth straight year at Fifth Third Ballpark Feb. 23.

“The other fun part of this event is it’s the week before and the week after the Winter Beer Festival that the Michigan Brewers Guild hosts at the ballpark. That event might not be for everybody — plus it’s sold out. So if someone didn’t get a ticket or it’s not their thing and they still want to celebrate Beer City USA, this gives someone 55 places where they can go and experiment,” said Korn.

In addition to the restaurants, Korn said Schmohz Brewery, Brewery Vivant, Harmony Brewing, White Flame Brewing, Perrin Brewing, Grand Rapids Brewing, Mitten Brewing and Founders Brewing are participating in what she called a “beer trail” during the event.

“There are going to be QR codes at each of the participating breweries, and people can scan the codes with their smartphones and check in. The brewers are going to give away some T-shirts and other things to people that check in,” she said.

Schmohz Brewery owner Jim Schwerin created the app for the beer trail.

More information on the event, including participating restaurants and their menus, can be found at experiencegr.com/beer. The site also reveals many of the accolades local craft brewers have earned, such as thestreet.com naming Grand Rapids, along with Kalamazoo, one of the 10 best vacation cities for beer lovers.

The website also offers a map to tour the area’s 21 breweries that are operating in Grand Rapids and within a 90-minute drive of the city. Two brewers in the city, Founders and Brewery Vivant, are offering tours of their facilities on Saturday afternoons.

“We’re really excited because I think it’s going to be fun for the public to have this kind of event. My goal for the event is to demonstrate the pairing of beer together with food, and to take this great community of chefs and culinary experts and bring them together with Beer City USA to celebrate how the two go together,” said Korn.

“Since we were all very young, we learned how to pair wine with food. But we haven’t necessarily understood the pairing of beer with food, and so this event is about celebrating that pairing with food.”

Cool Brews, Hot Eats: Restaurants, Breweries and Menus

FireRock Grill

Beer Battered Tempura Vegetables with Sea Salt and Cajun Aioli $5
Cheddar Ale Soup with Grilled Bratwurst Skewer $4
Stout Braised Short Ribs with Puree of Parsnip and Yukon Gold Potato $16
Beer Poached & Grilled Twin Brats with Warm German Potato Salad, Braised Cabbage, Apples with Grainy Dijon Mustard Sauce $9
Beer Battered Fish and Chips with Malt Vinegar Aioli $11
Porter and Mascarpone Brownie Sundae $5

Amore Trattoria Italiana

Beer tasting menu with 5 courses with local beer pairings for $25

Derby Station

Brown Ale Braised Beef, smoked Gouda potato gratin, fresh herb gravy, green beans, grilled baguette

Logan's Alley

Michigan St. BBC Sandwich – Beer braised beef with homemade beer cheese topped with cucumber horsey sauce on Schnitz onion roll. $7.95

Charley's Crab

Prince Edward Island mussels braised in Grand Rapids' own Founder's Centennial IPA, accented with fennel & lemongrass. $9.99
Airline Chicken Breast simmered in New Holland Stout with Cipollini onions & French cut carrots; presented with Yukon Gold mashed potatoes. $19.99

Brewery Vivant

Lions Paw – Grilled lion's paw scallop, heirloom beet Gnocchi, fava beans, tarragon Cream and saffron spice oil. Paired with Imperial Brown Ale, a collaboration with Grand Rapids Brewing Company and Brewery Vivant $23.00

Graydon's Crossing

Curry Chili-Bacon Poppers – Jalapeno chilies stuffed with a cheddar-curry spiced cream cheese, halved, then wrapped with sweet chili bacon $8.50
Paired with Arbor Brewing Company's Yipsi Gypsi Pale Ale $4.50 per pint

Reds on the River

Country White Bean Casserole, Braised Rabbit & homemade country sausage $22.00

Red Jet Cafe

Quimby Cheese Steak – Shaved roasted beef, farm country extra sharp cheddar, wort onions(Onions that have been cooked in the liquid used to make beer that has not yet been fermented.) horseradish cream, spent grain beer roll. $8.00

Trillium Haven Restaurant

Prelude (one choice of the following, per person):
Handmade Beer Cheese – Farm country cheddar, Michigan IPA, Michigan-made pretzels Warm Potato Salad – bacon pilsner vinaigrette, Braised Cabbage. Dijon, Shorts Pontius Road Pilsner
Gazelle Salad – French Green Lentils, Toasted Quinoa, Baby Greens, Seasonal Vegetables. Walnuts. Cumin Vinaigrette – Perrin Strong Ale (vegan)

Main Event (choice of the following, per person)
Beef and Barley – Stout braised pastured beef, Toasted barley, Winter root vegetables. Natural jus.
Ginger BBQ Tofu – Michigan tofu, Creamed greens, Yellow-Eyed peas. (vegan)

Parsnip Panna Cotta – Michigan maple syrup. Gruit Spices
Rice Pudding – Soaked raisins. Lemon marmalade. (vegan)

$25/per person and a Michigan beer sampling for an additional $10/per course.

Bar Divani

Moroccan spiced ribs paired with a snifter of New Holland Dragon's Milk for $1.00 more $15.99 (small) $20.99 (large)
Seven Layer Chocolate Cherry Beer Cake made with New Holland Dragon's Milk $8.00/slice

Harmony Brewing Company

The Contender-Wood Fired Pizza: Beer braised mushroom ragout topped with braised Local pork shoulder, red onions, hoppy Local goat cheese and arugula. $14.50

Riverfront Hotel

Beer Battered Fish and Chips – 8 oz fresh Cod dipped in Founders Pale Ale beer batter. Served with tarter sauce, fries and coleslaw. $9.00
Beer Can Chicken for Two – Whole chicken cooked and soaked in Founders beer served over a bed of sage dressing. Served with oven roasted redskin potatoes. $16.00

Spinnaker Restaurant

Schmohz Brewery Treasure Chest ESB Burger – Heffron Farms All Beef Beer Burger and Farm Country White Cheddar Cheese on a Pretzel Bun
Perrin IPA Drunken Kielbasa – Creswick Farms Garlic Kielbasa, Harrison Sauerkraut, and Farm Country Beer Cheese on a R.W. Bakers BunFounders Amber Ale Piggy Sandwich – BBQ Smoked Devries Pork Shoulder, Honey Beer Barbeque, Creswick Farms Bacon, Quincy Street Ham, and Country Beer Mustard on a R.W. Bakers Hoagie Roll
All Served with Schmohz Brewery Root Beer Battered Onion Rings or Great Lakes Kettle Chips $10 or $13 with a 16oz Draft

City Flats Hotel – Grand Rapids

Kona Brown Brisket – Slow braised little town jerky brisket smothered in a raspberry honey glaze. $10.00
Auburn Vegetable Sandwich – Grilled onions, portabella mushroom cap, avocado and slow roasted tomatoes. $9.00

Rush Creek Bistro

Beer Battered Tempura Vegetables with Sea Salt and Cajun Aioli $5
Cheddar Ale Soup with Grilled Bratwurst Skewer $4
Stout Braised Short Ribs with Puree of Parsnip and Yukon Gold Potato $16
Beer Poached & Grilled Twin Brats with Warm German Potato Salad, Braised Cabbage, Apples with Grainy Dijon Mustard Sauce $9
Beer Battered Fish and Chips with Malt Vinegar Aioli $11
Porter and Mascarpone Brownie Sundae $5

Watermark Grille

Beer Battered Tempura Vegetables with Sea Salt and Cajun Aioli $5
Cheddar Ale Soup with Grilled Bratwurst Skewer $4
Stout Braised Short Ribs with Puree of Parsnip and Yukon Gold Potato $16
Beer Poached & Grilled Twin Brats with Warm German Potato Salad, Braised Cabbage, Apples with Grainy Dijon Mustard Sauce $9
Beer Battered Fish and Chips with Malt Vinegar Aioli $11
Porter and Mascarpone Brownie Sundae $5

Z's Restaurant & Bar

Man's Best Friend – All beef hot dog poached in beer and served on a house-baked bun. Served with chips and a pint of Perrin's Golden Ale. $6.00
P.B. and Scotch Ale Wings – Deep fried wings tossed in a spicy sauce of peanut butter, beer and other good stuff. $5.00


Sirloin Roulade – Sirloin Roulade with mushrooms, leeks, garlic, spinach, fresh mozzarella, and a stout mushroom sauce served with scalloped potatoes, steamed green beans, and carrots. $18.25


Crispy Devries pork belly, steel cut oats, sunny side up farm egg, porter syrup. Paired with Founders Porter. $13.00S & S Lamb T-bone and braised lamb shanks, Garlic roasted parsnips, brussel sprout leaves. Paired with Founders All day IPA. $30.00

SpeakEZ Lounge

Wiener Schnitzel with "Solitude" Hunter's Sauce- A pan fried breaded locally sourced pork cutlet served with a Brewery Vivant "Solitude" Hunter's Sauce finished with currants. Served with braised red cabbage and spaetzle. $14.00
Alpine Reuban-Perrin Pale Ale Peppered Brisket served on pumpernickel with a German mustard honey sauce and house prepared bacon apple onion kraut with Muenster cheese. Served with deep roasted Brussel sprouts. $10.00

The Acorn Grille at Thousand Oaks Golf Club

Ribs paired with Bell's Two Hearted Ale- Served with coleslaw. $16.00
Bacon Wrapped Pork Loin paired with Founders Red's Rye PA – Served with twice baked potato and grilled asparagus. $15.00

Honey Creek Inn

The Shepherd's Imperial Sandwich – Open faced sandwich of stewed ground Australian lamb, simmered in Perrin Brewery's Imperial Stout, tomatoes, fresh herbs on a crusty baguette and topped with mashed potatoes. $12.95
Drunken Clam – Hot casino clam dip with Perrin Brewery's IPA, baked in a bread bowl for pull-apart dipping. $9.95

Flat River Grill

Roasted Amish Half Chicken-Half roasted chicken with herb roasted fingerling potatoes, fried truffle brussels and Dragonmead Scottish Ale reduction. $16.95

Blue Water Grill

Brats and Beer – Choice of jalapeno or two cheese brats from Falmouth MI, served with a toasty bun and your choice of condiments. Paired with Founders Pale Ale. $9.00
Beer Cheese Soup – A wonderful creamy soup made with a trio of cheeses and Bells Winter White beer served with ciabatta bread. $6.00 a bowl

J Bar/Judsen's Steakhouse

Scotch Ale Molasses Braised Short Ribs – B.O.B Brewery scotch ale braised short ribs, parsnip, celery root puree, crispy leeks. $19.50

Gilly's at The B.O.B.

Buffalo Meat Loaf – Bacon wrapped meatloaf, B.O.B Brewery space boy stout gravy, crispy haystack onion, grilled broccolini. $13.50

One Trick Pony

New Holland Dragon's Milk Braised Lamb Shank – Served with carraway seed spaetzle and country vegetables. $18.00
Peasant's Platter- Grilled Wild Boar and Armagnac Sausage, Cantar De Covadonga Blue cheese, Santpatric Mahon, pepper jelly, rustic Nantucket bread. $12.00

Rose's on Reeds Lake

Cheese, Sausage & Chutney Tasters Plate – Grilled variety of sausages, assorted cheeses, house made chutneys and mustards paired with Bell's Best Brown. $12.00

The Score Restaurant & Sports Bar

Bellaire Brown Hanger Steak – A 6oz. hanger steak marinated in Short's Bellaire Brown, served with a grilled vegetable skewer and garlic mashed potatoes. $11.99


Northern Hawk Owl Amber Braised Short Ribs – Stewed with confetti vegetables and parsnip puree. $18.50

Olives Restaurant

Lager glazed local pork shoulder, golden delicious, yukons, thyme, beer battered onion ring paired with Perrin black lager $18.00
Warm dutch chocolate brownie, bittersweet hot fudge, fresh raspberries, whip paired with Right Brain Brewery CEO stout $8.00

Pearl Street Grill

Deep Fried Pickles – Dill pickle spears dipped in Founders Pale Ale beer batter rolled in panko bread crumbs and fried. Served with Guiness mayonnaise. $7.95
Marinated Flank Steak – 8oz flank steak marinated in fresh ginger and Bell's Oarsmen. Grilled to perfection and topped with beer braised mushrooms. Served with mixed vegetables and a baked potato with beer bleu cheese sauce. $15.95

The Cottage Bar & Restaurant

Beer Brats – a brat cooked in Bell's Stout served on a pretzel bun topped off with grilled onion and peppers. $6.99
Beer Beef Steak Stroganoff – Beef tips cooked with onion, mushrooms, sour cream and New Holland’s Full circle. Served on top of hot buttered noodles. $7.99

Radix Tavern

Michigan Fish and Chips – Great Lakes whitefish dipped in Michigan beer batter &deep fried. Served with tavern fries, spent grain cole slaw & Michigan beer mustard $12.00 Michigan Beer Braised Duck Leg and Thigh – Wisconsin smoked bleu cheese grits, local root vegetable hash, spent grain reduction. $14.00

Pietro's Italian Restaurant

Beer Braised Tenderloin – Three beef tenderloin medallions, braised in Pike 51 Brewery's Knights Brown Ale, served on a malted beer butter waffle with a peppercorn glaze, fresh vegetables and haystack onions. $16.95

The Chop House

Chop House "Pub Style" New York Strip – Grilled 13oz Prime New York Strip, topped with a local Michigan Ale bechamel sauce including artisanal cheddar cheese and apple wood smoked bacon. Garnished with flash fried onion straws. $42.95

Grand Woods Lounge

Apple Orchard Baby Back Ribs – Cider braised baby back ribs, coated with a home- made citrus BBQ sauce. Served with creamy coleslaw and choice of fries or mashed potatoes. $12.95

The Melting Pot

Hot Eats Meal Deal; 3 Courses made with Local Beer – Founders Reds Rye Swiss or Brewery Vivant Triomphe Cheeses. California or Cesar Salad. Founders Dirty Bastard chicken, Founders Pale Ale filet mignon, Brewery Vivant farm head shrimp.
$30.00 per person

Founders Brewing Co.

Founders Beer Cheese Dip – A wonderfully hoppy marriage of our Centennial IPA, Pale Ale, and Red's Rye P.A., blended with cream cheese and melted smoked Gouda, infused with fresh chopped garlic, and folded with baby spinach and diced red bell pepper. Served piping hot, with our season toasted crustinis and white corn tortilla chips for dipping. Enough to share with the rest of the table! $6.75

Founders Backwoods Bastard Sandwich – Put a bit of the backwoods in your life! Our pulled pork marinates in an enticing blend of Dirty Bastard Scotch Ale, Worcestershire sauce, apple cider vinegar, and fresh chopped garlic. It's piled high atop a giant ciabatta roll, with melted Colby Jack, homemade cole slaw, and a sweet & tangy BBQ sauce. Whole: 8.75, Half: $7.25

Tavern on the Square

Chicken in a Founders Centennial Pale Ale honey sauce served with scalloped beer cheese potatoes and green beans. $13.95

Rockwell Republic

Stout Glazed Lamb Shoulder – Lamb shoulder roasted with spices and glazed with Founders Breakfast Stout, roasted root vegetables, mixed grain pilaf. $19.00

Grove Restaurant

Beer Braised Short Ribs, Pork 3 Ways, Brewery Vivant Belgian Steamed Shellfish

Buffalo Wild Wings (5 Locations)

12 boneless wings + one pint of any select Michigan craft beer. $10.00

Stella's Lounge

Spicy Vegetarian Empanadas with Avocado Ranch – Black bean, sweet potato and cheddar cheese filling. $10


House Made BBQ Meatball with Greens, Grilled Nantucket Bread and Great Lakes Smoked Cheddar – Double IPA BBQ Sauce, Jumbo pork and beef meatball, grilled local bread and smoked local sharp cheddar. $10

Grand Rapids Brewing Company

Potted Curry Braised Lamb – Locally pastured S&S Farm lamb shoulder braised in Rosslyn Bliss Blonde, Visser Farm carrots, spiced mango chutney. $12.00


Guinness Battered Fish and Chips with Cole Slaw and House Tarter Sauce. $10.00

Shiraz Grille


Other Participating Breweries:

Schmotz Brewery
White Flame Brewing
Perrin Brewing Co.
The Mitten Brewing Co.

Source: Experience Grand Rapids

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