College opening brewery downtown


Craft brewing students at GRCC get hands-on experience with a Craftwerks brewing system. Photo via

A college downtown is testing the theory that beer does make you smarter.

Grand Rapids Community College said today it will open Fountain Hill Brewery and the brewpub Peter's Pub in downtown Grand Rapids — located on the first floor of the Wisner-Bottrall Applied Technology Center, at 151 Fountain St. NE — with a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Friday. 

GRCC said the brewpub is the only federally and state-licensed brewpub on a campus that's owned and operated by a college.

Brewing minds

The brewery and pub are intended to allow students in GRCC’s new Craft Brewing, Packaging and Service Operations certificate program to gain hands-on experience.

The first group of students in GRCC’s program, offered through the school’s Secchia Institute for Culinary Education, began their education this summer.

Their coursework will take place at the brewery, in the field and through internships. Students will work with a four head, counter-pressure bottle filler, plate-frame filter, dual-head keg washer and lab equipment.

The brewhouse features a three-barrel Craftwerks system, designed to brew about six kegs of beer per batch.

Peter’s Pub

The brewery and brewpub will be open to the public on select Thursdays and Fridays during GRCC’s academic year.

The brewpub will serve a limited food menu, in addition to beer offerings. The beers on tap will change periodically, though Peter's Pub currently features a pale ale, CO2 and nitro Scottish ale, hefeweizen, American IPA, lagered Baltic porter and a blonde ale — created by the program’s students.

Peter’s Pub, named after philanthropist Peter Secchia, seats about 50 people.

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