I visited Creston Brewery a day after their grand opening and sampled all 11 beers on tap! They have a range of beers from fruity to hoppy to coffee flavored. All were easy drinking and low alcohol content. While there is lots of indoor seating the place was packed and it’s seat yourself so we made friends with someone that already had a table with empty spots. I suspect it won’t be so busy during the week.
After trying all those beers we needed a snack and tried their beef empanadas, as you can see from the picture they aren’t very fancy and the dip didn’t have much flavor but they were ok tasting.
The beers are reasonably priced ranging from $4 to $6 for a pint and samples were $1.50. You should be aware that when we visited they would sell you a growler but were unable to fill it for you, unsure of when they will actually offer growler fills!
Overall a nice neighborhood brewery in an under served area in Grand Rapids.
Bier Distillery is set to open August 18th, 2016 according to social media. As far as I can tell this will just be spirits and not beer. Located at 5295 WEST RIVER DR. NE, STE 100, COMSTOCK PARK, MI 4932 get ready for some liquor!
Creston Breweries grand opening is set for August 10th, 2016! The hours will be 11:00am-Midnight every day of the week.
On opening day there will be 11 different beers on tap. Creston Brewery will offer live music and food including gluten free and vegan options.
Checkout Mlives video report pre-grand opening
We visited Muskegon, MI recently on a sunny summer afternoon to hit up the beach and try their local breweries (Unruly and Pigeon Hill). The beach was free, clean and not too busy for a Friday afternoon though the wind blowing off Lake Michigan was chilly.
After a few hours in the sun nothing sounds better than locally brewed beer so we hopped in the car and drove downtown to find Pigeon Hill Brewing. It was easy to find and the outdoor seating had a few patrons enjoying the sun. Inside Pigeon Hill there was plenty of table seating and some open seats at the bar which we promptly utilized. They had a nice selection of beers so we bought a sample flight that cost about $13. The Walter Gets Buzzed was a great coffee tasting beer that we got a howler filled with so you know it was good!
Next we walked a few blocks to find Unruly Brewing and try their beers. They too had an outdoor seating area and upon entering the building I was impressed by the size and open format. Inside the same space there is a coffee place and a pizza joint so you have all your vices covered under one roof! Unruly had some interesting beer names but I had a hard time finding descriptions of the beers beyond what was written on the chalk board. Nevertheless I ordered a flight and found that their beers are tasty too. At only $8 for 4 samples it’s a good deal and should help you find your favorite Unruly brew!
Muskegon might only have two breweries but they are good ones and if you want a nice day of sun, waves and beer a trip to the west coast and Muskegon should satisfy.
Greyline Brewing opened today April 26th at Noon with first come, first serve seating and a limited menu! As the first brewery on Alpine Ave I expect it will be busy especially with the experienced brewers behind this project.
Updated April 28th:
I visited Greyline on a Thursday in the afternoon and was able to get a spot at the bar. I had high expectations because the owners are experienced brewers and the beers I sampled all exceeded my expectations! They already have a nice variety of beer styles and I expect they will continue to produce high quality brews as they ramp up production.
We visited Gray Skies Distillery tasting room on April 9th, 2016 after a few previous attempts failed due to their limited open hours. The distillery wasn’t very crowded probably due to their quiet opening and a location that is still ‘up and coming’ on Grand Rapids north side. After spending a few minutes debating the various cocktails they offer our group ordered at the bar and took up some seats at the round table which the bartender confided wasn’t a popular seating area but I found it fun and different.
Out of their three spirits currently offered at Gray Skies Distillery the Gin was the most palatable to drink straight, followed by the rum and finally the vodka which reminded me of rubbing alcohol. However all their house cocktails tasted quite good and because of that variety I will be sure to visit a few more times to sample their locally made liquors.
If you happen to be a brewsader or are working on filling your passport you should be aware of the deals and discounts available to you during the GR Cool Brew, Hot Eats week. Experience GR has the full listing but most include a $1 off your first pint if you are a brewsader, or if you happen to be ‘ultimate brewsader’ you get even sweeter beer deals in GR during this week!
Over the weekend I took a short trip north of Grand Rapids and visited Cedar Springs Brewing and Cellar Brewing company, take note it would have been easy to add a stop at Rockford Brewing too but I did some shoe shopping instead.
I’d never been to either of these great breweries but I’ll be sure to visit them more in the future. Stopping first in Cedar Springs at the newly completed brewpub we saw a crowd waiting to be seated at the large communal style tables popular in Germany but luckily if you just wanted to drink you can skip the line and visit the bar. Cedar Springs brewery has a nice list of German inspired beers along with pale ale, ipa, sangria, cider and root beers for the kids. A quick sampling surprised me that the IPA was less hoppy than the pale ale and the Hefewiezen had very strong banana flavoring for me (I loved it). The food also got rave reviews from the people sitting at the bar and again was very German inspired fare. I’m excited to revisit in the spring since the building has many glass garage doors that should open to the outdoors and a large beer garden out back.
Our second stop was in Sparta at Cellar Brewing which we almost missed while driving, the building wasn’t really eye catching but once inside it felt warm and inviting despite it’s large industrial size. Cellar isn’t just a brewery though, they also distill liquors and make wine too so you’ll be sure to find at least a few libations to please every palate. The “Michigan Sunshine” stood out as similar to Blue Moon and a bit ironic because when we arrived it was a typical cloudy Michigan day but the beer was good! Actually all the beers hit the mark on their respective styles. I also liked the fact the brewery has a large selection of table games to play as well as a pool table, shuffleboard table and Foosball with plenty of tables for people to sit and sip their brews.
Next time you head North on 131 consider stopping at these two great breweries! Also I wore my Brewsader tshirt and at both breweries people stopped to ask about it, so it’s a great way to make new drinking buddies.
Have you seen anyone wearing small copper tags around their necks, or hanging from their growlers? Or maybe for sale at a local brewery? It was probably a TagaBrew! Created to provide people that visit breweries a cheap and tangible way to remember where they’ve visited without having to buy a mug or tshirt. It’s an interesting concept sure to appeal more to the female demographic and die hard brewery snobs but I’ll admit they caught my attention recently for sale at Dutch Girl Brewing.