I visited Atwater Brewing Oct 13th on their first official day open at about 5:00pm. First you’ll notice the exterior of The Rowe and Atwater on the ground floor look really great after the renovations and with outdoor seating on the sidewalk along Monroe Ave it creates an inviting space. Inside was crowded on opening day but because I brought a dog I would be sitting outside anyways so it wasn’t a concern though without exterior heaters it got chilly as the sun went down. Indoor space was a mix of high tops, tables and bar seating with lots of windows this will be a great spot to sit and watch pedestrians while you sip a beer.
I got a waitress outside and she was prompt bringing both beer and food menus. They had already sold out of a few beers but with 40 taps there were still plenty to try. Next visit I will probably do a sampler and the cocktail menu has some interesting concoctions too. The food menu features ‘wieners’ that as you can see in the pictures are like sliders that cost $4 each. I sampled the Michigan Blueberry Chucker Clucker, Johnny Appleseed, and the Ball Parker with the Ball Parker being my favorite due to the classic flavors. With a side of waffle fries that are just basic tasting it would be a modest meal. As you can see on the food menu there are more substantial offerings at a higher price as well as appetizers, salads, and pizza so plenty to choose from. You might want to try going at lunch to get a cheaper combo price. They also provided sauces including; ketchup, mustard, barbecue, and hot sauce that all tasted pretty basic which was nice.
Overall a good first impression with the service, food and building. I only tried one beer so can’t give a good review but with the variety of options and Atwater’s success around the state I suspect they will create some good beers here in Grand Rapids.
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.