The Knickerbocker brewery location in Grand Rapids from New Holland Brewing is set to open to the public on September 15th, 2016! This brewpub is in a completely new building, built to New Hollands specifications so it should be amazing. I’ve heard the kitchen has its own butchery area and you can see some of the brewing and distilling from the restaurant areas. I’m excited about the beer garden during this fall weather and for Art Prize visitors to try.
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.
I visited Long Road Distillery on June 8, about 10pm and was instantly impressed. The distillery is located next door to Mitten Brewery in an revitalizing section of the west side in Grand Rapids. As you walk towards the front doors you can see inside from large windows on the front that let you see how busy it is. Once inside there is a host stand and beyond that a long curved bar that leads to a large glass wall that protects the distilling equipment from the seating area. The shiny copper still with dials and pipes are mesmerizing letting you see the tools needed to make the distilled spirits that they sell all from local sourced ingredients. When I visited there were seats open at the bar and my friends and I enjoyed a variety of cocktails made from their liquors. The music and ambiance is very classy allowing conversation and encouraging drinking. The staff was well informed and the mixologist seemed adept at creating all the various drinks we tried. There was a mix up with my friends food order that was quickly fixed and he said the pastrami sandwich as tasty as it should be for the premium price.
Overall I left with a very positive impression and will be bringing all my friends and family to visit the Long Road Distillery but because the prices are premium to match their quality I don’t think it will become my personal hangout bar any time soon.
Apparently it is National Bourbon Day today, June 14th. Luckily New Holland Brewing Co also distills spirits so you can sip their Beer Barrel Bourbon today to celebrate and support a local west Michigan distillery. There is also Prohibition Edition Bourbon Whiskey from Artesian Distillers in Grand Rapids you can try in celebration of this great day!