The B.O.B. is the Build Old Building in downtown Grand Rapids. It's big (70,000 square feet). And it's old (built in 1903). And it also happens to house two restaurants, two nightclubs, a brewery, a restaurant and sportsbar with live music, a comedy club, a large balcony patio, and if all that weren't enough they're also in the middle of a massive expansion that will add a five-floor marketplace.
Brewery Vivant specializes in new world ales in the farmhouse brewing traditions of southern Belgium and northern France. The European-style brewpub (complete with communal beer hall tables) serves locally-sourced, seasonal, hearty fare inspired by the cuisines of France, Belgium and Bavaria that pairs perfectly with their beers. (The Duck Confit Nachos are a must.) Also, it's located in an old church. It goes without saying this is our kind of house of worship.
The Electric Cheetah serves "green cuisine" in a LEED-certified space. They serve breakfast, lunch and dinner as well as Sunday brunch with lots of sammies and from-scratch comfort foods like pot pie, pot roast, and something called "the Filthy Hippie." (There is indeed a theme here.) Everything is made from scratch including a whole selection of homemade soups and even classic milk and cookies. Vegetarian- and vegan-friendly.
Grand Rapids Brewing Co. is the first certified organic brewery in Michigan, and one of fewer that two dozen in the country. The GRBC resurrects the historic Grand Rapids brand that originally opened in 1893. Repurposed materials were used in the construction, and the house beers will include recreations of the original GRBC's flagship brews. The menu features locally-sourced beer-friendly shareable plates (like poutine, which found its way over the Canadian border and all the way across the state to western Michigan).
Harmony Brewing Company just celebrated their first birthday on February 1. A small-batch brewpub in Easttown, Harmony serves well-balanced beers as well as artisan wood-fired pizzas made from scratch.
The Hideout Brewing Company has a Prohibition-era aesthetic with beers with names like "Gangster IPA" and "Smuggler's Hazelnut Stout." They've got 19 taps and upstairs you can hide out and play some shuffleboard, darts, or watch one of their three big-screen TVs.
Amway Grand Plaza, GP Sports is a casual sports bar that offers craft beer and casual pub fare including burgers and pizza. Play some pool, shoot some hoops, or watch the game on one of 40 televisions or two large screens.
The Grand Woods Lounge is a little bit of northern lodge ambiance right in the heart of downtown Grand Rapids. Enjoy rustic cuisine by the fire, watch a game on one of their many TVs, or hang out at the bar while a DJ spins at night.
Graydon's Crossing is a globally-influenced gastropub with a strong commitment to sourcing local ingredients for their inventive menu (which currently includes items like the Martin Luther King Melting Pot and Opah, Gangnam Style). The cuisine is forward-thinking but still casual and approachable, while their extensive selection of 46 beers on draft showcase some of the best craft beers in Michigan, the country and the world.
HopCat has been named among America's best beer bars enough times that it's, like, totally not even news anymore. If Beer City USA has a true lynchpin beer bar, it's this place. (Well, and Founders. They can share the title.) Their beer selection is -- well, it's one of the best in the country. Period. Also: crack fries. For serious.
Logan's Alley is that perfect neighborhood bar where there's 23 excellent craft beers on tap (including a rotating firkin), another 250+ beers by the bottle, "forkin' good food" (and it is - check out their monthly specials or stick to classics like their smothered tater tots or bacon and gorgonzola poutine or smoked gouda sticks or pulled pork sliders or deep-fried pickles or really anything).
Sometimes you're just in the mood for a good old-fashioned-style steakhouse. Louis Benton Steakhouse is your place. Because, steak. Also beer.
The Meanwhile is one of the best neighborhood bars in Grand Rapids. They've got 13 Michigan beers on draft, a killer jukebox, pinball, and a great outdoor beer garden in the summer. A totally relaxed, slightly hipstery vibe and "ridiculous" daily specials (like $3 pitchers of PBR on Mondays and $3 pitchers of Schlitz on Wednesdays) make this the kind of place you want to be a daily regular at (and can afford to be).
Mitten Brewing Co. is another new brewery on the Grand Rapids beer scene, and with their vintage baseball theme, hand-crafted pizza and three-barrel nanobrewery system, this place is already a home run. *rim shot*
Without trying to sound too biased, New Holland Brewing Company is one of Michigan's best breweries. Period, the end. The day will eventually come that their Dragon's Milk will have the same cultish following as Founders KBS etc etc, and that day will make us very sad indeed. For now, let's appreciate what it is we have at our easy disposal. The New Holland Brewpub is known for great food and great parties (with live music every weekend and a ridiculous St. Patrick's Day party). You can also order or purchase some library beers during your visit and enjoy the awesomeness that is, say, Pilgrim's Dole or Blue Sunday. Or just drink Dragon's Milk like it's a session beer. The secret to life is Dragon's Milk.
Our Brewing Company is the recently-opened microbrewery (nanobrewery, even) in downtown Holland, ousting New Holland as the only game in town. The bar is small but cozy. They don't serve food which means they put all of their attention on their stellar and ever-changing selection of small batch beers. Right now their production is extremely limited though their long-term plans do include distribution. Our has a comfortable neighborhood bar feel and is already a welcome addition to the greater Grand Rapids beer scene.
Pike 51 Brewing Co. in Hudsonville is the new on-site brewpub that is part of the Hudsonville Winery. Enjoy one of several specialty and seasonal beers or one of their trusty mainstays with snacks including drunken mushrooms, chicken drummies and pizza.
The Pyramid Scheme is a beer bar and concert venue in the Heartside neighborhood. They've got 15 Michigan beers on draft and 21 pinball machines for funsies. Whether you want rock, hip-hop, comedy or whatever, they've got a little bit of all of that and then some. Bottom line: this is a cool-ass spot.
The Rezervoir Lounge (formerly known as the Sazerac Lounge) is a little bit of the Bayou right here in Beer City USA. Though the menu is predominantly American bar food, there is a bit of Cajun flair, plus you can enjoy the classic cocktail that previously lent its name to the place. And there is (of course) Abita on tap, as anyone who's anyone knows is the official beer of Crescent City.
Rockwell + Republic is(are) a beer bar(s) and casual American restaurant(s) that prides it(them)self(ves) on sourcing fresh, in-season products from local growers and producers. The menu is mostly American in concept with a hint of Asian flair here and there, though with, however inexplicably, sushi (try the Michigan roll).
Rockford Brewing Company is brand new to the western Michigan craft beer scene and they aim to be the "flavor of Rockford." The 4,000-square-foot brewpub has two levels, which includes a communal seating beer hall upstairs. They plan on working closely with western Michigan farmers to source seasonal ingredients for their brewpub, and offer a variety of beers influences by traditional brewing styles of the U.S., U.K., Germany and Belgium. They also have hard cider and plan on having wines and meads available. If you haven't been to check out their space yet, stop by and say hi during Beer Week!
San Chez is Grand Rapids' only authentic tapas-style bistro, a two-sided three-story dining and entertainment destination with European and Mediterranean culinary influences in an artful atmosphere. In addition to their tapas and dinner menus, they've also got a full list of allergen-specific menus and a build-your-own tasting menu.
Smitty's Specialty Beverage has been serving the beer needs of Grand Rapidians since 1982. They've got an extensive selection of craft beers from all over the state, the country and the world. Check them out if you're keeping the party at home.
Stella's Lounge is "Strong Drinks, Cheap Beer, Loud Music, No Bullshit." So. Alright then. That. Also, their burger was named "Best in the America" by GQ. So there's that too.
Tavern on the Square features contemporary American cuisine with a large selection of imported and craft beers in a dimly-lit, Old-World-meets-new atmosphere. Enjoy small plates, burgers and a whole lot of American comfort food including a "Red, White and Blue Plate" that is "designed to be fast, hearty and nostalgic." The red coats won't be coming.
Trillium Haven is a "new farm cuisine restaurant" with true farm-to-fork dining. The menu is best described as contemporary-rustic western Michigan fare with house-made chicken liver pate, smoked whitefish pate, beer cheese (made with Farm Country cheddar and Founders All Day IPA), flatbread pizzas featuring in-season locally-sourced ingredients, bountiful salads, and hearty entrees like pastrured lamb ragu and rabbit porchetta. For a true Michigan culinary experience, this is where you go.
Vitale's of Comstock Park is a Grand Rapids tradition and a craft beer hidden gem. Starting February and running through at least February 23, Vitale's is switching over to ALL Michigan drafts and will be pouring all Michigan craft beer from their 32 tap handles through all of Beer Week! Seriously though, it's pizza and beer, so you know you really can't go wrong.
White Flame Brewing Co. is a one-year-old nanobrewery and taproom located in Hudsonville. They've currently got a constantly-rotating selection of five beers on tap and also sell beer by the growler. The space is small and cozy; a perfect little neighborhood nanobrewery in the perfect kind of neighborhood that would actually have a nanobrewery.