Grand Rapids International Wine, Beer, and Food Festival
November 16-18, 2017
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Taste of the Town


Why Fennville? By Gregory Hall, Virtue Cider founder

I get asked all the time, why Fennville? I have a whole bunch of answers. First, of course, is the apples. I knew from the start we wanted to plant Virtue where the apples are, on the West Coast of Michigan. I call it the Cider Coast. All the best cider regions in Europe are... Read more »

5 Things you should love about Quality Craft Beer Service – By Garry Boyd, BarFly Ventures

As a consumer of Michigan craft beer, who do you blame when a bartender gives you a draft beer that tastes bad? 99% of the time you probably blame the brewery. Did you know that 99% of the time, the fault lies with the bar’s draft beer program? That’s right. 99% of the time a... Read more »

Tapping Into Cider’s History – By Tony Hansen, Head Brewer at Shorts Brewing Company & Starcut Cider

Cider played a crucial role in the beginnings of American life. The English settlers brought cider to America by cultivating orchards with seeds from England to jumpstart cider production as soon as possible after arriving in the new land. Apple trees flourished in New England, whereas grains and barley did not, which led to cider... Read more »

Pamper Yourself with a Healthy Beer Spa Treatment – by Caitlin McClelland, Spa Manager – JW Marriott Grand Rapids

The benefits of beer have been a topic of discussion upon researchers for some time now. They are finding more and more aids beer can have on the body. Brewer’s yeast is made up of unicellular micro-organisms which research has shown to thrive on the skin’s surface and can help acne related issues amongst other... Read more »

Women in Bartending: What’s Next? | A Personal & Professional Commentary – by: Laura Rowland

Presented by: Kellie M. Rowland, Lead Bartender Mazzo Cucina D'Italia, Grand Rapids, Michigan. You have just walked in to your favorite bar. It's been a long day. Time to celebrate a job well done with the usual: a pint of craft beer, a custom-made cocktail. You pull up to the rail, and check out the... Read more »

Stepping Up Your Bartending Game – by Zac Williams, six-one-six at JW Marriott Grand Rapids

The cocktail boom in Grand Rapids has inspired me to get extremely competitive with my bartending career. I take it seriously, if I didn’t we would be just another hotel bar.The cocktail boom in Grand Rapids has inspired me to get extremely competitive with my bartending career. I take it seriously, if I didn’t we... Read more »

There’s a BUG in my beer…and WHY the brewery put it there!! – By Stephen Smith, Henry A. Fox

People are placing all sorts of crazy things in beers these days: peanut butter, tropical fruits, waffle cones, marshmallows…you name it. But BUGS!?! Well, kinda, yes. Have there ever been actual 6-8 footed exoskeleton creatures in a beer? Better believe it! But what kind of bugs are in our beers these days and why in... Read more »

College Students Give and Receive at GR Wine Festival – By Brooke Bewak

The Grand Rapids International Wine, Beer and Food Festival is approaching (November 16-18) and the College of Business (COB) students at Ferris State University are gearing up for three days of pouring wine. Guests will join us from across the country as we are stationed in over 150 booths on the show floor to pour... Read more »

Rediscovering This Craft Nation – by Fred Bueltmann, The Beervangelist

In the nineties, during the first half of my craft beer and spirits career, we had to withstand questions and statements that trivialized our craft, or treated it like a novelty. “Do you think you’ll make it?” or “When somebody asks for it, we’ll put it on.” Worse yet, “When is this fad going to... Read more »

Serving Up Cocktails & Conversations in Hemingway Hall – by Philip Greene

Like many, I was introduced to Hemingway in high school. I read his story “Big Two-Hearted River,” where Nick Adams is backpacking in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. I’d taken a similar trip the summer before, so it really spoke to me.Like many, I was introduced to Hemingway in high school. I read his story “Big Two-Hearted... Read more »

Pairing Beer with Your Fall Menu – By Ben Darcie

There is just something about the fall that makes you want to cook! It could be the change of season or the impending presence of Thanksgiving, but there is nothing quite like a seasonal, hot meal on a chilly fall day or evening. The best way to really kick up your fall experience a notch... Read more »

Out of the Studio and Into the Kitchen – by Neal Dionne

I never could have imagined any of this but I sure am having fun. Last summer, I decided to put my 45-year broadcasting career in the rearview mirror. I am incredibly grateful to the millions of listeners who supported me all these years and the courageous radio management folks who trusted me with their towers and... Read more »

Traverse City Offers a Full Fall Menu of Beverage & Culinary Tourism Options

Thousands of visitors have already discovered that Traverse City is a stunning summer destination. But those magnificent views of soft sky, water and shore don’t disappear after Labor Day – and neither does the feeling you get when you’re here. In the quiet, intimate seasons of fall and winter, you can experience Traverse City the... Read more »

A Newbie’s Look at Beer City Station – by Emily Bennett, Mitten Beer Girl

It is easy to become overwhelmed with a plethora of beer, breweries and festivals in a state entrenched in the craft beverage scene. As someone new to beer last year, the evening at the Beer City Station at the Grand Rapids International Wine, Beer & Food Festival was my first experience purposefully combining flavors of... Read more »

Ferris Coffee Offers Tips on How to Pick Your Perfect Roast on National Coffee Day — Friday, September 29

A lot of factors go into one single cup of coffee: the country of origin, processing method, roast level, storage, brew method, we could go on and on. One important factor we’ll focus on is choosing the perfect roast level for you, the coffee drinker! Nick, our Head Roaster here at Ferris Coffee, gave us... Read more »

Serving up the New Taste of the Town Blog

by Dianna Stampfler, Festival Publicist WELCOME to the new Taste of the Town blog for the Grand Rapids International, Wine, Beer & Food Festival. We wanted to create an outlet to share with you more information about the world of food and beverages not only during the months leading up to the Festival but also... Read more »