November 15-17, 2018Buy Tickets
Features & Attractions
It’s all about the wines!
Sample from 1200+ wines from around the world, six continents to be exact, in the Vineyard. It’s the largest tasting room experience you’ll ever find, with every variety under the sun. As you travel throughout the ballroom, you can sample sweet reds, dry whites, colorful rosés and bubbling sparkling wines and champagnes without ever leaving Grand Rapids. Over 100 Michigan wines are sure to impress and prompt future travels around the state.
The Elite Collection – Enhance your sampling experience and impress your family and friends with a stop at the Elite Collection, located in the center of the Vineyard. Here, sommeliers from Tasters Guild International have hand-picked the finest premium wines and offer you a taste for a fraction of the price. Tasting fees begin at a minimum of 10 tickets for these distinctive world-class wines, which are normally only available by the bottle.
Beer City Station
Everyone is getting on board with the craft beverage scene, especially here in Michigan and more specifically Grand Rapids. Located inside Exhibit Hall C off of the Grand Gallery entry lobby, Beer City Station is home to hundreds of beers, ciders, and meads from around the United States and beyond. Meet the talented artists who craft these beverages and discover unique ways to pair them with your favorite snacks, meals and desserts.
Hard cider (or simply cider, as producers call it) dates back to the 17th and 18th century emigrants to America from the British Isles. Fermented apples (cider) was safer to drink than water at the time. Little did they know then that cider would become the fastest growing sector of the craft beverage market in the United States three centuries later. Michigan has a long-standing history in the apple industry and craft producers are serving up impressive award-winning ciders with vast flavor profiles. Sample from local, regional and national brands in Cider Row, located in Exhibit Hall C along with Beer City Station.
Internationally recognized author Ernest Hemingway’s love of Michigan and cocktails is legendary. The new Hemingway Hall pays tribute to his passion for craft – whether that was drinking, eating, writing or living life. Located outside of the Vineyard, along the Grand River concourse, craft producers and mixologists will showcase their finest spirits, mixers, garnishes and cocktails. Two of Michigan’s award-winning distilleries, New Holland Artisan Spirits and Coppercraft Distillery, will bring their show on the road to offer hands-on workshops featuring creative ingredients and tricks of the trade, and then serve their creations for tasting tickets.
The Ultimate Dining Experience
Bring your appetite to the Festival, because we’ve got you covered no matter what you’re craving. With nearly 14 of Grand Rapids’ favorite restaurants all under one roof, you’re sure to satisfy your hunger (and if you don’t you’re not trying hard enough). Spread out throughout the Vineyard, Beer City Station and the RendezBREW Café, these local eateries offer up an unparalleled progressive dining experience meant to pair perfectly with the thousand-plus wines, beers, spirits, ciders and flavored malt beverages. Restaurants are designated throughout the Festival by a knife and fork insignia. Use your tasting tickets to enjoy their special presentations.
RendezBREW Coffee, Cordials and Dessert Cafe
The popular gathering spot for the beginning, middle, or finale of your visit is where guests indulge their sweet cravings and discover new pairings; named, the RendezBREW Coffee, Cordials & Dessert Café. Coffee, teas and lattes are brewed on-site. Sip on cordials, savor chocolates, surrender to decadent offerings, and relax with soft musical sounds in the Grand Gallery.
Sit down and take a break from the action during one of the intimate multi-course Pairing dinners at the Festival. The area’s finest restaurants partner with distinguished wineries, breweries and distilleries as chefs prepare, present and serve gourmet meals paired with wine, beer and spirits. Pairing tickets will be sold online in advance or on-site at the Festival at the Pairings Ticket booth on a first-come, first-served basis.
The Festival’s Pairing restaurants will compete for Bragging Rights as the finest beverage and food pairing at the 2017 Grand Rapids International Wine, Beer & Food Festival. A collection of local food specialists will partake in enjoying the many pairings, consider the attributes of the match-up of beverage to food, and select the winner of the 2017 Festival Pairing Bragging Rights!
Wine & Beer Seminars
What’s new in wine and beer? What are the latest trends? Professionals in the beverage industry offer a series of tutored tasting seminars on Friday and Saturday at the Festival. The Seminar rooms are located just off of the Grand Gallery entry and are complimentary with your paid admission ticket.
Gold Medal Winning Wines
Gold Medal winners from the 2017 Tasters Guild International Wine Judging will be featured at the Festival. Look for the Gold Medal bottles in the individual displays (and identified in the program listings) to taste these International award-winning wines. For the past 40 years, the Michigan Grape & Wine Industry Council – operating under the Michigan Department of Agriculture & Rural Development – has hosted the state’s ultimate wine competition. The results are presented at the end of each summer and many of the Gold Medal wines (including several Best of Class) from Michigan’s five federally-recognized viticultural regions are available for sampling in the Vineyard.
The winning wines that will be available for tasting at the Festival are marked in the complete Wine, Beer & Spirits list. Look for the Gold Medal bottles at the wine displays to taste a winning wine!
Experience Grand Rapids and the Kent County Hospitality Association have teamed up to present the WAVE Awards at the Festival on Thursday at 3:30pm. WAVE stands for Way Above Visitor Expectations. This celebration is a ceremony with two components – 1) distinguish the WAVE Award winners, recognizing excellence in hospitality in Grand Rapids and Kent County, and 2) recognize the Certified Tourism Ambassador Star of the Year, who demonstrated exceptional customer service to Grand Rapids visitors.
For more information about WAVE Awards visit: www.waveaward.com
For more information about the CTA Program visit: www.experiencegr.com/experience-grand-rapids/cta/