Text: R. Collins // Photography: Experience Grand Rapids
Whether in Grand Rapids for quality Michigan golf at courses like The Mines Golf Course and The Pines Golf Course or visiting destinations like the Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park or GLC Live at 20 Monroe, visitors to the downtown area can always take advantage of Grand Rapids’ nationally renowned beer scene. For visitors and locals alike, Experience Grand Rapids, the city’s official marketing organization, developed the Beer City Brewsader app to promote the diverse beer offerings in town and share deals with beer lovers of all kinds.
The app allows participants to view nearby breweries, menus, and directions, and after visiting local breweries, users can receive a digital “stamp” on their Brewsader Passport. As participants check off breweries in the app, they can unlock special deals like the official Brewsader t-shirt or the perks of Ultimate Brewsader status. Though the program was introduced in 2015 with physical Brewsader passports, the appeal continues for anyone ready to dive into one of Michigan’s best beer destinations.
“We’ve learned that people love a good challenge, and everyone loves a free t-shirt. Those elements combined with our world-class beer scene have created a program that draws national attention,” said Kate Lieto, director of marketing at Experience Grand Rapids.
Lieto notes the vast majority of Brewsaders are from out of town and find that the passport is a reliable way to structure a trip to Beer City around the eight check-in points for the program. Downloading the app before arriving in Grand Rapids and using its map function are smart ways to hit the ground since participating breweries are located across the stretch of the downtown core and nestled into surrounding neighborhoods and areas. Lieto also recommends considering a guided beer tour to add a special educational aspect to any beer-centered vacation.
Among the diversely stocked happy hours, brunch bars with local notoriety, and several daily deals to take advantage of, there’s much to explore within Grand Rapids’ brew scene, and the thoughtfully crafted menus surrounding the city add an additional culinary experience not common in other brew-heavy locations.
“Our breweries are unique, because many of them offer amazing, chef-driven kitchens as well as award-winning craft beverage programs. This makes it easy to plan meals around and earn check-ins too,” Lieto said.
Just some of the breweries on the Beer City Passport include Archival Brewing, Brewery Vivant, City Built Brewing Co, Lost Art Brewhouse, The Mitten Brewing Company, Speciation Artisan Ales, and many more. For more information about the Brewsader Passport App, visit the program page on experiencegr.com.