Getting a Taste for West Michigan: Weekend Brewery Tours

January 16, 2017

Uncategorized

By: Jeff Huber, Leasing Coordinator

Looking for a weekend event to inspire awe and envy? Check out some of the breweries around West Michigan from the inside out. Think of a brewery tour as taking a stroll in Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory. Expect to be led by eccentric employees through mysterious corridors. It’s a magical place, where fantastical beers are dreamed up and given a chance to live. It’s space where offbeat creatives wrestle with chemistry to create taste sensations beyond our expectations.beer-932943_960_720
So, here’s a list to get you started with the tours at the production breweries in/near Grand Rapids. Now this list sticks to production breweries. If you’re looking to tour your favorite brewpub, I suggest you get on good terms with the employees there.
Anyway, here’s how you can get your own golden ticket:

Founders: The Big Kahuna, the Sultan of Swat, the Colossus of Clout, the Great BamBEERno! Talk about beer and Grand Rapids and you are going to hear about Founders. Simple as that. See what makes them so legendary for yourself.

Tours: $10 (40-60 minutes)

  • Sign up in advance
  • Friday – 5:30pm
  • Saturday – 11am & 11:45am
  • Sunday – 12:30pm
  • Includes a Founders pint glass
  • Tours limited to 12 people
  • Tour + Tasting Experience also available for $25

Brewery Vivant: Renovated funeral homes more your thing? And oh, those Belgians! You have to give these guys credit, while everyone else is making IPA’s these guys have been perfecting a different breed. Thank goodness.

beer-1667151_960_720Tours: $10

  • No reservations, purchase ticket from host
  • Saturday – 2pm & 3:30pm
  • Includes ample samples (see what I did there?) and 10% off coupon for Company store

Perrin: Backcountry darling turned little brother of CO’s Oscar Blues. Also a #1 stop for shuffleboard. So there’s that.

Tours: $10

  • Must be booked online, well in advance. (Currently the soonest available tour is in May)

Bell’s: Where the Michigan beer scene started. If wasn’t for Bells, Michigan beer wouldn’t be what it is…and it’s fantastic. Haven’t been to Bell’s? Maybe it’s time you got to know your roots.

Kalamazoo – Location of Original brewery, next to Eccentric Café

Tours: Free (Currently)

  • Spots can be reserved in advance (recommended)
  • Saturday – Noon, 1pm, 2pm, 3pm, & 4pm
  • Sunday – 1pm, 2pm, 3pm

Comstock – The new/expanded brewery that pumps out an unholy volume of beer 12 min away from downtown Kalamazoo

Tours: Free (Currently)

  • Spots can be reserved in advance (recommended)
  • Wednesdays – 2pm & 4pm
  • Thursdays – 2pm & 4pm
  • Friday – 2pm, 4pm, & 6pm
  • Saturday – Noon, 2pm, & 4pm
  • First-hand look at the brewing process

Peek Behind the Curtain and Barrel Tour & Tasting are also available on a limited basis (about at the level of all Perrin’s tours)

New Holland: Ever wondered how they milk a dragon?

Tour: $15 (90 minutes)

  • Tickets must be reserved online.
  • Saturday – Noon only (December 1 – April 1)
  • Meets at Store next to Taproom in Downtown Holland and tours production facility
  • Includes samples of beer and spirits
  • Tours brewing and distilling facilities

beverage-beer-1820129_960_720Tip for Tours:
Be aware, if you’re going on a tour most (if not all) breweries require that you wear closed toed shoes. This is to protect your feet from acid that could potentially be on the floor (they use it to clean all those stainless steel tanks).