ArtPrize, the world’s largest art competition, is well underway in our hometown of Grand Rapids, MI, and as proud partners of the event, we could not be more excited. Our taproom has served as a venue to host artists since the very first ArtPrize took place (seven years ago!) and we are happy to undertake that role once again. Make sure to check out the six artists and their work we’re hosting this year if you stop by the taproom in the next two weeks. Here’s a little info on each one:
Every year our Brewmaster, Jeremy, and a few other folks from the brewery head to Yakima Valley, Washington, to meet with hop farmers, check out this year’s harvest and select the hops we’ll be brewing with in the coming year. To bring you an inside look at the hop harvest process, Jeremy logged a recap each day, shared alongside photos snapped throughout the trip. If you’re someone who appreciates the “craft” in craft brewing, this behind-the-scenes look will be right up your alley.
Jeremy’s Day One Recap:
Hi folks! Today I’m blogging for the first time ever. Last week I did my first Snapchat (follow us! We’re foundersbrewing). Maybe next week I’ll buy a Ferrari. Just kidding, I swear this isn’t a mid-life crisis. Just want to bring you guys along for the action!
But this isn’t just some random rambling blog – I have cool and important stuff I want to tell you about. This week I’m traveling around one of my favorite places and doing one of my favorite things with some of my favorite people. Yep, you guessed it – I’m in the Yakima Valley visiting our hop growers during the hop harvest!
This past Saturday, September, 10, we partnered with FOX17 to host the very first Tribute on the Grand, a fundraising event in support of Grand Rapids Whitewater. Despite the inclement weather early in the day, the event was a huge success, raising $200,000 (our initial goal was $25,000!) for Grand Rapids Whitewater and their efforts to restore the rapids in the Grand River.
Thousands of attendees drank, danced and reveled at Ah-Nab-Awen Park on the banks of the Grand River while a lineup of four different tribute bands provided the soundtrack for an unforgettable evening. The beer dinner, catered by The Gilmore Collection and held on the adjacent Gillette Bridge, was also a huge success with all 360 seats selling out in only a week!
For those of you who have been to our taproom lately, you may have noticed some construction going on in front of the deli windows. Well, as it turns out, we are expanding our existing deli with an external ordering “counter” to accommodate an improved service style and, in order to finish the project up, we will be closing for several days next week. Here is the closing schedule:
We’re gearing up for a few great pairing events this fall, where we invite you to explore how various styles of food pair alongside beers from our lineup. Hosted here at the brewery, these events are an opportunity for our kitchen staff, as well as visiting chefs from the community, to design dishes that encourage you to expand your palate and discover how food and beer can come together to create a beautiful harmony.
- September 22: Palate Exploration Series featuring chef Jenna Arcidiano of Amore Trattoria. Chef Jenna, known in the Grand Rapids area for her exquisite authentic Italian cooking, will be preparing dishes that represent the five cardinals flavors: sour, sweet, salty, bitter and umami. We’ll discuss each of these unique flavors and pair various beers with them to explore how they play off one another. 6-8pm. $30/person. Tickets available here.
- October 13: Palate Exploration Series featuring The Apple Haus at Robinette’s Orchard. The team from Robinette’s will be joining us again this year to help showcase their fall favorites, including gourmet donuts and fudge. We’ll be pouring a few of our beers and exploring how the flavors of the food and beer pair alongside each other. 6-8pm. $30/person. Tickets available here.
- November 3: Palate Exploration Series featuring Mokaya Artisan Chocolates and Confections. Mokaya has been blowing our minds with their amazing chocolate for a while now and we’re excited to finally bring them in for an evening of chocolate and beer pairings. The best part? They’re bringing along their beer infused chocolates. 6-8pm. $30/person. Tickets available here.
In 2010, we partnered with Grand Rapids WhiteWater, a group interested in revitalizing the rapids in the Grand River here in our hometown of Grand Rapids, Michigan. In support of GRWW, we’re now hosting Tribute on the Grand, a free, all-ages outdoor celebration featuring a beer tent, food trucks and live music in downtown’s Ah-Nab-Awen Park on September 10. Proceeds from this event will go towards GRWW’s mission. But what does that entail?
GRWW’s Matt Chapman shares a bit about the vision of their project and how you can help:
Two guys walk into a bar…
It sounds like the start of another cheesy joke but when my Grand Rapids WhiteWater (GRWW) team sat down with the folks at Founders Brewing Co. back in 2010, it was the beginning of an awesome partnership that would change the course of the Grand River. Literally!