Beercation Part 3: Grand Rapids (Founders & HopCat)

Beercation continues…

From Jolly Pumpkin in Dexter, we hit the road to our primary destination – Grand Rapids to visit our friend, Deb, and to explore more beer!

red-bottleWe first visited Founders Brewery in downtown Grand Rapids (side note here – this was my first visit to “the GR” and since I have a few friends who grew up there, I just assumed GR was like any other suburban town but I was pleasantly surprised that GR was, instead, a small city with a lot of culture, dining, and business!).  Founders brews a base of year-round beers, seasonal beers, and specialty beers.  I tried the Cerise, a cherry infused beer (hey – I was in Michigan – I had to do it!) which was tasty but very sweet.  Jeff enjoyed a Red’s Rye PA (a little too strong for me) as well as some other samples when he wandered over to the bar (you can sample just about any of their beers)!  The Founders crowd was a wide range from old to young, families, singles, etc.  I’m sure it changes as the night goes on but 8:30PM on Friday night was when we fit in perfectly!

From Founders, we wandered over (well, actually we drove) over to HopCat DraftBeerGrandRapidsMichiganwhich Beer Advocate named the third best beer bar in the US.  Needless to say, we were all very excited to check it out (by we, I mean me and Jeff.  Deb had been there and was just surprised by the rating).  Yes, it has an extensive beer list and yes, the food was tasty but, honestly, I didn’t find it all that special.  I guess I’m just spoiled by the Map Room in my own back yard!  I’ll take the Map Room’s impressive (and, yes, large) beer list, funky vibe, and knowledgeable staff over HopCat any day. That said, Deb did tell us that when she has been to HopCat in the past, she has had much better and more knowledgeable service than we had during our visit.

Tomorrow – the final stop of the Beercation (hint: Smackdown!).

Thanks for reading Bright-Yellow!

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