The 5 best breweries in Grand Rapids, according to our readers

A male bartender is pouring frothy tap beer into a thick glass mug.

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By The 'Gander Staff

May 6, 2024

Welcome to the ultimate guide to the best breweries in Grand Rapids, as chosen by our readers! Grand Rapids is a bustling city known for its vibrant craft beer scene, and our readers have spoken. These are the top five breweries that you absolutely must visit! From innovative flavors to traditional Belgian brews, there’s something for every beer lover in Grand Rapids.

Colorful canned beers sitting on a wooden table.

Courtesy of New Holland Brewing Co.

1. New Holland Brewing

Taking the crown in our reader’s poll is none other than “The Knickerbocker,” Grand Rapids’ New Holland Brewing location, a beautiful gathering space for friends or formal events. This brewery stands above the rest for its creativity and quality in the craft beer landscape of Grand Rapids. New Holland pushes the boundaries of traditional brewing, offering tastes that you can’t find anywhere else. Plus, this picturesque location offers a variety of cocktails and a carefully curated menu of wood-fired favorites and experimental treats for every taste.

With an ever-evolving lineup of craft beers, from the hearty, robust stouts to zesty, refreshing ales, there’s a pint waiting here to satisfy every palate. Let’s talk about their Dragon’s Milk Stout — this legendary brew, with its deep, complex layers of flavors, has garnered a cult following for good reason. The rest of the Dragon’s Milk lineup is sure to please beer aficionados looking for a unique knock-your-socks-off experience. From their Midwest IPA to their white ale, to their award-winning Kolsch, you’re sure to find a beer to satisfy your thirst.

So, when you find yourself in Grand Rapids, make sure to carve out time for New Holland Brewing. Whether you’re a beer snob or a foodie looking for a great meal, this destination with its three bars and extensive indoor-outdoor biergarten is sure to please your whole crew. Dive into craft beer innovation, with New Holland Brewing, and discover why it’s heralded as a trailblazer in the world of craft beer.

A table and umbrella set up in front of a brewery that looks like a chapel.

Courtesy of Brewery Vivant

2. Brewery Vivant

“Vivant” means life in French, which is funny since this brewery is located inside the chapel of a historic funeral home. But the point isn’t irony or sarcasm: the company’s motto is to bring life and sustainability back to the local scene. Brewery Vivant ushers you into a world where the rich heritage of Belgian beer artistry is celebrated with a distinctly local twist and where social and environmental impact is more important than winning accolades.

Each beer fuses old-world charm with new-world creativity. Keeping Belgian brewing tradition alive (along with offering a Monk Club for their biggest fans) while utilizing sustainable ingredients and practices is key to Brewery Vivant’s success. A standout among their beer selection is the Farmhand Ale, a beer that’s equally light and earthy with just a gentle hint of fruitiness — it’s a brew that speaks volumes of the brewery’s ability to balance subtlety with depth.

Brewery Vivant’s commitment to sustainability is woven into the fabric of their operations, from the solar panels on their roof to the locally sourced ingredients that form the backbone of their brews. This commitment extends to their menu, where each offering is crafted to reflect a sustainable ethos, pairing perfectly with their distinctive beers.

Whether you’re a die-hard aficionado of Belgian brews or a curious explorer eager to discover new taste horizons, Brewery Vivant promises an experience that’s rich in flavor, history, and warmth.

Twelve canned beers stacked on a wooden bar in front of beer taps.

Courtesy of The Mitten Brewing Co.

3. The Mitten Brewing Company

Imagine walking into a space where the history of America’s favorite pastime is interwoven into a local Grand Rapids historical fire company. Add craft beers that expertly pair with extraordinary pizza, and you’re in for quite an experience. This is what awaits you at The Mitten Brewing Company, a unique brewery in Grand Rapids that marries the love of beer with an old-time baseball stadium vibe, complete with memorabilia that will transport you back to the Babe Ruth era.

Each beer at The Mitten is carefully crafted and thoughtfully named to pay homage to baseball’s illustrious history: Triple Crown Brown, Peanuts and Crackerjack Porter, and the Willie Mays Imperial Haize, just to name a few. These brews are a celebration of baseball and brewing craft, blended together in a way that only The Mitten Brewing Company can. And did we mention that several of their craft beers have taken home medals at the Great American Beer Fest?

If you’re headed to Mitten Brewing Company, come hungry. Their menu hits it out of the park with their mouthwatering pizzas, known to locals as some of the best in Grand Rapids. Pairing one of their signature pies with a craft beer is like hitting a home run at your very first at-bat. The atmosphere here encourages lingering, but with such a small space available, it’s best to book larger parties at least two weeks in advance.

In a city renowned for its craft beer scene, The Mitten Brewing Company stands out for its unique theme, exceptional brews, and unwavering commitment to bringing people together. It’s a testament to the universal appeal of baseball and beer, and a must-visit for anyone who cherishes either. So whether you’re a die-hard baseball enthusiast, a craft beer aficionado, a pizza snob, or a history buff, you’ll be sure to enjoy a grand slam of a time at The Mitten Brewing Company.

The outside of the building at Perrin Brewing.

Courtesy of Perrin Brewing

4. Perrin Brewing Company

Renowned by beer enthusiasts around the US, Perrin Brewing Company is an obvious top contender in Grand Rapids’ craft beer scene. And once you’ve had a taste, it’s impossible not to return for more. Each craft brew is a testament to the brewery’s commitment to push the envelope, and from their casks to tasting room to their merchandise, the quality shines through in the details.

One cannot talk about Perrin without mentioning their No Rules Vietnamese Porter. With its intricate blend of coconut, cinnamon, and turmeric, paired with a delectably smooth and creamy texture, the No Rules Vietnamese Porter is a masterpiece in a glass. Perrin Brewing Company’s repertoire includes an array of brews that challenge the palate. From crisp, refreshing lagers that cleanse the palate with their purity and simplicity, to IPAs bursting with bold hops and citrus notes, there’s a discovery in every sip.

Perrin Brewing Company’s impact on Grand Rapids’ craft beer scene cannot be overstated. They’ve not just set the bar; they’ve continually raised it, inspiring fellow brewers and delighting beer enthusiasts with pure innovation. Their bold flavors have not only earned them a spot in the hearts of our readers but have cemented their place as a pivotal force in defining the character and quality of craft beer across the US.

As you make your way through Grand Rapids’ thriving craft beer landscape, a stop at Perrin Brewing Company is essential. Pull up a stool, order a sampler, and you’ll understand why Perrin is one of the best of the best.

The two owners of TwoGuys sporting beer foam in their mustaches and beards.

Courtesy of TwoGuys

5. TwoGuys Brewing

TwoGuys Brewing, was our readers’ overwhelming write-in choice for best brewery in Grand Rapids, and we can see why. It’s a passionately run, community-focused brewery where the personal touch in craft brewing shines through in their remarkable, yet approachable selection of beers — not to mention their menu that’s filled with freshly-made, innovative small bites and filling meals.

The standout star at TwoGuys Brewing has to be their TwoGuys IPA. It’s a harmonious blend of hops and intricate flavors that push the palate. The rest of their diverse lineup includes everything from smooth, creamy stouts to light, refreshing lagers, each telling its own story.

From the moment you walk in, you’re treated like family, with a team that’s eager to share their knowledge, stories, and, of course, their beer. This welcoming vibe is infectious, making it the perfect spot for both craft beer enthusiasts and newcomers to share in the joy of beer.

In a city renowned for its dynamic beer scene, TwoGuys Brewing offers an intimate, small-scale, personal craft brewing experience. It’s a place where you know you’ll love your beer because they don’t make beer they don’t love themselves. So, when you’re charting your course through Grand Rapids’ thriving craft beer landscape, make sure to carve out time for TwoGuys.

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CATEGORIES: FOOD AND DRINK

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