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Team BeerCity to promote Grand Rapids as "forever" Beer City USA



Local breweries, media and beer aficionados have come together to form Team BeerCity, a group committed to promoting Grand Rapids as forever BeerCity USA.

The group, which met in March, was originally formed out of the Grand Rapids Society of Beer. Team BeerCity is led by an administrative committee made up of Seth Rivard (Rockford Brewing), Dave Engbers (Founders Brewing Co.), Chuck Brown (Cellar Brewing Co.), Marcie Lemke (Experience Grand Rapids), Chas Thompson (Schmohz Brewing Co.), Nick Lavelle (High Five Brewing Co-Op) and Brett Langschied (Gravel Bottom Brewing).

The BeerCity USA vote that was out-and-about brought a lot of attention and enthusiasm to the community about the culture of Craft Beer in the greater GR area, said Rivard. A lot of cool cohesive things in the name of Beer City were happening, and It wasn't long the GRSOB group formalized the BeerCity Grand Rapids team.

Team BeerCity is already preparing its first event, surrounding the now-defunct BeerCity USA vote, previously organized by BeerCity Week, May 3-10, will highlight beer throughout the Greater Grand Rapids area at bars, restaurants and breweries alike.

The week will kick off with the first Beer City Spring Fest on Saturday, May 3 at the Hudsonville Fairgrounds.

Even though the BeerCity vote is no more, we wanted to highlight all the great breweries Grand Rapids has to offer, said Bryan Esler, owner of and a member of the Team BeerCity marketing committee.

The group has already started planning several other events, including a pub crawl and coaster contest. The coaster contest winner will have his/her coaster printed and featured at participating breweries during the week of the American Homebrewers Association Annual National Homebrewers Conference this June.

We have organized ourselves as a group of breweries to do events like BeerCity Week to highlight Grand Rapids as the great beer destination that it is. This celebration of Grand Rapids as BeerCity will have lots components to it, and it is only one of several events that the group is planning, said Jackson VanDyke, owner of Harmony Brewing and chair of the events committee. BeerCity Week is really just the start for us.

Events will be announced as they are finalized at the new website. Bars, restaurants, breweries, homebrew shops and others interested in planning an event for the week are encouraged to visit and submit event idea(s).

In addition to BeerCity Week, the group is also finalizing a revamped BeerCity Grand Rapids logo, and beginning to plan events for later in the year. The logo will be revealed prior to the start of BeerCity Week.

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