Grand Rapids Brewing Company

Grand Rapids Brewing CompanyGrand Rapids Brewing Company

Type: Brewery, Bar, Eatery

1 Ionia Ave SW
Grand Rapids, Michigan, 49503-4194
United States

(616) 458-7000 | map

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Added by hopcatgr on 11-02-2012

View: Beers | Place Reviews | Events
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Reviews: 17 | Ratings: 115
Photo of Gobearswalter34
4.14/5  rDev +12.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4

This place had a reql cool vibe and an attentive staff. The beer was good, with a BA Barleywine that was very good. Nice bar that we easily found room to sit.

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Photo of NateDyk47
2.4/5  rDev -35%
vibe: 2.5 | quality: 2.25 | service: 1.5 | selection: 3 | food: 3.5

Nothing special about this place. All the beer is average (at best), decent amount of beers on tap, food is good but overpriced.

The service is VERY bad. I've been here a few times and the wait staff as well as bartenders are terrible. The most recent time, I ordered beer at the bar... after receiving it, I tried for 10 minutes to give the bartender my card to pay for the beers. There were only 3 other people near the bar, and he was more interested in talking to his friends than getting my payment. Thanks for the free beers, I guess.

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Photo of jp32
1.95/5  rDev -47.2%
vibe: 1.25 | quality: 2 | service: 2 | selection: 2 | food: 2.25

Let's be totally honest here.... If you're coming to Grand Rapids for craft beer, you probably are not coming here. And usually for good enough reason. Grand Rapids has LOTS of great beer, and this isn't one of the establishments serving it.

The beer is mediocre (giving them the benefit of the doubt here).

Their service is less than mediocre, in both knowledge and friendliness.

The food is "good", but a little overpriced and may I say, a little douchey?

The owner of this establishment is a wonderful guy. However, there is no category to rate an owner, just categories to rate what your experience at an establishment is like. I am 100% certain that this place does well, or even stays in business, PURELY because of their location. They've got a prime piece of real estate, with lots of foot traffic and visitors stumbling by.... but not much a customer would like once inside.

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Photo of 98green
4.06/5  rDev +10%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 3.75 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4 | food: 4.25

Stopped by for happy hour half priced pints on a Thursday. Nice space, decent size bar, 15 beers on tap, most for $5 a pint. Menu is somewhat upscale pub fare.

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Photo of KurtE
4.06/5  rDev +10%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4 | food: 4.25

had a good chat while visiting with a local beer club member, also the bartender was pretty knowledgeable. It was a Sunday afternoon and I learned it is the same owner as Hopcat.

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Photo of kylelenk
4/5  rDev +8.4%

GRBC is a great place to catch dinner and a wonderful all organic beer.

They usually have about 8-12 beers on tap with roughly 4-5 mainstays. My favorite, is the Rosalynn Bliss Blonder, a delicious mango pale ale. They seem to hit all the categories for almost any type of beer drinker (including a throwback lager) with a brown, stout/porter, and an IPA on tap at all times.

Menu for food changes often ($10-$15) and has neat twists on classic bar food. I'd recommend the poutine or fried pickles for apps and you can't go wrong with the Peanut Butter Pretzel Burger as an entree.

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Photo of Jackofallbrews
3.14/5  rDev -14.9%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 2.5 | service: 3.75 | selection: 3

This is actually the Midwest's first Certified Organic brewery and opened in 2012. Only later did we find out that the owners of HopCat actually own this and two other local bars. The place is huge and well appointed. The clientele was mostly young and hip, frat boys, and some post-work suits. The crowd was probably somewhat bigger due to the NHC folks trickling in but I don't think there were that many of "us" in there this evening. The place reminded me a lot of a Rock Bottom, with a slick and well-planned out look and feel to it. We tried a couple beers but had no room left for food. Wife had the stout that was tolerable, but fairly watery. I had the terrible plastic tasting maibock that I certainly did not finish. Not my favorite brewery of the day for sure.

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Photo of BoyDrinksWorld
3.49/5  rDev -5.4%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.25 | service: 4.25 | selection: 3 | food: 3.5

I've been to GRBC a few times so far and overall I've just been underwhelmed. There's nothing particularly bad about the brewery, there's just not anything I really like, either. On my first trip I tried the beer flight and remember enjoying 2 of the 6 beers. The food was good, but far too little for the price. Ambiance is comfortable and the location makes it easy to stop in going to or from more worthwhile attractions.

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Photo of SerialTicker
3.34/5  rDev -9.5%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.5

--My review from Yelp.--

I walked in here after enjoying HopCat. I wasn't expecting much, and thank God, because I didn't get much.

All I got here was their basic GRBC flight, since I had already eaten and had a lot to drink at HopCat. If you look at the picture I uploaded, these are the beers I had left to right: Silver Foam, Rosalynn Bliss Blonde, Brewer's Heritage, Senator Lyon Stout, John Ball Brown, and Fishladder. Excuse me for essentially making this a massive BeerAdvocate review.

1.) The Silverfoam tastes like, well... an adjunct lager. It's a slightly better version of a Budweiser. If you like corny beers, you should enjoy the Silverfoam.

2.) Rosalynn Bliss Blonde is a decent bit like Silverfoam, but more palatable, as it's a bit more interesting. It has that same corny sort of flavor, but there's some kind of fruit taste or something in there that makes it a little better. I'm still not sure I'd recommend this beer either.

3.) Brewer's Heritage is a pretty average Hefeweizen. That is, it has a sort of coriander and banana flavor that you'd expect. Really nothing out of the ordinary. Not bad, not great.

4.) Senator Lyon Stout is pretty enjoyable, but I find that it should probably be called a porter rather than a stout, since I tend to think of stouts as being full-bodied and heavy, while this beer is quite thin and sessionable. It tastes quite nice though.

5.) John Ball Brown: The waitress at HopCat recommended this beer, and as it turned out, it was *probably* my favorite from the flight... it has a nice nutty flavor, with some sweetness, and a mildly roasty finish.

6.) Fishladder: GRBC's IPA, this is probably my third favorite from the flight. It's a kind of run-of-the-mill IPA, but it's more appealing to me than 1-3.

Bottom line, GRBC brews decent beer, but nothing anybody would probably want to go to Grand Rapids for.

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Photo of MarcatGSB
3.93/5  rDev +6.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.75 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Our group of four visited Grand Rapids Brewing twice during our last visit. I guess we really liked it.

Out of all the brewpub's we visited that served full menus, besides Vivant, Grand Rapids Brewing had the best food. The Quinoa salad was excellent. The Black Bean burger was very good (although, I thought it could have used a little more texture, but flavor was awesome). The Pulled Pork was pretty decent, nothing exceptional, but again very good.
The service was fantastic. Both days we were some of the first people in the restaurant, and the servers took very good care of us. And we appreciate that greatly, poor service can dictate you experience.

The beers were very solid. Most were very true to style. We actually got to try all of them due to the fact there were four of us, and we went on two days. They all tasted clean, and more or less true to style.

Gotta give the Seller's credit, they are doing great things in DT Grand Rapids, and GRBC is a welcome addition. Thank you!

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Photo of ScottyG
4.35/5  rDev +17.9%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

This place is awesome!! While waiting for our table we sat at the bar. We ordered our first round and they ended up giving us an appetizer on the house. I thought that was pretty cool!! I only drank two of there offerings. I had two of there Roasted Rapids which I would give a 4.5 and one of Ominous Rapids, which I would give a 4. Both beers are limited time only. I even bought a growler of the Roasted Rapids!!

The food was also excellent. The staff was friendly and on it!!

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Photo of Mxsluis
4.11/5  rDev +11.4%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 3.75 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.25 | food: 3.75

The place has an old time bar feel only on a large scale. I had a John Ball brown while sitting at the bar; I rate it about a 3.75. I had the opportunity to watch my bar tender, Autumn, pour my beer and she did an excellent job. As a matter of fact, they all seemed to be well trained in pouring as there was remarkable consistency between all servers. The service was excellent. I had a braised beef and smoked cheddar sandwich which was good but not exceptional. It is definitely worth the stop and I plan on going back.

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Photo of Lukafer
4.25/5  rDev +15.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 5 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Went there yesterday and had an amazing time. Took the tour, which for $10 gets you a t shirt, and a plastic souvenir cup filled with beer. They normally only do tours on the weekend but were really nice and hooked us up. Great people, great beer and the food we had was really good. It's definitely on my will return list!

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Photo of TheSevenDuffs
3.63/5  rDev -1.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.75 | selection: 3.5

This place is huge and has a great atmosphere with friendly and knowledgeable servers. The beer is above average, but considering the proximity to Hop Cat and Founders, they probably need to step up their game a bit in that department. Sampled a few different beers during my visit (stout, brown ale, DIPA) all of which were above average but none left a lasting impression.

The food menu looked interesting but we didn't order food.

Prices were average.

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Photo of Mothergoose03
4.19/5  rDev +13.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4 | selection: 4.25 | food: 4

The wife, our granddaughter and I stopped in on a Sunday afternoon and the place was not busy. This brewery has been open for just a few months but the beer, food and service were good, so they have done things right for such a new brewery. (This place has common ownership with HopCat, which is the bar/brewpub at the other end of the city block from here, so the experience from there is what probably shows up here.) Their focus is on organic beer and food, and they have done an all-around great job.

This pub is located in an old, downtown building with a lot of character, which is what I like for ambiance when it comes to brewpubs. They had 9 beers on tap (one other was tapped out), of which 8 were their own and two were collaborations. We chose a flight ($6) of 6 (2.5 oz pours) to get started, and then my wife and I each ordered a pint that was not on the flight. Two of the beers (American Lager and a Blonde) are very light flavored and consequently not my favorites, but they were true to their styles and good tasting. A Hefeweizen was also on the flight, and this style is my least favorite, but it also was right on for the style. A Brown Ale, an IPA (my favorite on the flight) and an Irish Stout rounded out the flight. Each was very tasty and very true to their styles.

After the flight I ordered the Imperial IPA, and this one was outstanding. My wife ordered the Belgian Amber, which was tasty, but neither of us are real fans of Belgian-style ales so we rated it as average.

The food menu is not extensive (but that's okay), and they don't have a kid's menu (although the place seems kid friendly) but our server showed us how to adapt regular menu items by omitting an ingredient (Chili mac w/o the chili becomes mac & cheese) to be a good choice for the kids. All of the food items sounded good, and the burger and the roasted beef sandwich that we ordered were very good. And the fries that came with the sandwiches are excellent! (Double fried?)

We enjoyed the visit and we'll go back again when we're in town.

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Photo of centurian62
3.4/5  rDev -7.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3 | service: 4 | selection: 3

I was a huge fan of the former GRBC (until Schelde's sold it) so I was excited to head to the new GRBC. I have gone twice so far. The first time was shortly after they opened and I am truly hoping they are doing a better job managing the place than they were then. I went with a group of buddies on a Saturday night. Upon arriving we put our name in to get a table and were told it was about an hour wait. We then stood at the standing bar and had a drink. Unfortunately, they had one of my favorite beers on tap from a different brewery so I didn't try the GRBC beer. That being said, we stood for an hour waiting for a table while there must have been 30 open seats at tables that were marked "reserved." During that hour, we never saw anyone get seated and those spots were never filled. I've managed restaurants and that was unacceptable.

The second time I went was on a Sunday afternoon. We had a very large group and had a much better time. This time I tried the GRBC beer (which is all certified organic) and I wasn't overly impressed or overly dissapointed. It was OK. I tried the Lyon Stout and I would give it an average rating.

It should be known that if you want a private table, you probably won't get one here as it is long tables and you share your space. Its' a bit wierd and I would prefer to go elsewhere based on that fact alone.

All in all I would give GRBC an average rating. The service was good but everything else is pretty average.

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Photo of steebo777
4.23/5  rDev +14.6%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4.5

I went here with my wife the night before Winter Beer Fest. I have heard some great things about the place as it is another Mark Sellers/BarFly Ventures bar (Hopcat, Stellas, etc.). Great vibe when you walk in, plenty of open space with a loft feeling. Wood floors and a tan ceiling keep the place with some mute colors. We got sat right away on a Friday night at 9pm, which was pretty incredible. Shortly after our wonderful waitress came by and treated us great. She had tons of info about all food and beer they had and was very helpful. I got the IPA first (solid, needs more aroma) then the Menegious a Tres, which was an Indian Brown Ale collab with Vivant and Hopcat. All beer was solid but nothing mind bending. Prices were reasonable so it was well worth it. The food was incredible and totally organic, locally sourced, and available as gluten-free or vegan.

All in all a great place to hit that was busy for a reason. It shows why Grand Rapids is Beer City USA, because all beer bars and breweries here care about their loyal fans.

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Grand Rapids Brewing Company in Grand Rapids, MI
3.68 out of 5 based on 281 ratings.
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