When Bill White and his future wife, Jenn, first moved in together, they soon realized they had one possession in common: a Williams Brewing kit. It wasn't long before the couple started homebrewing in their garage, a hobby that gradually transformed into White Flame Brewing Co., the first brewery in the formerly dry city of Hudsonville. Specializing in American-style ales, the microbrewery now yields everything from a spicy rye ale to a chocolaty oatmeal stout.
Thirteen beers and one cider grace the company's 48-seat taproom, where visitors can sample pours and catch the game on flat-screen televisions throughout the bar. In-house cooks craft a handful of bar bites, though White Flame invites guests to order delivery from nearby restaurants, too.The brewery even sends patrons on their way with beers-to-go in quart-sized howlers, half-gallon growlers, or beer-filled kiddie pools.
In addition to entertaining ears with live music, Cellar Brewing Company's dedicated staff fills glasses with libations fresh from its microbrewery, winery, and artisan distillery. The restaurant's plush, leather sofas sit beneath its rust-hued ceiling, and at a blond-wood bar, bartenders serve house brews and signature cocktails, mixed with their top-shelf liquors. A glass of stout awakens taste buds craving a darker brew, and the cellar's servers pluck bottles of Michigan Apple Delight wine directly from in-house wine trees.
Osgood Brewing not only treats its lucky visitors to a spread of housemade beers in a variety of styles but also to hearty feasts of pizza and live music from bluegrass, blues, and folk bands. Guests pair brews such as the crisp, balanced 358 American pale ale or the dark, malty Notley porter with salads made with pickled apple and roasted grapes or pizzas topped with lamb sausage and braised pork shoulder or cilantro and green-olive pesto.
Cherries from Michigan bedeck rainbow trout from a farm in Harrietta. Mrs. Dog’s Disappearing Mustard, from Grand Rapids, drapes across sausage made from lamb raised on a family farm in McBain. Though many of the ingredients at Bar Divani are local, the chefs draw culinary influences from around the world. They dunk Bay of Fundy salmon in walnuts and apple horseradish relish, and combine dollops of aged cheddar-cheese grits with small plates of cajun-spiced black tiger shrimp. The trio of lamb sliders prance through a range of flavors, from sweet cinnamon honey yogurt to pickled carrot and pistachio butter.
The earthy scent of simmering bourbon barbecue sauce suits the warmly hued dining room, where light dances off rich wooden accents. An illuminated wine cellar showcases 40 varieties, allowing patrons to find the ideal pairing for any dish or discretely cheat through the Wine Connoisseur Weekly crossword. Servers cut among bronze columns beneath exposed-brick walls, leaving a wake of aromas that hint at alligator and exotic grains of paradise as they visit curved booths swaddled in ornate fabrics.
Jaden James Brewery isn't the Bonga family's first foray into the world of sippable fermentation. In the same space where they now create specialty beers, they've spent years crafting wines from the fruits of Michigan's bountiful vineyards and orchards.
"So many people come for the wine, but we often get one half of a couple who says, 'I like beer,'" says Bob Bonga. The brewery's current selection includes a cream ale to be savored between bites of pretzels, a Russian Imperial Stout, and an oatmeal porter that Bob characterizes as "wonderfully dark, with roasted tones of chocolate and coffee." The juice of apples harvested in northwest Grand Rapids goes into hard ciders.
The family also prepares a short list of snacks for visitors. In the future, the Bongas may grow their menu further by distilling their own liquors.
If the weight loss of the company's owner and a trainer?75 pounds and 100 pounds, respectively?is any indication, Grand Rapids Boot Camp and Fitness means business. The outdoor classes are tailored for all fitness levels, so beginners and seasoned athletes will both feel the burn as the perform weight exercises, resistance workouts, and functional movements.