GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Experience Grand Rapids is continuing to celebrate 10 years as Beer City, USA, by giving away a big prize each Wednesday.
“We’ve seen sign-ups from almost every state, which has been really fun to see,” said Kate Lieto, director of marketing with Experience GR.
Lieto said the goal of the giveaways is to celebrate the city’s growth since being designated as Beer City.
“We wanted a way to get all of the breweries involved but also all of the beer experiences that have really made beer city special,” she explained.
Every Wednesday from June 29 through August 31, Experience GR will award one winner a complete Beer City USA getaway package. Each will include an only-in-Grand Rapids beer experience, an overnight stay at a downtown Grand Rapids hotel, 2 Culture Pass GR passes and some spending money.
“At Experience Grand Rapids, we’re all about tourism, so we like to tell people. If you want to get that local vibe and really understand a neighborhood and what the locals of Grand Rapids are enjoying, check out a brewery,” Lieto said.
One local brewer said that people who come from outside the city and state are a big part of why this industry thrives.
“We get tourists all the time. It’s an important part of our business is that we see people coming in from all across the country. They want to come check out our scene here… so that has been huge for us,” said Barry VanDyke, co-owner of Harmony Brewing Company.
Harmony is also celebrating its 10th anniversary, but VanDyke said when it opened, he had no idea the city was about to get the designation of Beer City.
“The scene here in Grand Rapids is amazing. It just keeps growing and growing,” he said.
The giveaway experiences are a win, win; giving people a chance to try out new businesses while supporting the breweries that have earned Grand Rapids its title.
Kris Mathis, owner of Raise a Glass Tours, said he’s thrilled to be a part of it.
“We’re giving away a couples tour. Tour for two, private beer experience along with the hotel stay,” Mathis said. “The big thing about our experience is it’s all blind tasting. So, we don’t tell you where you’re going. We don’t tell you what the menu is. We don’t tell you anything. You just show up, you get in and we surprise you.”
Mathis added the mission of Raise a Glass Tours is to share his passion for great food and beverage. He is grateful for the opportunity to partner with other businesses to give people a chance to experience the local culture.
“We have some amazing breweries all over the city and amazing people. I think that when tourists get a chance to come here, they get a chance to just experience this unique way of doing things that are unlike any other city that we have in the country.”
More information about the giveaway can be found on Experience Grand Rapids’ website.