So you are thinking about tackling the Brewsader Challenge in one day? All the power to ya, but here are some helpful tips from our one day Brewsader extravaganza.
First comes first, you should be familiar with the official rules and regulations. Here is the gist: if you check-in at 8 breweries in Grand Rapids, you get a free Brewsader t-shirt. We did this for more of the challenge aspect of it but the T-shirt is actually good quality and pretty awesome beer-swag. A key note in the last sentence is “check-in at breweries”, which brings us to our first tip!
1. Make sure your phone is charged
In order for your brewery visit to count towards your goal, you need to “check-in” on your phone. On the Beer City Brewsader app, you need to share your GPS location in order for it to confirm you are indeed at a brewery. THEN the app will ask for a secret password (ssshhh) that you must get from the bartender at said brewery.
Between all of the checking-in on the Brewsader app (and Untappd for those who use that app) you will also need your phone for getting around, which brings us to the next tip!
2. Wear walking shoes
When we first heard the term “Beer City” we assumed that like other craft brewery cities, breweries would be on every corner, but that was a bad assumption. The breweries in Grand Rapids are actually pretty spaced out. Including the fact that we got lost a couple times, we walked a total of 10 miles and used one Uber in order to complete our challenge.
Be sure to also ask your bartender or others about the route you are taking to your next brewery in order to avoid any sketchy neighborhoods.
3. Utilize happy hours
Plan your day around the many hours of happiness that the breweries offer. Considering you are going to 8 different breweries in a day, happy hours could save you lots of money! Not only on drink specials but for food specials as well, which is going to be essential for your stamina in this long day of crafty suds! Our favorite happy hour special: $5 burger and fries at HopCat brewpub!
4. Check the operating hours of the breweries
We made the stubborn assumption that all the breweries would be open while we were there…we were wrong! All of the breweries have different schedules so plan your trip according. For instance, we were very excited to visit Fountain Hill Brewery, the college-run brewery on the Grand Rapids Community College campus. However, after roaming the campus for the better part of an hour we realized we could not get into the brewery because there were only open two days a week.
While your checking their operating hours, be sure to see what events they have going on. We wish we planned to partake in some of the Trivia or open mic nights that many of the breweries had to offer.
It should also be noted that almost all of the breweries in Grand Rapids are brewpubs, thus, they have more to drink than just beer!
You now have the knowledge that we wish we had at the start of our day; you are ready for the challenge. Enjoy the beers and follow us on Untappd (@imerik) to see what we rated the beers of Grand Rapids!
Follow @SunnySideUpTraveling for more beer and travel tips!