For those of you who are suffering through finals week or a finals week is coming near you, I’m sorry, hang in there, listen to your body, and you got this.
For everyone else, don’t talk to me.
Anyways, this past weekend I had the chance to actually do a little bit of traveling and exploring outside of Grand Rapids and Allendale. On both Saturday and Sunday I got to play tourist in Grand Haven and go to the beach on one of the first hot and sunny days of the year. It turned out to be a much needed pre-finals relaxation weekend, and I used the time I had to catch up with friends I have seriously been putting on the back burner. There’s nothing quite like a Michigan summer…
And what goes great with hot and sunny days? Why, beer of course! Did you know Grand Haven is home to 6 breweries? Myself and some friends were led by a Cidermaker to his favorite, and from what we heard from some locals, one of the best breweries in town, called the Grand Armory.
A small and charming coffee bar greets you at the entrance of the Grand Armory. Walk in beyond, and you are charmed by the architecture of the place. Seriously, it was beautiful.
On the walls hang local art, available for purchase. Although we stayed on the ground floor, there seemed to be a lofted floor above. The bar itself sat against the back wall, small and filled with dark wood.
Picking the beer was difficult; Grand Armory has 20 brews on tap, and at least three of them sounded like dessert to me. I chose Porter Party, a roasty chocolately porter. It was insanely delicious, with notes of chocolate and hints of caramel. This is a good choice for those of you who like it sweet but not TOO sweet. A very dark and rich brew, $5 for 16 oz. Although awfully filling on it’s own, we were hungry for real food.
Between the bar and the coffee sits Righteous BBQ, a delicious smelling hole-in-the-wall (literally). I was too distracted by the yummy smells coming from it’s kitchen to take any pictures, but I did manage to snap a picture of my pulled pork. It was DEVINE. I also had a side of slow-roasted kale and bacon.
Between the hot sunny rays, the sweet cold beer, and our slow roasted BBQ lunch, I was in a state of pre-summer bliss. After my first bite, I actually had a moment of “I am SO happy”. Seriously, on your next weekend off, visit Grand Haven and make a stop at the Grand Armory. Whether its for the beer, the coffee, the BBQ, or even just to see some art, you will not be disappointed.
BONUS JONAS: So a little while after stuffing ourselves with beer and BBQ, we did a little perusing in Grand Haven’s downtown area. I just wanted to share this coffee that I bought while we were inside what appeared to be a candy shop, but then we thought it was a liquor store, then I found the coffee and became even more confused…anyways, the bag of beans says it was a general store so I guess that’s what it ended up being. As someone who has worked as a barista for 5 or so years and has enjoyed it’s culture for longer, this coffee is truly fantastic. There were of course other flavors available but I chose the Salted Caramel, and I’m glad I did. After grinding and brewing the fresh grounds, Fortino’s Salted Caramel proves to be a really great cup of coffee. Plus, it’ll make your whole house smell like a bakery. Win-win! I’m savoring every bean in my bag until my next trip to Grand Haven.