WHAT: 9th Annual Grand Rapids International Wine, Beer & Food Festival
WHEN: Thursday, Nov. 17 (5-10pm) | Friday, Nov. 18 (4-10pm) | Saturday, Nov. 19 (Noon-10pm)
WHERE: DeVos Place, Downtown Grand Rapids – with over 100,000 square feet (nearly 3 acres).
COST: $15 – Thursday (and advanced ticket sales for Friday & Saturday); $20 – Friday & Saturday.
3-Day Pass – At $40, this option allows admission each day of the Festival and is intended for those who want to get the most out of their tasting experience. Online sales end Thursday, Nov. 17 at 5pm (Box Office sales for the pass end at 10pm on Thursday, Nov. 17).
Food and beverage samples require varied amounts of sampling tickets of 50-cent denominations (sold at the Festival). We suggest guests start with at least $20 worth of tasting tickets.
WHO: Savor the finest culinary experience in the Midwest during this annual pre-holiday celebration. Drawing more than 18,000 people—from the novice looking for an introduction to the world of epicurean culture to the connoisseur who appreciates the finest things in life—this is the weekend to gather with family and friends to share an ultimate pre-holiday experience.
*Attendance at this festival is for those 21 years of age and older. ID is required for admittance.
NEW: GR MIXER:
Blending together award-winning spirits and mixers into craft artisan cocktails, the region’s noted mixologist and distillers will serve up hands-on workshops guaranteed to educate and entertain. These complimentary 15-minute workshops will amp up your bartending skills, just in time for holiday entertaining with family and friends. Held in the new craft cocktail concourse along the river, each workshop limited to the first 12 people who step up to the bar at the scheduled times.
Bartenders from six-one-six inside the JW Marriott are also planning an exciting “Chopped”-style competition during their Pairing (see below) aimed to perfectly match cocktails with prix fixe menu.
Held in the Secchia Lobby, running along the western edge of the Steelcase Ballroom, overlooking the Grand River.
INFO: Over 100 wineries from around the world provide samples of over 1,200 assorted wines – including some hard to find, top shelf vintages. Also find many award-winning Michigan wines for tasting. An increased number of distilleries, including many from Michigan, will also be showcased.
THE ELITE WINE COLLECTION:
Located in the center of the Vineyard, inside the Steelcase Ballroom at DeVos Place, this special collection of wine has been selected by our consulting sommeliers and importing specialists as the “best of the best” top shelf vintages, chosen from among 1200 assorted wines. These high-end wines require a minimum 10-ticket ($5) tasting fee due to the cost of the product being served. Each of these wines have at least a 90-point value in a recognized wine rating system and are regarded as among the most elite wines of the festival according to industry experts. No need to invest hundreds of dollars in a full bottle—the Elite Wine Collection allows you the opportunity to sample these wines for a minimal cost.
BEER CITY STATION:
The Festival’s popular beer area returns to the Exhibit Hall C on the Main Floor of DeVos Places off the Grand Gallery. Step into the world of creative craft beers, imported and domestic brews, hard ciders and foods that pair well with both. Meet the American craft brewer—the small, independent and traditional producers who display passion and excitement for their unique beverages. New products, as well as traditional favorites, will be offered for sampling.
Tap into the Cider Row at the Festival, featuring almost 20 cider producers from Michigan and nationally-known brands. Hard cider is among the fastest growing craft beverages, on a national scale. It is fermented to produce a range of flavors – from dry to sweet.Featured in the Beer City Station in Exhibit Hall C off of the Grand Gallery.
FLAVORED MALT BEVERAGES:
This sector of the beverage industry is taking off with hard iced tea; sodas—such as root beer, orange, cherry, lemon and other fruit flavors; seltzer waters and carbonated caffeinated products. Featured in the Beer City Station in Exhibit Hall C off the Grand Gallery.
GROWERS CHAMPAGNE FLIGHTS:
Add a little extra class to your glass with an intimate tasting with Bradford Hammerschmidt from Imperial Beverage. These special flights offer champagnes you will not find anywhere else in the Festival. Each of the champagnes will be paired with specially selected cheese and crudités. Flights offered Saturday at 4pm and 7pm only. The cost is $40 per person. Reservations may be made online, or on site – space permitting.
Select restaurants partner with distinguished wineries and breweries for special Pairings – gourmet multi-course meals served on-site in a casual yet intimate “bar top” setting. Tickets are $45-$65 each and may be purchased in advance online or at the Festival on a first-come, first-served basis. This year’s restaurants include: Ganders, San Chez, six.one.six, Reds at Thousand Oaks and Wolfgang Puck’s The Kitchen.
ULTIMATE DINING OPPORTUNTIES:
Additionally, chefs from about a dozen of the area’s top restaurants prepare and serve small plates of their culinary specialties.
The Coffee, Cordials and Dessert Café will be open in the Grand Gallery for the duration of the Festival. Start your Festival experience, or make it a nightcap, with unique pairings of coffee, lattes and cocktails crafted for your enjoyment with a variety of cordials, indulgent sweets and other treats.
SEMINARS & WORKSHOPS:
Esteemed individuals from the culinary world host demonstrations on the Meijer Food Stage. Complimentary beverage seminars, held classroom-style in the rooms off the Grand Gallery, give attendees an in-depth look into the world of wine, beer and spirits. Cocktail workshops are also offered for a unique hands-on experience for those wishing to learn tricks of the trade from top leaders.
BEYOND THE CLASSROOM:
Students from Ferris State University, the Culinary Institute of Michigan at Baker College in Muskegon, the Secchia Institute of Culinary Education at Grand Rapids Community College and Grand Valley State University work alongside industry leaders for a premier educational experience.
OFFICIAL PROGRAM: Download the official Festival program here: https://www.showspan.com/GRW/festival-program/
*LOOK for our NEW SnapChat GeoFilter when you get to the Festival each day!
A Festival App is available in both the Android and Apple systems, this free app allows guests to peruse beverage lists (including notes, ratings and personalized lists), workshops/seminars, restaurant menus and also purchase admission and Pairing tickets. Download it now and plan your visit, as well as use it to navigate the Festival.
MEDIA: Festival Photos (2015) Available Upon Request.