Grand Rapids is beer city USA, we can all agree to that (right California?). And while the beer here is well crafted, delicious and diverse, we sometimes forget about mixed drinks. How good is a bloody Mary with friends on a lazy Saturday morning? Or an Irish coffee on a cold, snowy night? Beer is awesome, but so are cocktails.
Following the brewery trend, distilleries seem to be popping up in West Michigan as well. Flatlander's opened last year, serving a mix of their own gin, vodka, whiskey, rum and bourbon as well as other brands of spirits, beer and wine. They call this a barstillery, and yes, it's trademarked. Long Road Distillers opened in May, and Gray Skies Distillery is still scheduled to open before the year is up.
Consumer palates are getting more refined as better quality alcohol is making its way into the market, and people are seeking out newer and more adventurous flavors. Tasting rooms help open the doors to those who want to try new liquors, particularly ones that aren't sold in bars. Distilleries seem to be where breweries were 15 years ago, just at the beginning of the upward trend.
We still love our beer, and having a plethora of local breweries to choose from is a wonderful fact of life in Grand Rapids. But how much more wonderful would it be to also have an abundance of local distilleries as well? Photos of gorgeous cocktails provided below to convince you.