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/// BEER SPOTLIGHT:


O’Connor’s Home Brew Supply


H


OMEBREWERS, REJOICE! On March 22, Ben and Allison O’Connor opened O’Connor’s, a Grand Rapids homebrew supply store. The space is comfortable, warm, welcoming and staffed by homebrewers who are ready to help you learn and


grow in your brewing. “Our whole idea is to be helpful,” Ben said. “We want to


be the store that gets people into brewing, new or experienced.” The store is packed full of supplies, from an extensive selec-


tion of brew kettles and equipment kits to water treatment, flavor extract and adjuncts. The staff at O’Connor’s builds its own brew kits for you to take home and also stocks kegging equipment, large-scale fermenters and house-made mash tuns. There is an expansive grain selection, and the supply store offers bigger-scale homebrewers the option of buying base malt in bulk. The store also carries nearly every Wyeast strain that is available on the American market, providing you with a wide range of yeast selection. Not only does the supply store cater to homebrewers, but


the owners also decided to put a heavy emphasis on local talent. Local woodworker Matt Sutton was brought in to build all the


Ben and Allison O’Connor. PHOTO: RYAN PAVLOVICH


shelving units out of oak, as well as the grain milling station (complete with a chute that sends your crushed grains right into a paper bag). There is also a section of Grand Rapids-made wort-chillers of varying sizes, local carboy-carriers and multiple strains of locally produced whole-leaf hops.


“Everything from Grand Rapids or West Michigan we can get our hands on, we will,” Ben said. n


Visit O’Connor’s Home Brew Supply at 613 Lyon St. NE, Grand Rapids; (616) 635-2088; oconnorshomebrew.com.


by Ben Darcie | ben@revuewm.com


BEER OF THE MONTH: Brewery Vivant’s Tall Boys G PHOTO: KIM KIBBY 24 | REVUEWM.COM | JUNE 2011


RAND RAPIDS’ BREWERY VIVANT will be the fourth Michigan brewery to join the canned revolution. Following in the foot-


steps of breweries such as Keewenaw Brewing Co. and Rochester Mills, Vivant has released three of its mainstay beers in a “tall boy” can, a proper 16 oz. pint. You are now able to get your hands on


three Vivant beers: Farm Hand, a mildly sweet French Farmhouse ale; Triomphe, a light caramel Belgian IPA with a wonderful American hop backbone; and Solitude, a deep mahogany abbey-style ale with a solid- yet-intricate malt presence. Brewery Vivant has numerous reasons for


converting to cans and even includes a “why cans?” section on its artwork. The primary


reason, however, is that aluminum cans are “infinitely recyclable” and can be back on the shelf within 60 days. Also, a case of cans is 50 percent lighter than a case of bottled beer, cut- ting down on shipping and fuel expenditure. Aluminum also eliminates exposure


to sunlight, retains carbonation better and completely eliminates exposure to outside oxygen. The canning facility produces 26 cans per minute, with every can overseen by head brewer Jacob Derylo, who makes sure that each one is up to par so that when you crack it open, it will be exactly as intended — a perfect pint. n


Brewery Vivant is located at 925 Cherry St. SE, Grand Rapids; (616) 719-1604; breweryvivant. com.


BEER NEWS


Tickets are currently on sale for the 14th Annual Michigan Summer Beer Festival in Ypsilati and can be purchased at michiganbrewers- guild.org.


Saugatuck Brewing Company has just completed a distribution expansion to include the Metro Detroit area.


Bell’s Brewing Company has been awarded a Community Development Block Grant for its expansion, which will provide 22 new jobs over the next two years. The expansion is planned to include a new brew house, extended cellar space and an employee care area at its production brewery in Galesburg.


SCHEDULE | DINING | SIGHTS | SOUNDS SCENE


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