Thunder, lightning and a torrential downpour could not deter GRD listeners from getting a taste of all the great brews available at the first ever GRD Craft Beer Festival, presented by D&W Fresh Market, this past Saturday at John Ball Park in Grand Rapids. A line of people was already forming before gates were scheduled to open at 1pm. Unfortunately, Mother Nature had to be a little uncooperative as a massive thunderstorm delayed gates for an hour. Luckily, the skies cleared up and people drank up.

Over 100 beers were available for festival goers to sample, including those from Left Hand Brewing Company, O'Fallon Brewery, McSorley's Irish Ale, Leinenkugel, Thirsty Dog Brewing Company and more. Wing Heaven, Arturo's Tacos, That Place On Plainfield and others provided delicious food to go with the beer.

Thirst for beer knowledge was also quenched with seminars throughout the day. Doug Dorda from Siciliano's Market kicked things off with his "Introduction to Homebrewing" presentation. Many people filled the seats to see how they could learn the skills of brewing their own hop-filled masterpieces. Ian Radogost-Givens from B. Nektar Meadery spread the knowledge of mead with his seminar, "Mead: What the heck is it?". Other seminar topics included wheat beers, cooking with beer and pairing dark beers with summer foods.

I want to thank all of you for coming out and having fun with us at the event. Despite the iffy weather threatening to be a buzzkill, over 1,300 people attended the festival. Hope to see you next year!

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