The Early Bird Gets the Worm

By: Jared Behrens, General Manager

I am a big believer in morning routines.  Having an easily replicated morning routine gets you ready for the day, and gives you a first step in the right direction.  These routines are useful if you are a student, a blue collar worker, if you have an office job, or if you are a stay at home parent.  Setting time aside first thing in the morning to get your day and life in order pays exponential dividends throughout the day.  Here is a quick glimpse into my morning routine.  Admittedly, it is a little intense and possibly overboard, but it is what helps me attack the day.

9:00 pm – My morning routine actually starts the night before.  I know that my body needs a minimum of 7 hours of sleep to function correctly, so setting a time to wind down is imperative.  At 9pm, my phone alerts me that it is time to get ready for bed.  My objective is to finish my day at this point, and begin to prepare for sleep.  I find that non-caffeinated relaxing tea such as chamomile or an herbal blend help signal my body to prepare for bed.  This is also when I do my reading.  For one reason or another, once I begin reading, I struggle to keep my eyes open.  I get comfortable, begin to relax, read, and I am asleep by 10pm at the latest.

5:00 am – My alarm sounds and it is time to get out of bed!  After getting out of bed and getting dressed, I head downstairs for a healthy breakfast.  For the past several months, I have been enjoying kale smoothies.  I put loads of fresh greens and vegetables in my smoothie that give me energy throughout the day, and start my day with a blast of micronutrients!  Once the smoothie is done, dog has been fed and let out, it is off to the gym.

6:00 am – I arrive at the gym.  My workout will consist of a number of different things I may be interested in at the time.  I will do strength training, yoga, running, or whatever else interests me.  What you are doing is not important, the important thing is that you are doing something. 

7:00 am – My workout is complete, and it is time to prepare for the workday.  After working out, I am a big fan of spending time stretching, and spending time in a steam room or a sauna.  It gives time for your body to cool down from a workout and prepare you for the transition to beginning your day.  Lastly, I take a COLD shower!  I know it sounds crazy, but there is nothing like a cold shower to make you know you are alive!  An added benefit is that after taking a cold shower, anything seems easy.  There is nothing your day will throw at you that will be more difficult than stepping into freezing cold water early in the morning.

7:45 am – I have found that I perform at a much higher level when making meditation and journaling a regular practice.  Even just 10 minutes of mindfulness, and 5 minutes putting thoughts to paper help clear my head and give me a positive start to my morning.  This has been the easiest for me to dismiss out of my routine, but I find is extremely valuable.  The benefits pay dividends throughout the day.

8:00 am – I arrive at my office and being my day.  One of the things I love the most is that at this point, I have already been up for 3 hours.  My body and mind are fully awake and aware.  I am prepared for whatever challenge I am facing that day even if it is the first thing I encounter.

I have been practicing some form of this routine now for almost two years and I swear by it.  I find my energy level high throughout the day, and my attitude is more positive than ever.  While my exact routine may not be for everyone, I do suggest some sort of routine.  Once it becomes habit, you will not turn back to rushing out of bed 15 minutes before your first appointment!

Getting a Taste for West Michigan: Weekend Brewery Tours

By: Jeff Huber, Leasing Coordinator

Looking for a weekend event to inspire awe and envy? Check out some of the breweries around West Michigan from the inside out. Think of a brewery tour as taking a stroll in Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory. Expect to be led by eccentric employees through mysterious corridors. It’s a magical place, where fantastical beers are dreamed up and given a chance to live. It’s space where offbeat creatives wrestle with chemistry to create taste sensations beyond our
So, here’s a list to get you started with the tours at the production breweries in/near Grand Rapids. Now this list sticks to production breweries. If you’re looking to tour your favorite brewpub, I suggest you get on good terms with the employees there.
Anyway, here’s how you can get your own golden ticket:

Founders: The Big Kahuna, the Sultan of Swat, the Colossus of Clout, the Great BamBEERno! Talk about beer and Grand Rapids and you are going to hear about Founders. Simple as that. See what makes them so legendary for yourself.

Tours: $10 (40-60 minutes)

  • Sign up in advance
  • Friday – 5:30pm
  • Saturday – 11am & 11:45am
  • Sunday – 12:30pm
  • Includes a Founders pint glass
  • Tours limited to 12 people
  • Tour + Tasting Experience also available for $25

Brewery Vivant: Renovated funeral homes more your thing? And oh, those Belgians! You have to give these guys credit, while everyone else is making IPA’s these guys have been perfecting a different breed. Thank goodness.

beer-1667151_960_720Tours: $10

  • No reservations, purchase ticket from host
  • Saturday – 2pm & 3:30pm
  • Includes ample samples (see what I did there?) and 10% off coupon for Company store

Perrin: Backcountry darling turned little brother of CO’s Oscar Blues. Also a #1 stop for shuffleboard. So there’s that.

Tours: $10

  • Must be booked online, well in advance. (Currently the soonest available tour is in May)

Bell’s: Where the Michigan beer scene started. If wasn’t for Bells, Michigan beer wouldn’t be what it is…and it’s fantastic. Haven’t been to Bell’s? Maybe it’s time you got to know your roots.

Kalamazoo – Location of Original brewery, next to Eccentric Café

Tours: Free (Currently)

  • Spots can be reserved in advance (recommended)
  • Saturday – Noon, 1pm, 2pm, 3pm, & 4pm
  • Sunday – 1pm, 2pm, 3pm

Comstock – The new/expanded brewery that pumps out an unholy volume of beer 12 min away from downtown Kalamazoo

Tours: Free (Currently)

  • Spots can be reserved in advance (recommended)
  • Wednesdays – 2pm & 4pm
  • Thursdays – 2pm & 4pm
  • Friday – 2pm, 4pm, & 6pm
  • Saturday – Noon, 2pm, & 4pm
  • First-hand look at the brewing process

Peek Behind the Curtain and Barrel Tour & Tasting are also available on a limited basis (about at the level of all Perrin’s tours)

New Holland: Ever wondered how they milk a dragon?

Tour: $15 (90 minutes)

  • Tickets must be reserved online.
  • Saturday – Noon only (December 1 – April 1)
  • Meets at Store next to Taproom in Downtown Holland and tours production facility
  • Includes samples of beer and spirits
  • Tours brewing and distilling facilities

beverage-beer-1820129_960_720Tip for Tours:
Be aware, if you’re going on a tour most (if not all) breweries require that you wear closed toed shoes. This is to protect your feet from acid that could potentially be on the floor (they use it to clean all those stainless steel tanks).

New Year’s Resolutions!

By: Hannah Peerbolt, Property Manager

I personally love the thought of New Year’s Resolutions, filling the beginning of each year with hopeful expectations and dreams of excellence coming soon. Every year I set lofty goals for myself for the upcoming 365 days (lose 15 pounds, exercise every day, win the lottery, buy a popcorn machine, learn how to make killer sushi, etc.…), and not once have I accomplished all (if any) of my New Year’s Resolutions. Perhaps I need to be more realistic, or maybe I just need to keep reaching for the moon and one day I’ll catch it! As we start this new year, I thought I’d give you a list of some fun New Year’s Resolutions/Bucket List items to make your 2017 an unforgettable year in Grand Rapids.

1. Go Ice Skating in Rosa Parks Circle23491906071_7e2307b75a_b

Right in the heart of Grand Rapids, this is a magical and affordable winter activity that’s perfect for a romantic date night or a single’s night out! Find out more details here.

2. Take Cooking Classes at the Local Epicurean

Grab a group of your closest friends and learn how to make an amazing Italian meal while being treated to imported cheeses, pesto, baguettes and infused beverages! Find out how here.

3. Stroll Through Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park


18774023041_df7753c894_bDiscover one of Grand Rapids’ most beautiful and educational settings as you explore butterfly rooms, sculpture collections, the Japanese Garden, the Tranquility Zone and much more! Schedule your visit here.

4. Visit John Ball Zoo

Lions and tigers and bears, oh my! Re-acquaint yourself with your inner child as you wander through the tropics, hang out with the African animals and climb the treehouse at the zoo! See what all there is to do here.

5. ArtPrizeNessie_ArtPrize_Grand_Rapids

You will not want to miss the most attended art event on the planet. Paintings, sculptures, interactive art, drawings and murals are placed through the entire city, free for you to admire and vote for your favorite! Find the locations and dates here.