Leaving Home for College

I got accepted to Grand Valley State University in the middle of my senior year of high school. It was the only university that I had applied to because it was the only one that I really wanted to attend. My older sister was a junior at GVSU when I was a senior in high school and I fell in love with the university through visiting her. My mom didn’t want me to go away to school, partly because she didn’t think I was ready and partly because she said she would miss me too much.

I wasn’t home when my acceptance letter had arrived at my house; I was at the local Biggby where my boyfriend was working at the time. He worked at Biggby while he attended school at a community college and was planning on transferring to GVSU after two years. He may be partly to blame for me choosing to leave home. I was sitting at the coffee shop when my mom texted me that I received a large envelope from GVSU. We had talked a few weeks earlier that I most likely would receive a letter if I had been declined, so I knew I had to have been accepted.

Up until I had gotten my acceptance letter from GVSU I was planing on going to a community college back home. My parents thought it would be smarter considering the money I would save. I didn’t know what to think when I had finally gotten the acceptance letter. I didn’t know if I should have been happy that I was accepted, or worried that no one would want me to go. My grades in high school weren’t of top quality, so many of my family members  didn’t think I would get accepted right away. My sister was “wait-listed” when she first applied.

A lot happened my last year of high school that had to do with me choosing to go to a university 2 hours away from home.  My parents decided to get a divorce the first couple months of school and that process went on throughout the year. My family was kind of a mess during that time, so part of me wanted to stay and fix it, but I knew I had to leave and fix myself first. Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t easy leaving all of that behind, especially my younger sister who had to be left home alone. It was hard, really hard.

My family is all on the east side of the state, so communicating with them through my years at college haven’t always been the easiest. Sometimes I barely hear from them and other times I hear from them on the daily. I love to hear about their lives and what they’re doing without me there because it makes me feel sort of like I am there. It’s even better when I’m able to go home for a few days, or they are able to come visit me. Through all of our troubles in the past we are lucky to be closer than ever.

Being away from home has taught me a lot, especially how to be more independent. I’ve always been an independent person, but only to some extent. I would like to say I’ve grown up as a person throughout my college career. Though I don’t remember too well what my mindset was like my freshmen year, I would like to think that I’ve become a much more positive person with a brighter outlook on life. 

I’ve learned to appreciate the little things, especially the leftovers from a meal that you had when your family came to visit. I’ve become more grateful for what I have and  the opportunities that I’ve been blessed with. I’m a senior at a university that I’ve attended for 4 years and am graduating in the spring with a bachelor’s degree that I hope to use for some good toward the community; what could be better than that?

Choosing to leave home was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made and I wouldn’t change a thing about the experiences and lessons I’ve learned while I was away.

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 expectations.beer-932943_960_720
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.

Hello “the best soft sugar cookie recipe ever!”

By: Danielle Miller, Marketing Manager

As Christmas slowly approaches, I hope that you and yours have enjoyed preparing for the season. We all know that Christmas isn’t the same without the lights, the trees, the Christmas movies, the presents, and of course, the Christmas cookies! While I normally buy boxes of Christmas cookies from Gordon Food Service every year, which are incredible by the way, I decided to spice it up this year, and try making my own Christmas cookies from scratch!db59d096be91a14df72f397ce67e5da1

So, again, like the millennial I am, I searched for a recipe on Pinterest. I found an amazing one called, “The Best Soft Sugar Cookie Recipe Ever!” I thought it sounded promising.

Here’s how to make them:

Ingredients:

  • 2 eggs
  • ⅔ cup margarine
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ¼ cup milk
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • ½ tsp lemon juice
  • 4 cups flour
  • ¼ tsp salt

Directions:

  1. Cream together your butter and sugar. Beat in your eggs into the mixture.
  2. In a separate dish, dissolve your baking soda in your milk and then add to your creamed egg/sugar mixture.
  3. Add vanilla and lemon flavoring.
  4. Then, add your dry ingredients and mix well.
  5. Chill your dough for 1.5 hours or overnight.
  6. Roll out the dough to ⅛” thick (not too thick, not too thin). You can use wax or parchment paper to roll out the dough so you don’t need to add any more flour. Just place your dough between too pieces and roll away.
  7. Cut out shapes with your favorite cookie cutters and place them on a baking sheet.
  8. Bake 8-10 minutes at 350*

Hopefully you also find this to be the “best soft sugar cookie recipe ever!” If you are interested in learning more about this recipe, visit https://www.amomstake.com/the-best-soft-sugar-cookie-recipe-ever/!

Enjoy!

What Does Your Personality Say About YOU?!

By: Danielle Miller, Marketing Manager

As a communications major, I have always been extremely interested in human interaction. I have always been drawn to other’s stories, and to understanding why people do what they do. Perhaps that is also why I decided to take emphasis classes in journalism and minor in psychology. Simply put, people are interesting, and while not everyone needs to major in communications and journalism and minor in psychology, I do think it is important that we take the necessary steps to learn how we interact with others. In the process, we may just discover our passions.

 

Like many college students, I had no idea what I wanted to go into when I first started taking classes in the fall of 2011. I wasn’t quite sure what my strengths and weaknesses were yet, and I certainly didn’t know what I was passionate about. What I did know, however, was that I wanted to find out. So, like the millennial I am, I googled: “What am I good at?” Several personality tests popped up on Google, and I started down the list. While many of them were helpful, I found the Myers-Briggs personality test to be the most influential.hand-457335_960_720

 

After taking the test, I learned that I am an “ENFJ Personality Type.” Meaning, I am an extrovert rather than an introvert, I rely on my intuition rather than my senses, I rely on my feelings rather than my thoughts, and I often judge rather than perceive. Because these letters and definitions won’t necessarily resonate with everyone, the Myers-Briggs also provides a detailed description of the “ENFJ Personality Type.” For example, the test describes the ENFJ’s strengths and weaknesses, how he or she interacts romantically, how he or she is as a friend, how he or she is/will be as a parent, what career paths he or she should consider, his or her workplace habits, etc. Needless to say, after taking the Myers-Briggs test, I learned a lot about myself.

 
Idealist_NF_Personality_Type_MBTISpecifically, I learned that “When it comes to finding a career, people with the ENFJ personality type cast their eyes towards anything that lets them do what they love most – helping other people!” The test illustrated that I would make an excellent teacher, counselor, HR administrator, event coordinator, and/or a sales representative/advertising consultant. While I didn’t rely on this test entirely to determine my future career, (as I currently work as a marketing manager) the test did help me learn more about what I am passionate about and how to channel that passion in everyday life. Not only that, but I have learned how my personality influences others in the workplace, how my personality relates to my husband’s personality, how my friends perceive me, etc. I also understand that the “ENFJ Personality Type” does not define me, but it certainly has helped me in understanding more about myself.

 

If you’re interested in learning a little more about your personality type, your strengths and weaknesses, etc., I would recommend taking the test today! Even if you already know a lot about yourself, encourage your friends to take the test, or even your coworkers! Understanding one another is great too!

 

Take the TEST!

If Only the House Could Talk

By: Danielle Miller, Marketing Manager

As many of you know, on October 28, we hosted an open house to showcase the rebirth of 426 Lafayette. While we do hope to rent the home, the purpose of the open house was to also reflect upon the history, cherish the memories of restoring its beauty, and celebrate its future. In an effort to honor the history, we contacted our local media stations to reach the Grand Rapids community. Lo and behold, the story that WOOD TV8 broadcasted reached a very special individual.

Paulette Guidebeck, of Caledonia, sought out news reporter, Sarah Hurwitz, shortly after she saw her childhood home flash across her TV screen. Paulette, also known as Paulie, couldn’t believe the transformation of 426 Lafayette, and deeply desired to see the home for herself.EPSON MFP image

Sarah Hurwitz kindly referred Paulie to American Realty, where she was eventually able to get into contact with me, Danielle Miller. As marketing manager, I was absolutely honored and thrilled to hear from Paulie. She shared countless stories of growing up at 426 Lafayette, and expressed her interest in visiting her childhood home along with her brother, Dick.

Knowing I would be setting up all day in preparation for the open house, I invited Paulie to meet me for a private tour of the home. Paulie and Dick, along with a few of their closest friends and family members, were amazed when they stepped into 426 Lafayette that afternoon.

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Paulie and Dick lived at 426 Lafayette in the 1940’s, nearly 75 years ago. When they moved in, the beautiful, historic home was divided into 4 different apartments. While we sought to highlight the historic charm of the home, the layout today differs from the layout that Paulie and Dick remember. The current “mother-in-law suite” once served as a kitchen, bedroom, and downstairs entrance. The current kitchen served as more bedrooms, and the current butler bar was completely non-existent, showcasing a fireplace in its place. The current living room was, again, more room for sleeping. Paulie, along with her parents and 5 brothers and sisters lived within that space alone.

Despite the tight conditions, Paulie and Dick held excitement in their voices when they reflected upon their childhood memories of living at 426 Lafayette, and were equally excited to see the beautiful transformation.img_3710

While we were able to gather a rich history of the home while working to restore it, we were missing a few decades, with the 40’s and 50’s being the majority of the missing gap. From our understanding, we didn’t think that the home was turned into several units until the late 60’s/early 70’s. It was fascinating to learn that the home stood as several apartments for quite a while.

Today the home stands as a single family unit. Paulie says her friends and family were impressed with the workmanship poured into the home that stands today. Knowing that the home had extensive fire damage and had sat vacant for nearly 25 years, they could hardly believe the home’s rebirth.img_3698

“If only the house could talk and what stories it would tell,” Paulie later expressed in an email thanking me for their tour.

It’s so very true. The home that sits at 426 Lafayette has over 100 years of stories. Stories of struggle, stories of sorrow, and, ultimately, stories of victory. We would like to thank Paulie and Dick for sharing their unique stories with us.

A Glimpse Into Property Management; We’re Always Learning

By: Hannah Peerbolt, Property Manager

Last week a few members of our staff went to a training conference out of town. I thought I’d share with you my experience in one of the sessions so you can catch a glimpse of what we do here to keep up with the latest technology in order to serve our tenants and owners better. 

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I consider myself an intelligent person, but the moment I walked into this particular session I knew I was in way over my head…

My first clue was that the instructor had an over-complicated IT title and a maniacal grin on his face knowing what he was about to put us through. He started off quickly and straight to the point:

“As you move through this report,  go through and tell it what position you want the character as a variable in the text. After the first loop, you would have the output account number; the charge type will have MH assist in it. The second time through the report will strip off the pipe character. Rinse and repeat.”

I pretend to comprehend and follow along on my laptop, typing words I’ve never used in the same sentence. The session goes on, going downhill as the disconnect between speaker and crowd grows larger. 

People are looking disoriented and confused; he’s claiming that he spent a lot of time covering template import and export and no one dares disagree. I personally don’t know what he has and has not spent time on as I float through the session in a daze, keeping up with the rare familiar word that comes up once every twenty minutes… Report. Customer. Unit. These words jolting me back into reality while offering hope that there is possibly a subject in this session that I am able to grasp.

The room is still and quiet, not one mouth speaking a question though our minds are reeling with them. Eight people have walked out and I am convinced the rest of us are here out of politeness and to save face. He hasn’t talked in five minutes, he’s focused on creating these reports like I focus on tacos. Ten people gone. He cracks a smile and we laugh nervously. He is starting a report that he does not have a template for. Adding in tenant charges as a unique ID (which he assures us can be whatever we want it to be), he is now trying to match up a report that he has previously exported. He claims that we got “most of the information” and we all blindly believe him, because really, which one of us would dare to call the master out? He says this is the most complex script in the software and laughs with pride. We are now smiling mostly out of fear as he walks us through this script.

The script in question is three pages long. The usefulness of this report is questionable as he is discussing writing checks to each and every city that could possibly be involved in your life. Can you write separate checks? Absolutely. But why would you do that when you have the opportunity to use the most difficult and complex script in the software? Twelve bodies have now left the room. I look around nervously as my typing is the only sound in the room. I thank God I am wearing glasses as they are the only thing remotely connecting me with this elite group of humans who remain in the room. My head hurts. Organized large variables are being created on the screen and I’m searching my brain for information I don’t have in order to back this up and understand a tiny morsel of what the man is saying.

At this point, 15 people have vacated the room and I am about to follow. Counting down the minutes left, I plan my escape. I walked out right before Q and A as not even I have the stamina to endure what was sure to be either the most awkward human speech encounter of all time or the most intellectual conversation known to man…

Grand Rapids Food Adventures Part 1

By: Jared Behrens, General Manager

I am no foodie, but I sure do love food, and I love food indiscriminately.  I don’t care if I am eating a $5 burger or a $50 steak, both have their gastronomical place in my heart.  I have been thinking long and hard of what I should be writing about, and for weeks have come up empty.  I kept thinking that I should be writing about the things I am passionate about, but I was not sure if there was anything I am passionate about that others would care about.  It was not until I was pondering these thoughts over a delicious lunch that it hit me, “I need to write about food.” So here we go.  I would like to take readers of my online ramblings on a small adventure month by month through the food landscape of Grand Rapids.  I will visit some of the top-of-the-line fancy steakhouses, as well as, hole in the wall diners.  You would be surprised at the options that Grand Rapids provides if you just look for it.pho

Todays’ food adventure takes us south on Division, past 36th St, into Wyoming.  Pho Soc Trang is a perfectly unassuming Vietnamese café hidden away within a larger building behind another authentic restaurant (which I hope to cover later), and a grocery store.  If you do not know where it is, you won’t find it.  I first found this cafe with a friend year’s back when I elected to spend the summer never eating at the same restaurant twice.  I had heard of the beef noodle soup (pho) here and that it was some of the best in the area.  To be honest, I never had pho before my first time here, but after my experience, it is a regular staple of my diet now.

pho2As I walked up to the front door, I first noticed their newly redesigned awning welcoming me (nice touch).  After entering, I noticed that the floor had also been re-tiled, but the ambiance was still just as unassuming as ever.  This place is “no frills” and I cannot express that enough.  Typically one or two tables are taken up with food being prepped, or sweets wrapped up ready for some other purpose (of which I am not sure).  The tables and chairs are as basic as can be, and daytime soap operas play on the flat screen TV’s on either end of the dining room.  What I really love about Pho Soc Trang is the family atmosphere.  If you go during the summer, the owner’s kids are playing with toys in the dining room and shooting playful smiles at the patrons as they eat.pho3
The menu is filled with choices, but you do not have to spend much time thinking about it.  Immediately go with any of their beef noodle soups.  My personal preference is the soup with rare cooked beef, tripe, tendon and beef ball.  The food comes out quickly, and is typically served by a gentleman whom I have never heard speak…EVER!  I have made it my goal to get him to say something…anything, but alas I have failed.  Today was no different.  The old gentleman quietly brings out my pho, sets a plate of fresh basil, cilantro, beansprouts, lime and jalapeños next to a small plate of red pepper sauce.  I shoot a smile to the old man and say “Looks delicious, thank you.”  He only looks back at me briefly and returns to the kitchen.  I could care less, I am hungry and I have work to do.

Here is the thing I love about Pho, anyone can make it to their own liking.  Like lots of greens?  Pile them up!  Me, I like it spicy!  I dump all of the jalapeños and pepper sauce in and squeeze a fresh lime in the bowl.  I leave that Sriracha crap on the table.  Don’t even get me started on Sriracha!
Here is some advice I have for you if you are new to this.

  1. The portions are huge! Come hungry.
  2. Don’t wear white. You are slurping up large quantities of soup, and it is bound to get everywhere
  3. Speaking of slurping, don’t be shy. Make some noise, that’s how you are supposed to eat it.  If you are daintily sipping away at your soup, you are going to get some strange looks.

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Here is the best part of it all, after eating some of the most incredible Vietnamese food Grand Rapids has to offer, I walked out of the door spending less than $10.  Again, you need to remember, this is a “no frills” sort of place.  Looking for silver wear?  Don’t even think about it.  Use your chopsticks like a big kid and enjoy the experience.  True, you may need to step a little out of your comfort zone, but I can assure you that if you do, this place will not disappoint.

 

Have you checked out New Holland Brewing’s The Knickerbocker yet? #beercityusa

By: Danielle Miller, Marketing Manager

Here in Grand Rapids, we truly take pride in our historic districts, in our colleges, in our art, in our local eateries, and in our BEER. There is a reason why we are known as Beer City USA. In fact, according to Experience Grand Rapids, we were voted Beer City USA in national polls, and Best Beer Town and Best Beer Scene by USA TODAY. Grand Rapids is home to 40+ breweries, with the newest being New Holland Brewing’s The Knickerbocker. 

The Knickerbocker is located at 417 Bridge St. NW, and it is a MUST SEE. You really can’t miss it; the building is truly a work of art. It boasts a rustic, modern feel, that markets itself with ease. With the grand opening last week, we made a point to check out Grand Rapid’s new hot spot with a couple members of our staff here at American Realty. The minute we pulled up, we all reached for our phones to snag a few photos simply because we knew “if it looks this great outside, the inside must be amazing as well.” It certainly did not disappoint.

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This photo was taken when we first walked in. My eye automatically shifted to the lighting and the sign “Stop and Taste.” This photo captures the rustic, modern feel that they so easily achieved. img_3486

As this photo shows, not only was there seating downstairs, but there is an additional second level as well. The new brewery is brilliant in size and craftsmanship. Even with the busyness of the grand opening, it offers a peaceful atmosphere and plenty of seating. img_3491

Outdoor seating is always an additional treat, and the Knickerbocker offers plenty of it! When I visit next time, I am going to make a point to sit out here!img_3496

Bar, sports, good company. Nough’ said. img_3495

Check out the beautiful kitchen. Again, the Knickerbocker boasts a modern, clean atmosphere.img_3492
And as you can see, the place was absolutely packed! Even still, the acoustics, fortunately, were amazing!  One could easily assume that with so many people, The Knickerbocker would be extremely loud. Our staff, however, was able to carry on conversation quite easily.

The awesome lighting, spacious atmosphere, and friendly staff made quite the impression. But, let’s not forget about the food and beer! I am no food critic, but my black bean burger was very tasty, and the beer, again, proved that Grand Rapids deserves the title of “Beer City USA.” Don’t just take my word for it though. Make sure to grab a few friends, share a few laughs and brews, and “stop and taste” all that The Knickerbocker has to offer here in #beercityusa.

For more details, check out their lunch and dinner menus!