Are Micro-Breweries a Fad, or Here to Stay?

By Chef Oliver Hale

Harmony Brewing Company


There’s a new fad in town that centers around beer. But is it really a fad?  Micro-Breweries are the center of a great deal of attention and commotion and are spreading all across West Michigan. In the past few years, new breweries have opened up in Comstock Park, Holland, Hudsonville, Rockford and in Grand Rapids. Even Bell’s Brewery, the largest beer-maker in Michigan, opened up  a bar in Grand Rapids in an unusual location– the Gerard R. Ford Airport.  Even more, GR was voted 2013 BEER CITY USA.


So to ease my mind, I went out to a micro-brewery to test the new in-thing. I stopped by a small brewery named HARMONY BREWING CO. at 1551 Lake Dr. GR, SE. I was introduced to the Brewery Manager, Ben Isbell. Ben has been with Harmony for a 1 ½ years and they carry 10 different beers on tap. So I asked him to educate me on why micro-brews are growing!


“People love to drink beers and micro-brews offer so many different flavor of beers,” Ben said. “We use different melted barely and hops to make our beers very tasty.” he exclaimed.


HARMONY BREWING COMPANY also offers an outstanding family menu. When the owners, Jackson and Sandie Van Dyke, started putting together the brewery, they wanted an environment that would attract families to come and enjoy themselves.


Grand Rapids is drawing a lot of people from many other states to attend events like Art Prize, Laughfest, and many others. With that in mind, the 2013 Beer City USA is ready for them and going to be around for many years. Micro-Breweries are here to stay!