Third Annual Cool Brews. Hot Eats. Expected to Draw Crowds

Popular winter beer and food festival makes Grand Rapids stand out!

by Sarah Cavanaugh

cool brews logo

Fresh off the heels of being named Best Beer Town by USA Today and Top 10 Vacation Spot for Beer Lovers (, Beer City will once again host beer lovers and food enthusiasts from all over Michigan and beyond for Cool Brews. Hot Eats. in Grand Rapids, February 16-28.


The event will feature more than 50 restaurants and breweries in the Grand Rapids area and celebrates the perfect pairing of food and beer as local chefs and brew masters offer beer-infused dishes and meals with complementary beer pairings. The event returns with area hotels and restaurants expecting record numbers of attendees.

Nothing betas the winter blahs like fine beer paired with delicious food.
Nothing betas the winter blahs like fine beer paired with delicious food.


“Back for the third year, Cool Brews. Hot Eats. has grown into an event that is not only a benefit for beer lovers, but also the local economy,” said Doug Small, President and CEO of Experience Grand Rapids. “The Grand Rapids area beer scene continues to be recognized on a national level, most recently as ‘Best Beer Town’ from the readers of USA Today. Paired with our ever-popular dining scene drawing in food enthusiasts from throughout the region, these two cultures collide to give beer and culinary fans a unique and wonderful experience.”


The event coincides with other beer-related events, including Beer Week and the popular 10th Annual Winter Beer Festival at Fifth Third Ballpark, extended to two days this year, Feb. 27 and 28. The festival includes 90 Michigan breweries and more than 800 craft beers.


Visitors can also plan a self-guided craft beer tour on the Experience GR website’s “Beer Page” to experience why Grand Rapids was named one of the Top 10 Best Vacation Cities for Beer Lovers.  Sponsors for the event include Founders Brewing Company and Secchia Institute for Culinary Education at Grand Rapids Community College.


A list of participating restaurants and menus is being updated regularly and can be found at:


Started in 2013, Cool Brews. Hot Eats. is Grand Rapid’s first-ever winter food and beer event. It was designed after a series of events occurred in Grand Rapids, including recognition as “Beer City USA,” Hopcat Restaurant being named “#1 Brew Pub in the US,” Founders Brewing Company being named “Third Best Brewery in the World,” and the growing farm-to-fork culinary scene. The Michigan Society of Association Executives awarded Experience Grand Rapids a Gold Award for Innovative Collaboration for the inaugural Cool Brews. Hot Eats. Promotion.