On Tap: brewery smells, cocktail tours, and the “Dark Side of the Moon’

The Grand Rapids Public Museum offers “Dark Side of the Moon: the Light Show:, featuring the music of Pink Floyd. (Supplied)

By K.D. Norris



Unless you are a shop-a-holic, Black Friday is usually a time to stay away from public places, but on Friday, Nov. 24, the Grand Rapids Public Museum just might tempt you out with the offer of “Dark Beer, Dark Side”, an opportunity to get all spaced out with a beer in your hands.


The Public Museum, in partnership with Brewery Vivant, starting at 6:30 p.m. will present will host a brief presentation by Ryan Engemann, the Wandering Monk from Brewery Vivant, on the differences between various dark beers including Brewery Vivant’s Tart Side of the Moon. Then, after some time to tour the museum, at 7:45 p.m., visitors have the chance to grab a beer to enter the Chaffee Planetarium for the Museum’s original production “Dark Side: The Light Show”, set to the music of Pink Floyd’s “The Dark Side of the Moon”.


In the planetarium, visitors will experience the sounds of the iconic album “The Dark Side of the Moon” while getting blown away by stunning 4K visuals, brilliant LED sequences and Dolby 5.1 surround sound.


Tickets are $12 for mMuseum members, $22 for non-members, and your must be age 21+.  Tickets include 3 beer samples, general admission to the museum and admission to the planetarium show. ​For more information visit GRPM.org .


Tours and tastes at local breweries, distilleries


Ever smelled the smell of beer in the making? It is either as a fruity summer ale or as pungent as a strong stout, depending on what’s in the making. And spirits being distilled? Don’t event try to explain it.


Several Grand Rapids area breweries and distilleries are open to “behind the scenes” tours, according to supplied information, including Founders Brewing Company, Long Road Distillery, and Grey Skies Distillery.


Grand Rapids’ Founders Brewing Company offers limited tours of their production facility on Saturdays at 11 a.m. and 11:45 a.m., and Sundays at 12:30 p.m. and Fridays at 5:30 p.m. Tours are $10 each and include a Founders logo pint glass. They also offer a combined tour and beer tasting — just don’t ask what will be on tap as it changes. For more information visit foundersbrewing.com .


Grand Rapids’ Long Road Distillery takes visitors through the distilling process and the principles behind it. As they like to say: “You’ll get the chance to know what’s in your glass and where it came from.” Each tour is conducted by a distilling expert who is friendly, knowledgeable, and eager to answer any question — and the, of course, you get to taste a little somethin’ somethin’. Tours are $10 per person and limited to 15 people. For more information visit longroaddistillers.com .


Grand Rapids’ Gray Skies Distillery, which began whiskey production in 2015, has an on-site tasting room and cocktail bar. In September, the distillery began offering weekend tours to guests looking to learn more about craft whiskey, and peek behind the scenes at the distillery. There are two tours available, both are led by a knowledgeable distiller who will walk the guests through the entire whiskey making process, including fermentation, distillation, and aging — all done on-site. The Craft Distilling Tours are free, but the “Sneak Peek Tours” are $10, and include a craft cocktail to enjoy while on your tour. For more information visit greyskiesdistillery.com .


And for all you light lager drinkers …


Comstock Park’s Perrin Brewing recently announced a new brew has been added to its “core beer line-up”, a American light lager appropriately called Perrin Light Lager. It is described in supplied material as “a refreshingly clean, crisp beer with a perfect balance of malt and hops.”


Perrin Light Lager is now available in 15-packs — available in stores, but why not use that as an excuse to stop by the Perrin Pub? — as well as on draft at your favorite tap across Michigan.


For more information visit perrinbrewing.com .