Farewell, friends.

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Hi everyone. It’s been a good ride, but unfortunately this issue is a bittersweet goodbye as my time at the helm of Grand Rapids Magazine is coming to an end. It’s been a great six issues, if I must say so myself, but this run was never meant to be permanent.

It was a way for me to immerse myself back into the community I love so much after a five-year absence. I was able to reconnect with a lot of people, meet new ones and tell a lot of great stories.

This issue, like the first one I put together, focuses on beverages— one of my specialties. It’s just the way the cookie crumbled in how the schedule of issues worked out. And this one, I got to tell yet another chapter in the history of Founders Brewing. In a lot of ways, the story of Founders has allowed me to track the ways my writing career has advanced since my first conversation with co-founders Dave Engbers and Mike Stevens back in 2010. It was fun to sit with Engbers yet again to hear his, occasionally off-the-wall, thoughts.

As usual, we also have some great stories by contributors, including a fantastic helpful guide to hosting for the holidays by Kelsey Dunneback. There’s also a special guest story about the man — a Grand Rapidian! — New York Yankees great Lou Gehrig replaced at the beginning of his career.

There is, as one might expect in a beverage issue, a lot about beverages! But there are some other fun recipes and notes, tips and tricks on a coffee bar, and interesting dives into the restaurant scene, like a check in with Reserve and a place I cannot wait to try, Nonla Burger.

Anyway, the magazine will be in great hands as I leave it to Lisa Enos, so I do hope you give her a warm welcome. I also hope you enjoyed my tenure guiding the ship, however brief it might have been. Don’t worry, I should still be writing my Drinks with Pat column
on GRMag.com every Friday. Also, so long as Lisa lets me and my
time allows, I hope I’ll still be writing for the magazine occasionally, particularly a fun John Ball Zoo piece we already have researched and photographed for the spring! (This is probably how she finds out.)

I’ll try not to be a stranger, and I hope to see you around town! As always, don’t be afraid to reach out – evanspa7@gmail.com.

Thanks for reading.

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