Celebrating International Food & Beverages

Grand Rapids International Wine, Beer & Food Festival chef kitchen
The chef's kitchen at the Grand Rapids International Win, Beer & Food Festival, Nov. 14, 2019. Grand Rapids Magazine file photo.

A festival that celebrates the international food and beverage industry will return to DeVos Place Nov. 16-18. Admission tickets and pairing reservations are now open for the region’s premier culinary celebration.

The Grand Rapids International Wine, Beer & Food Festival, which was named one of a dozen “fall wine festivals In North America you don’t want to miss” by Forbes in 2019, is celebrating its sixteenth anniversary. Since 2008, the festival has continued to grow into one of the largest regional events of its kind.

General Admission tickets are $20 per person, per day with festival hours running from 4-9 p.m. and Saturday, Nov. 18, 2-9 p.m. Tasting tickets will be available for purchase online and at the event for 50 cents each, used for both food and beverages.

The event will offer a diverse array of beverages available for sampling– beer, cider, wine, spirits, signature coffees and teas – with more than 1,200 offerings from around the world. 

Wines will be showcased in the Steelcase Ballroom; beer and cider (local, domestic and international) will be available in Hall C; Michigan craft spirits will be on offer in The Barrel Room; coffees and cordials– along with desserts– will be available in the Grand Gallery; and non-alcoholic options will also be available in the beer and wine halls. 

Some highlights of the International Wine, Beer & Food Festival will include entrepreneurs sharing stories of product development and business success, and demonstrations by food creators, on the Meijer food stage. Samples of the latest specialty foods and beverages will be on offer, with opportunities to purchase products. There will also be live music in the various halls to add to the atmosphere of the event each evening.

The merrymaking begins on Thursday, Nov. 16 with a special VIP preview night (cost, $150) that includes specialties from small plate restaurants for a strolling dinner experience; a wine tasting session, distilled spirit tasting session, and beer tasting session; a demonstration on the Meijer food stage; a “meet the maker” presentation and samples from 100 select new release, special vintage, and exclusive festival beverages hand-selected by sommeliers, restaurateurs, and other industry leaders.

On Friday and Saturday, six regional restaurants will offer intimate pairings, including Archival Brewing, Four Roses Café, Monsoon, One-Twenty-Three, Redwater Restaurant Group and The Kitchen by Wolfgang Puck. This portion of the event is sponsored by Bekins, a local, family-owned appliance company. These limited-seating, four- to six-course dinners are prepared by the featured chefs table side as they talk you through the meal and the selected beverage pairing. Tasting sessions led by leaders in the beverage industry will educate festival goers on how to properly sniff, sip and savor them. Only a select number of “tasting tickets” available. 

A limited number of VIP “preview plus” tickets are available for $225 and include the addition of a special one-hour multi-course meal and beverage pairing. Admission tickets, pairing reservations, complete menus–  along with seating times and prices and tasting sessions and other details – will be posted at GRWineFestival.com.


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