1 Jan: The Mitten Beer Quest Begins in Grand Rapids with Founders and HopCat

Mitten Beer Quest 2017

Miles Traveled: 84
Beers Consumed: 9
Brewery Count: 2


Confirming hours, especially when visiting around a holiday is imperative for touring success.

For some reason it seemed fitting that the first beer of the year be a Breakfast Stout from Founders. Maybe it was because the Mitten Beer Quest was official born there, maybe it was because it was breakfast. Regardless, a proper pour in a proper glass in front of the wood stove was the best way to begin the year.

It was also the perfect brewery to begin the Quest. It was with minimal planning that we began, a habit I was not to follow. I also quickly learned that eating and drinking as much as we did at both Founders and HopCat that night was going to bring this adventure to a quick, grinding halt. I realized on 2 January that if I had any chance of succeeding, it was going to require more restraint and less hangover.

Founders Brewing Company

Untappd | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter

This trip to Founders was strangely reserved. The place was a bit quiet as I am sure the vast majority of people were home sleeping off New Year’s Eve parties. It left us KBS, and way too many other beers to dive into. The holiday lights were still on and the four of us made our way through quite the list which included: Lizard of Koz, Nitro Oatmeal Stout, Double Trouble, Exfiltration IPA and Werewolf Lazer Circus. My very first Founders Mug Club Mug went home with me that night much to the glee of my nerd girl’s heart.

HopCat Grand Rapids

Untappd | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter

HopCat remains one of my favorite places in Grand Rapids. There are so many memories of being surrounded by my Army Reserve friends up in the loft on Drill weekends. It is now a tradition with our friends to end up here when it is late and eventually we will be graced with Ben and his celery antics. I’m slowly learning to wean myself from the tap list, ever so lovely, and venture into making choices from the extensive bottle list on the back of the beer menu. As my beer knowledge becomes more sophisticated, I appreciate being able to extend my palate.


  1. Hi, this is Bryan with Great Beer Now! I was reading an article from Vine Pair and just learned about your brewery visiting adventures in Michigan! I shared the story to my Facebook and Twitter followers. I did a tour of Grand Rapids breweries last year and I, too, kicked off my visit at Founders. I have thought about visiting all of the breweries in Texas, where I live, but Texas is a BIG place. Who knows- it still may happen some day. Anyhow, congrats on your feat- visiting that many breweries in a short time, meeting so many great people, and drinking so much delicious beer has to be the experience of a lifetime!

    1. Hey Bryan—your site is great and I am grateful for the shares! Just told a dear friend and brewer in Ohio that I am looking to do a trip to Austin and check out the beer scene there. Sounds like Texas beer is growing and that is good for everyone in the industry. Yeah, Texas would be an awesome accomplishment. I’ve driven across it a few times and I can’t even imagine doing what I did there. Thanks again for the comment and let me know if you are in Michigan or if you would ever like to compare notes!

Leave a Reply