Grand Rapids first made a splash on the craft beverage scene when it was voted Beer City USA in national polls and named Best Beer Town and Best Beer Scene by USA TODAY readers. Nowadays there’s a lot more than just craft beer on tap in its culinary scene. Cider, spirits, and the cocktail creations they inspire, have led to even more culinary tourism in the city that was once known mostly for furniture. To highlight that, and to get more people out supporting local restaurants and tasting rooms during these difficult times, Experience Grand Rapids has rolled out a new program with fall savings opportunities.

It’s called Craft Pass GR and runs through October 31, 2020. Sign up to access the pass on your smartphone, then use it to check into participating craft beverage locations like Adesanya Mead, Brewery Vivant, Eastern Kille Distillery, Farmhaus Cider, Pink Barrel Cellars, Perrin Brewing Company, Michigan Moonshine Distillery, Vander Mill, and many more. Check into at least four participating locations and they’ll send you an exclusive drink-themed gift. Every check-in also earns you a digital coupon to be used on a return visit. You can signup for the program here then look out for a text message with additional instructions to connect to an app.

The app tells you about each venue, provides directions, connects to websites, and even reveals the coupon available before you check-in. When you place an order with your server, simply ask for the venue’s 4-digit pin in order to complete the check-in through the app, as opposed to checking in on a social media platform. When your check-in is processed by the app, you’ll receive a confirmation text. The available coupon for that venue will then become redeemable in the app so you can use it on your next visit.

This initiative is a little brother of sorts to a long-standing drink local program. Many years ago Experience Grand Rapids and area brewers partnered to create a beer passport. The concept invited individuals who were at least 21 years of age to pick up a Beer City Passport booklet at a participating location. Then earn the title of Brewsader by visiting eight different participating breweries and collecting stamps in the Beer City Passport. While the concept was creative and fun, it needed an upgrade for the digital age.

In 2018, the marketing team upped their game with the launch of a dedicated Beer City Brewsader app that allows participants to view nearby breweries and details, including menu items, directions and social media links. To get in on that action and start sipping your way to a new T-shirt, download the Beer City Brewsader app through Google Play or Apple.

Author: Lisa Diggs

Lisa Diggs is a writer, speaker, entrepreneur, business consultant, avid traveler, and founder of The Catalyst Company, LLC, Michigan Positivity Project, and Buy Michigan Now.