When WZZM first approached us about doing the series on unique dating experiences, I was excited about the opportunity to do something fun and different with my husband, George. With a household of two working parents and three boys between the ages of six and nine, date nights are few and far between. We know it’s something we should do more often, but honestly? Sometimes it feels like too much effort.
But when the idea of brewing craft beer came up, I quickly volunteered: I knew if there was any way to get my husband to agree to do this on camera, it had to be something that interested him. And beer interests him—and me! With the boom in microbrew popularity over the past few years, it’s hard not to want to be a part of it.
There are many reasons Grand Rapids is becoming known for craft beer. After a nationwide vote in May 2012, Grand Rapids was declared BeerCity USA 2012. In 2013, Grand Rapids repeated the honors. Last summer my brother and his family visited from Albuquerque, and we had a blast introducing him to the many West Michigan venues. One of our favorites stops was Saugatuck Brewing Co., following a perfect day at the beach. This is where we decided to film our date to further explore the process that goes into brewing such delights as one of our personal favorites, Oval Beach Blonde.
We started with a behind-the-scenes brewery tour and an education in the process from beginning to end. It was kind of cool to feel like together, we were being given some sort of special access to a secret world. We were put in charge of weighing and grinding grains, and learned a lot about the fermenting process. I never knew so much time and patience went into it! The entire process, from start to finish, is four hours. But because we were on “TV production time,” we had to speed up the process, similar to what they do on cooking shows. It gave us an idea of what we’d experience it if we did the entire class. In addition to the step-by-step process, you can enjoy some great food while waiting and even design your own label!
We both agreed it was a good date and would like to try it again. Any time a busy couple can take time to connect and uncover a mutual interest could only strengthen your relationship.
Check out our other date ideas:
Written by: Jill Carroll