Inky Beer Factoid: August 7

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On this day in 1895, the original Grand Rapids Brewing Company laid its cornerstone in downtown Grand Rapids, Michigan (better known as Beer City, USA 2013).  This ceremony was described in the newspaper:

“Yesterday afternoon the cornerstone of the Grand Rapids Brewing Company’s fine new brick building was laid with all the due pomp and ceremony appropriate to the occasion…. William Wisner Taylor, ex-city attorney, as master of ceremonies, delivered an address appropriate to the occasion, the exercises beginning promptly at 5 o’clock. On closing his address, Mr. Taylor first took a handful of barley, one of the necessary ingredients for the manufacture of lager beer, and scattered the grain into the niche containing the tin box, and next a handful of hops was added to the collection. He then concluded the ceremonies by breaking a bottle of beer over the cornerstone, which act was followed by three cheers for the success of the Grand Rapids Brewing company.” ( 11).

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This original brewery went out of business due to Prohibition in 1918, but the name has been since acquired by a new owner and you can find a modern Grand Rapids Brewing Co. (GRBC) located only 6 blocks from the original brewery. It is the first USDA-certified organic brewery in the Midwest and recycles approximately 90% of their waste.  Now, that is something to be proud of!

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