Home > Cultural Movement, Economics, Grand Visioning, Public Transit, Visual Stimulus > Beer and Transit: what I remember from my MIOdyssey

Beer and Transit: what I remember from my MIOdyssey

The Rapid in Grand Rapids

Last month, I participated as a photographer in the Michigan Transportation Odyssey. The odyssey was a three-day tour of Michigan’s transit infrastructure from Detroit to Traverse City hosted by a consortium of organizations involved in Trans4M (Transportation for Michigan).

I’m not here to recap it; there are plenty of those out there: here (MLUI), here (T4M), here (M-Live), and here (M-D) and all have links to further re-caps, reviews, and details.

Beer + Transit

Something none of the above articles focus on, though some do highlight, is the growing connection between transit centers and the craft beer industry in Michigan. It is certainly a topic worthy of more exploration. As the Google Map screen grabs show, in the three transit centers I visited, I was never more than a 5-minute walk from a craft Michigan beer. 

Beginning in Kalamazoo, where after meetings we had an extra hour before catching a bus to Grand Rapids, we were able to relax and wait in style at Bell’s Brewery and walk to catch the bus with plenty of time to spare. Reaching Grand Rapids, Founder’s Brewing Co. is literally across the street so to say it is a minute walk is even a stretch. You could, if you hurried, get off the bus and have a beer in your hand in 2-minutes. In Traverse City, there are two craft breweries within shouting distance.

In Grand Rapids, the delegation met Dave Engbers, a co-founder of Founders, who in a panel discussion was not shy about his desire to locate Founders near the transit station. For him, it was a choice to be part of redevelopment focused on the future needs and desires of his customers for a more vibrant, place focused community. Asked how to increase use of transit, he dead-panned, “Make it sexy.”

Or, at least well hydrated.

  • What other transit centers in Michigan have breweries nearby?
  • Is there another kind of transit tour that has yet to be explored?
  • The Great Michigan Brewery Tour of 2012? 




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  1. April 25, 2012 at 10:12 pm

    Three more: Arcadia Brewing in Battle Creek is a few blocks away from BC’s Amtrak station. Arbor Brewing is close to Ann Arbors train station. New Holland Brewing is two blocks away from Holland’s downtown Amtrak station.

    Breweries are by far the best type of transit oriented development.

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