GRAND RAPIDS, MI — Brewery Vivant created an exclusive German-style beer to add to the European magic of Grand Rapids’ first Christkindl Markt opening next week.
Brewery Vivant, which typically brews in the style of Belgium and France, collaborated with the Grand Rapids Downtown Market to bring a traditional German beer for the festivities.
The exclusive brew is called Dünk the Halls and is in the style of a traditional Dünkelweizen. The German-style dark wheat beer is amber hued, malt forward, with soft hints of caramel and toffee. Ward notes it will be less like a stout or porter but rather a “tick darker than an amber.”
“It’s fun to do something traditional but new to our brewery,” said Jon Ward, experience warden at Brewery Vivant.
The brewery and Downtown Market are expecting to fill many steins as 60 barrels have already been brewed ahead of the Nov. 17 market opening. To put that in perspective, that’s 120 kegs worth.
The collaboration kept the tradition of Christkindl Markt in mind bringing custom steins to the Christmas village at the Downtown Market, located at 435 Ionia Ave. SW. The reusable 16 ounce steins will be sold in the German-style beverage hall. A beer and a sein will cost $15 and refills will be $8.
Brewers were mindful of making something “flavorable but crushable” when deciding how dark, heavy or alcoholic the brew should be, Ward said.
The idea was to make an enjoyable beer to walk around with and at 5.1% abv Dünk the Halls is “very easy to drink a stein of,” Ward said.
Ward said this is the largest order for a single, offsite event that Brewery Vivant has ever brewed. He said the brewery has capacity to continue brewing as the event continues through Dec. 23. The market will be closed on Thanksgiving, Nov. 23.
During the run of the event, pints of Dünk the Halls will also be available at Brewery Vivant, located at 925 Cherry St SE, Grand Rapids. There will also be limited 16 ounce cans available at the brewery.
The Christkindl Markt beer hall, held on the western side of the Downtown Market, will also feature classic European tipples like mulled wine.
European fare will be available to pair with the specialty drinks including, Polish sausages, hearty soups, crepes and a melted raclette cheese, which can be put on top of bread, veggies and other items.
The Christmas market will also include fire pits, live entertainment, specialty gifts and curling lessons. Reservations for curling lessons or private chalets with an electric heater can be made ahead of time at christkindlmarktgr.com.
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