Beer City, Shmear City – Sorry Grand Rapids, Untappd Just Isn’t That Into You
The Untappd app allows beer drinkers to rate and rank breweries around America and their various offerings. For owning the self-professed title of "Beer City, USA" you'd think Grand Rapids would rank highly on Untappd top-rated breweries, but sadly the city is nowhere to be found on the Top 50.
In fact, only two Michigan locations make the Top 50, Schramm's Mead in Ferndale is actually #2 top-ranked in the nation behind another meadery, Pips in the Chicago suburb of Gurnee.
The other Michgian location to make the current Top 50 is Smooj from Ann Arbor. Smooj is listed on Untappd as a microbrewery, but makes a distinctive product, hard smoothies - so think Smoothie King or Tropical Smoothie Cafe but with a liquor license. The core flavors of Smooj are Pina Colada, Tropical Tip and Strawberry Banana.
Smooj is an offshoot of HOMES Brewery who told the Detroit Free Press about how the product line came to be:
HOMES, which specializes in heavily fruited beers, began discussions on hard seltzers in 2019, Kennedy said, but wanted to differentiate itself from the dozens of other brands trying to capitalize on the seltzer boom that started began that summer. It began experimentation on Smooj in March, just as the COVID-19 pandemic hit, and rolled out its first cans of Smooj — passion fruit — from the brew pub in June. Since then, it's been a hit, selling out by the can in just hours at a time.
So considering many of top outlets on Untapped are meaderies and gimmicks like hard smoothies, is Grand Rapids behind the times being just a Beer City?
Here are our suggestions to be the best beers across America: