What's up! I'm J.

Thanks for being here. Can I get you a beer?

I Conquered Beer City USA's Brewsader Passport

I Conquered Beer City USA's Brewsader Passport

I’m proud to say I moved to Beer City USA in February 2010. For my bachelor party in July that year, my brother, father-in-law and best friends helped give me a night I can mostly remember with a brewery crawl at (the previous) Grand Rapids Brewing Company, Schmohz, The Hideout, B.O.B.’s Brewery and Founders. Since then, this city’s beer has been in my blood.

When Experience Grand Rapids debuted their Brewsader Passport program in October 2015, it was a challenge I accepted without hesitation. Granted, tackling it was not necessarily going to be the most grueling voluntary assignment. Although I still intend to cash in my passport to earn the program’s T-shirt prize, which is awarded after visiting only eight breweries, stopping before completion simply wasn’t an option. And, I know I’m probably just one of hundreds who can say they conquered all 23 participating breweries stamping their passport.

Still, the journey to stay connected to and get reacquainted with some of my favorites in our city and the opportunity to meet some new beer friends off the beaten path was worth every glass of locally brewed love I enjoyed across this adventure. I can only hope that by this time next year our growing craft scene makes good on its forecast and stacks a few more stamps for all of us to seek out.

In honor of my city, Beer Week GR 2016, all the enthusiasts who make this more than just a hobby and my wife for tasting every beer I put in front of her, this is for you. 

Oh, hey! I'd love to hear about your travels if you tackled the passport, too. How many stamps did you get? Were any breweries a first time for you? What were some of your favorite beers? Please, comment below or on Twitter @JasonLey. And, if you'd like to follow the rest of what moves me, you can subscribe to my mailing list.

*Photos posted in order of consumption. The last photo doesn't count - it's just a glass of outrageously good Project Pam, which I sipped on while writing this post.

Inside Track: Drive for change fuels Ley

Inside Track: Drive for change fuels Ley

What it's like to not complain or swear for 21 days

What it's like to not complain or swear for 21 days