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My Town Holland: American Homebrewers Association holds beer rally March 23

My Town Holland: American Homebrewers Association holds beer rally March 23

HOLLAND, Mich.— Home brewers and other enthusiasts are invited to rally around beer this Sunday, March 23 at New Holland Brewing.

The rally is being organized by the American Homebrewers Association.  The event will include brewery tours, beer samples, prizes and more.  Hop farmers and local maltsters will also be offering educational sessions on the homebrewing process.  Participants are also encouraged to bring their best homebrew to share during the brewery tour. 

My Town Walker: IHOP to serve up free pancakes March 4

My Town Walker: IHOP to serve up free pancakes March 4

COMSTOCK PARK, Mich.—Skip firing up your skillet Tuesday, March 4 and head to your closest IHOP for free pancakes.

Participating IHOP restaurants will be serving up a free short stack of buttermilk pancakes in honor of National Pancake Day.   The deal will be good from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. 

In exchange for free pancakes, customers are encouraged to donate to support Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, Shriners Hospitals for Children and other local charities.

"Our guests, our franchisees, their team members, and all of us at IHOP- look forward to National Pancake Day every year. Knowing that every free stack of buttermilk pancakes has the potential to improve the lives of the children in their own community makes serving them and eating them even more enjoyable than usual,” said Julia Stewart, Interim President, International House of Pancakes, LLC and CEO of the parent company, DineEquity, Inc.

Coffee taste test pits pricey cat scat coffee against other brews

Coffee taste test pits pricey cat scat coffee against other brews

HOLLAND, Mich.— Kopi Luwak coffee beans costs up to $600 pound, but is the taste worth the price?

That’s the question a panel of coffee experts attempted to answer during a blind taste test this week.  “The Great Kopi Luwak Cupping Challenge” unfolded at JPs Coffee and Espresso Bar in Holland.  Owner Jack Groot ran the test, pitting Kopi Luwak against other regional Sumatran coffees prices around $16 pound.

During the test, one Kopi Luwak sample rose to the top, scoring 76 points out of 100.  However, two of the less expensive, non-cat poop coffees ranked within a half-point of Kopi Luwak and the others were very close.

“It’s a very good coffee, but not worth $600 a pound.  If you bought it in a coffee shop, it would cost you $50 a cup,” said Andy Timko with Anodyne Coffee Roasters in Milwaukee.

Give your old wine corks new life with ReCORK

Give your old wine corks new life with ReCORK

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—A Grand Rapids restaurant is giving wine lovers another excuse to drink.

As part of its partnership with ReCORK, Houlihan’s is collecting old wine corks that will be recycled into sustainable footwear and other upcycled products.  The restaurant says even though cork is completely natural, renewable and biodegradable, most wine corks end up in landfills.   Since cork trees take up to 50 years to mature and can only be harvested every nine years, cork can be a hot commodity.

Houlihan’s is one of the few cork recycling drop-off locations in Grand Rapids.  Corks can be dropped off inside the bin located near the restaurant’s entryway.  Houlihan’s is located at 1968 Breton Road SE in Grand Rapids. The other drop-off locations include Art of the Table, 606 Wealthy St. SE and Haworth in Holland.

Old whiskey barrels get new life at New Holland Brewing Co.

Old whiskey barrels get new life at New Holland Brewing Co.

HOLLAND, Mich.—Two men are giving New Holland Brewing Co.’s retired oak barrels new life.

Instead of sending spent whiskey and Dragon’s Milk barrels to the dump, Steve Raad and Jeff Dyke transform the aged wood into a variety of handcrafted products, including their patented portable beach chair, tables, clocks, bottle openers, coat racks, guitar stands and skateboards. 

New Holland’s upcycled whiskey barrels are now available at its downtown Holland pub, located at 66 E. 8th St.   You can also order items online at the BarrelWorks Project website.

Local restaurants serve up free meals to veterans November 11

Local restaurants serve up free meals to veterans November 11

Some West Michigan restaurants are honoring miliatry members  this Veterans Day by serving up free meals.

Lakeshore Partnership is also offering a free meal to veterans at 19 of its local McDonald’s restaurants.  Military identification is preferred, but not required.  Participating locations include:

UPDATE: West Ottawa celebrates 'Spirit Bracket Challenge' victory

UPDATE: West Ottawa celebrates 'Spirit Bracket Challenge' victory

HOLLAND, Mich.-- Buffalo Wild Wings Grill & Bar will reward the winner of its “Spirit Bracket Challenge” November 5.

The restaurant organized the friendly fundraising competition as a way to promote school spirit while helping a dozen local schools raise money for classroom supplies and school activities.

Kenowa Hills 6th grade/Alpine Elementary and West Ottawa High School were the last two competitors standing, besting ten other schools in the Teriyaki 12 and Spicy 6 fundraising rounds.  In the end, West Ottawa won the Flamin’ Finals.  In addition to the funds students raised throughout the competition, West Ottawa will get an additional $2,500 from Buffalo Wild Wings.  The school will be rewarded with a special check during its celebratory pep rally Tuesday, November 5.

“We were so lucky to have 12 upbeat and enthusiastic schools compete in th