There’s a timeless tradition afoot in Grand Rapids. People get dressed up and go from door to door, looking for treats and doing things they might not want their boss to find out about – that’s right, bar-hopping! Now, you may think to yourself, “But, Brian, going to the bar is expensive!” I know your pain, and that’s why I’m happy to bring you a few places in Grand Rapids you can go to have a beer on a budget.
235 Grandville Avenue Southwest, Grand Rapids, MI 49503
Founder’s deserves a place on a list any time you talk about beer in Grand Rapids. They’ve been receiving accolades for their brews for years, including a world-class rating on Beer Advocate. You might expect to pay a little more for quality like that, and Founder’s is definitely the priciest of our selections with a variety of pints available for $4 each. If you’ve never had a Founder’s, I can promise you that it’s worth every penny.
25 Ionia Avenue Southwest, Grand Rapids, MI 49503
As long as we’re talking about Grand Rapids breweries, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention Hopcat. They have an absolutely massive beer menu, many items on which are native to Michigan. Hopcat provides a warm, relaxed atmosphere and the best french fries I’ve ever had – and I’m a guy who knows his way around fried food! Their menu is subject to change, but one constant is The Lawnmower. Perfect for work in the hot sun, The Lawnmower is a featured beer selected from reliables like Pabst Blue Ribbon, Rolling Rock, and Miller High Life. The chosen tipple varies from day to day; what doesn’t change is the price, which at $3 a pint is none too shabby.
53 Commerce Avenue Southwest, Grand Rapids, MI 49503
Monday through Friday: 4:00pm – 2:00am
Saturday and Sunday: 12:00pm – 2:00am
You may have heard about Stella’s Lounge recently – something about the best burger in America? For the record, I believe it. I had a burger at Stella’s once, and it has frequented my food dreams ever since – but we’re here to talk about beer! You can chase your burger down with a cold Pabst Blue Ribbon for only $2.50. They also have frequent specials on other beers, if PBR isn’t your thing.
68 Commerce Avenue Southwest, Grand Rapids, MI 49503
If you’re already on Commerce at Stella’s, why not cross the street and check out The Pyramid Scheme? They’ve got plenty of pinball machines, a cozy little performance space, some very cool video game inspired artwork, and cheap cans of beer, including Black Label for $2. I had never heard of Black Label before – it turns out that it is basically PBR but from Canada. I don’t see it winning any awards for taste, but you can’t argue with the price…
1005 Wealthy Street, Grand Rapids, MI 49506
Monday through Sunday: 4:00pm – 2:00am
The Meanwhile is a pretty classic hole-in-the-wall bar, and the prices reflect that. They have a list of nightly specials on their website, but if you don’t happen to catch one of those you can enjoy a can of Black Label for only $1.75. If you happen to be on Wealthy Street on a Tuesday evening, you can knock a dollar off that and get a can for only 75 cents!
1518 Wealthy Street, Grand Rapids, MI 49506
Monday through Friday: 3:00pm – 2:00am
Saturday and Sunday: 12:00pm – 2:00am
Here we are, the cheapest beer I could find. For only $1.50, you can get a bottle of Miller Light or a pint of PBR. Mulligan’s Pub has that classic pub feel – loud and dimly lit – and if it weren’t for the smoking ban, there would be a ceiling of cigarette haze. They’ve got a couple of pool tables if that’s your thing, or you can grab a stool at their island bar and pontificate with the other self-appointed pub philosophers.
And there you have it, folks: your cheapest option in town looks like it’s going to be Black Label or PBR, depending on the day of the week. Maybe not the best beer in Grand Rapids, but if you’re trying to have a beer on the cheap, you really can’t do any better.
Got a favorite place for cheap beer in Grand Rapids that we missed? Leave it in the comments below!