And, the accolades just keep piling up!

The World Food Travel Association (WFTA), the world’s leading authority on food and beverage tourism, has announced the winners of the 2017 FoodTrekking Awards for excellence in food and beverage tourism, and we are a winner!

Grand Rapids claimed second place in the Best Food & Beverage Destination Experience category.

Grand Rapids’ submission included information about the booming craft beverage and food scene including aspects such as: Grand Rapids Food Trail, beer tourism, the Beer City Passport, Downtown Market Grand Rapids, Cocktail Week GR, local farmers’ markets, an agriculturally rich area, and much more.

This recognition is especially important for Grand Rapids because not only is it an international award, but it reinstates that beer tourism has helped shape Grand Rapids and it is here to stay.


“Beer City USA pairs perfectly with the emerging culinary scene in Grand Rapids,” said Kate Herron, Director of Marketing with Experience Grand Rapids. “We have a plethora of artesian culinary businesses popping up, and high quality restaurants as well which all contribute to this award in their own way.”

The winning 1st Place award Best Food/Beverage Destination Experience went to Province of Ontario, Culinary Tourism Alliance

The judges were no slouches, either. They included:

  1. Panna Balazsy (Hungary), Owner, Globalist Kitchen
  2. Roberta Garibaldi (Italy), food and wine tourism consultant and coordinator of East Lombardy - European Region of Gastronomy 2017
  3. Livio Colapinto (Italy), Owner, Zest of Italy
  4. Katarzyna Janiszewska (Poland), Founder,
  5. Udi Goldschmidt (Israel), culinary tourism consultant to Israel’s tourism industry
  6. Brian F Lorge (USA), CCTP, HAAC (USA), Chairman, Certified Ambassador World Food Travel Association; Exec. Dir., American Culinary Federation (MCCA); Fellow, American Academy of Chefs & Les Amis d’Escoffier; Industry Consultant
  7. Lawrence Acosta (USA), Owner, Grub Crawl

Not to shabby for our town.

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