The annual Grub and Brew Fest, sponsored by the Chamber, was initially designed to provide after-hours entertainment for those attending the Lubbers Cup.
This year's rowing event was canceled due to high winds and winter-like conditions, but the Grub and Brew Fest flowed on.
Dave Rumpel of Spring Lake Township said he had never attended the Grub and Brew Fest prior to entering the tent Saturday afternoon.
“I like the way it's set up,” Rumpel said. “With the weather conditions the way they are, it's a great crowd. I think they've (organizers) done a really great job with it.”
Across the tent from Rumpel, Steve and Keegan Dawes of Spring Lake Village sat at a table with their daughter, Molly, 7.
“I'm pregnant so my husband is doing all the drinking,” Keegan said. “This is the best time to eat like 70 potatoes. That's my goal.”
Joking aside, Keegan said she loved sampling local restaurants all in one spot.
“I think it's really cool to try a lot of the stuff that's local that we haven't been able to try before,” Keegan said.
Restaurant and brewery samples cost $2 each, or one ticket.
The Dawes family sampled a mac and cheese-stuffed twice-baked potato from Jack's in Spring Lake, magic fries from the Toasted Pickle and potato salad from Ryke's Bakery.
Second-grader Molly smiled as her dad fed her a magic fry.
“It's awesome,” she said.
Steve passed a fry to his wife.
“That's yummy, too,” Keegan said.
Diane and Gregg Hartzog of Grand Haven stood at a table Saturday, sampling sweet potato cups, salted caramel porter and double IPA beer.
“With the exception of the weather, this is great,” Gregg said. “It's nice to be able to sample different restaurants in one place.”
“This is very good,” Diane said of her food and beverage.
Mary Sherman, event organizer and director of events for the local Chamber of Commerce, said she was amazed at the turnout.
The Chamber sold more than 200 tickets prior to the event, up from about 150 last year.
“I think people just like to taste,” Sherman said. “This is a chance to try out a little bit of everything. Everyone has spring fever. It's a good opportunity to get out of the house and have some fun.”
First place Grub Jury’s Choice: Toasted Pickle
Second Place Grub Jury’s Choce: The Paisley Pig
First Place Brew Jury’s Choice: Grand Armory Brewing
Second Place Brew Jury’s Choice: Trail Point Brewing Company
First Place Grub People’s Choice: Anything Goes Catering/Ardelli
Second Place Grub People’s Choice: The Paisley Pig
First Place Brew People’s Choice: Pigeon Hill Brewing Co.
Second Place Brew People’s Choice: Farmhaus Cider Co.