White Flame Brewing Company
5234 36th Ave.
Visited on August 4, 2012
White Flame Brewing Company is the new kid on the block in the greater Grand Rapids area, which recently won the distinction of being voted Beer City USA. Actually, they tied for the honor with Ashville, N.C., which had won the previous two years running.
There aren’t any frills to this place. It’s a nice, clean interior with a long bar and several tables. It was pretty empty when I walked in right after opening at 4:00 p.m. on a Saturday, but it quickly filled up. People milled about for the entire time I was there, so they obviously have no problem with clientele. Some pretty awesome art work hangs behind the bar, drawn by a patron that could quite possibly become beer label or t-shirt fodder as the company grows.
They don’t serve any food – the tap room is a bar and a bar only. However, a wood-fired mobile trailer has taken to setting up shop outside their front door in the recent weeks. I didn’t have a chance to try their grub, but the combinations sounded interesting and the pizzas being eaten around me looked pretty fantastic. I don’t believe that the pizza truck is part of the usual setting, however, so don’t show up expecting to be able to eat.
The beers I tried were all pretty solid. They had 10 on tap that day, ranging from a malty but mellow blonde to a strong, hoppy black IPA. Their other two IPAs were a bit heavy on the bitterness for my tastes, and the oatmeal stout was a bit flat. Overall, the quality is really quite good for a new operation, and I expect them to do well in the future.
And I absolutely would come back for a growler of the black IPA.