November 15-17, 2018
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Festival FAQs

 

How much is admission, where can I purchase tickets, and what does my ticket include?

Admission is $15 – Thursday (and advanced online ticket sales for Friday & Saturday); $20 – Friday & Saturday*

A 3-Day Admission Pass is also offered for $40 for those who want to attend each day of the Festival and get the most out of their tasting experience.

Tickets can be purchased at the DeVos Place Box Office at the entrance of the Festival. They may also be purchased in advance online at Ticketmaster.com (a processing fee will be charged).

*Attendees must be at least 21 years old to enter the Festival

Your general Admission Ticket includes:

  • One complimentary sampling glass
  • An official Festival Program containing a detailed list of wines, beers, ciders, spirits and food available for sampling
  • Wine & Beer Tasting Sessions in the Grand Gallery Rooms and Welsh Lobby (wine & beer seminars)
  • Meijer Food Stage Culinary Demonstrations

The Box Office will offer you the option to purchase a package containing admission and tasting tickets in a one-stop-shop. Additional tasting ticket selling stations can be found throughout the Festival.

 

Why do I need to purchase Tasting Tickets?

Tasting Tickets are available for purchase in $0.50 denominations at the Festival. We suggest that you start with at least $20 worth as all restaurant and drink samples are “purchased” with these tickets at various prices.

The Tasting Ticket system allows you to select the level of your tasting. The ticket prices are all based on the cost of the beverage. This system encourages the exhibitors to bring their best and most exclusive labels for you to taste.

 

What are the days and hours of the Festival?

Thursday, November 15, 2018:  6pm – 9pm

Friday, November 16, 2018:  4pm – 10pm

Saturday, November 17, 2018:  2pm – 10pm

 

Will the Festival sell-out before I get there?

There is a set capacity for the Festival, and tickets are sold on a first-come basis. The Festival cannot expand the capacity to accommodate additional guests, but has not had to turn anyone away so far.

 

Are tickets refundable? Can I switch tickets for another day?

All tickets are non-refundable and cannot be exchanged.

 

Can I come back a second day with my ticket?

We do offer a 3-Day Pass for $40, which allows admission each day to the Festival and is intended for those who want to get the most out of their tasting experience. Advanced online sales on Ticketmaster for the 3-Day Pass and Box Office sales at DeVos Place for the 3-Day Pass end on Thursday, November 15.

 

How do I get to the Festival and where do I park?

DeVos Place is located at 303 Monroe NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49503. Covered, heated parking is available below DeVos Place, the entrance is on Michigan Street. Other parking options are also available. Parking rates are set by the City of Grand Rapids and vary by day, time and location.

CLICK HERE to view parking options

 

This is my first time attending, where do I start?

We have a Festival concierge booth that will be located in the Grand Gallery entry lobby, stop there when you arrive and they will be happy to give you special tips and pointers for a great experience at the largest Wine, Beer & Food Festival in the Midwest.

You can also download the Mobile App – available on both the Android and Apple systems. This free app allows guests to view beverage lists, workshops, tasting sessions, and culinary demonstration schedules, restaurant menus, and purchase Admission and Pairing Tickets. Download it now to help plan your visit and navigate the Festival.

 

What Food is offered at the Festival?

Chefs from the area’s top restaurants prepare and serve small plates of their culinary specialties, which will be found at the Restaurant Booths.

Other booths throughout the Festival offer gourmet food, specialty items, wine accessories and holiday gifts. Samples of some of these items are available for purchase with Tasting Tickets. Items may also be purchased at the Festival to take home, or orders may be placed for easy delivery.

 

What is a Pairing?

Select restaurants partner with distinguished wineries for special Pairings – gourmet multi-course meals served on-site in casual yet intimate “bar top” settings. Tickets are $60-$75 each and may be purchased in advance online or at the Festival on a first-come, first-served basis. Each Pairing is limited to 20 seats.

 

Do I need an Admission Ticket if I purchase a Pairing Ticket?

Yes, the one-hour seated Pairing options require an additional Pairing ticket. A General Admission ticket is still needed to enter the Festival and enjoy the other elements before and after your restaurant Pairing experience.

 

What are the Tasting Sessions, Food Stage Seminars and Workshops?

  • Esteemed individuals from the culinary world host demonstrations on the Meijer Food Stage.
  • Beverage seminars (Tasting Sessions) hosted by industry representatives are held classroom-style in the meeting rooms off the Grand Gallery entry lobby and give attendees an in-depth look into the world of wine, beer and spirits.
  • Spirit workshops are hosted by industry professionals and are offered as a unique hands-on experience.

 

Do you need to sign-up for the Culinary Demonstrations, Tasting Sessions or Workshops prior to attending?

No, workshops, culinary demonstrations and tasting sessions are included with your paid general admission ticket. You do not need to sign-up or register ahead of time. However, all culinary demonstrations, tasting sessions and workshops are on a first-come, first-served basis and will fill quickly.

 

Can I stand in the back of the tasting session if it has filled up?

No, our presenters prepare for each tasting session based upon the seating capacity. We discourage standing in the back because the guests will not have the opportunity to sample along with the rest of the group.

 

Can I purchase Wine, Beer, Ciders, Cordials and Spirits at the Festival to take home?

You may not purchase any alcoholic beverages at the Festival to take home with you; however you may place orders at the Festival at some of the Michigan Winery booths or at the “Under the Vines” booth. (The Festival program also denotes the products carried at Meijer.)

 

Can I attend the Festival if I am 18 years old and just not drink alcoholic beverages?

No, you must be at least 21 years old to attend. This is an alcohol related event and all attendees must have a photo ID denoting their age to enter the Festival.

 

Are wheelchairs available?

Yes, there are a few available on a first-come, first-served basis. See the Security Office across the hall from the elevators near the Monroe Avenue entrance.

 

Can I bring my baby along?

Newborn babies are allowed into the Festival, but must be carried at all times. No toddlers or children are permitted. No strollers are permitted.

 

May I smoke?

DeVos Place is a non-smoking facility. You may step outside to smoke at the river side of the Grand Gallery. There will be a Security guard posted there to offer hand stamps for re-entry. You must have your hand stamped in order to re-enter the Festival.

 

Does the Festival benefit any organizations?

The pourers for the Festival are culinary and hospitality students from Ferris State University, the Culinary Institute of Michigan at Baker College in Muskegon and Grand Valley State University. The Festival makes a sizable donation to each program. This provides the students with an opportunity to work alongside industry leaders for a premier educational experience.

 

Are there any discounts given at area hotels for the Festival?

Special packages will be arranged for the Grand Rapids International Wine, Beer & Food Festival through the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel or the JW Marriott.

The Amway Grand package includes:

Overnight accommodations, a $25 hotel credit for food and beverage, self or valet parking for one car at the hotel, and two tickets to the Festival.

For more information and reservation options for the Amway package CLICK HERE

The JW Marriott package includes:

Overnight accommodations, breakfast buffet for two adults per night at six.one.six., self or valet parking at the JW for one car, up to two tickets to the Festival, and small-plate restaurant vouchers available for redemption at the Festival.

For more information and reservation options for the JW package CLICK HERE

 

What do I do if I’ve had too much to drink?

Please be a responsible taster. Please bring a designated driver with you if possible.

There are a number of transportation options available if your ability to drive is impaired.

  • Metro Cab Company:  616-827-6500
  • Yellow Cab:  616-459-4646
  • Great Lakes Taxi:  616-241-5150
  • Boss Taxi:  616-303-0141