Nov 16 - 18, 2023

Festival FAQs

How much is admission?

Admission is $20

Where can I purchase tickets?

Tickets are available for purchase HERE.  Tickets can be purchased at your convenience between now and the festival.  Tickets will also be available to be purchased the day of the festival via the same website.  Tasting tickets will also be available at the time of admission purchase so that you can have all your tickets conveniently in one spot on your smartphone.

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

What does my ticket include?

  • One complimentary sampling glass
  • An official Festival Program containing a detailed list of wines, beers, ciders, spirits and food available for sampling
  • Food Stage Culinary Demonstrations

When purchasing your tickets you have the option to purchase a package containing admission and tasting tickets in a one-stop-shop. QR codes to purchase additional tasting tickets can be found throughout the Festival.

Why do I need to purchase Tasting Tickets?

Tasting Tickets are available for $0.50. 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 16, 2023:  Special Events

Friday, November 17, 2023:  4pm – 10pm

Saturday, November 18, 2023:  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 we have not had to turn anyone away to date.

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?

Tickets are valid for one day admission only.

Is there re-entry?

Yes, same day re-entry is allowed with a hand stamp from a Festival staff member.

Where do I park at the Festival?

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

We have a Festival concierge at the Monroe Street entrance. Stop there as you first enter the Festival. 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. (See floorplan in program or on the App for locations)

Other tables 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 Restaurant Pairing?

These one-hour gourmet multi-course meals are served on-site in casual yet intimate “bar top” settings. Tickets are $60-$85 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 Beverage Tasting Sessions, Food Stage Demonstrations and Workshops?

  • Esteemed individuals from the culinary world host demonstrations on the Meijer Food Stage.
  • Beverage seminars (Tasting Sessions) are hosted by industry representatives and 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 cider.
  • 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, Beverage Tasting Sessions or Workshops prior to attending?

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 Beverage 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, the Festival program denotes the products carried at Meijer and products sampled at the Festival are available to purchase or order from many specialty shops in West Michigan.

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. Strollers are NOT permitted.

What COVID safety guidelines are in place?

ShowSpan events are produces with the safety of all participants at the top of our mind.  ShowSpan will comply with all local, state, and federal safety guidelines in place during the time of each show.

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
  • Uber
  • Lyft

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 local hotels. More information coming soon!

Does the Festival benefit any organizations?

The pourers for the Festival are from various programs, organizations and clubs from Ferris State University, the Culinary Institute of Michigan at Baker College in Muskegon and Grand Valley State University. This provides the organizations with an opportunity to work alongside industry leaders for a premier educational experience. We also work with local non-profits like, Spectrum Health Foundation, Family Hope Foundation, and local high school parent fundraising groups. The Festival makes a sizable donation to each program.

What do I do with my leftover tasting tickets?

If you are ready to leave the Festival, but still have some tasting tickets left, you can donate them to charity on your way out the door.  At the exit there are iPads set up for various charities that you can choose from to donate your remaining amounts to.

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.