BarFly Ventures, a hospitality group, began in 2008 with HopCat, an award-winning brew pub in the heart of downtown Grand Rapids. Stella’s Lounge and McFadden’s Irish Pub joined the Barfly family soon after. In December 2012, BarFly brought The Grand Rapids Brewing Company to downtown Grand Rapids. Located at 1 Ionia, Grand Rapids Brewing Company holds the distinction of being Michigan’s first USDA Certified Organic brewery. The BarFly family continues to grow, with HopCat expanding into East Lansing, Indianapolis, Detroit, Ann Arbor, and several other Mid West cities.
Sustainable practices are notoriously difficult to implement in the service industry. All Barfly establishments proudly work toward becoming more sustainable in every way, all while creating spectacular and memorable experiences for every one of our guests. Currently, less than ten percent of Barfly businesses’ waste ends up in a landfill, thanks to our commitment to recycling and composting through local vendors and facilities. All of our food waste, spent grain, take-out containers, straws, disposable cups, and paper waste is currently composted, and turned back into new soil for local farmers.
On an individual level, Grand Rapids Brewing Company is proud to be the Michigan’s first USDA-certified organic brewery—but the entire brewery was designed from the ground up keeping our environmental impact in mind. A number of old architectural elements in the original space at 1 Ionia were reused throughout the building: Floor joists from 1886 became our tables, old fire suppression system pipes were transformed into furniture legs, and nearly all the brick that was removed in the renovation was put to use throughout the space, among other efforts. In an effort to reduce our carbon emissions, our brewery is powered mostly by city steam instead of fossil-based fuels. Our beer has also made us part of the local organic community—we use almost 90 percent of Michigan’s organic hops supply.
As an organization, Barfly actively supports local charitable and environmental causes. Most recently, we have begun to support clean water initiatives in West Michigan: water is not only central to our survival, it is also the most important ingredient in our food and beer. Our No Fracking Way collaboration beer, scheduled to release in early April 2014, has already united many West Michigan breweries in a show of support for protecting our lakes, rivers, and water supply.
Throughout our expansion, our mission has remained the same. We care about the environment and the world around us, we treat each other like a family, offer a unique dining and drinking experience, and make sure each and every guest feels important. By doing these things, we help not just others, but ourselves. Without doing all these things, we disappoint not just others, but ourselves.
35 Oakes St. SW, Suite 400
Grand Rapids, MI 49503
Green Initiatives & Sustainability
BarFly Ventures LLC
HopCat GR | HopCat EL | Stella’s Lounge | McFadden’s | Grand Rapids Brewing Company