GR church celebrates 150 years by releasing signature beer

Posted at 7:31 PM, Apr 09, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-09 19:33:40-04

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — "What is beer, but bread with an attitude?"

Fountain Street Church Senior Minister Fred Wooden and his congregation are using the cold beverage to celebrate their 150th anniversary.

"2019 is our 150th anniversary, (the) church started in 1869, and has been in this location ever since,” said Executive Director Jack Woller.

The church isn’t just toasting to their time with any beer but is teaming up with a Grand Rapids brewery to release their own brew.

"We are not a conforming church in any sense of the word," said Wooden.

The non-denominational church has a rich history including hosting Malcolm X, Amelia Earhart and U2, and is celebrating that tradition by created a beer with Brewery Vivant: the Fountain Streeter.

"Fountain Street Church has been proudly different, sometimes contrary, often controversial,” Wooden said. “So, this was a little bit in our character to do something off the beaten path as it were."

The spring ale brewed with lemon drop and Amarillo hops, is a way for the church to pay homage to their Beer City home and partner with a local business, something they’ve always been passionate about.

"We’ve been an institution in this city for 150 years, it’s not just about us, it’s about the role we’ve had in this city. We’re standing in this immense sanctuary that was built as a public venue so people could use it, not just worship here,” Wooden said.

So true to their inclusive fashion, the church is asking everyone to join them.

"So yeah, come and lift half a pint with us!" says Wooden.

The Fountain Streeter will be released Wednesday night at an open party at Brewery Vivant.

It will be an evening full of joyous cheers for 150 years of being, as Fred Wooden says, "proudly different."

"I guess this is stepping out of the usual pattern, that’s a synch, but church is not what happens in the building, it’s what happens in people’s hearts," said Wooden.

For more information on the Fountain Streeter and the release party, visit the church’s Facebook page.