For the first time ever, beer was entered as an ArtPrize installation entry this year. And while the creation by Grand Rapids Brewing Company didn't make the top 20, they're hoping their idea catches on.
"This year we entered ArtPrize as an actual artist. We brewed two beers - the Ursa Project. We entered under installation so the whole building has been done over to focus the attention on this beer," explained Garry Boyd, the VP of Food, Beverage and Innovation for Barfly Ventures.
"The Ursa Major is a chocolate porter. We brew it with a bunch of local honey. We also brewed it with a bunch of cocoa nips," explained head brewer, Jake Brenner. "We're offering it on nitro and CO2."
"This one is the Ursa Minor, which is our house blonde recipe but we brewed it with two hundred pounds of local blueberries, hence the vibrant purple color. And then the two combined together we are calling the Ursa conundrum, which is a really really nice blend of the blueberry, the honey and chocolate flavors," said Jake.
While the Ursa Conundrum didn't end up in the ArtPrize Top 20, those who tried it were impressed. "I was skeptical to combine them because I loved them both so much individually. I didn't want to ruin it at all but I think its so cool that they created the beers with the intention of mixing them. I think it's best mixed together."
"We've had really good feedback," said Jake, "Considering this is the first time this has been done, it's nice to get recognized for that. I think we could really open the door to all different types of art from here on out. Be it culinary or liquid."
The beer is all the talk during ArtPrize, but their food is making headlines too. In fact the GRBC is now launching new lunch hours seven days a week. Their Hotline Beef sandwich was this year's "Grandwich" winner and their new Dank Fries are also popular.
Click here to check out their menu, hours, and location.