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Ursa Project from GRBC makes ArtPrize History

With only a handful of hours left to vote in round one of ArtPrize, have you had the chance to TASTE the art at Grand Rapids Brewing Company?

The Ursa Project is the first beer entry in ArtPrize history. It consists of two beers, a honey chocolate Porter called Ursa Major, and a blueberry blonde ale called Ursa Minor. They are meant to be enjoyed separately, or together in a combination called Ursa Confundo.


Currently on tap at GRBC, the beers can be tried for free by anyone 21 or over. Special edition bottles of the beers were sold at GRBC in limited supply for collectors and others who want to take the beers home. The carrying cases for the beers were signed by GRBC head brewer, Jacob Brenner and assistant brewer, Bobby Edgcomb, the creators of this amalgamation.


Each bottle features a glorious beastly bear in blues, pinks, and yellows, representing the “greater (or larger) she-bear” and “smaller she-bear” that the Latin Ursa Major and Minor describe. The art for the bottles was designed by Elliot Chaltry, Kyle DeGroff, and Alex Paolella.


In addition to the beers, GRBC has set up an installation of constellations and a video presentation in their Barn Room to complete the experience.


Chris Knape, Ursa Project Manager and Vice President of Marketing and Communications for Barfly Ventures, owners of GRBC, sent an email statement about the project.

“The URSA Project was born from a simple idea: Beer Is Art. We believe our brewers medium is water, malt, hops and other ingredients, which combine to form unique works. We took the URSA Project to another level by creating beers that incorporate local blueberries and local honey. The beers were crafted to be enjoyed separately, or combined together to form a new experience. Our brewers worked with our creative artists and suppliers to design painted (screen-printed) bottles, packaging (a custom carton) and an accompanying installation (which includes a video, constellations hanging from the ceiling, a window display, coasters and stickers) to bring everything together. The result, we think, is a unique installation that combines mediums and allows people to experience this art through sight, smell, taste and even sound. We hope this continues a discussion about the many ways artists can express themselves.”

Local companies involved in the Ursa Project include Beer City Glass, Crop Marks, Middleton Printing, Plexicase and Screen Ideas.

To check out The Ursa Project head to GRBC during their regular business hours Monday through Thursday 11:00 am to midnight, Friday 11:00 am to 2:00 am, Saturday 10:00 am to 2:00 am and Sunday 10:00 am to midnight.

To vote for The Ursa Project, use vote code 64426.