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kalamazoo beer fest

KALAMAZOO, MI – Over 80 breweries will be present at Wings Event Center on Saturday, November 4, for the Kalamazoo Craft Beer Festival. This is the fourth year of the popular west Michigan beer festival, presented by Wings Event Center and Townsquare Media Group.

Breweries from Michigan always have a strong presence at the KCBF, but attendees can also expect to see breweries from all over the United States. With well over 250 brews to sample throughout the day, there will be no shortage of new and exciting beers, meads, and ciders to try.

A few beers to note for this year are Imperial Voodoo Vator, Atwater Brewery’s 20th Anniversary beer, Roak Brewing’s Cucumber IPA, the only keg like it in the state, as well as, Hazy Sunset, Kalamazoo’s own Boatyard Brewing Co.’s New England IPA. Specialty tappings will take place throughout the festival.

To pair with all of the great beer offerings, food trucks will be a new addition on-site at this year’s festival. Fuel up with great offerings from ‘Q It Up, Arcadia Brewing Co – Twisted Tail., Kalamazoo Pizza Company, Dulac’s River Dogs, and Nick’s Gyros.

Fan-favorite activities, like corn hole, presented by Kalamazoo Cornhole, as well as Keg Curling, run by the Killamazoo Derby Darlins, will be available again this year for fans to enjoy.

The Kalamazoo Craft Beer Festival wants to ensure that all guests make it home safely from the event. Designated drivers are encouraged for all groups attending, but taxis, ubers, and lyft rides are other ways of transportation from the event. Parking for the event is FREE. Cars left at Wings Event Center over-night will not be ticketed. Mobile homes can park and stay in the Wings Event Center parking lot, but there are no hook ups to electrical or water. Re-entry to the event is not permitted once leaving.

Those planning to attend the Kalamazoo Craft Beer Festival are encouraged to purchase tickets prior to the day of the event, online at etix.com or the Wings Event Center Box Office, in order to beat the lines on November 4.

Tickets are available at the Wings Event Center box office and etix.com. Ticket tiers are as follows:

General Admission Tickets ($45/ticket) include entry to event, 15 tasting tokens, and a Kalamazoo Craft Beer Festival sample glass.

Beer Fanatic Tickets ($65/ticket) include 15 tasting tokens, a Kalamazoo Craft Beer Festival sample glass, a take-home filled growler – growler provided by the festival, and 1 hour early entry into the event.

Burdick’s Beer Club Tickets ($95/ticket) include 15 tasting tokens, a Kalamazoo Craft Beer Festival sample glass, a take-home filled growler – growler provided by the festival, 1 hour early entry into the event, access to Burdick’s VIP lounge, complimentary coat check, and private restrooms.

Designated Driver Tickets ($10/ticket) include entry to the event. Must be 21 years of age to be a designated driver.

 

irish fest

KALAMAZOO — Kalamazoo Irish Fest is kicking off the month of March by partnering with West Michigan Beer Tours for an Irish beer-themed brewery tour on Saturday, March 4.

Featured breweries will be Final Gravity Brewing Company, Paw Paw Brewing Company, and Tibbs Brewing Company, with each offering Irish beers. Old Dog Tavern, the site of the 17th Annual Irish Fest on June 23-24, will serve as the landing spot.


Tour participants receive bus transportation between stops, samples or a pint at each of the three breweries, a logo pint glass from Paw Paw Brewing Company, one ticket in our gift basket raffle, half off one day’s entry to this year’s Irish Fest, and complimentary water and snacks during the tour.

Whiskey Before Breakfast will be providing entertainment at Old Dog at the conclusion of the tour, when the raffle drawing will be held.

Tickets are $79 each. Find detailed schedule and purchase information here.

 

 

 

Detroit, Mich — In the days leading up to Kalamazoo Beer Week, the Feelgood Tap, along with fundraising partner HopCat, are hosting the first ever Feelgood Tap Takeover. Ten breweries from throughout the state will each be featuring two different beers during the event, set to take place January 11th at the newest HopCat location in Kalamazoo.

“We’re both thrilled and grateful that HopCat was willing to host the event. They’ve been great partners since joining our efforts early in 2016,” said Stephen Roginson, founder of the Feelgood Tap, as well as Detroit brewery Batch Brewing Company. “This is a fun way to not only highlight the great beer being made by our partners, but to generate more awareness about the Feelgood Tap and its mission.”

feelgood tap

This month, the Feelgood Tap is raising money for THAW, The Heat and Warmth Fund. Every establishment’s Feelgood Tap contribution will go towards helping THAW provide utility assistance for Michigan residents in need.

feelgood tapThe Feelgood Tap is a 501c3 started in 2016. Shortly after Batch Brewing Company won Hatch Detroit and opened its doors in 2015, it started an in-house initiative called the Feelgood Tap, where they partnered with a different nonprofit every month, contributing a portion of sales from one specific beer for the month. Less than a year after beginning the initiative, they made the Feelgood Tap a 501c3, allowing other breweries, bars, and restaurants to participate, helping to grow the fundraising efforts.

The complete list of Feelgood Tap establishments:

Ascension, Batch Brewing Company, Brewery Ferment, Bridge Street Tap Room, Clubhouse BFD, Drafting Table Brewing Company, Falling Down Beer Company, Green Dot Stables, Grand Rapids Brewing Company, HopCat Ann Arbor, HopCat Detroit, HopCat East Lansing, HopCat Grand Rapids, HopCat Kalamazoo, Jolly Pumpkin Ann Arbor, Jolly Pumpkin Detroit, Jolly Pumpkin Dexter, Jolly Pumpkin Traverse City, Kickstand Brewing Company, Kuhnhenn Brewery Warren, Kuhnhenn Brewery Clinton Twp, Lansing Brewing Company, La Rondinella, Motor City Brewing Works, One Eyed Betty’s, Pete’s Place, River Rouge Brewery, River’s Edge Brewing Company, Slow’s BBQ Detroit, Tap 30, TriCity Brewing Company.

KALAMAZOO, MI — If you are looking to get a little more mileage out of that dusty, thrift store holiday sweater you bought four years ago, you’re in luck.

West-Michigan-Beer-Tours-LogoWest Michigan Beer Tours will offer a pair of festive walking tours of downtown Kalamazoo breweries on Dec. 10 and Dec. 17, where guests are invited to wear their ugly holiday sweater or favorite holiday costume and earn prizes, as selected by brewery staff.

Both tours will be hold registration from noon to 1 p.m. Central City Tap House and Shakespeare’s Pub, respectively. The Dec. 10 tour will visit Gonzo’s BiggDogg Brewing Co., Rupert’s Brew House and Tibbs Brewing Co., which is also the third anniversary party for Tibbs.

The Dec. 17 tour will hold registration from noon to 1 p.m. at Shakespeare’s Pub and visit Arcadia Brewing Co., Boatyard Brewing Co. and Bell’s Eccentric Cafe. Bell’s will award the winning outfit with a private brewery tour for up to six people at a date of their choosing.

Advance ticket purchases are strongly encouraged.

Tickets are $39 and include either a pint or samples at each brewery stop.

Also in the spirit of the holidays, West Michigan Beer Tours has also introduced its Kalamazoo Craft Beer Gift Baskets. The two basket options contain at least one item from each brewery in either downtown Kalamazoo (eight breweries) or Kalamazoo County (12 breweries).

holiday walking tour

The baskets contain glassware, stickers, keychain openers, beer soap, beer koozies and more. They are available online.

For those looking to skip shipping and handling charges, in-store pickup will also be available at the Spirit of Kalamazoo’s new location at 154 S. Kalamazoo Mall.

For more information on the baskets, please contact 269-350-4598 or john@westmibeertours.com.

 

Bell's

COMSTOCK, Mich. – Bell’s Brewery’s 2017 release calendar features archive favorites, a new bottled beer and quite a few specialties.

“We have a lot of exciting plans for next year and we wanted to give our fans and partners a preview,” Laura Bell, Bell’s Vice President and Co-owner said.

Mars, The Bringer of War, will return for its second appearance. Mars was part of Bell’s limited seven-part Planets Series, inspired by the music of Gustav Holst. This Double IPA will see greater distribution than in 2014, but will still be limited. It will ship in April.

Hell Hath No Fury … Ale, a Belgian-inspired Dark Ale, will also return from the Bell’s archive in September.

Bell's“A few of our favorites will be taking a break, but aren’t being permanently retired,” she said.

We also reserve the right to add a few surprises, she added.

As previously announced, Am I Right or Amarillo, an American IPA made with 100% Amarillo® hops, will ship exclusively to Texas when Bell’s launches its 31st state in early March.

A Bell’s specialty stout will also make its debut in bottles in the fall. Additional details about that beer will be announced at a later date.

Oberon, Bell’s seasonal American wheat ale, will return on March 27, giving fans an eagerly awaited first taste of summer. Five-liter mini-kegs will start shipping in May. Oberon will be the only Bell’s beer to be released in mini-kegs next year.

Year round beers (Amber, Two Hearted, Third Coast Beer, Oatsmobile, Oarsman, Lager of the Lakes, Kalamazoo Stout and Porter) and other Bell’s seasonals (Smitten, Best Brown and Winter White) will all return.

 Other returning Bell’s specialties:

  • JANUARY: Hopslam (12 oz. cans and draught)
  • FEBRUARY: Consecrator Doppelbock (12 oz. bottles and draught)
  • MAY: Pooltime – Belgian-inspired Wheat Ale brewed with cherry juice (12 oz. cans and draught)
  • JUNE: Quinannan Falls India Pale Lager (12 oz. cans and draught)
  • SEPTEMBER: Octoberfest Beer (12 oz. bottles and draught)
  • SEPTEMBER: Special Double Cream Stout (12 oz. bottles and draught)
  • SEPTEMBER: Roundhouse India Red Ale (12 oz. cans and draught)
  • SEPTEMBER: Expedition Stout (12 oz. bottles and draught)
  • SEPTEMBER: Third Coast Old Ale (12 oz. bottles and draught)
  • NOVEMBER: Cherry Stout (12 oz. bottles and draught)
  • NOVEMBER: Christmas Ale (12 oz. bottles and draught)
  • DECEMBER: Eccentric Ale (12 oz. bottles and draught) – Bell’s General Store and Eccentric Café release only (Kalamazoo)

For more information and for updates, keep an eye on Bell’s website, bellsbeer.com, or join them on social media.

 

gonzos

Greg “Gonzo” Haner has been a stalwart member of the Kalamazoo craft beer scene for more than 20 years, acting as brewmaster for Kalamazoo’s first brewpub and assisting several new breweries get up and running. Now his namesake brewery will be celebrating its third anniversary with numerous barrel-aged and one-off beers while eyeing the future.

gonzos

Gonzo’s Biggdogg Brewing’s official third birthday is Nov. 13, but the brewery will start the party a day early with a celebratory toast and cake at 7 p.m. and some high octane brews starting when it opens at 11 a.m. including a barrel-aged version of it’s flagship Vanilla Porter, an ale named Qyburn’s Turn made by combining a 12 percent ABV Scotch Ale with an Imperial Stout, and a few other surprises.

“We’ve got a barleywine that’s been sitting in a brandy barrel for two-and-a-half years,” Haner said.

Haner began homebrewing in 1991. A few years later he earned a degree in microbrewing from the Seibel Institute of Technology and helped open Olde Peninsula Brewpub as its brewmaster in 1996. Beyond that, he’s also helped other brewers in town get their recipes perfected.

“Gonzo gave me some good insight into my beer,” said Kevin Tibbs, brewmaster at Tibbs Brewing Company. “He improved my beer a lot, just talking to him. When I was brewing at home I felt like there was a little something missing. He told me it was good, but it was thin and that always stuck with me.”

“Really we all help each other,” Haner said. “I think it’s a thing where everybody works together to help everybody else.”

Gonzo’s Biggdogg was among the initial wave of breweries that opened in the Kalamazoo craft beer boom of 2013, and has maintained a high profile through a combination of Haner’s name recognition, a constantly rotating lineup of tap offerings at the brewery, a full-slate of canned beers available on store shelves, and distribution to various bars and restaurants.

In the coming year the brewery is planning to add ciders to the mix as well.

“I think the business is doing very good,” Haner said. “We’ve got a lot of key people here that are doing a great job.”

Gonzo’s currently cans five beers for distribution, with help from Michigan Mobile Canning. The most recent addition to the lineup is Yummy Hoppy, a double IPA made with local hops from Hop Head Farms. It joined Vanilla Porter, Burning Sun Redd, Magic Trick Hefeweizen, and Geyser Brown as the brewery’s canned options in late September.

“A lot of customers really liked Yummy Hoppy, so going off our customers’ excitement we decided to go ahead and can that and it’s done very well so far,” Haner said. “It’s a nice beer in a can, definitely.”

Looking forward to the brewery’s future, Haner said he intends to keep rotating new and different beers into the lineup along side some favorite standbys to keep people coming back.

“We rotate all of the time to keep things fresh,” he said. “It’s good to switch it up. People don’t like to come in here every week or every month and have the same beers on. The reason I go to places is because they have something new on or to get one I really like and then try one or two new beers they have on that I’ve never had before.

“I think that’s the thing the thing about the craft scene right now. People want to try something new every time.”

Kalamazoo Beer Fest

Kalamazoo, MI – Wings Event Center and Townsquare Media present the third Kalamazoo Craft Beer Festival on Saturday, November 5 from 1-6pm. The festival offers a day of beer tasting, specialty tapping, food & beer pairing classes, keg curling, corn hole, and more.

“We look forward to bringing this event back to Kalamazoo,” said Emilie Vanderlaan, Special Events Manager at Wings Event Center. “The atmosphere is always great, and this year we are welcoming some new breweries to the festival!”

Vanderlaan coordinated the event from scratch in 2014, which now celebrates a third anniversary at Wings Event Center. A public keg curling tournament and cornhole will be among the fan-favorite drinking games to return in November, along with college football playing on the big screen.

For the beer lovers, Wings Event Center will be tapping specialty brews every hour, offering food and beer pairing classes, and opening Burdicks Beer Club for VIP guests. For more information follow on Facebook and visit their website.

Ticket tiers are as follows:

Designated Driver Tickets

($10/ticket) include entry to the event. 

 

General Admission Tickets

($45/ticket) include entry to event, 15 tasting tokens, and a Kalamazoo Craft Beer Festival sample glass. 

 

Beer Fanatic Tickets

($65/ticket) include 15 tasting tokens, a Kalamazoo Craft Beer Festival sample glass, a take-home six pack, and 1 hour early entry into the event.

 

Burdick’s Beer Club Ticket

($95/ticket) include 15 tasting tokens, a Kalamazoo Craft Beer Festival sample glass, a take-home six pack, 1 hour early entry into the event, access to Burdick’s VIP lounge, complimentary coat check, and private restrooms.

Tickets are on sale now at Wings Event Center box office and Ticketmaster.com.

one well

One Well Brewing is making more room for its customers.

The Milwood neighborhood staple, located at 4213 Portage St., Kalamazoo, MI, has reached a lease agreement to expand into the space adjacent to their current tap room. The new addition – previously occupied by Snap Fitness – will more than double their seating capacity and provide an opportunity for larger events and gatherings.

“Heck yes!”, exclaimed T.J. Waldofsky, co-owner of One Well Brewing. “The ability to double our seating capacity is going to give our customers an even better experience and allow us to explore more fun and creative things that we haven’t been able to do in our current space.”

Chris O’Neill, co-owner and Director of Brewing Operations, also spoke enthusiastically about the project. “This is an awesome opportunity for us to do a lot of things that we weren’t able to do with such a small footprint. We’re hoping to add to our pinball and arcade game collection and bring back a lot of the hands-on activities that we had to get rid of when we outgrew our current space.”

The news of the tap room expansion comes in parallel to the announcement of One Well’s recent purchase of a 10,000 square foot facility in Kalamazoo that will primarily be used to produce more beer to meet the demand of their tap room and distribution sales. They also hope that this new facility will allow them to increase accessibility to canning and bottling products for stores, bars and restaurants.

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