Downtown Kalamazoo brewery walking tour series begins this week


By: Eric Strader

Photo supplied/West Michigan Beer Tours

As fellow beer writers, I got to know John Liberty when he was writing for when it was still part of the Kalamazoo Gazetter newspaper. Since then, he has gone on to found West Michigan Beer Tours with Aric Faber.

They host many public and private brewery tours, which include Women of West Michigan Beer Tour and Hop Showcase Tour. This summer, they are bringing back the popular Downtown Kalamazoo Walking Tours.

In a flurry of hops, yeast, barley and water, downtown Kalamazoo has become an incredibly walkable city for craft beer lovers. 

To celebrate the explosion of breweries in downtown Kalamazoo and the arrival of warmer weather, West Michigan Beer Tours and Discover Kalamazoo are partnering on their second annual walking tour series this spring and summer.

All 13 dates last year sold out as people from 19 different states converged onto Kalamazoo to taste the city’s brew.

To meet the demand, the tour series will expand to 17 dates starting on May 30 and continuing through Aug. 30, with tours held every Saturday and on three Sundays (June 28, July 26 and Aug. 30).

Registration for each tour will begin at noon at one of the many craft beer-friendly bars in downtown Kalamazoo. Please check the individual tour for the registration location. Tours will depart at 1 p.m., visit three breweries and conclude around 4:30 p.m. Tickets are $19 per person for the first 20 guests, $24 for additional guests and $29 for walk-­up guests.

The ticket price includes samples or a pint at each of the three brewery stops and a commemorative stainless steel pint glass. There will be other prizes and giveaways along each tour.

Tour guests will also learn some of the history of Michigan craft beer and Kalamazoo’s influential place in it, as well as information about each brewery along the route.

Featured breweries on these tours include: Olde Peninsula Brewpub, Arcadia Ales, Bell’s Brewery, Gonzo’s Bigg Dogg Brewing, Boatyard Brewing Co. and Tibbs Brewing Co.

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