A week celebrating one of the region’s best beer cities is coming back in January.
Kalamazoo Beer Week will return for its sixth year Jan. 16 to 23. Kalamazoo has become a destination and makes a number of best-of lists, including “8 Undervalued Beer Cities in the World” by U.S. News & World Report,
Kalamazoo Beer Week features a wide variety of events highlighting Kalamazoo’s unique craft beer scene. There are eight days of craft beer tastings, dinners and zany events. Last year featured more than 250 events, an Untappd Badge and too many collaboration beers to count.
Although several other Michigan cities celebrate beer weeks, I believe that KBW was the first, established in 2011, and it’s definitely the largest of this kind of event in Michigan. Hosted at area breweries, restaurants, bars and local shops, KBW events are intended to educate and offer insight to some aspect of the craft beer movement – a special product or style of beer, a food-beer pairing experience (donuts and beer, anyone?) or the chance to rub elbows with the very person who brewed your favorite beer.
“There is no limit to how fun — and sometimes quirky — Kalamazoo Beer Week events will be. We encourage host locations to plan events that are educational, centered around craft beer and fun. In past Kalamazoo Beer Weeks, we’ve had bowling nights with our brewers, snow jogs, fat tire bike races and live band karaoke. If it has an educational component very little is considered off the table when planning beer week events,” says Renée Newman, vice president of marketing and communications at Discover Kalamazoo.
If you have been reading Hop Notes for any length of time, you probably already know my love of Kalamazoo as a beer city. As a Michigan native, I graduated from Western Michigan University, and got my craft beer legs at Bell’s in the late 1980s. If you have never been to Kalamazoo, or to Kalamazoo Beer Week, here is an awesome opportunity for you to enjoy both with fellow Michiana beer enthusiasts.
Flavor 574 is sponsoring a bus trip on the first day of KBW, January 16. The trip will start at Goshen Brewing Co. for brunch, make a stop at Iechyd Da Brewing Co. to pick up any Elkhart bus riders, then spend the rest of the day in Kalamazoo. Check out all of the details at Flavor 574. Each participant will receive a Give A Craft Beer Trail Passport provided by Discover Kalamazoo, and the group will be greeted by Discover Kalamazoo’s Sherri Craig and Renee Newman when we arrive at Bell’s. There they will give a quick introduction to KBW and hand out some swag before heading out to explore this huge craft beer event.
For a listing of all Kalamazoo Beer Week events, check out their website. Events will be continually added up through the end of KBW.