Quality by the Barrel.
The mitten is well known for crafting greatness. Michigan is fifth in the nation in the number of breweries, microbreweries and brewpubs, and Kalamazoo is home to the state’s oldest microbrewery, Bell’s Brewery, Inc. But that's not our only claim to fame.
In 2012 Liveability.com ranked Kalamazoo as the #4 top beer city in the nation. In 2013, Business Insider named Kalamazoo as the #3 Beer Town in America. Also in 2013 Kalamazoo garnered 11,000 votes (in just one week!) and came in second in the Beer City USA contest, an online poll run by Examiner.com. In 2013, Kalamazoo welcomed 6 new breweries to our town. And in April 2014, U.S. World & News Report named Kalamazoo as one of 8 undervalued beer cities in the world.
Recent years have been good to Kalamazoo beer and pubs …Ratebeer.com bestowed the following upon our friends:
- Kalamazoo Beer Exchange was named the Best Bar in Michigan
- Bell's Brewery was named the top Brewer in Michigan
- Bell's Two Hearted Ale was named top India Pale Ale in the world
- Bell's Hopslam was named the #4 Double India Pale Ale in the world
- Bell's Blacknote Stout was named the #4 Stout in the world
- Bell's Expedition Stout was named the #14 Stout in the world
Our love of the craft is nothing new to Kalamazoo. The first commercial brewery opened in Kalamazoo in 1837 and beginning in 1850, Kalamazoo's brewery business witnessed unprecedented growth. By the end of the Civil War, there were at least six commercial breweries in Kalamazoo. The Kalamazoo Public Library offers this fascinating look at Kalamazoo brewing through the years.
Oh, and did we mention we have an entire week devoted to the suds? Yep. Mark your calendars now for Kalamazoo Beer Week. A weeklong celebration of craft beer and the community that loves it.
The taps at our breweries change a lot more often than our seasons, so be sure to drink in all the varieties of styles and tastes. Check out our local breweries and brew-centric restaurants and pubs. Or better yet, plan a pub crawl or brewery tour to experience quality by the barrel. Over half of the breweries in Kalamazoo are located within walking distance of one another, making it even easier to plan your route. Our Kalamazoo Brewery Map will help you plan your perfect ABVenture.