A trip to Kalamazoo, Michigan is incomplete without checking out the wide variety of breweries and beer related events that the city has to offer! Experience Michigan’s oldest brewery, celebrate the arrival of Summer on Oberon day or grab a pint while enjoying live music at one of our many festivals and events. Here are the best places for you to grab a brew in Kalamazoo.
Michigan’s oldest brewery, Bell’s Brewing, is one of the most well-known microbreweries in the country. Primarily known for Two Hearted and Oberon Ale, they also offer an amazing menu, an outdoor beer garden, and frequently host events at their Eccentric Café. Take home a souvenir from your trip to Bell’s by checking out their general store filled with attire, beer to-go, growlers, and supplies to brew your own beer. If you happen to stop by in December, be sure to check out their famous Eccentric Day where folks from all over show up wearing eccentric costumes. Check out photos from Eccentric Day 2017 and keep an eye on social media for more info on the 2018 event!
Want the lowdown on pet approved attractions, dog beaches, off-leash parks, outdoor restaurants and more?! Check out our list of places you can enjoy with your furry friends in the (269) area! Link in blog highlights 🐶 #discoverkzoo #kalamazoo #dogsofinstagram Repost @arcadiaales ・・・ Thanks to Jay M McStanko for sharing this pic of his girl Lyla!
Arcadia Brewing is another must-see when you visit Kalamazoo. Located in the heart of Kalamazoo, this 20+ year-old, award-winning brewery is filled with tons of hand crafted British-style ales for your tasting pleasure. All of which are brewed in small batches to guarantee a high-quality pint with every pour. Not only do they serve up some delicious brews, they also host several events including IPA Day, Euchre tournaments and $5 off growler fills every Friday! Be sure to grab a pint on their pet-friendly beer garden, take in a game of cornhole, or enjoy tastes from their bbq-inspired menu around the fire.
One Well Brewing
One Well Brewing is filled with a fun-loving spirit driven by their unique brews made with items like Sweetwater donuts, a local favorite. They even offer to turn any of their brews into a float with a scoop of ice cream. For those of you who prefer a more traditional taste, have no fear: they also offer several wheat ales, IPAs, and ciders. This unique arts and culture-driven environment is sure to satisfy your sweet tooth and your beer cravings all under the same roof.
Gonzo’s Biggdogg Brewing
Believe it or not, Gonzo’s Biggdogg Brewing was created in owner Greg “Gonzo” Haner’s garage! Over twenty-years later, it houses 12 hand-crafted beers, an upscale American menu and finds its home in the heart of downtown Kalamazoo. Visit this microbrewery on a Monday evening and take $1 off every pint of their righteous brews or stop in on a Taster Tuesday and try any 4 beers for $5 all day long!
Boatyard Brewing Company
Boatyard Brewing Company is filled with superb craft beers created through the exploration of artistic fermentation. This traditional brewery was founded in 2011 and continues to create unique offerings for their beer-lovers. Their beers include a wide variety ranging from their 269 Ale – which is a blood orange cream ale, Gooberlicious – a peanut butter and jelly blonde ale (yes, you read that right!) or the Kalamazoo Shandy – a pleasant lemon cream ale. The possibilities are endless at Boatyard Brewing Company and you are sure to find a brew that tickles your taste buds.
These are just a few of highlights! For a more detailed list of the many different breweries and brew pubs located in the Kalamazoo area, click here.
Kalamazoo Beer Week – January
If you’re looking for the ultimate celebration of craft beer, then the prime time for you to visit Kalamazoo is in January for the city’s annual Beer Week. It’s one of Michigan’s largest beer week celebrations. During beer week, you will have the opportunity to try new brews, meet fellow craft beer-lovers and even check out the latest trending restaurants. There are over 250 events that take place during the week, over 50 participating locations and 48 breweries that are featured. Join this celebration of craft beer once again in January 2019 and stay updated on our social media platforms for the 2019 beer week events. In the meantime, learn more here.
Oberon Day – March
There is one day that marks the first day of spring in Kalamazoo and all over the state of Michigan and that is Oberon Day. The release of Bell’s famous Oberon Ale is one of Kalamazoo’s most popular celebrations of the year. The day includes several midnight tappings, launch parties at breweries all across Kalamazoo. The event also features Oberon donuts and live entertainment in the beer garden at the Eccentric Café. Finding an Oberon on Oberon Day in Kalamazoo is no difficult task as it is available at most beer friendly locations. Before heading out on Oberon Day, be sure to check out Bell’s Beer Finder to make sure that there will be a nice, cold glass of Oberon available at your location of choice!
Bronco Brew Fest – August
Kalamazoo is home to more than 20 Western Michigan University alumni affiliated breweries including One Well Brewing and Boatyard Brewing to name a few. This fun event celebrates the success of Bronco alumni who have helped shape the craft brew scene in Michigan. Guests will have the opportunity to enjoy interactive presentations from industry experts and learn more about how they got started in the industry. Attendees will also receive a Bronco BrewFest sampling glass, ten 2 oz. sample pours, all-access pass to special events, demonstrations, live music and more. Space is limited, so be sure to grab your tickets to the 2018 Bronco Brewfest now!
Donuts and Beer – August
The Donut and Beer Fest is known for being “the festival Homer Simpson always wanted.” Located downtown at Homer Stryker Field, visitors will have the opportunity to taste one of a kind donuts, craft beer & cider. Listen to live music & participate in yard games while you enjoy your beer or cider in a Mason jar sampling glass. The festival is truly a family-friendly event as it also offers non-alcoholic cider tickets. This year’s event is close to selling out so be sure to grab your tickets ASAP!
Bikes and Beer Fest – August
Bikes and Beer Fest, hosted by Bell’s Brewing, features a 15-mile or 30-mile ride departing from Bell’s Eccentric Café and traveling through Kalamazoo and returning back to Bell’s. Have no fear—both routes feature a refreshment stop half way through. Once you make your return to the Café, you will receive beer tickets, a limited edition pint glass and koozie. The post-ride after party includes refreshments in the beer garden with live music and yard games! All proceeds of this event benefit the League of Michigan Bicyclists. Register now!
Bonteboktoberfest – October
Zoo after hours, animals AND MI craft beer, wines and ciders!? Sign. Us. Up. We'll be set up at #bonteboktoberfest @binderparkzoo this Saturday along with many other breweries and wineries! You can still purchase tickets by copy and pasting the link below or heading directly to #BinderParkZoo's website. https://www.binderparkzooonline.org/programs/beer.php
Drink a brew at the Zoo at Bonteboktoberfest at Binder Park Zoo! This popular beer tasting festival is held in the evening and showcases over forty of Michigan’s finest craft microbrews, ciders, meads and wines. Admission includes 12 drink tickets, a collectable tasting glass, animal encounters, free rides on the Z.O. & O train and the unique experience of enjoying your beverage amongst live animals. This year’s Bonteboktoberfest will be held on Saturday, October 13 from 6-10pm and tickets will go on sale soon!
Whether it’s grabbing a cold one with your best buddies at your favorite microbrewery or joining the fun at one of the many festivals and events, Kalamazoo, Michigan is sure to satisfy your local craft brew cravings!