KALAMAZOO, MI — Winter Beer Olympics, unlimited mimosa brunches, brushes and brews painting parties, build-a-beer workshops and more — Kalamazoo Craft Beverage Week is almost here.
From Jan. 13-23, there are more than 60 events on tap for craft beer, wine and cocktail lovers as part of the annual celebration of craft beverages in the greater Kalamazoo area.
“As Kalamazoo, we do have an identity with our craft beverages, whether it be the breweries that are here, the distilleries, there’s even a good amount of wineries when you look at the surrounding area,” said Chris O’Neill, owner at One Well Brewing, one of six breweries hosting events over the course of the drawn-out week. “I think it’s a cool opportunity to get people excited about craft beverages, not only that are being made in Kalamazoo, but that are being made in Michigan and nationally.”
In its 13th year, the festival initiated as one to celebrate the local craft beer scene, expanding in 2021 to include local winemakers and distillers. The week’s unofficial kickoff party will go down on Friday, Jan. 13 at Final Gravity Brewing with live performances from OCD/C and FlyLiteGemini. The week concludes with a special night highlighting women-owned breweries on Jan. 23 at LFG Gaming Bar.
In addition to One Well and Final Gravity, other brewery hosts include Presidential Brewing, Texas Corners Brewing, Brewery Outré and Bells. Temp Vino Winery and Twine Urban Winery will also host events, as will three area distillers, including the Kalamazoo Stillhouse and Green Door and Gull Lake distilling companies.
Other bars and restaurants, such as the Kalamazoo Beer Exchange, Crafted Copper, JungleBird, LFG Gaming Bar, Centre Street Taphouse, Louie’s Trophy House and Old Burdick’s are also hosting events.
“I think it’s nice to be able to focus on the good craft beverages that are being made in the area,” said O’Neill, whose brewery is hosting date night cheesecake and barrel-aged beer pairings and a pints and pinball tournament. “Anything that we can do to continue to draw people back to Kalamazoo is also great.”
The date night cheesecake and beer pairing events, hosted nightly from Jan. 14-22, will allow One Well’s kitchen staff to showcase their house-made cheesecakes as they are paired up with beers such as the brewery’s Stuck-Up Susie Raspberry Barrel-Aged Sour and Imperial Bourbon-Barrel Aged Stouts like the Wizard Potion and Scheming and Plotting, O’Neill said.
The pints and pinball night, meanwhile, opens the doors to all comers for a pinball tournament at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 18, at One Well’s Wizard’s Pinball Palace. The brewery, which boasts a collection of over 50 machines, offers league or tournament play on most Wednesdays throughout the year, something O’Neill said presents the opportunity for people to make new friends over friendly competition.
In addition to pinball, other themed game nights during Kalamazoo Craft Beverage Week include music bingo at Louie’s Trophy House, trivia nights at Presidential Brewing, Bell’s and Shakespeare’s Pub, a Winter Family Carnival at Bell’s, and Euchre nights at Gull Lake Distilling and Presidential Brewing.
Other pairing events featured include whiskey and ribs at Centre Street Tap House, whiskey barrel aged wines and chocolate truffles at Temp Vino, beer and cheese, and also beer and bread night at Brewery Outré, beer and popcorn night at Texas Corners Brewing Co., a burgers and beer night at Bell’s, a bacon and beer event at Final Gravity and a Michigan beer and wings night at Crafted Copper.
For those who enjoy a good competition, the Kalamazoo Beer Cup will take place on Jan. 20 at the Kalamazoo Beer Exchange and the Kalamazoo Home-brew Club Battle Royale will go down at Final Gravity that same night, pitting the area’s top homebrewers against one another in some tasty competition.
Live music and comedy events are also scheduled throughout the event. Click the link for a complete list of events. Events are still getting added as the event draws near. Some may require registration in advance.
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