KALAMAZOO, MI — As West Michigan’s reputation for world-class beer continues to grow, so too will the number of opportunities to visit those breweries as part of a walking tour of downtown Kalamazoo breweries with West Michigan Beer Tours.
As a vehicle to spotlight the growth of Kalamazoo’s brewing industry, the Walking Tours — sponsored by Discover Kalamazoo — provide a glimpse into what makes the city unique through the lens of craft beer. Guests will learn about the history of Michigan beer and Kalamazoo’s influential role in the industry’s resurgence. For the first time since launching the events in 2013, the walking tours will be available year-round — sunshine, rain or snow.
Public walking tours will be held every Saturday through October and three Saturdays in November and December. Private walking tours are available on request.
Registration for each tour will begin at noon at one of four downtown Kalamazoo bar and restaurants: Kalamazoo Beer Exchange, Old Burdick’s Bar & Grill, HopCat Kalamazoo or Shakespeare’s Pub. The breweries visited on each date will vary. Please check the individual tour for the registration locations and breweries.
The tour will then depart at 1 p.m. and visit three breweries with the tour concluding at around 4 p.m.
Tickets start at $29 per person. The ticket price includes samples or a pint at the three brewery stops and a goody bag that includes a commemorative stainless steel pint. There will be other prizes and giveaways during tours as well.
Guests will also have the opportunity for occasional production tours and the chance to meet those who make some of the city’s fine craft beer.
For more information or to purchase tickets, go to www.westmichiganbeertours.com/walking-tours.
The series is made possible by: Discover Kalamazoo; Radisson Plaza Hotel; The Kalamazoo House; Kalamazoo Valley Community College’s Sustainable Brewing Program; Shakespeare’s Pub; HopCat Kalamazoo; Kalamazoo Beer Exchange; Old Burdick’s Bar & Grill; Nature Connection; Down Dog Yoga; Masonry Heater & Design; Local Hop; Damn Handsome Grooming Co.; One Well Brewing; Rupert’s Brew House; Beer Cap Maps; Tempo Vino Winery; Bad Moon Studio LLC; Daus Financial Group; Journey Jug; Taco Bob’s; Green Door Distilling; Tibbs Brewing Co.; Airway Fun Center; Spirit of Kalamazoo; Kalamazoo State Theatre; Avolio Glasswerks; Pop City Popcorn; Lana’s Boutique; Grayling Ceramics.
Each tour will include:
- Origination at a craft beer bar/restaurant, brewery or other businesses, including Shakespeare’s Pub, Old Burdick’s Bar & Grill, Central City Tap House and more
- Stops at 3 featured breweries – with samples or pint at each stop
- Featured Breweries: Arcadia Brewing Co. Kalamazoo, Bell’s Brewery Inc., Gonzo’s BiggDogg Brewing Co., Olde Peninsula Brewpub, Rupert’s Brew House, Tibbs Brewing Co., Brite Eyes Brewing Co., Boatyard Brewing Co.
- Knowledgeable tour guide providing a history of Kalamazoo, the Michigan craft beer industry
- Beer-related Souvenir
Registration will be at noon. Departure at 1 p.m. Tours officially conclude at approximately 4 p.m. The cost is $29 per person for the first 10 guests and $35 in advance for additional guests. It is $40 for guests purchasing tickets the day of the tour.
Take advantage of discounted overnight packages with some of our lodging partners, visit other local breweries, try some of our unique bars and restaurants, and meet many of our fantastic retailers. All tour guests may take advantage of our sponsor discounts available through our Mobile Mug Club.
West Michigan Beer Tours is dedicated to providing craft beer lovers with fun, flavorful and educational tours. Guests must be 21 to participate. We encourage every attendee to drink responsibly and have a designated driver. After each tour we will also provide access to a local taxi service. If any of our tour directors have reason to believe that a person is intoxicated prior to a tour, we reserve the right to turn them away. If a person is turned away due to intoxication no refund will be provided.
Tours will run rain or shine. Unless West Michigan Beer Tours cancels the tour, all tours are non-refundable.
- "We booked a walking tour with John back in April and couldn't have been more happy with our experience and guide. I booked the tour as a present for my husband for our 20th wedding anniversary. From the beginning John set out to help make our day memorable. He asked what plans we had and as I shared them with him, he was able to partner us with other community businesses that would help make our special occasion more comfortable and enjoyable. We have lived in the Portage area for the past 30 years so we really weren't sure what to expect. John was funny, engaging, and very informative. I learned much about the downtown area and local craft beer arena that I didn't know. I would highly recommend the tour. Thank you once again John for making our anniversary so much fun!"
Janie W., Portage — June, 2017
- "I would like to thank you for a wonderful day on Saturday. We all thoroughly enjoyed the day. Andrea and Trevor were great guides. They shared just the right amount of information as the day went on and mingled with the group well. The bus was comfortable and our driver was helpful and courteous. We enjoyed each of the breweries and experiencing what each had to offer both in terms of the beers and ciders and in their individual styles. We received compliments all day about how much fun it was and we owe it all to you. Thank you for providing the organization and hosting such a great event for us!"
Dara M., Three Rivers, Mich. — October, 2016
- "We did a private tour for my 40th, and West Michigan Beer Tour provided us a great time! They were great to work with in terms of planning it, answering questions and changing things as needed. It was well organized, and it was great to just be there to enjoy the day, rather than having to organize things myself. The tour guides were great too. This was a great way to gather friends and family together, as all ages can enjoy this! This was my 2nd tour, I had been part of a bike tour last summer, and that also was great fun! I would definitely recommend the tours either privately or as part of public tour."
Kelly C. — July, 2016
- "My sister and I had a great time on Saturday (8/13). Everyone was so friendly and knowledgeable. Our tour guides were great. I would definitely do this again. Thank you so much for a great time! Highly recommend."
Mary S., Paw Paw, Mich. — Aug. 2016
What happens if I am late for the tour?
The bus will leave promptly at the scheduled time. Please arrive at the origination site at least 20 minutes ahead of time. If you are late we will not wait for you. There are no refunds.
What happens if I need to cancel?
All ticket fees are non-refundable. However tickets may be transferred to another passenger.
What happens if a tour is cancelled?
If a tour is canceled for any reason all ticket fees will be fully refunded.
Can I drink beer on the bus?
In most cases there is no drinking on the bus.
Can I bring a minor?
No – all tour participants must be 21 years or older. Please bring personal identification.
May I bring beer on the bus?
Only beer purchased from the participating brewers may be brought on to the bus. For most tours, no drinking on the bus will be permitted.
Will there be food included on the tour?
Light snacks (i.e. pretzels and chips) and water will be provided on the bus. For most tours food will be available for purchase at one or more of our brewery tours. Unless otherwise indicated, most tour packages will not include the cost of food at the stops.
What happens if I am late for the tour?