The 5th annual Kalamazoo Beer Week will be held Jan. 10-17 at several locations around Kalamazoo. It is a celebration of craft beer and features 48 breweries and more than 200 events during the week-long cheers. But Michigan’s second largest brewery will not officially participate. It is not listed on the KBW website as one of the participating breweries.
Under KBW’s “EDU” section, it defines craft beer using the Brewers Association’s definition. The Brewers Association is the Boulder, Colo.-based organization that promotes and protects American craft beer. Founders, which sold 30 percent of the company to Mahou San Miguel in December, does not meet the definition of independent craft brewer where “less than 25 percent of the craft brewery is owned or controlled (or equivalent economic interest) by an alcoholic beverage industry member that is not itself a craft brewer.”
Since KBW’s inception, the event has used the definition as its guideline. To keep consistency with KBW’s parameters, organizers opted to remove the Grand Rapids brewery’s events from the website. The Brewers Association’s definition has changed over the years and KBW organizers said they plan to revisit the topic for next year’s event.
Founders beer will be served at several venues during the week, including several tappings of Canadian Breakfast Stout, one of the most highly sought-after beers this winter. You can see many of the Founders’ events during Kalamazoo Beer Week on Discover Kalamazoo’s website.