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, either Shakespeare’s Pub, Old Burdick’s Bar & Grill, Central City Tap House or Kalamazoo Beer Exchange
Stops at 3 featured breweries – with samples or pint at each stop
Featured Breweries/Distillery/Winery: Kalamazoo, Bell’s Brewery Inc., Saugatuck Brewing Co.-Kalamazoo (formerly Gonzo’s BiggDogg Brewing Co.), Olde Peninsula Brewpub, Brite Eyes Brewing Co., Final Gravity Brewing Co.-Kalamazoo, The Kalamazoo Stillhouse, Green Door Distilling and Tempo Vino Winery
Knowledgeable tour guide providing a history of Kalamazoo beer and the Michigan craft beer industry
Stainless steel pint
Registration will be at noon. Departure at 1 p.m.
Tours officially conclude at approximately 4 p.m. The cost is $35 per person for the first 8 guests and $40 in advance for additional guests. It is $45 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. 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.
- "I booked a tour for 16 guys (in their early 30s) for a bachelor party. John was very helpful and responsive throughout the booking and planning stage. Pick up process was timely and easy. The tour itself was great. Mark was an excellent guide, providing insight and friendly conversation as we stopped at 3 solid breweries. Would definitely recommend this tour for anyone."
John O., Chicago, Ill. — Sept., 2021
- "We had a blast! Kassie was great and the breweries were very accommodating. ... I would highly recommend the River St Joe stop and tour for all of your groups, but maybe build in some extra time for the full tour as well. Brian and the team were fantastic and it sold me on being a regular visitor. I'll be sure to share your name when planning future events!"
Emily Z., St. Joseph, Mich. — May, 2021
- "Thank you SO much. Everyone had so much fun and loved the day. The all female owned breweries was wonderful and people were SO impressed especially with how much work and love has gone into Guardian Brewing. We all were talking about taking our families back there some day to see how it's grown. I really appreciate your time and helping us have such a wonderful day."
Lucie W. — Sept. 30, 2020
- "I just wanted to take a moment to thank you for an exceptional event on Friday to wrap up our conference this year! We received tremendous comments on the tour itself and your hospitality throughout. Thank you for working with us to arrange this and make it such a great, first-time event for the conference. ... You truly run a “first class” tour and we look forward to opportunities to work with you in the future!"
Jessica F., Kalamazoo, Mich. — Oct., 2019
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?