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Women-led breweries of West Michigan beer tour — Saturday, Sept. 26, 2020

  • Destination: Cognito Brewing Co., Guardian Brewing Co., Paw Paw Brewing Company, Three Blondes Brewing Co.
  • Duration: 6 hours
  • Price: $69
  • Departs: 09/26/2020

This bus tour is a celebration of women in leadership roles in West Michigan’s craft beer industry and will feature a trio of stops to relatively new breweries.

The tour begins with registration at Paw Paw Brewing Co.‘s new location and heads west to Cognito Brewing Co., located in the historic grain elevator in Bangor. Brewer Jennifer Goodrich will lead a tour of the building and share samples with the group. The trip then heads to Saugatuck to see Kim Collins, owner and brewer at Guardian Brewing Co., which opened in early 2019.

Our tour then finishes the afternoon with a stop at Three Blondes Brewing Co. Fronted by sisters Amanda Johnson, Carrie Troyer and Megan Zernicke, this South Haven brewery opened in the summer of 2018.

The tour includes a pint or samples at each location, as well as production tours and meet-and-greets with the women behind these emerging breweries.

We have also partnered with the Paw Paw Comfort Inn & Suites, which is located very near Paw Paw Brewing Co., as well as St. Julian Winery. Guests may book discounted rooms by calling the hotel at 269-655-0303 or by going to this link: https://www.choicehotels.com/reservations/groups/RL26L5 

Origination: Paw Paw Brewing Co., noon registration with 1 p.m. departure
Stop 1: Cognito Brewing Co., samples, tour with brewer Jennifer Goodrich, 1:30-2:30 p.m.
Stop 2: Guardian Brewing Co., samples, tour with owner/brewer Kim Collins, 3-4 p.m.
Stop 3: Three Blondes Brewing Co., samples, meet-and-greet with owners, 4:30-5:30 p.m.
Termination: Paw Paw Brewing Co., 6:15 p.m.

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Paw Paw Brewing Co.

780 Gremps St., Paw Paw, MI 49079

Noon: Registration
1 p.m.: Bus Leaves

First Stop

Cognito Brewing Co.

Includes brewer meet-and-greet and tasting. The brewery is located in a historic grain elevator built in 1873. By 2004, the structure was in dire need of some renovation. The building was going to be torn down at one point. The massive restoration effort was completed in 2009, and the Bangor Elevator is now listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The restoration was done in accordance with stringent requirements to ensure historical accuracy, and it received the Governor’s Award for Historic Preservation in 2009. In 2017, Cognito officially opened with the idea of artfully crafting beer and educating our patrons on the subtle differences in ingredients. Jennifer Goodrich, who graduated from Kalamazoo Valley Community College’s Sustainable Brewing Program, is one of the brewers and will show our group through the brewery and building.

Arrive: 1:30 p.m.
Depart: 2:30 p.m.

Second Stop

Guardian Brewing Co.

Includes samples and production tour. Guardian Brewing Company is a dream born in 2012 from founders Kim Collins and Kate Bishop. Kim has always loved unicorns, but not just the fluffy, white, glittery ones. She likes the bad ass ones, so she added wings, and adopted our pegacorn as Guardian’s logo. Kim and Kate have been homebrewing since the early 2000s and found in it a a deep love for the craft beer community. When Kim was considering leaving her previous career in the outdoor industry, the only other job she wanted was to brew beer. They relocated from Colorado to Saugatuck to launch the brewery. Guardian Brewing Company provides a welcoming environment where experiences are created by blending quality craft beer and cider, local wine, and freshly made food pairings within a unique brewpub. We focus on session and barrel-aged beers brewed on a 10-barrel Premier Stainless system, with all beer being sold fresh on draft, through our 20 taps.

Arrive: 3 p.m.
Depart: 4 p.m.

Third Stop

Three Blondes Brewing Co.

Includes samples or a pint and optional production tour. South Haven natives and sisters Megan Zernicke, Carrie Troyer and Amanda Johnson noticed craft breweries were popping up everywhere, creating cool community gathering places and even revitalizing small neighborhoods and towns. They all wondered, “when is one going to open in South Haven?” This idea turned to research, research led to possibilities and possibilities turned into planning. Throw in a lot of savings, a ton of hometown pride and faith in our community, and a little bit of crazy and suddenly Three Blondes Brewing was in motion. Their parents, Ray and Linda, own and operate VanDerZee Motorplex in town, which is a Kawasaki/Yamaha powersports dealership (and now neighbor to 3BB). For the brewery side, Three Blondes welcomed Jake Demski to our team, the former head brewer at Greenbush Brewing Co. “We are so thankful for the support we’ve received since opening and we’re thrilled to bring craft beer and food to the South Haven community. Cheers!”

Arrive: 4:30 p.m.
Depart: 5:30 p.m.


Paw Paw Brewing Co.
780 Gremps St., Paw Paw, MI 49079
Return: 6:15 p.m.


Click to View Frequently Asked Questions

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 canceled?

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. Coolers will be provided for growlers and other purchased beer.

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.

Ticket Pricing Saturday, Sept. 26, 2020
  • Tour Ticket – Includes samples or a pint at the three brewery stops, as well as complimentary water and snacks on the bus

** There will be time to purchase additional pints at the breweries.
** We encourage guests to purchase beer from the breweries. Coolers will be provided for safe transportation. Alcohol consumption will not be allowed on the bus.



  • "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
  • "Thank you for such a fun tour Saturday! It was great to see you again as my sis and I have enjoyed making the BrewTour part of our now annual K-Zoo tradition. We enjoy listening to the histories of the breweries, the Tour company and the city itself, and we appreciate your thoughtfulness in making sure we were having a good time while in town."
    Karen R., Ravenna, Ohio — Oct., 2019
  • "I just wanted to say how satisfied me and my party were with Andrea and the beer tour. Between Arcadia, Boatyard and Bell’s - it was the perfect amount of technical expertise, personal passion, and  love of quality craft beer. thanks to you and your group for making my trip home to MI that much more enjoyable."
    Benny E., Seattle, Wash. — Aug., 2019
  • "I had a great time with you on the walking tour last Saturday. It was informative (we loved your tidbits of Kalamazoo history) and fun. You went out of your way to make the hot weather bearable and the walk to Boatyard was worth it. We will be sharing our positive experience with others and hope to participate again soon. Thank you for an enjoyable afternoon."
    Bonnie G., Kalamazoo, MI — June, 2018