History of Brewing in Kalamazoo Bus Tour

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Date, Location

  • Saturday, January 20, 2018
  • Tour 1: 11 am (check-in), 11:40 am - 1:10 pm tour of  historic and present day breweries
  • Tour 2: 1:30 pm (check-in), 2:15 pm - 3:45 pm tour of historic and present day breweries 
  • Bell’s Eccentric Cafe, 355 E Kalamazoo Ave
  • Seating is limited; Registration required

Register Online (sorry, both tours are now filled)

  • Tour 1: 11 am (check-in), 11:40 am - 1:10 pm tour
  • Tour 2: 2 pm (check-in), 2:15 pm - 3:45 pm tour

A Tour Back In Time

Join us on a bus tour with West Michigan Beer Tours and learn about our city’s illustrious beer brewing history. Tours begin and end at Bell’s Eccentric Cafe. Learn more about what Kalamazoo was like prior to prohibition, how going dry effected the city and its place as the birthplace of Michigan’s brewery resurgence. Enjoy a complimentary pint before or after the tour and visit some of the sites where Kalamazoo’s brewing history began nearly two centuries ago! 

This event is free and open to the public. Seating on the tour is limited, so registration is required.

The Breweries of Early Kalamazoo (1837-1915)

Before Prohibition closed their doors in 1915 (5 years ahead of the the Eighteenth Amendment!), Kalamazoo spawned a thriving batch of local brewers who supplied thirsty residents with their trademark beverages for more than 80 years. At one point, the “Big Village” boasted no less than six breweries and two distilleries, plus a thriving crop of saloons and liquor retailers—rather remarkable for a community of then just 7,000. 

Today, nearly two centuries later, Kalamazoo is named one of the few underrated beer cities in the world by U.S. News & World Report and sits proudly at the forefront of the craft brewing movement with its annual Kalamazoo Beer Week celebration and a nomination for “Beer City USA.” Learn more...

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City Union Brewery, c.1896. Southeast corner of Portage and Lake streets.
Courtesy, Western Michigan University Archives and Regional History Collections

Community Partners