Friday, January 04, 2013

Kalamazoo Beer Week Hops Into Town Jan. 12-18, 2013

Written by  Paul Starr
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Kalamazoo Beer Week

In its third year, Kalamazoo’s craft-beer centered week of events, called Kalamazoo Beer Week (or KBW for “short”), packs a mighty punch.
With upwards of 80 events already slated, the week of Jan. 12-18, 2013 will host brewers, brewery representatives and more in independently-owned-and-operated restaurants and retail locations throughout downtown Kalamazoo and the surrounding community.

All events – which comprise beer dinners, free tastings, tap takeovers, bottle signings and more – are posted at, and updates can be found on Facebook and Twitter.  (Event goers are encouraged to share photos of events and KBW activities online through these social media outlets, using hashtag #KBW2013.) A blog, featuring posts by area brewers and craft beer appreciators can also be found online.

The week’s events launch on Saturday morning, Jan. 12, 2013 with a breakfast featuring Founder’s Brewing Co. of Grand Rapids, and the official kickoff to beer week comes that night with the Pub Crawl, sponsored by Samuel Adams. The events conclude the night of Friday, Jan. 18.

Initiating sponsors Discover Kalamazoo and Imperial Beverage work closely to plan and publicize the KBW events, along with event planners from restaurants, retailers, local breweries and distributors. New this year, QR Codes will be available on all beer week print media, allowing participants to access taxi service phone numbers using their smartphone technology.

Imperial Beverage Marketing and PR Manager Anne Drummond said, “After all, Kalamazoo Beer Week is about the appreciation of craft beer, not its abuse.”

History of Kalamazoo Beer Week

On the heels of being awarded Craft Beer Distributor of the Year during fall 2010, Imperial Beverage wanted to initiate a fun, beer-centric event.

Joe Cekola, Imperial Beverage President and Owner, said, “We had just been recognized in this very public way for our efforts related to the craft beer market segment.  We wanted to find a way to share our excitement with our hometown of Kalamazoo.” So, in January 2011, KBW was born, and with 16 events, planners were pleased. “Little did we know that in year two, we’d grow to nearly 110 events,” Drummond said.  “Our fledgling event grew up, and we couldn’t have been more excited.” In year two, area breweries, retail and restaurant managers, and other distributors joined the planning to help this event become even more community minded.

“We knew we needed to invite others to the table to create something truly successful,” Drummond said.

Paul Starr

Paul Starr

Paul Starr is the creator of the I'm a Beer Hound and one of the organizer and the driving force behind Art & Craft Beerfest, Lansing Beer Fest, Beerfest at the Ballpark Spring & Fall. When he's not working on Beer Hound he's probably watching the Lions, Tigers or Red Wings. Being a recent new Dad of twins, he doesn't have much extra time these days for mischief.