Michigan is one of the top three best states for craft beer in the country and Kalamazoo is one of the best cities to get beer in Michigan! There are many breweries and most are downtown and within walking distance of one another.
It’s about a 2.5 hour drive from the Detroit area. We got an airbnb and did a self-made brewery tour for a day. It’s a great way to spend a Saturday, especially when it’s warm out!
This route is about an hour of walking and the order is based on geography and the best time to go to each place.
- Brite Eyes – This place is a little bit away from downtown. To save on walking you can uber to the next destination. I put this one first because they have coffee too! They have a retro vibe which is unique to a brewery. You could also hit this one the next day in the morning.
Hours: 11:30am-7:30pm (start serving beer at noon)
- Tibbs Brewing Company (13 minute walk) – A standard brewery with appetizers/food.
- Saugatuck Brewing Co. (10 min walk) – This was Gonzo’s when we went. It sounds like they still serve Gonzo’s beer, which is good! We’ve been to Saugatuck Brewing in actual Saugatuck and enjoyed it as well. So this merger sounds like the best of both worlds.
- Olde Peninsula Brewpub (9 minute walk) – This place has more restaurant vibes and is definitely older on the inside, BUT that’s because it is Kalamazoo’s first brewery! We sat outside and the patio was nice.
- Kalamazoo Beer Exchange (4 minute walk) – Okay, I don’t think this place brews its own beer, but it’s a Kalamazoo staple. The beer list is like a stock market and the prices fluctuate based on the “market”. Sometimes it crashes and beers are super cheap!
- Bell’s Brewery (3 minute walk) – I don’t really have to say anything about this place as it’s one of the best known Michigan breweries out there! It has more of a restaurant vibe, but you can sit at the bar. I recommend getting dinner here!
- Final Gravity Brewing (6 minute walk) – I liked coming here later in the day. They have fun music and a photo booth! (!!)
- Rupert’s Brew House (14 minute walk) – I put this one last because I think it’s a good night bar and place to end. It seems more like a dive bar than brewery, which I love! They have live music and outdoor seating.
Eight is a lot to get through in one day, especially with a group. Plan to skip 1-2 of these. If you don’t want to walk, they do have buses that you can rent for the day.
One Well Brewing (inspired by Lord of the Rings) and Texas Corners Brewing Co. (in a cute house building) are further out from downtown. They could be good stops for the next day or another time.