1) Bell’s Brewery – Started back in the early 1980’s as the Kalamazoo Brewing Company, Larry Bell has turned his once small craft brew operation into one of the most popular and well known microbreweries in both the state of Michigan and across the midwest. With the popularity of their beers continuing to grow, Bell’s Brewery (name changed to this back in 2005) opened up a larger production facility just outside of Kazoo in Comstock, MI back in 2002. Current production is well over 100,000 barrels of beer per year.

With it’s flagship beer Oberon, Bell’s has developed a popular following among beer lovers and has won a number of awards in beer competitions over the years. Bell’s is not just limited to the midwest, you can find their beers across the country 14 different states, even out west in the Phoenix area!

Bell’s offers Pale Ale, Porter, Kalamazoo Stout, Third Coast Beer, Amber Ale and Two Hearted Ale all year, with their most popular beer, Oberon, available seasonally from March through October.

If you happen to be in Kalamazoo, stop by their downtown brewpub (Bell’s Eccentric Cafe) for good beer, good food and live music in their outdoor beer garden.

2) Bilbo’s Pizza & Brewing Company – Once known primarily for their pizza and whole wheat bread sticks with dill sauce (yum!), Bilbo’s currently makes their own beer at their Stadium Drive location. Their most popular beer would be their Wizard Wheat to go along with other beer styles such as their Dragon Red Ale. If you’re looking for some great pizza and micro brew, give them a try!

3) Bravo Restaurant & Cafe – Bravo! is one of only a few restaurants in Kalamazoo that happens to make their own craft beer. They brew several styles of beer, ranging from their Adams Ale IPA, Nimbus Oatmeal Stout, Exit 78 American Red Ale and their Good Beer Pale Ale.

4) Olde Peninsula Brewpub & Restaurant – Located in downtown Kalamazoo, Olde Peninsula serves up a great selection of craft beer to go along with their restaurant menu. In addition to just sampling their beer, they also offer a brewery tour for $10, which includes samplings of all beers on tap.

5) Old Hat Brewery – Located just west of Kalamazoo in Lawton, Old Hat Brewery offers up some great micro brew beer. Their Station 1300 Light Lager is easy to drink to go along with their Depot Pilsner and Red Lager.

by William Valentine

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