Let’s go back and talk about our time in Kalamazoo, shall we?
One of the truly fun things we did (which isn’t really saying much unique since everything we did was really fun) was a pub crawl. Kalamazoo is, apparently, a hot bed of craft breweries. And who are we to say no to try to experience as many as possible in one night?
We started at Gonzo’s. Very cool atmosphere, lots of people eating and drinking. I had a beer called Porch Appeal, a wheat ale infused with peaches, and it was excellent. The food looked great and, in hindsight, we probably should have eaten there.
Our next stop was Arcadia. This brewery is in direct competition with Bell’s Brewery, the most well known of Kalamazoo’s breweries. I should probably say, at this point, that we had already been to Bell’s our first night in Kalamazoo and that’s why they weren’t part of the pub crawl. Anyway, Tom likes the food at Arcadia so we hit there with plans to have dinner and more beer. It was, quite frankly, a bit of a disappointment. The beer was very good (I had the Porter Rico, a porter with coconut) and the food was excellent but the service was not (it took 20 minutes for us to just get a beer) and the atmosphere was duller than rocks. It was just weird. There were lots of people around and the place looks very cool but as brew pubs go, well, it was a dud.
After Arcadia we headed to an edgier part of town and checked out Boatyard Brewing. This place had an excellent vibe and live music in their parking lot. And also? They have a weekly knitters and spinners gathering. There sure isn’t anything like that here in my neck of the woods. The band was great and the beer was delicious. I had a Blueberry Maple Cream Ale called the Star of Kalamazoo. It was fantastic! We sat at a table in the parking lot and listened to the band and all agreed that we could have stayed there for the rest of the night.
We were on a mission so we left and headed for One Well, Kym and Tom’s favorite local spot. Dale and I loved it here, as well. Kym had the Xalapa, a jalapeno blonde ale, and I should have had that as well because it was fabulous. Dale had the Sweet Water Street, an imperial porter brewed with donut holes from Sweet Waters Donuts and coffee from Water Street Coffee Roaster. It was heaven in a glass, I can tell you that. I had a cherry beer that I was not thrilled with, which is probably why I am raving about the choices Dale and Kym made. One Well was full of young people playing games, chatting and drinking beer. It’s definitely a place I would hang out if I lived in the ‘hood.
Our final stop of the night was Latitude 42, a brewery in Portage rather than Kalamazoo. It was a bit more like a traditional restaurant, upscale instead of edgy, and I don’t think they were altogether thrilled to see us come in so close to closing time. I had Rainbow Weasel, a honey cream ale, and it was excellent. No pictures because all.that.beer.
So, let me just say, we had a blast visiting all these spots! The beer was varied and delicious, the food was tasty, and the company divine. It’s been years and years since I’ve done a pub crawl and, while I don’t have the stamina I once did, I enjoyed it even more now that my taste in beer is more refined. Plus, there’s nothing more joyful than a bunch of very silly grown ups drinking lots of beer. My hat is off to Kym, our designated driver, who truly sacrificed and only had 2 tiny beers all night long, and Tom, our pub crawl planner extraordinaire!