We’re thrilled to see three Michigan cities in the running for Beer City USA 2013 – Ann Arbor, Grand Rapids and Kalamazoo. Last week, we heard what makes Grand Rapids a great pick, and today Greg of Discover Kalamazoo makes the case for his city. Read his thoughts below and look out for a post from Ann Arbor later this week!
While there are many worthy destinations being considered for this annual recognition (including our friends in Ann Arbor and Grand Rapids), let me share with you eight reasons why Kalamazoo deserves your consideration (and vote) to be named Beer City USA 2013:
- Kalamazoo is home to Bell’s – the oldest craft brewery east of Colorado. It’s the largest brewery in Michigan, the 7th largest craft brewery (and 14th largest brewery) in the nation, and home to three of the top 18 beers in the world for 2013 (ratebeer.com).
- Kalamazoo was ranked No. 4 in the Top 10 Beer Cities (livability.com), one of the Top 10 Best Vacation Cities for Beer Lovers (The Street) and has one of the largest, and quite possibly the largest (in terms of number of events), Beer Week Celebrations in Michigan.
- Imperial Beverage was named the 2010 Craft Beer Distributor of the Year by the National Wholesalers Association and the Brewers Association, and was the creator of Kalamazoo Beer Week (the 3rd annual event, held in January 2013, had 147 events over an eight-day period)
- Kalamazoo Beer Exchange was ranked as the No. 1 Bar in Michigan (ratebeer.com).
- Craft-Beer Centric locations such as Central City Tap House, the Kalamazoo Beer Exchange, Old Burdick’s and Shakespeare’s Pub offer a significant number of craft beers at their establishments (with the Centre City Tap House opening later this year).
- Restaurants producing their own craft beer include Bell’s Eccentric Café, Bilbo’s Pizza, Bravo! Restaurant and Olde Peninsula Brewpub and Restaurant.
- Alamo Drafthouse has chosen Kalamazoo as the location for its first Michigan theatre. Alamo Drafthouse Kalamazoo will open in 2013 and offer 10 theatres, where you can enjoy food and craft beer while watching a mix of the latest releases and all-time favorites. “Kalamazoo reminds me a lot of our hometown of Austin with its strong economy, large university, great beer scene and solid arts community,” Alamo Drafthouse CEO Tim League said. We are very excited about this opportunity and to become a part of the neighborhood.”
- By the end of 2013, five new craft brewers will be opening in Kalamazoo (including Arcadia Brewing, Boatyard Brewing, Gonzo’s BiggDogg Brewing, Latitude 42 and Rupert’s Brew House).
- While all of these facts, figures, rankings and acknowledgments are great to have received and earned, it is really the culture of the craft beer scene in Kalamazoo which gives us tremendous community pride.
Please share with everyone you know one very simple domain: www.VoteKalamazoo.com. If you decide to leave comments while you are voting, please keep them positive about why Kalamazoo should be selected as Beer City USA 2013. One vote per IP address is permitted. We invite you to like us on Facebook (www.facebook.com/beer4kzoo), follow us on Twitter (www.twitter.com/beer4kzoo) and join us in raising a #Beer4Kzoo!
Greg Ayers is the President/CEO of Discover Kalamazoo, the official destination marketing organization representing Kalamazoo County. More information about Discover Kalamazoo is available at www.discoverkalamazoo.com.
Who’s getting your vote for Beer City USA 2013? Read from Grand Rapids here and look out for a post from Ann Arbor in the coming days!