Summer is in full swing in downtown Kalamazoo, and what better way to soak up the sunshine and enjoy the breeze than a little ‘al fresco’ dining?
More than twenty downtown restaurants, coffee shops and pubs provide outdoor seating options for your dining pleasure. Whether you are starting the day out with a coffee and pastry at Black Owl Café, taking the crew out for lunch at Old Dog Tavern, or winding down the day with table side guacamole and cocktails at Casa Bolero, there are plenty of options to choose from.
You can observe Michigan Avenue’s hubbub from Skydeck’s high vantage point, enjoy the peace and quiet of Bell’s beer garden, or choose something right in the middle at Mangia Mangia. Check out the brand new patio seating at the Union Cabaret and Grill, or head back to an old standby like Shakespeare’s Pub. From Up & Under all the way down to Harvey’s on the Mall, every corner of downtown has a comfortable spot to enjoy a bite to eat in the fresh air. You can even enjoy Plainwell ice cream for dessert at the Spirit of Kalamazoo’s colorful tables, tucked into a cozy corner on Portage Street.
By West Michigan Beer Tours
Downtown Kalamazoo is already home to Bell’s Eccentric Cafe and Olde Peninsula Brewpub, but the city is in the early stages of major craft beer growth.
There are five other brewery projects in various stages with Boatyard Brewing Co., Arcadia Brewing Co., Gonzo’s BiggDogg Brewing Co., Rupert’s Brew House and Tibbs Brewing Co.
West Michigan Beer Tours, a new Kalamazoo-based company offering public and private tours to the region’s breweries, as well as craft beer-friendly bars, restaurants and events, is excited to partner with these new breweries as they inch closer to opening. WMBT caught with Tibbs Brewing Co. co-owner Kevin Tibbs to get an update on his brewery, due to open at 402 S. Burdick St., near the Kalamazoo State Theatre.
WMBT: What is your tentative opening date?
Tibbs: We are planning to open in early fall – our goal is October.
WMBT: How much work is left on the Burdick space?Tours
Tibbs: We’ve started some of the renovations already but there is still a lot that needs to be done. We need to build the bar, paint, install the brewing system, and decorate. It’s a smaller space so we think that when we begin work in earnest it will move along rather quickly.
WMBT: Describe some of the beers you plan to offer on the first day?
Tibbs: We are still determining our opening lineup. But tentatively, we are planning on our:
-Porter OG* 1.064, IBU** 27, ABV*** 7%
-Amber Ale OG 1.065, IBU 33, ABV 7.5%
-Stout OG 1.068, IBU 25, ABV 7.5%
-IPA OG 1.078, IBU 88, ABV 8.75%
-Citra Pale Ale OG 1.066, IBU 44, ABV 7.4%
We will also have a fall seasonal beer available along with our in house root beer (and possibly ginger ale and cream soda).
WMBT: Will you be participating in any upcoming events or offer a public tasting?
Tibbs: Until our licensing is completed we are not authorized to brew or sell our product legally.
WMBT: What do you anticipate your annual production to be upon opening?
Tibbs: We are anticipating producing 75 bbl our first year.
WMBT: What type of food, if any, will Tibbs offer?
Tibbs: We are planning on offering fresh wraps, salads, and sandwiches (Panini’s). We will be open for lunch Wednesday through Saturday so we want to offer food that is quick and can be ordered ahead of time and picked up. We realize that many people working downtown don’t have enough time on their lunch break to sit down, order, wait for their food to arrive and eat so we want to offer good food that can be ready when they arrive or in a matter of minutes.
* OG = Original Gravity, measurement of the density of fermentable sugars in a mixture of malt and water.
** IBU = International Bittering Units, system of indicating the hop bitterness in finished beer.
*** ABV = Alcohol By Volume
How to contact Tibbs Brewing Co.:
How to contact West Michigan Beer Tours:
West Michigan Beer Tours