Jeremy and Roger's Most Excellent Pub Crawl



In 2016 Jeremy and Roger decided to drink beer in every establishment in Kalamazoo County that had a bar we could sit at. So far we have visited 99 of these. We have more to go and are working hard to complete this valuable and satisfying project. At the urging of friends we have written below some brief comments and our beer rating (A, B or C) for each bar and pub. You can contact us at jeremyw@kzopubcrawl.net

 

Pub/Bar

Date Visited

Beer Rating

Comments

600

Jan 2018

B

4 craft brews on tap, beers that you don't usually run across. Small serving sizes are at regular prices, though. The place is a beautiful conversion from a steel fabrication building and still has that new bar smell.

Airways

Nov 2018

A

23 beers on tap of which 20 are craft beers. A really good selection of some unusual brews along with old favorites from Bells and Founders. Nick the barkeep really knows his beer. Highly recommended.

Arcadia

Jun 2017

A

BREW PUB. 24 beers on tap or keg. Big doors open to the outside. Plenty of activity on the lawn and river front plus there is often live music.  It's a great place to go on a summer evening and you can bring your dog!

Applebees
(Gull Road)

May 2018

B

A good selection of 12 beers on tap, most of them craft beers. Good atmosphere for a corporate chain. Appetizers are recommended.

Applebees
(S.Westnedge)

Oct 2018

B

11 beers on tap, 4 of them local craft brews, 3 Founders and 1 Bells. A couple of Sam Adams brews and Blue Moon also. Good atmosphere for a corporate chain. Appetizers are recommended.

Bar 242  (Wings)

Dec 2018

C

Warning - no beer on tap. Five beers in cans, all Bud or Miller except for one Goose Island. Only open when there are events in the main Wings arena.

Beer Exchange

2016

A

28 beers on tap or keg. This is the place for the most adventurous beer drinker. They always have unusual brews on tap and the bar staff are very knowledgeable. Close to downtown and nearby summer activities.

Bells

2016

A

BREW PUB. Nationally known, this is the biggest attraction of brew pubs in Kalamazoo. 20 taps of old favorites and new brews. Larry Bell knows he has to keep it interesting and he does. It lives up to its reputation as a place to get top quality beer and food.

Bilbo's

 

Mar 2019

A

24 taps and 19 of those are a great selection of regional craft brews. There's also Guinness, Stella, Blue Moon and Pabst Blue Ribbon. Bilbos's brews a couple of their own beers onsite.

Black Rock

 

Aug 2018

A

24 taps and 20 of those are a great selection of regional craft brews. Ultra modern decor. You can cook your own steak on a flat rock that is 755 degrees (careful with those fingers). Worth a visit.

Boatyard

 

2016

A

BREW PUB. A small selection of 12 beers but they are good. Friendly staff and owners. They serve food now. Owner will gladly give tour of the brewery. Fun place to go to.

Bowmans (Climax)

May 2018

B

A real surprise far out in the country. 6 beers on tap, of which 5 were craft brews plus a big freezer full of interesting and unusual beers. A friendly place with great beer. Awesome fried mushrooms. 

Bravos

2016

B

6 beers on tap that are brewed specifically for Bravos - amber, pale ale, IPA, berry sour, porter and imperial stout. The amber and porter were excellent. The bar is small with no music but enjoyable.

Brewster’s
  

Jul 2017

B

16 beers on tap including 6 local craft brews plus Newcastle Brown, Blue Moon, Stella, Guinness and Sam Adams Winter Ale. Aircraft theme gives some character.

Bright Eyes

Jan 2019

A

BREW PUB. Only 5 craft beers on tap but some really unique ones like Imperial Plum Porter and Peach & Vanilla Milkshake IPA. 1 hard cider on tap too. A friendly place that now serves food all day including breakfast.

Bud's
(Schoolcraft)

May 2018

B

14 beers on tap of which 6 were craft beers. A historic building in beautiful shape. Excellent service and the fried mushrooms were amazing. A nice surprise.

Canal St Cafe
(Augusta)

Mar 2018

C

Usually 3 beers on tap but only 2 available when we were there. Nice bar and friendly staff but just not enough beer on tap.

Capones - The Grotto

Nov 2018

C

12 beers on tap of which 6 are craft beers. Great happy hour prices thru 7:30pm. A college hangout with zero character. We found it depressing and left after one beer.

Chili's

Apr 2018

C

8 beers on tap including Stella, Oberon and Blue Moon. The queso is excellent.  Not many local craft beers but still a good place to spend some time.

CJ’s Pub

Jan 2018

C

Half-a-dozen beers on tap but just a couple of craft brews. Bring earplugs. Has a regular group of patrons and they are pleasant…just loud.

Craftsman Chop House

Feb 2018

A

A big surprise - 19 taps and an excellent selection of lesser known craft beers.  If you’re looking for an easy-to-get-to place for a craft brew after shopping at Crossroads Mall, this is it. Relaxed atmosphere and a friendly staff.

Distant Whistle

Jun 2017

B

BREW PUB that was just starting out when we visited. A small selection of brews that will improve over time. It's THE place for a craft beer if you’re in Vicksburg.

Duck Inn Waddle Out

Sep 2017

C

Warning - they only have Bud, Bud Lite and Miller Lite on tap. Like the sign out front says, imperfect people are in good company. Inner-city neighborhood bar.

Fieldstone Grill

Apr 2017

B

12 beers on tap. Bells beers are ½ price on Tuesdays. Great atmosphere and beautiful nature view through a big glass wall or from the deck.

Final Gravity

Jun 2018

A

BREW PUB based in Decator. 13 beers and 3 ciders on tap. The beers are most interesting and flavorful. They've made a good start in Kalamazoo.  

Fletchers Pub (Oakland Drive)

Oct 2017

A

15 beers on tap of which 12 are craft brews plus Blue Moon. A really good selection but no beer list. Out of sight, literally. If you didn’t know it was there you might just miss it.

Fletchers Pub (Texas Corners)

Nov 2017

B

12 beers on tap of which 7 are craft beers. Modern décor and very clean. Pleasant and knowledgeable staff.

Food Dance

Jan 2019

B

8 beers on tap, all craft beers and a great selection, including Perrin Gold, Founders Porter, Dragons Milk and Bellaire Brown. Pulsar Starcut Cider also on tap.

Fuze

Jun 2018

B

10 beers on tap, all craft beers and a great selection. My 5% ABV beer came in a small (8 oz?) glass and cost $6.50. The food was fantastic and friendly staff.

Gonzo’s Bigg Dogg

Mar 2017

A

BREW PUB, 14 beers on tap. Vanilla Porter and Shoddy Lock (it's a stout) are highly recommended. Downtown Kazoo location with big bar area and plenty of variety. Good food. A friendly place.

Green Top

Dec 2017

C

Warning - no craft brews here. We had to drink PBR. A friend asked me if it had changed since the 70’s - I said it still has that 1976 feel. Nostalgic is a good word for it.

Harvey's

Mar 2018

A

12 craft beers on tap and some unusual ones. A small but historic place that's perfect for a drink before or after a show at the State Theater.

Hop Cat

2016

A

100 beers on tap including many local and regional favorites. Obviously there's something for everyone. For a new pub in the heart of great pubs it holds its own. Great beer in a fun setting.

Jac's Cekola's

Dec 2018

A

An impressive number of taps - 23 craft beers plus Stella, Sam Adams and Blue Moon. A warm and friendly bar on a cold December night. Definitely worth a vist.

Kelsey Block Brewing Co.  (Three Rivers)

Aug 2018

B

BREW PUB -7 beers on tap. The cask ESP was smooth and tasty. The blonde ale was excellent too. Attractive building and great service. Combine a show at the Riviera Theatre with a stop here.

Lamplighter  (Comstock)

Jul 2018

C

Warning - no beer on tap, only bottles from an ice chest. The building started in 1889 as a celery warehouse. It became a bar in 1951 and at one time it was one of the top dining spots in town.

Latitude 42 (Portage)

2016

A

BREW PUB. 14 beers on tap plus 1 cider. Specialty brews available too. The mug club is great value. Nice atmosphere, great food and great service. The Hop Garden is the perfect place for relaxing on a summer evening.

Latitude 42 (West Main)

2018

A

BREW PUB. 16 beers on tap and all of them are excellent. Decor is striking and the new beer garden is impressive, including an outdoor bar and a pool table. A visit is highly recommended.

LFG

Feb 2019

C

No beer on tap or in bottles at this gaming bar. 16 beers and 1 cider in cans. Some unusual ones including Banana Bread Fruit Beer, Peanut Butter Stout and Blueberry Lemonade Shandy. But nothing on tap....

Lindbergh's Landing

Dec 2018

B

12 beers on tap of which 5 are craft beers. Three Bells brews - Best Brown, Two Hearted Ale and Oberon (Oberon in December!!). Friendly people but the place really needs more character.

Lodo's

Jan 2019

A

25 craft beers beers on tap plus Stella, Blue Moon, Sam Adams, Guinness and several ciders for a total of 34 taps. The selection of regional craft beers here is excellent. Bet you didn't know that Lodo is short for Lower Downtown.

Logan's Roadhouse

Jan 2018

C

8 beers on tap of which just one was a craft beer - Bells Two Hearted. Also Blue Moon, Sam Adams Lager and Dos Equis XX on tap. Warning - Fox News on multiple TVs.

Long Lake Tavern

Nov 2017

C

Warning - no craft brews here. A good-ole-boys neighborhood bar. Nothing fancy but a friendly group of people.

Louie's

Feb 2018

B

8 beers on tap of which 5 are craft brews, including beers from Dark Horse, Elk, Ace and  Lugunitas Brown Shugga. Friendly staff and a lot of history (it's 100 years old). They are known for good live music. 

Main St Pub (Gull Road)

Jul 2018

C

14 beers on tap of which 6 are craft beers. No porters or stouts and no beer list. The bar staff wouldn't tell us what they had on tap. Good pub  atmosphere.

Main St Pub (Portage)

Mar 2018

B

No beer list but seems to have a good selection, including Gonzo's Vanilla Porter. Good atmosphere and pub food.

Main St Pub (Vicksburg)

Jun 2018

C

No beer list but 10 beers on tap with 4 craft brews. Country music playing continually, the TV showing killing of elephants and lions plus a video game called "Big Buck Hunter". It's a redneck paradise.

Main St Pub (West Main)

Oct 2018

B

10 beers on tap with 5 craft brews, including a couple of good local brown ales. No beer list. Located in a shopping center but it's got some character.

Martini's

Feb 2019

B

6 beers on tap, all craft brews which included a couple of Elk brand brews and 1 cider. A small but really good selection of craft beers.

McGonigle's

Nov 2017

B

6 beers on tap, of which 3 are local craft beers. Guinness on tap too. It's a Eastside local hangout, homely but not fancy. We had a good time there.

Monelli’s

Feb 2017

A

Over 50 beers on tap. Excellent selection of craft brews from across the country. It does get loud when full of people. The lunch buffet is highly  recommended.

Nob Hill

 

Jan 2017

B

Ten beers on tap of which only two were local craft beers. It's the only place in town that has Point Beer on tap. Great prices, a super-efficient staff and good food plus pool, darts and music. Try a hamburger here - you'll be impressed.

North 11

 

Jul 2018

A

20 beers on tap and an amazing selection of craft brews. The beer list was detailed and very helpful. The bar itself is striking and spacious. North 11 is an impressive place.

O’Duffy’s

 

Feb 2017

A

8 beers on tap including Smithwicks, Guinness, Harp and Fullers ESB. A classic neighborhood bar. Beautiful ambience (oak bar, tin ceiling, oldies music, etc.). A really nice place to have a beer and you can make friends with Molly the Bernese Mountain Dog.

Old Burdick’s

 

Aug 2017

A

52 beers on tap, 47 of which are craft beers. Some unusual and interesting brews plus Stella and Guinness. All of them are well described in the beer list. Atmospheric and easy to get to in Downtown Kalamazoo.

Old Burdick’s at Wings West

 

Jul 2018

A

30 beers on tap of which 26 are a great selection of craft beers. You get to watch hockey from the bar and the food looked really good. This one was a big surprise.

Old Chicago

 

Aug 2018

A

25 beers on tap including 12 local craft brews plus Guiness, Newcastle Brown, Stella and other national beers. Also a wide selection of beers in cans and bottles. Good happy hour specials.

Old Dog

 

2016

A

17 beers on tap and 1 cider in a historic industrial setting. 16 craft beers including some unusual ones, which change regularly. Nestled in the heart of downtown beer district, it has friendly people - not just the staff but everyone. The place to go in town for live music.

Old Goat Tavern

 

Jul 2018

A

An impressive selection of 25 Michigan microbrews on draft. Clean and modern decor, plus the service was great.  Quote from a young co-ed at the bar to the barman: "Give me another of those shots and don't worry - I've got a liver of steel". This bar is definitely worth a visit if you like great craft beer. 

Olde Peninsula

Apr 2017

A

16 beers on tap, all of which are craft beers. An unusual selection of tasty brews well-described in the beer list. Definitely worth a visit f you're a beer connoisseur/snob. Set in the heart of downtown Kalamazoo.

One Well

2016

A

BREW PUB. A wide selection of 16 beers plus lots of games to play. Great people and a newly expanded space helps fit everyone in. Four years old and it is very successful. Put this one on your list.

Outback Steakhouse

Oct 2018

C

8 beers on tap including Fosters and Stella but only 1 local craft beer, Bells Best Brown. Great service and atmosphere, though.

Ouzos

Feb 2019

A

12 craft beers on tap. An excellent selection including brews from Fullers, Moretti, Stiegel, Perrin, Lagunitas and One Well. Strongbow Cider too. All this in a beautifully restored old building.

Pilsen Club

Mar 2019

B

4 beers on tap including Alaskan Amber, Founders Porter and Guinness. Plenty of other canned brews in a large refrigerator. Very atmospheric including a fireplace and sofas. We enjoyed our visit.

Players Grill (Augusta)

Jun 2018

C

8 beers on tap including a couple of craft beers. Good food and classic rock from Sirius XM makes for an enjoyable time at a country sports bar.

Potter's Lounge at the Four Seasons

Oct 2018

B

Only 6 beers on tap but a good selection of local craft brews. On a Wednesday night it was $3 a beer, a free BBQ buffet and good live music. What's not to like?

Principle

Jan 2019

B

5 craft beers on tap and some interesting ones like Bronson Brown, Mr. Orange and Hopfield. A beautiful space on the Downtown Kalamazoo Mall.

Red Lobster

Feb 2019

B

6 beers on tap but just two local craft beers: Bells Winter White and Bells Two Hearted. Also on tap: Stella, Shock Top and Sam Adams Lager. Great ambience and service but a limited craft beer selection on tap.

Richland Pub

Apr 2018

B

Only 8 beers on tap but a reasonable selection. We had Fat Tire. Good family pub atmosphere.

RJ’s

 

Dec 2017

C

Warning - no craft beers on tap but a good atmosphere in a longtime Portage watering hole, currently a sports bar. Patrons tend to be long-time customers.

Rupert’s

 

2016

A

BREW PUB. a great selection of 9 craft beers. It's a casual atmosphere in a familiar spot - the old Boogie Records building. If you want something different, visit Rupert's.

Shakespeare’s

 

Sep 2017

A

Over 50 craft beers on tap and located in the heart of Downtown Kalamazoo brew pubs. Friendly, knowledgeable bartenders. Tends to draw the younger local and college crowd during the school year.

Shifters

Dec 2018

B

10 beers on tap. 7 were craft beers including Bells and Founders, Lansing Brewery's Angry Mortician plus Blue Moon. Auto-racing themed bar. A pleasant location for a drink on the West Side. 

State Theatre

Dec 2018

B

6 beers on tap including 4 craft beers - 2 Atwater brews, Bells Two Hearted and a Dark Horse Raspberry Ale. Note that craft beer taps do change regularly. Not a large selection but you're really there to see a show, right?

Sugar Bowl

Apr 2018

C

Warning - only Bud, Bud Light and Miller Lite on tap. Xmas lights were still up in April. It's an inner-city neighborhood bar full of friendly people.

Taco Bob's

Jan 2019

C

6 beers on tap but only 2 craft beers, both Bells. They also have 2 Sam Adams brews and Modello.  Friendly people in a casual atmosphere on the Downtown Mall.

Tap House (Downtown)

2016

A

29 beers on tap including some intereresting and unusual ones. Great atmosphere with cozy and comfortable surroundings. Have a couple of beers and some popcorn shrimp here before a show at the State Theater.

Tap House (Portage)

Jul 2017

A

29 beers on tap including some really interesting ones. Great food. Out of the way but worth a trip.

Tap House (Sprinkle Rd)

Mar 2017

A

29 beers on tap including some really interesting ones.  Good place to grab a brew while trying to decide which bike or ATV you want to buy in the Harold Zeigler Toy Store. A brand new pub but with Tap House friendliness.

Texas Corners Brewery

2016

A

BREW PUB. Holy cow, we're drinking in a former church! 9 beers on tap plus 3 ciders. Beer list available. The brews we had were smooth and tasty.

Texas Corral

Feb 2019

B

10 beers on tap of which 7 are craft brews from Bells, Perrin, Arcadia and more.

Texas Roadhouse

Jan 2019

C

Warning - They have 6 beers and 1 cider on tap but no craft beer. We drank Blue Moon. Sam Adams 76 is also available. It's a great place and the food is excellent but no craft beer.

The Cove

 

Jan 2019

A

A really good selection of 14 craft beers on tap plus Stella. Friendly people, modern décor and a great view of West Lake from the bar. What's not to like?

The Dock at Bayview (Richland)

Jun 2018

B

12 beers on tap - a really good selection, including Guiness. The bar has basic decor but great service and atmosphere. The perfect place to drink in Richland.

The Hanger

Aug 2018

B

16 interesting beers on tap.  Decor is aircraft/sports in a hanger shaped building. Great service and a mouth-watering menu. Worth a visit.

The Library

Oct 2018

A

27 beers on tap and a large, interesting selection of craft beers. Good music and service too. A college hangout but you can't argue with 27 beers on tap!

The Union

Feb 2019

A

11 beers on tap, all craft brews, from Lindmans, Dark Horse, Atwater, Bells, One Well and others. Starcut Cider too. Live music every night from Tuesday to Saturday. Give it a try!

Tibbs

 

May 2017

B

BREW PUB. There are usually 6 or 7 craft brews on tap, a small number but you'll find something you like. The Ben Jonesin’ stout is delightful. Convenient to Downtown and the State Theater.

Time Out Lounge
(Galesburg)

 

July 2018

C

Warning - 6 beers on tap but only Bud, Miller and PBR. Craft brews in bottles. The deck on the river and a stage for music means that you could have a great time here.

University Roadhouse

Dec 2018

B

15 beers on tap, 10 craft beers including some unusual ones plus Blue Moon and Stella. Friendly place. We had a great time.

Up and Under

Oct 2017

A

29 beers on tap of which 20 are craft beers, incluing 4 Bells and 4 Founders. Also Guinness, Blue Moon, Angry Orchard and Cider Boys. Great display of over 200 tap handles. Can't argue with 20 craft beers!

Upper Deck

Dec 2018

A

26 beers on tap, most of which are craft beers. They also have Guinness, Stella and Shock Top. There's also a top notch golf simulator. This one was a good surprise.

Vickers
(Vicksburg)

Jun 2018

A

19 beers on tap, 16 of them craft beers. The outdoor bar in a beautiful water setting is amazing. Great service and 1960s/70s music. A little piece of heaven on earth!

Village Hideaway (Vicksburg)

Jun 2018

B

6 beers on tap of which 2 were craft brews. Hometown sports bar in a nicely restored old building. Good atmosphere. The attractive neon sign outside is shown below.

Waldos

Mar 2018

C

Only six beers on tap and we had to drink PBR. Longtime campus hangout. At least the music was good.

Wax Wings

Sep 2018

C

BREW PUB. New in 2018 with 5 beers on tap, 3 of which were over 7.5% alcohol. Small glasses of the lower alcohol beers and what we drank tasted good but was cloudy (no filtration?). Hmmm.

Wild Bull
  

Jul 2018

C

Warning - only Miller Lite on tap. No beer in bottles, only in small cans at six bucks. At least they have a reasonable selection of beer in cans and fun shows like The Spazmatics.

Y Bar
  

Nov 2018

B

22 beers of which 10 are craft beers. Great service and ultramodern decor. It's a college hangout but worth a visit.

Zebs (Texas Corners)

Apr 2018

B

13 beers on tap of which 9 are craft beers plus Stella, Blue Moon, Killians and Cider Boys Mad Bark. Basic beer list to peruse. It's worth the drive.

A note on ratings - anytime you have ratings, not everyone can get the top grade. That's life, right? You can safely go into all the pubs and bars above, enjoy a beer and have a good time. However, there are some that stand out for their craft beer selection on draft. It's all about the beer! We wanted to let people know which pubs and bars we were most impressed with.  

Beer Rating Criteria

A - 12 or more craft beers on tap or less than 12 but a great selection of unusual brews.

B - At least 3 craft beers on tap but less than 12.

C - 2 or fewer craft beers on tap.

Other factors like service and decor may influence our rating.

 

 


Kalamazoo Pubs/Bars Yet to Come

Angels Crossing Golf Course
Applebee’s (W Main)
Beacon Club
FOP (Parchment)

Indian Run Golf Course
Jaspare's

Kitchen House (Richland)
Martell's
Mission Pointe (Richland)
NEDS (Gull Lake)
Old Mill Golf Course
Park Club
Presidential Brewery
Skydeck
Stoatin Brae Golf Course
The Thirsty Hound
Travellers Bar and Cafe
Websters Prime

 

 


Best Story from the Pub Crawl

In the summer of 2016 we were sitting at the bar in Bright Eyes one Wednesday at about 5pm enjoying a couple of beers. Visible through the large glass windows in Bright Eyes is the intersection of Crosstown Parkway and S. Burdick St.

At the bar we were facing a wall but we noticed on the TV screen a reflection of activity behind us. Turning around, we saw that two unmarked police SUVs had sandwich a small car right in the middle of the intersection. This was at rush hour and it brought all traffic to a stop.

Cops were leaping out and surrounding the car. One cop opened the passenger door of the car, reached in and grabbed the driver, then pulled him out through that door and pushed him to the ground. He was quickly frisked and cuffed. By now everyone in the bar was watching in amazement. Another cop quickly searched the car and one with a mirror on a long rod looked under the car.

Since the Kalamazoo Police Headquarters is at that intersection, they pulled up the perp and just marched him across the street to it. The two unmarked SUVs and the small car were quickly moved. All of this happened in less than 5 minutes during rush hour at a busy intersection. Wow! It was just like a cop show on TV. We figured it was probably drug related but who knows what the guy had done.