Kalamazoo, MI—In its third year, Kalamazoo’s craft-beer centered week of events, called Kalamazoo Beer Week (or KBW for “short”), packs a mighty punch. With upwards of 80 events already slated, the week will host brewers, brewery representatives and others in (independently-owned and operated) restaurants and retail locations throughout downtown Kalamazoo and the surrounding community.
All events, which comprise of beer dinners, free tastings, tap takeovers, bottle signings and more, are posted at KalamazooBeerWeek.com, and updates can be found on Facebook and Twitter. (Event goers are encouraged to share photos of events and KBW activities online through these social media outlets, using hashtag #KBW2013.) A blog, featuring posts by area brewers and craft beer appreciators can also be found online.
The week’s events launch on Saturday morning, January 12, 2013 with a breakfast featuring Founder’s Brewing of Grand Rapids, and the official kickoff to beer week comes that night with the Pub Crawl, sponsored by Samuel Adams. The events conclude the following Friday night.
Initiating sponsors Discover Kalamazoo and Imperial Beverage work closely to plan and publicize the KBW events, along with event planners from restaurants, retailers, local breweries and distributors. New this year, QR Codes will be available on all beer week print media, allowing participants to access taxi service phone numbers using their smartphone technology. After all, says Imperial Beverage Marketing and PR Manager Anne Drummond, “Kalamazoo Beer Week is about the appreciation of craft beer, not its abuse.”
On the heels of being awarded Craft Beer Distributor of the Year during fall 2010, Imperial Beverage wanted to initiate a fun, beer-centric event. Joe Cekola, Imperial Beverage President and Owner, said, “We had just been recognized in this very public way for our efforts related to the craft beer market segment. We wanted to find a way to share our excitement with our hometown of Kalamazoo.” So January, 2011, KBW was born, and with 16 events, planners were please. “Little did we know that in year two, we’d grow to nearly 110 events,” exclaims Drummond. “Our fledgling event grew up, and we couldn’t have been more excited.” In year two, area breweries, retail and restaurant managers, and other distributors joined the planning to help this event become even more community minded. “We knew we needed to invite others to the table to create something truly successful.”
Company: Imperial Beverage
Contact: Anne Drummond, Marketing and PR Manager