Like everything else, it's different this year, but Kalamazoo Craft Beverage Week (yes, that's the new name. It was Craft Beer Week for the first ten years.) presses on.

The organizers have put together a hybrid Craft Beverage Week celebration, in an effort to both help local businesses, but to also get people out, but in a safe and distanced manner. Several participants plan outdoor "parties" while waiting for the restart of indoor dining on Monday. Here's how the whole thing works, beginning tonight.

This event now includes local distilleries and wineries mixed in with the breweries. As to the "hybrid" part, "with health and safety in mind, there is a mix of hybrid and virtual events this year, along with special carryout and to-go options that will allow participants to still enjoy their favorite brews and cocktails while supporting local craft beverage makers and partners."

For many events, tasting kits and food pairings can be picked up in advance and enjoyed during an online session with an industry representative.

Some of these events begin tonight.

  • An outdoor ugly winter outfit contest at Final Gravity Brewing Co. and beer pairing with specialty sausage from Kelvin & Co.
  • Virtual wine tasting and pairing with Tempo Vino Winery. Four of their wines will be paired with cheese from The Cheese Lady and a chocolate truffle by Confections with Convictions.
  • Taste Your Heart Out, a virtual history and tasting session with Bell’s Two Hearted and specially created food pairings from Old Burdick’s Bar & Grill.
  • A virtual “Peek into the Brewery Museum” coming to The Mill at Vicksburg.
  • Dessert inspired beers at Texas Corners Brewing Co paired with handcrafted sweets.
  • A spelling bee, also at Final Gravity Brewing Co. with beer and BBQ from Scott’s Pig Roast.

As mentioned, there are plenty of unique to-go or carryout specials going on throughout the week, like a

  • Happy Variety pack of beer with gourmet cheese pairing from Saugatuck Brewing Company.
  • A historically inspired IPA series from Texas Corners Brewing Co.
  • Taco flights and a spiked hot chocolate bar at Central City Tap House.
  • Signature cocktail specials from Latitude 42 Brewing Co.
  • A Manhattan night and s’mores and beer pairing at Centre Street Tap House.

“There are still safe ways we can enjoy craft beverages,” says Dana Wagner, who is the Director of Marketing and Communications with Discover Kalamazoo, the organization that manages KBW. “Although the format is a little different, it was important to still put together an event that would generate much needed support for our local businesses.”

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