Let’s Make a Toast to 2021
There’s no better way to start off the new year than by supporting local breweries, distilleries, and wineries, some of which may have gotten you through the old year (wink, wink). However you choose to celebrate, remember to support our local small businesses and drink local and responsibly to ensure the longevity of our prized brewers, distillers, and vintners for years to come. Consider it a cup of kindness for Auld Lang Syne.
Ring in the New Year With a Beer That Was Brewed Here
Did you know that Kalamazoo County is the number one county in Michigan for beer production? Our region is hopping with local breweries, and we’ve got a few for you to ring in the New Year with. One thing we know about One Well Brewing is that their canned beer not only has incredible designs, but the flavor varieties are also out of this world. Enjoy a milkshake IPA, a tequila barrel-aged lime gose, spiced ale, or even their “Wizard’s Wacky Water” hard seltzer. Presidential Brewing Company in Portage will deliver beer right to your doorstep—what more could you ask for? With presidential puns abounding, you’ll have fun reading their menu and maybe even get a history lesson in while you’re at it. With the 42nd parallel in its name too, we’re a little biased, but we think Latitude 42 Brewing Company is pretty ale-some, too. Stop by its Oshtemo or Portage locations to see for yourself. Small batch brewery Brite Eyes Brewing Company in Kalamazooo has something for everyone, with both ciders and beer—you’re going to also want to add a food order while you’re at it. We would be remiss if we didn’t recommend our hometown hero Bell’s Brewery that is brewing award-winning beer for the entire world. This holiday season try their Bright White Belgian-inspired wheat ale, Christmas Ale, or the Old Fashioned Holiday bourbon barrel-aged scotch ale with orange peel and cherry.
Distilleries That Are Making Spirits Bright
Many of our beloved distillers have stepped up in 2020 to produce hand sanitizer during the pandemic. Show them your appreciation this year by enjoying local craft spirits in your New Year’s cocktails. Green Door Distilling Company is on an adventure producing award-winning spirits since 2016 as Kalamazoo’s first distillery. Its love of Michigan and commitment to honoring Kalamazoo’s rich distilling history shines through its craft. At The Kalamazoo Stillhouse, the lineup of honest spirits includes the Bronson Park Gin—a tribute to the distillery’s home in downtown Kalamazoo. Journeyman Distillery spirits are certified organic and kosher, steeped in family history, and poured with love in Three Oaks. And it’s all Pure Michigan at Grand Traverse Distillery, with tasting rooms around the state. Sourcing grains from within a few miles of the distillery, you could say that everything about Grand Traverse Distillery is, well…grand. While wine might be on your mind when thinking of St. Julian, the Paw Paw-based company is also the producer of Grey Heron Vodka, rum, brandy, gin, and also some champagne to pop at midnight.
It’s Wine O’Clock Somewhere
A bottle of red, a bottle of white, perhaps a bottle of rosé instead? You can have any kind you want from our local vintners. The Roche Collection, a contemporary, delicious, and luxury wine collection produced and bottled right here in Kalamazoo, has a wide variety of wines to choose from. The local collection can be found at Market Fresh, Park Street Market, City Centre Market, Hardings on Gull Road, and J&B Discount Liquor or shipped to your house. In the heart of downtown Kalamazoo, Tempo Vino Winery offers a full selection of white, red, and dessert wines as well as gift baskets for you to really impress in the New Year. St. Julian Winery and Distillery in Paw Paw is the most-awarded winery in Michigan and has been committed to quality and local Michigan fruit for nearly 100 years, celebrating its centennial anniversary in 2021. Branching out from the grape vine over the years has not changed their innovative wine-making techniques that are a hallmark of their business, using grapes from the Lake Michigan Shore Appellation, Michigan’s premier grape-growing region. Finally, pour on some support for the leadership and business strategy students from the Western Michigan University Haworth College of Business that launched the purpose-driven wine brand, Bronconess. Perfect for your New Year’s celebration, they just introduced a Peach Bubbly in collaboration with St. Julian Winery. Bronconess wine can be found at over 70 locations in Michigan thanks to its distribution partner Imperial Beverage.