Kalamazoo Craft Beer festival educates consumers, brings brewers together to … – The Kalamazoo Gazette

KALAMAZOO, MI – Kalamazoo resident Marge McKean didn’t much care for beer of any kind until her husband, Joe, convinced her to come to the first annual Kalamazoo Craft Beer Festival at Wings Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

“It’s true love after 50 years of marriage to come to a beer tasting with my husband,” McKean said. “It’s nice to be able to try different kinds.”

In spite of a craft beer brewing accident in their home that turned a white kitchen ceiling “into something else,” having sampled German craft beer while traveling in Europe and being a self-proclaimed wine lover, Marge McKean said that the craft beer scene and events that educate her about craft beer are changing her opinions about carefully crafted libations.

“I have an open mind,” she said. “Drinking craft beer makes you feel like you know what you’re drinking.”

Trevor Klimek, from the Paw Paw Brewing Company, has 11 years of craft beer brewing experience and said that events like the Kalamazoo Craft Beer Festival serve as a way to educate people about everything that craft beer has to offer.

“We want people to experience new beer,” Klimek said. “We all feel it’s about education.”

With IPAs, Stouts and English Milds, just to name a few, on tap with more than 40 breweries present at the festival, Klimek said that matching the hundreds of consumers at the festival to a craft beer that suits their taste is one of the best things about a large gathering of breweries.

“When you come in blind to a beer fest, this is the place where someone can come and experience the gamut of craft beers,” he said. “You get the domestic drinkers, people who might drink Budweiser, Bud Light or Miller Lite, educated and you continue their growth and education …read more

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