Thursday, September 08, 2005

Kalamazoo Brewing Company Celebrates 20 Years.

One of our clients, the Kalamazoo Brewing Company ,is celebrating 20 years of craft brewing today.


Here are some things to consider. In 1985, there was really no such thing as a craft brewing industry in the United States — one's choices were usually Bud or Miller Lite. Larry Bell started the company with 200 bucks, a stock plan to raise additional money and what was essentially a home brew kit. He once called his company, "...a great big chance." Today, Bell's brands are distributed in ten states and it is the sixth-fastest growing craft brewery in the country. Ask people around the country what they know about Kalamazoo and many will say, "Oh, that place with the weird name and the really great beer."

Larry will be the first to admit to some dropped balls along the way. Who is in business for 20 years without some missteps? But what the success of his company demonstrates is the strength of a great product and a point of view. It was always about making beer that wasn't just good, but uncommonly good.

Over twenty years, the company has gone from one employee — Larry Bell — to more than 60. It was an important part of bringing people back to downtown Kalamazoo. It invested in the construction of a new, modern brewery in 2003 and is now brewing more than 50,000 barrels of beer each year.

Today, there's a party at the original brewery location in downtown Kalamazoo. It starts at 2 PM and runs until 2 AM. If you know anything about the company, you're going to be confident that it will be a great time. You also know that if you stay until 2 AM, you should take a cab home and expect to accomplish very little on Saturday.

Happy 20th to everyone behind the success of the Kalamazoo Brewing Company.


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