You can’t keep a good city down. Mother nature has tried. She ripped through Kalamazoo with a Tornado in the 80s and the city not only survived but grew. There is a new tornado hitting the city now. We have a whirlwind of breweries popping up within the city and surrounding area.
Earlier this week I was able to spend some time with Kevin and Cindee Tibbs at the site of their new brewery. Tibbs Brewing Company is still in build-out mode right next to the State Theater in downtown Kalamazoo.
As far as possible locations in downtown could go they lucked out when they found theirs. Within walking distance of the other downtown breweries and restaurants, the small upstairs of their location should fill up quickly. When you first see the size of their operation, the size can throw you off. The location has been a small sandwich/lunch spot on several occasions.
But that suits the business plans for the Tibbs. They prefer to start the brewery smaller in order to find those raving fans and regulars that will grow with them. Notice I said small a few times there. The brewery is small, only a 1 barrel system to start off with. But the beers are anything but small.
One of the greatest things about the craft beer and local food movement is meeting and getting to know the people who are making the beers you drink and the foods you eat. Tibbs Brewing is set perfectly to fit right in with this. Their beers will be brewed right there in the diner. Starting out, the people who are making the beer (Kevin Tibbs) are also the people who will be there to meet and greet the customers when they come in for a pint.
If their beers I sampled recently are any indication of what they will have available when they open, they won’t be small for long. Judging by the space they have available beyond their current footprint, they have room to grow.
Time for a pint…