Michigan’s Best Local Foods: Market Collapses Hosted at the Kalamazoo Beer Exchange

KALAMAZOO, MI – A gourmet beer bar with beer prices rising and falling every 15 minutes, the Kalamazoo Beer Exchange has had patrons cheering when the market crashes for 12 years.

“Any time you can find a good beer cheaper than anywhere else in town, as long as you’re willing to play the market,” said general manager Landon Jones. “But, on the other hand, you can end up paying more if you’re not careful.

“But if you like that kind of game and you like craft beer, then we’re definitely the place to come.”

The game works like this: with every beer purchase during a 15-minute trading period, or for that matter, any beer that is not purchased, an algorithm recalculates the prices at the end of the trading period. If a beer is purchased in bulk, its price will increase. If a beer is not purchased, its price will drop.

The Kalamazoo Beer Exchange, located on the north end of downtown at 211 E. Water St., offers 27 rotating craft beer taps and a 28th tap dedicated year-round to Miller High Life.

About 25 to 40 percent of those taps at any given time are connected to Michigan beers, Jones said, adding that the gastropub also offers more than 40 different Michigan craft beers in cans.

“On top of that we have a full menu,” Jones said. “You can come in and enjoy good food, burgers, sandwiches, entrees; and downstairs we have a full bar with games, pinball, pool tables and electronic darts.”

The Kalamazoo Beer Exchange doesn’t offer a traditional waiting area, which makes the ground floor a popular place to grab a drink or appetizer while waiting for a table, or just hang out. And, yes, like the upstairs bar, Jones said, the downstairs bar has fluctuating beer prices every 15 minutes.

As for the menu, the Kalamazoo Beer Exchange has never been a place to change the menu seasonally, Jones said.

“We have certain items that have been mainstays since we opened and we’ve also changed some things over the years,” he said.

Mainstays such as the Chicken Skewer as well as the Glazed Salmon – an 8-ounce grilled tenderloin served over wild rice with Brussels sprouts and topped with candied and green onions, lemon zest and glaze maple syrup — have been popular since the restaurant opened, Jones said.

More recent dishes, such as the Reuben Pastrami Sandwich and the Honey Chicken Sandwich – crispy baked chicken breast on homemade frozen pickles, served with ranch dressing, drizzled with honey and served on a brioche bun – have also made turn some heads, he said.

Accompaniments, including cheese curds, a seasonal vegetable, fries, and french fries, are served a la carte.

“We just try to serve good food at a good price,” Jones said.

In addition to beer, which is the main focus, the exchange also offers a cocktail list with 10 specialty cocktails and an extensive wine list.

“We just like being able to offer something for anyone who can come in,” Jones said. “We don’t want to be considered exclusive in any way, so if you’re coming with your friends who are excited to shop and that’s not your thing, we’ve got the full bar.”

Currently, the establishment is open five nights a week for dinner and after-hours bar hours. Lunch, which was popular before the pandemic, is not expected to return at this stage, but there are plans to add a weekend brunch in the near future as the restaurant continues to work to be open again seven days a week. seven.

The Kalamazoo Beer Exchange is open 4 p.m. to 1 a.m. Monday, Thursday, and Friday, 3 p.m. to 1 a.m. Saturday, and 3 p.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday. The company is closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

Kalamazoo Beer Exchange was opened in 2010 by owner Jim Flora, who also opened a location in Detroit in 2021. For more information, visit thebeerexchange.com online, follow The Beer Exchange on Facebook, or call 269-532 -1188.

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