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Kalamazoo Beer Exchange

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Taps: 28 / Bottles: 42
Cask: Y / Beer-to-Go: N
BA SCORE
93
outstanding

20 Ratings
Ratings: 20
Reviews: 13
rAvg: 4.24
pDev: 11.79%
$$ - reasonable


[ Bar, Eatery ]

211 E Water St
Kalamazoo, Michigan, 49007-5823
United States
phone: (269) 532-1188

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap @thebeerexchange

Notes:
None, yet.

(Place added by: kzoobrew on 02-22-2011)
Place: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 20 | Reviews: 13 | Show All Ratings:
Reviews by MarcatGSB:
Photo of MarcatGSB
MarcatGSB

Michigan

3.97/5  rDev -6.4%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 4 | service: 3.75 | selection: 4.25 | $$

KBE was running a fine line between beer geek haven to frat boy saloon.
It's a great location, a block from Bell's, has plenty of parking, fantastic building, multiple levels, wow. On the basement level, they have a couple pool tables and a dart board.
The upper level is where the kitchen is, with seating for about 25 people, and another 12 at the bar.
The idea behind the bar is that the prices are based upon what people order...you order more, the price goes up, and every so often (15 minutes or so), the market will refresh with new prices. Kind of a cool idea. At one point during the night, the market crashed and everything goes down to the cheapest price or cost, I'm not really sure. They go way down.
What it breaks down to is they had a really good tap selection, and some of them were a great price. If you're a beer geek, check it out. I'd say find a seat on the upper level.
The bartender didn't seem to overly knowledgeable about beer...
Solid Kalamazoo stop.

02-28-2013 19:25:06 | More by MarcatGSB
More User Reviews:
Photo of Lynn
Lynn

Ohio

4.5/5  rDev +6.1%

04-13-2014 12:26:24 | More by Lynn
Photo of Imperial_Sapient_Groat
Imperial_Sapient_Groat

Michigan

4.5/5  rDev +6.1%

03-11-2014 19:28:32 | More by Imperial_Sapient_Groat
Photo of shivtim
shivtim

Georgia

4.01/5  rDev -5.4%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.25 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.25 | food: 3.75 | $$

I've been to the beer exchange about 4 times while visiting Kzoo, both for lunch and at night.

Atmosphere is really neat. It's inside the old Globe Building, which has been restored and is pretty awesome. High brick walls, a golden age mural, a three level lofted space - very interesting. Easy walking distance from Bell's and the other downtown spots.

During lunch it's more low key and they don't do the whole market price thing. In the evening, beer prices listed on the screen change every 15 minutes or so. The tap selection is one of the best in Kzoo. Nice variety, with lots of local stuff, some one-offs, and a constantly changing line up.

Food is a notch above normal. Nice variety of upscale bar/pub food. I've always had friendly enough service.

01-10-2014 15:39:32 | More by shivtim
Photo of jschott75
jschott75

Illinois

4.5/5  rDev +6.1%

01-05-2014 02:41:56 | More by jschott75
Photo of 2heartedzombie
2heartedzombie

Michigan

4.75/5  rDev +12%

12-03-2013 23:57:21 | More by 2heartedzombie
Photo of Jaysmittyland
Jaysmittyland

Michigan

4.5/5  rDev +6.1%

11-27-2013 19:46:36 | More by Jaysmittyland
Photo of Danielr26
Danielr26

Michigan

4.5/5  rDev +6.1%

11-25-2013 02:49:39 | More by Danielr26
Photo of BeerBucks
BeerBucks

New York

4.25/5  rDev +0.2%

10-09-2013 01:08:24 | More by BeerBucks
Photo of elNopalero
elNopalero

Texas

3.78/5  rDev -10.8%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5 | $

Update:
I visited with a group over the 2012 winter holidays. My party had—simply put—the world’s greatest server! She was amazing—friendly, professional, and knowledgeable. We spanned the gambit from beer geek (me) to teetotaler and she juggled all our interests and inquiries. Wish I had her name because she made our night. This would be a completely glowing review if it wasn’t for the fact that her shift ended and the counter service was just plain rude to the point of being surly. Don’t think that I didn’t notice the eye-rolling, buddy—along with a couple of folks in my group. KBE, you’re still a mixed bag in my book.

Previous: I have visited here a handful of times since they opened. My visits were all about six months apart so I’ve had the opportunity to see some limited changes, mostly having to do with the crowd and beers available. This last visit felt like there was much more of an emphasis not just on Michigan beers but also regional breweries from this part of the state. And the crowd went from what seems like groups of college- or recently-graduated students to ever-so-slightly older. (I didn’t feel quite as out of place!) The server I had was friendly, and offered tastes of some of the beers I had never heard of. (Not a surprise as they have quite a few on the board.) Plus, thanks to the ‘market’ pricing you can get away with some steals on good beers.

BUT… two things that, while they won’t keep me from visiting again, put a damper on my night. Sitting at the bar I noticed a ‘bring back’ on an order. I’m guessing the server poured the wrong cider or just had a mix-up with the waitstaff. But instead of either dumping, drinking, or comping someone I watched the server place the mystery drink in one of the energy drink fridges… and pull it out maybe 15 minutes later and give it to a waiter who served it to an unsuspecting customer. That’s a serious service foul in my book.

The other negative experience was something that the KBE has no control over, where a patron I had been enjoying a friendly barstool conversation with casually referred to Mexicans as ‘spics.’ I bristled at this and it cut my enjoyable evening short. Nothing like being racially insulted while enjoying a few beers to ruin a good time. All in all a mixed bag.

01-22-2013 08:26:32 | More by elNopalero
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Kalamazoo Beer Exchange in Kalamazoo, MI
93 out of 100 based on 20 ratings.