One Well Brewing
We were in Kalamazoo on Saturday for the Blue Snagglethooth show at Bell’s Eccentric Cafe and arrived early to spend a few hours at One Well Brewing before the show. It was super easy to find and you feel instantly welcome. It is on the South side of Kalamazoo, take the Portage exit off I-94.
What’s on Tap
We were pleased to find co-Owners T.J. Waldofsky and Chris O’Neill working when we arrived. T.J. recommeded their Xalapa beer, a jalapeno blonde ale. I’m an IPA kind of girl, but included it on my flight. Sometimes you just need to take a risk. It was really good; refreshing with just the right amount of spice to make it interesting. If you like more spice, fresh jalapenos are available behind the bar near the popcorn machine.
Chuck ordered the SimcoeRillo IPA. We were very happy with our choices. We couldn’t resist the Imperial Porter, “Sweet Water Street,” which is a tribute to two of their favorite companies in Kalamazoo: Sweetwater’s Donut Mill and Water Street Coffee Roaster. Yes, you read that correctly, it is breakfast in a glass: coffee and donuts.
Community Gathering Place
“Cheers! Where everyone knows your name.” You won’t find Woody behind the bar, but it is definitely a neighborhood hangout, which you feel as the warm laughter and friendly conversation surrounds you. You can’t help noticing the beautiful woodwork in the tap room. All of the materials used to create the warm and friendly interior of the tap house are reclaimed materials from around Michigan.
If you look closely at the picture above, you can see an inlay in the top of the main bar. It contains rocks and sand that give it a river like appearance. And above the bar is a multifunctional floating shelf. On top are growlers and games and below it are the mug club member’s handmade mugs. Everything has a story and the floating shelf has its own too. The natural-cut wood used to make the shelf was donated by Tim Overhuel of Bad Adz Custom Wood Design. He salvaged it from trees that had fallen at his sawmill. Tim must really love T.J. and Chris because he also made the beautiful tap setup, which a work of art.
“The Sexy” which runs along the side of the bar is stunning. Chris told us its story which included a bit about T.J.’s grandpa, Bill James, showing them how to lay bricks for the bar foot rest. I’ll never get the story right so I won’t try to retell, but I’m sure if you ask either Chris or T.J. they will share it with you. Bill salvaged the bricks from an old roundhouse in Jackson that was originally built in the late 1800’s. Bill also donated the darker-color wood pieces he rescued from a fallen barn. Even the mirror is framed with reclaimed pallet wood. Those beautiful bar stools were handmade by local Kalamazoo musician, Rusy Northrup.
Even the merchandise display was built by using various reclaimed materials.
There are so many tiny details, stories and contributions from friends and family that make One Well Brewing special and the reason I love the craft beer experience. Get the full story on their website.
What is your fancy? Foosball? Darts did you say? Or how about some pinball? You’d rather play a board game? They’ve got you covered. You can join them every Wednesday for “Boardgames With The Brewer.” They have over 100 games in their collection.
I told you it was a friendly place. Meet our new best friends. (Eeek. I can’t remember their names, but we enjoyed their company.)
Be sure to check out more photos of One Well Brewing in the gallery.
Stay in Touch
Have you stopped by their Tap House or sampled their beer? What did you think? Leave us a comment or send us a message. We love to hear your stories.