On Tuesday night we headed down to Kalamazoo to check out a few breweries and partake in everything Kalamazoo Beer Week 2015 had to offer. Our first stop was Gonzo’s BiggDogg Brewing, a newer brewery downtown that has generated quite a bit of buzz since opening its doors in 2013. As is our standard practice, we ordered up a flight of every beer they had to offer:
The Razzamazoo was an easy-drinking fruit beer with a good balance of flavor, and we really liked what the Chords of Winter presented in terms of flavor. Dogg Days Ale was smooth and easy to drink, while the Burning Sun Redd impressed us with its flavor. I particularly enjoyed the Academy Slim Session IPA as well as the Showroom IPA with Columbus Hops, fans of IPAs will really enjoy these two beers. The next two were among Allison’s favorites – the easy-drinking Geyser Brown and the VJ Ale Vanilla Porter. The Shoddy Lock Stout was also very good, smooth and full of flavor.
We finished things off with three very strong but very well-crafted brews. Cloak of Darkness was a great Black IPA that balanced strength and hops quite well. The Saxon Action proved to be an incredible Imperial IPA that did a pretty good job of hiding its 10% ABV. Finally, the Face Tank Barleywine was the heavy hitter for this visit, coming in with an 11.5% ABV but presenting some good hop flavor and a smoothness that is sometimes lacking in this style.
For food, I ordered up the Drunken Crab Hushpuppies and they were great for something light to munch on while we tried out our beer flight. Allison was a bit hungrier and chose to have the VP Haystack Burger – a burger with pepper jack cheese, bacon, “beer-b-que” sauce and vanilla porter haystack onions. It was nice to see that a lot of the burgers had beer incorporated in either the sauce or toppings they were paired with, and we can’t say enough good things about the house sriracha mayo.
This was a great place to start our Kalamazoo beer tour. We left really impressed with the selection and quality of brews, and pleased with our food choices. We took home a growler of the Academy Slim IPA, and I look forward to finishing it off. Our server was Jaime W. and she was friendly, attentive and knowledgable. If you’re headed down to Kalamazoo Beer Week, make sure stopping in at Gonzo’s is on your list!
Gonzo’s BiggDogg Brewing contact information:
140 S. Westnedge Avenue, Kalamazoo Mi 49007
Important note: there is a signed parking area in the block south of the brewery. Part of the parking lot by the brewery belongs to the Orrin B. Hayes car dealership and while they do not have any kind of “customer parking only” signs posted we found they will not hesitate to come out and rudely ask you to move your car.
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