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Arcadia Brewing snips the ribbon on their new Kalamazoo brewery

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KALAMAZOO (WKZO) -- the place was packed as the Battle Creek based Arcadia Brewing Company held their grand opening and ribbon cutting Thursday afternoon.

Their new Kalamazoo location is on the riverfront just over the Veterans Bridge at a piece of land that used to be a Consumers Energy generating station and had been abandoned for years.

Owner Tim Suprise hopes to turn it into a playground for adults with a brew pub, a beer garden and an outdoor concert venue, with a kayak launch and a disc golf putting green.

The story begins nearly two decades ago when Surprise hoped to open a brewpub in Kalamazoo before they were so hot and popular.

It’s called Arcadia Brewing because it was supposed to be part of the Arcadia Creek redevelopment in downtown Kalamazoo. But he says it’s fortunate that it never got off the ground because he says they really needed to start smaller, and that is what they did in Battle Creek.

He says what they will end up with will be so much better. The new facility will be able to produce 21-thousand barrels a year with room to triple that as the business grows.

It also includes a brew pub and a restaurant that features local meats and dishes. It is now open to the public.

The city hopes this project will be the first of a series that turns Kalamazoo’s long neglected riverfront into the centerpiece that riverfronts are in many other cities.

Suprise says the patio over looking the river is laid but they have a lot of work to do on what they are calling the Beer Garden.

And what beer does the owner drink to celebrate? He says he will be grabbing a bottle of the “The Big Finish” a beer they brewed for the Kalamazoo Marathon, if he can find one.

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