Antique Kalamazoo Bottle Tells the Long Story of the City’s Beverage History
Kalamazoo has become synonymous with beer. This would be the moment where you would expect me to say, "but it wasn't always so...", and hit you with some crazy facts about Kalamazoo having been a hub for polka music, or internationally known for their wonderful overalls, or whatever. But it appears that Kalamazoo has always been a drinkin' town, going back all the way to 1837. Yes, 1837. That wasn't a typo. Kalamazoo has a 180 year obsession with cold brews, and they aimed to share that obsession with the country, thus City Bottling Works was born.
Originally located on Main Street. the company was moved to North Church Street in 1867, and proudly bottled beer and other carbonated beverages. According to an article on the Kalamazoo Public Library's page, by 1907, City Bottling Company had expanded their glass business to include bar glassware that was sold in many states.
This morning I was greeted by an antique City Bottling Company bottle, dropped off by Tom, a Rocker listener for many years. Thick, heavy, and flecked dirt from over the years, it was a wonderful reminder of Kalamazoo's proud history of making and sharing their favorite libation. Thanks, Tom, for the history lesson. What an interesting read one bottle led me to.
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