Love the stock market theme that raises or lowers the prices of beer based on demand. It feels like playing a game and you get to try out things you may not have considered before. They also have plenty of great vegan selections for food which is rare in the area!
The beer stock market is the highlight feature of the beer exchange. The price of each beer changes every 15 minutes based on the number of people who purchased the beer. Occasionally on busy nights the market crashes and each beer hits its rock bottom price, which is incredible. If you play the game right you can get some amazing beers at phenomenal prices. But don’t miss out on the food. They have plenty I delicious items to choose from. The food may be a touch more than I’d prefer to pay, but I’m never upset once I taste it. Not to mention I would have spent at least double on any of the beers I had if I were anywhere else. I recommend anyone to try this place out. You’ll be back.
Exceptional place! World class food, that while not cheap would compete in any major city. But we are there for the beer. And more often than not, they will have a tap or two of very rare Michigan beer on tap.
Cool place. About a block from Bell’s. Very crowded on a Friday night--college kids or local 20-somethings? Two levels, looks like the kitchen does a really god business. Pool tables. TVs to watch the Tigers games. But the exchange ticker is the key here. Beers priced based on popularity, and board shows you if their value has trended up or down recently. With 28 taps, you can find good beer at good values. I could drink Self-Righteous all day at $3.50 and holding steady.... Absolutely worth a visit.
Fun place, and great beer location. Had dinner at Bells, then Shakespeare, then the beer exchange. Easy walk between the pubs, like 1 block. The beer exchange is a nice place, has seating for dinner and a couple bar areas. Really good crowd on a Saturday. Good selection with 28 taps, pricing is fun. I was there a couple hours and a market crash dropped almost all pints to $2.5. Will happily return.
(Visited 02/2012): KBE is located on the east side of downtown Kalamazoo on Water Street, in the Business District. They have an adjoining lot and there is metered parking in front.
The interior is multi-level with table seating and multiple bars throughout. They have pool tables, TVs and of course the ticker boards. Interesting concept with the beer pricing, which is based loosely on the stock market, in that beers that have high demand and many people buying them at a given time will drive the price up. Conversely, low-demand beers with little activity will decline. Additionally they have "market crashes" where all beers will be set at their lowest price for a short period of time. We didn’t experience a "crash" while there but sounds exciting. The interesting thing is that standard domestic fare like PBR can and does end up reaching a higher price point than local craft brews. Take that hipsters!
As for the beers, there are a lot of regional and local craft options aside from the standard stuff. On our visit this included offerings from Vivant, B. Nektar, Livery, Bells, Round Barn, Saugatuck, Right Brain and Greenbush. Samplers are available.
Service on our visit was good. The server was familiar with the beers and friendly throughout our visit.
Food at KBE is pretty good too. The menu includes sandwiches as well as dinners.
Overall the gimmicky nature of this place is not a reason to avoid it, once we bought into the concept and went with it we ended up having fun watching the prices fluctuate, although I can see people getting in trouble trying to buy low or buy before the price goes up. Worth checking out while in Kalamazoo.
Good beer spot in Kalamazoo that have a fun stock market-priced theme to their drafts. Food and service are good, although it’s a bit pricey for some of the beers, and they rarely (if ever) get down to Shakespeare’s prices.
I try not to use this phrase but OH MY GOD how fun is this place?!?! What other place in the world will you find a microbrew cheaper than a Bud? One of my co-workers recommended this place to me, and for my first night out in Kalamazoo, I went here with a couple of guys from work, including the guy who refuses to drink any microbrews but by the end of the night he was drinking a Brooklyn beer because Bud had gotten too expensive in his mind.....I secretly think he felt left out so he tried something new.
Love the the concept. Inside a cool old building and takes up two floors with multiple bars. A nice selection of beer and great deals can be found due to the "market crash". The bartenders were quite attentive even though it was packed both nights I visited.
Pretty hip, downstairs bar. Super crowded on the weekends. The stock market theme is pretty fun and a neat conversation topic as the prices fluctuate. Can get some pretty sweet deals when the market crashes. Had a pretty solid lineup of beers and I’ve always found something nice to drink. Fun hangout with a solid novelty.