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/// SPECIAL FEATURE THE


NEW BEER BAR Kalamazoo Beer Exchange


not add “have fun” to your list? We’re not scientists, but we think it’s safe to say that increasing fun will add to a more enjoyable year. Let us help you. We’ve provided all the new entertainment spots in West Michigan. From a beer bar that operates like the stock market, to Jazzercise, you’ll be booked through 2011.


BY REVUE STAF F AND MINIONS Surfer Blood performing for Halfway House Music PHOTO: NICOLE LARAE 28 | REVUEWM.COM | JANUARY 2011


INEWSSUE W


hen it comes to New Year’s resolutions, we keep hearing the same ones over and over: Work out, diet, stop biting nails, quit smoking, etc. Why


A month ago, James Flora opened a beer bar and restaurant with a flexible pric- ing scheme. A completely new way of charging patrons for drafts, Kalamazoo Beer Exchange charges a fluctuating price for its 28 draft beers based on the bar’s supply and customer demand. Prices for the craft beers on tap


have a base “market value,” which is an average of the beer’s selling prices in five surrounding Kalamazoo bars. Based on bar supply and customer demand, prices fluctuate every 15 minutes, up to 10 percent above and as low as 50 percent of the market value. “Some will be high and some will


be low, but more times than not, there will be a lot of beer below market value,” Flora said. Flora saw European bars using this


pricing method during weekly “stock market nights” while he was traveling to do research for a potential wine bar. He eventually abandoned the wine concept in favor of beer, and came back to the notion of market-based pricing. “It’s not unique, but we’ve taken a


clever idea, streamlined it and put it in a package that makes sense,” he said. Prices are prominently displayed


on 65-inch monitors throughout the two-level bar, and during daily “market crashes,” patrons have five minutes to snatch up their preferred draft at a rock bottom price. The bar also serves liquor, local


wine and 34 Michigan craft beers by the bottle for a fixed price. The menu is was


built around comfort food with a twist, including burgers made with a blend of four cuts of meat, created specifically for the Kalamazoo Beer Exchange. The bar doesn’t brew its own beer and won’t offer entertainment, choosing instead to focus on what it does best. “Kalamazoo — and West Michigan


as a whole — really digs craft beer,” Flora said. “We just want to help people cel- ebrate it.” By Kelly Quintanilla


u 211 E. Water St., Kalamazoo / kalamazoobeerexchange.com, (269) 532-1188


NEW BLOG halfwayhouse-


music.com As the music scene in West Michigan continues to grow and expand, it can be a little bit over- whelming for your


average local music consumer. With shows seemingly occurring every night, and new bands popping up all the time, it is not uncommon for a music fan’s head to feel like it’s going to explode. That is where Chris Ziebarth comes in. Ziebarth started Halfway House


Music, a new blog geared toward chang- ing the perception of the local music scene — as fans and musicians. Halfway House does this by compiling informa- tion about bands, shows and venues all in one place. “While there is a focus on Grand


Rapids and Michigan music, we hope to be a focus for music everywhere,” Ziebarth said.


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