Wednesday, 26 February 2014 13:56

The Dude Abides by this Beer Tour

Written by  Kyle Hauch
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The Big Lebowski Beer Tour
Central City Tap House, Latitude 42 Brewing Company, Airway Fun Center, Alamo Drafthouse Cinema
March 29, 2 p.m.
$48 Standard Ticket, $73 Standard Ticket + Extras, (269) 205-4894

The people over at West Michigan Beer Tours love The Big Lebowski. They love it so much that they have created a beer tour around the Kalamazoo area that is directly inspired by The Dude himself. But you’re probably asking yourself, why beer? Why not a White Russian tour? Well, while on The Big Lebowski Beer Tour, you’ll get the best of both worlds including a specially made White Russian-inspired beer just for the tour.


All of this stems from the 1998 comedy classic, The Big Lebowski, starring Jeff Bridges, John Goodman, Julianne Moore and Steve Buscemi, which has garnered a worldwide cult following and has caused many to “abide by The Dude.” Now is your chance to step into The Dude’s shoes, I mean loafers, and experience a night out, Big Lebowski style.


John Liberty, one of the co-owners of West Michigan Beer Tours had been looking to do something that was themed around one of his favorite movies. One day, the idea just hit him and it all kind of made sense. Why not make a beer tour that could incorporate different elements of the film? Bowling, drinking, White Russians, bath robes; they would all be a part of it.


“[Liberty] pitched the idea out there and we got a huge response back for a “Big Lebowski” themed tour," said Aric Faber, co-owner of West Michigan Beer Tours.


The tour starts off at the Central City Tap House in Kalamazoo at 2 p.m. While here, tour-goers will register for the tour while enjoying beer or White Russians. By 2:30, all participants will be loaded onto a bus and taken to the Latitude 42 Brewing Company where head brewer, Scott Freitas, will don a Lebowski bathrobe and give a tour of the brewery.


“John Liberty approached me about the tour and said I looked just like The Dude,” Freitas said. “He asked me to give a tour dressed as him and I agreed.”


By 4:30, the tour will stop at the Airway Fun Center in Portage. This bowling alley also includes a newly renovated taproom and six 52-inch TV screens that will all be playing The Big Lebowski. Airway’s staff will be dressed as various characters from the movie and the bar will feature a wide variety of Michigan craft and bottled beers.


“We wanted to do something that was themed around bowling,” said Josh Powers, Airway’s bar manager. “John Liberty came to us with his idea of a Big Lebowski-themed tour which worked perfectly for our bowling alley. The idea just kept rolling from there.”


At 6:30, the tour will move to its final destination, Alamo Drafthouse Cinema in downtown Kalamazoo. While here, tour-goers will have access to the Drafthouse’s large assortment of craft beers, cocktails and food, all while relaxing in the Alamo’s theater and enjoying The Big Lebowski on the big screen.

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