GRAND RAPIDS and KALAMAZOO (WKZO) -- The way Kalamazoo Mayor Bobby Hopewell and Grand Rapids Mayor George Heartwell see it, there's no rivalry between the two communities when it comes to beer. This week, Kalamazoo came in second behind Grand Rapids in the Beer City USA poll, and Heartwell, from Grand Rapids, said he thinks the two cities both won, in a way.
He called west Michigan Beer Region U.S.A., noting that few states could boast of two cities so well known for producing high quality craft beers. Kalamazoo's Mayor Hopewell says he thinks the two cities are partners who can work together to boost the craft beer community. He disregards any trash talk that went on between internet commenters from each city during the poll, saying that was silly.
Mayor Heartwell said, in the wake of the poll, he'll come to Kalamazoo and toast a Founder's Beer, and Mayor Hopewell can come to Grand Rapids and toast a Bell's beer.