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It’s Always ‘Game On’ at One Well

One Well

Every night is game night at One Well Brewing in the Kalamazoo neighborhood of Milwood.

The vision of two Michigan natives, TJ Waldofsky, 33, and Chris O’Neill, 31, was to combine brewing beer with a neighborhood pub -a place for people to share ideas, art, and culture. As they approach their first anniversary on Nov. 27, it’s evident their plan is working.

“It's great to see our vision of a community gathering place and neighborhood bar become a reality,” said Waldofsky.

A University of Michigan graduate, Waldofsky’s job took him from Chicago to Rio De Janeiro. He learned a lot about the growing craft beer business along the way.

It didn’t take long for Waldofsky to realize that Kalamazoo is the best beer city in Michigan when he moved here two-and-a-half years ago.

“I chose Kalamazoo because I've always had a place in my heart for this city. It's big enough to offer a lot of the culture and entertainment of a large city, but small enough where you feel like you're part of a tight-knit community,” he said.

When O’Neill, a craft brewer and Western Michigan University graduate, and Waldofsky met through a mutual friend, they knew they had a potential professional relationship brewing.

The concept of gathering at a well or watering hole is certainly not a new one. Combining old fashion activities with new brewing technology combines the best of both worlds at One Well.

“It's really cool to look around and see how One Well brings all types of people together. We like to think of ourselves as a place where people can be themselves and enjoy a pint in a friendly, relaxed environment,” said O’Neill.

They own a collection of 150+ board games and feature a new artist every two months in their gallery. On Wednesday nights, folks come out to play strategy games.

“We call it ‘Board Games with the Brewer’ because Chris will often sit down and join in the action with our customers,” said Waldowsky.

Thursday nights are devoted to darts.

All of the seating is community style with no TVs. Waldofsky and O’Neill feel the setting fosters a place where people interact with one another instead of staring at their phones. It’s not uncommon for patrons to start conversations with the people around them.

Some other signature events are Paint Nite, held most Sundays featuring a local artist. There is also a quarterly beer pairing dinner with four courses; each course is infused with the beer that they are paired with.

Two upcoming special events include a murder mystery party and beer pairing dinner on Sunday, Nov. 1. The year rounds out with the one-year anniversary party on Black Friday, Nov. 27.

Then it’s on to expansion! The current brew house and kitchen are crowded in the same space.

“We're getting close to buying a new facility and upgrading to a 15-barrel system so we'll be able to move all of our production offsite,” said Waldowsky.

The co-owners hope to expand the hours and days that they’re open. Their hope is to can and sell their beers locally in the near future.

And well, then there’s the beer. IPAs tend to be the best sellers in the craft beer market. Their flagship IPA is called SimcoeRillo. Another great seller is their jalapeno blonde called Xalapa, which is brewed with a non-spiced jalapeno to deliver all the nose and flavor of the jalapeno without any heat.

Join the fun of this local pub and watch for new beer releases and event details on their Facebook page.

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