TagaBrew gives beer enthusiasts ‘direction, fun’

Kalamazoo and Battle Creek
TagaBrew tags 030618 1

A local woman is capitalizing on an idea she had just as the craft beer scene was taking off in West Michigan.

Her collectable copper tags can be found at more than 100 breweries across West Michigan.

“I thought it was just a copper tag. It is so much more,” TagaBrew inventor Debi Steward said. “We’re been told it’s a million dollar idea. But we’re just having fun with it right now.”

TagaBrew was born in Kalamazoo. The first brewery to carry them was Rupert’s Brew Pub.

“Boatyard signed on, Paw Paw signed on, Final Gravity signed on,” Steward said.

Steward is celebrating four years of TagaBrew this month.

“There’s 320 some breweries in Michigan right now. There’s 1.5 breweries opening every day in the U.S. Where are you going to go? What are you going to do? So this kind of gives people somewhat of a direction of where to go and it gives you a memory,” Steward said.

At $2 for a tag or $5 for a tag and a chain, brewsaders traveling Michigan’s beer trail can collect the copper labels stamped with the names and locations of breweries. You can use the TagaBrew app to find all of the locations offering one.

“If you’re sitting at a bar and you’re talking TagaBrew, it starts up a whole new conversation. Now you’re best friends with them. And everyone’s just having fun. There’s nobody not having fun doing this. It’s just fun,” Steward said.

Enough fun to pay the bills for Steward and her husband Jim. He’ll be leaving his job next month as they continue their TagaBrew journey. They say they’ll concentrate on Michigan.

They figure about 30,000 people are collecting the tags.

“Our job now is to bring TagaBrewers to the breweries we’re already in,” Steward said. “And when new breweries join on, that is absolutely awesome.”

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