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COMSTOCK, Mich. – Bell’s Brewery, Inc. is proud to announce that effective Feb. 1, Laura Bell, co-owner, has assumed the role of CEO.

Larry Bell will continue in his role as president and remain active in various projects, including long-term planning and overall direction with Laura reporting directly to him.

laura bell“When I started this, I didn’t know that I would be so fortunate to have a partner that shared my passion for our brewery and the people who make it what it is,” Larry Bell, Bell’s founder, said.

A second generation co-owner, Laura will oversee all brewery operations and planning for Bell’s and its sister brewery in Escanaba, Upper Hand Brewery. Bell’s is the 7th largest craft brewery in the U.S.

“This marks the beginning of the next chapter for our family-owned business and I am very proud of the leader Laura has become,” Larry Bell said.

This change in leadership will further strengthen our future in this ever changing marketplace.

“I am honored and humbled at this opportunity. Our team has done an amazing job and it’s exciting to think about where we go next not only as a brewery, but also as a company that is deeply committed to its community, its employees and partners,” Laura Bell said.

“I have learned a lot from my father and I look forward to continuing the work he started in 1985,” she said.

Laura was just 2 months old when her father founded Bell’s Brewery. She spent much of her childhood helping with odd jobs and eventually worked in the Eccentric Café’s kitchen during high school.

Laura officially started working at the brewery full-time in 2007. Since then, she has spent time in sales, all areas of beer production and in marketing. As Vice President, she oversaw the brewery’s Business Insights, Government Compliance, Marketing, Sales and Specialty Brewing departments.

Laura is deeply rooted in Kalamazoo and an active member of the community.

 

Bell's

COMSTOCK, Mich. – Bell’s Brewery’s 2017 release calendar features archive favorites, a new bottled beer and quite a few specialties.

“We have a lot of exciting plans for next year and we wanted to give our fans and partners a preview,” Laura Bell, Bell’s Vice President and Co-owner said.

Mars, The Bringer of War, will return for its second appearance. Mars was part of Bell’s limited seven-part Planets Series, inspired by the music of Gustav Holst. This Double IPA will see greater distribution than in 2014, but will still be limited. It will ship in April.

Hell Hath No Fury … Ale, a Belgian-inspired Dark Ale, will also return from the Bell’s archive in September.

Bell's“A few of our favorites will be taking a break, but aren’t being permanently retired,” she said.

We also reserve the right to add a few surprises, she added.

As previously announced, Am I Right or Amarillo, an American IPA made with 100% Amarillo® hops, will ship exclusively to Texas when Bell’s launches its 31st state in early March.

A Bell’s specialty stout will also make its debut in bottles in the fall. Additional details about that beer will be announced at a later date.

Oberon, Bell’s seasonal American wheat ale, will return on March 27, giving fans an eagerly awaited first taste of summer. Five-liter mini-kegs will start shipping in May. Oberon will be the only Bell’s beer to be released in mini-kegs next year.

Year round beers (Amber, Two Hearted, Third Coast Beer, Oatsmobile, Oarsman, Lager of the Lakes, Kalamazoo Stout and Porter) and other Bell’s seasonals (Smitten, Best Brown and Winter White) will all return.

 Other returning Bell’s specialties:

  • JANUARY: Hopslam (12 oz. cans and draught)
  • FEBRUARY: Consecrator Doppelbock (12 oz. bottles and draught)
  • MAY: Pooltime – Belgian-inspired Wheat Ale brewed with cherry juice (12 oz. cans and draught)
  • JUNE: Quinannan Falls India Pale Lager (12 oz. cans and draught)
  • SEPTEMBER: Octoberfest Beer (12 oz. bottles and draught)
  • SEPTEMBER: Special Double Cream Stout (12 oz. bottles and draught)
  • SEPTEMBER: Roundhouse India Red Ale (12 oz. cans and draught)
  • SEPTEMBER: Expedition Stout (12 oz. bottles and draught)
  • SEPTEMBER: Third Coast Old Ale (12 oz. bottles and draught)
  • NOVEMBER: Cherry Stout (12 oz. bottles and draught)
  • NOVEMBER: Christmas Ale (12 oz. bottles and draught)
  • DECEMBER: Eccentric Ale (12 oz. bottles and draught) – Bell’s General Store and Eccentric Café release only (Kalamazoo)

For more information and for updates, keep an eye on Bell’s website, bellsbeer.com, or join them on social media.

 

COMSTOCK, Mich. – Winners of the 7th Annual Bell’s Homebrew Competition were announced Nov. 6 during the 8th Annual All Stouts Day at Bell’s Eccentric Café, 355 E. Kalamazoo Ave., in downtown Kalamazoo.

Eleven homebrewers placed out of the 146 that submitted this year.

First place went to Evan Monroe for his hoppy Saison brewed with peaches.

 

Monroe will get to brew his recipe at Bell’s original brewery to then go on tap at the adjacent Café. He will also head to the 2017 Great American Beer Festival in Denver as a guest of Bell’s and compete alongside a Bell’s brewer in the Pro-Am Competition.

“Our judges saw a lot of experimentation again this year and overall, there was a solid mix of traditional beer styles and those that pushed style definition. Our top winners reflect that mix very well,” said David Curtis, Bell’s General Store Operations Manager and competition organizer.

Second place went to brothers Chad Hutson and Daryl Hutson for their Belgian Double IPA.

Third place went to Jay Vanbuskirk for his Black IPA.

This year’s runners up are (in no particular order):

  • Ross Winter – Imperial Stout w/bourbon soaked oak chips
  • Steve Morren – Sour Brown Ale
  • Kevin Kolk – Hibiscus and ginger fruit beer
  • Andy Akers – Belgian Wit/American Pale Ale hybrid
  • David Cohoe – Golden Ale with a roasty character
  • David Lyman (2013 competition winner) – IPA
  • Stephen Hardy – IPA
  • David Nowell – Grape Saison

“The number and skill of those who have competed over the years is incredibly inspiring. We are very proud to support this community and to see that familiar drive and passion reflected by so many,” said Laura Bell, Bell’s Vice President and Co-owner.

More information about when this year’s winning recipe will be tapped at the Café will be released as it becomes available. Judges’ comments are available to be picked up at the Bell’s General Store.

Previous first place winners include –

2015: Bale So Hard, a Farmhouse Ale brewed with HBC 438 and Mosaic hops, from David Hellen

2014: Coffee Mustache, a California Common style beer brewed with coffee, from Matt VanNatter.

2013: Proud Mitten, a dry hopped IPA/Pale Ale made with Centennial, Citra and Simcoe hops, from David Lyman.

2012: Manden Med Leen, a black IPA brewed with Belgian yeast, from Nick Rodammer.

2011: A Bit of Heat from Geoff Groff, brewed with paradise seeds, rose hips and habaneros.

2010: Oscar’s Folly, a collaborative IPA from Jarrett Cupp, Bailey Cupp and Paul Gentz.

bells breweryCOMSTOCK, MICH – Bell’s Brewery, Inc. is proud to announce its new distributor partnerships in the great state of Texas.

Fourteen distributors will help bring Bell’s entire portfolio to its 31th state.

They are: Andrews Distributing of North Texas LLC, Brown Distributing Company, Del Papa Distributing Company, Inc., Falls Distributing Company, GG Distributing Co., Great Plains Distributors, LP, Kristen Distributing Company, KEG 1 O’Neal, LLC, L & F Distributors, LLC, Mike Hopkins Distributing, Reed Beverage Inc., Silver Eagle Distributors, Standard Sales Company, L.P. of Odessa and San Angelo and Tri-City Distributors, LP.

Beer will begin shipping in the first quarter of 2017.

Bell’s announced its intention to distribute to Texas in April.

Mississippi, Arkansas, Kansas, Louisiana, South Dakota, Nebraska and West Virginia were all added to Bell’s distribution footprint in 2016.

County by county distribution information is available at bellsbeer.com.

Launch celebrations are also planned. Additional information will be announced as details become available at bellsbeer.com and on Bell’s social media.

bells brewery

ABOUT ANDREWS DISTRIBUTING OF NORTH TEXAS LLC:

Andrews Distributing of North Texas has more than 1,400 proud team members and distribution centers located in Dallas, Fort Worth and Allen. Founded in 1976 by Barry Andrews, they are celebrating 40 years helping their brewing partners, retail partners, team members and local communities thrive. Today, Andrews distributes more than 700 brands from 40 supplier partners in 16 North Texas counties. With their extensive industry experience, the Andrews team is committed to being the nation’s leading brand builder with a winning team culture.

ABOUT BROWN DISTRIBUTING COMPANY:

Brown Distributing Company is a family owned and operated beverage distributorship founded in 1962.  The company employs over 400 dedicated beer professionals and services 7 counties in and around the Austin area. We are proud of the community we live and work in and we give back by contributing to many non-profit, civic and educational organizations.  Our family culture at Brown takes great pride in working together to provide quality beverages and unparalleled service to our customers.  We are very excited to add Bell’s to our craft portfolio and are committed to helping build and foster the craft movement in our territory.

ABOUT DEL PAPA DISTRIBUTING COMPANY, INC.:

In 2010 Del Papa Distributing celebrated its 100th business anniversary. From its founding by an Italian immigrant, Omero Del Papa Sr., in Galveston in 1910, to its current operations distributing a variety of national, regional and local beer brands from three distribution centers serving seventeen Texas counties along the Texas Gulf Coast, Del Papa has remained committed to supporting and strengthening the many communities in which its customers and employees live. In 2015 Del Papa Distributing created 2-Row Distributing, a strictly craft beer focused division to provide its supplier and retail partners with the necessary focus,  expertise, and category management skills required for this exciting and growing category.  Del Papa Distributing still speaks today to those old fashioned values of quality, honesty, integrity and work ethic.  If anything these ideals have grown stronger over the course of a century.

ABOUT FALLS DISTRIBUTING COMPANY:

Falls Distributing Company is a locally owned beer wholesaler, headquartered in Wichita Falls, covering 13 counties in North Central Texas. With our 19,800 square foot refrigerated facility and best-in-market equipment and sales team, Falls Distributing Company is able to provide unparalleled service to North Texas customers.  Since our company’s founding in 1961, our entire team, 63 members strong, is committed to making a difference in quality assurance, customer service, brand recognition, and a passion for craft beer.

ABOUT GG DISTRIBUTING CO.:

Giglio Distributing was founded in 1955 by J.C. Giglio in Beaumont, Texas. J.C. started with himself, one employee, no revenue and one company truck.  Fifty nine years later J.C.’s son Charles formed a joint venture with Glazers Beverage, GG Distributing LLC based out of Longview, TX currently services thirty eight counties. With this strong heritage, our future totally depends upon building an outstanding team focused against great brands, maintaining quality and marketing attributes.

ABOUT GREAT PLAINS DISTRIBUTORS, LP:

Great Plains Distributors, LP is a third generation family owned wholesale beer distributor, operating in the southern High Plains of Texas since 1961.  Based in Lubbock, TX, Great Plains provides unrivaled service to customers across fifteen counties and takes great pride in their fierce dedication to quality assurance, customer service, brand building, responsible alcohol consumption, and a passion for craft beer.

ABOUT KEG 1 O’NEAL, LLC:

KEG 1 began as a Knowledge Exchange Group of 10 of the nation’s largest distributors of alcoholic beverages. With the creation of KEG 1, LLC, these 10 principals went beyond the traditional sharing of best practices and quarterly meetings to form a partnership whose combined annual distribution approaches 100 million cases.

ABOUT KRISTEN DISTRIBUTING COMPANY

Kristen Distributing Company has been family-owned and operated since 1930.  Current President, John Kristen, is the 4th generation of leadership.   Kristen’s seasoned sales and delivery teams bring unparalleled customer service to the 28 central Texas counties in their territory.  Based in Bryan, Texas, Kristen Distributing Company operates 2 warehouses selling a diverse portfolio of alcohol and non-alcohol products.  We believe we sell the finest beverages in the world and are excited to welcome Bell’s Brewery to the Kristen Distributing Company family of brands.

ABOUT L & F DISTRIBUTORS, LLC:

L&F Distributors is a third generation family business which focuses on distributing beer along the Texas and Mexico border. Our mission is to provide the best service for our customers, fully support our community, be the trusted source of knowledge for our industry, and provide an ideal place of employment.

ABOUT MIKE HOPKINS DISTRIBUTING:

Mike Hopkins Distributing Company, Inc. prides itself on service, quality, and community involvement across its seven county central Texas distribution footprint.  With nearly 70% market share, MHD is the market leader and a 2nd generation beverage distributor proud to support local, regional, and international brands.

ABOUT REED BEVERAGE INC.:

Reed Beverage is a family owned distribution business that was founded in 1952 serving 37 counties in Texas. Our Mission is to build great brands and partnerships through our unwavering commitment to quality and service.  Reed Beverage is a responsible community partner, and very proud of the work we do and the great brands we represent.  We strive to excel in every phase of our business and set the standard in the beverage business for West Texas.

ABOUT SILVER EAGLE DISTRIBUTORS:

Silver Eagle Distributors, L.P. is the nation’s second largest beer distributor. The company employs more than 1,400 employees that serve 16 counties in Texas through operations in Houston, San Antonio, Pasadena, Cypress, Conroe and Rosenberg. Silver Eagle distributes a broad selection of domestic and import brands as well as microbrews and craft beers and several non-alcohol beverages and waters. For more information, visit www.silvereagle.com.

ABOUT STANDARD SALES COMPANY:

Standard Sales, in Odessa and San Angelo is located in Permian Basin of West Texas and West Central Texas. Our 32,000 sq. mile territory of oil rich land, is made up of 28 counties and Standard Sales proudly provides exceptional sales and service to the area’s 1,230 retail accounts. At Standard Sales, we understand each ingredient plays an important role in crafting a fine beer. It’s the perfect combination that gives each beverage its own spirit and we pride ourselves in selecting only the best products for your unique spirit, too. We share this attitude with our Standard Sales family – a family of individuals and partners with a variety of unique and diverse talents, abilities, thoughts, and feelings that together, make a perfect team.

ABOUT TRI-CITY DISTRIBUTORS, LP:

Tri-City Distributors, LP, located in New Braunfels, Texas, is a central Texas beer distributor servicing Comal, Gonzales and Guadalupe Counties.   Scott Brown, owner of Tri-City Distributors, LP which he purchased in 1988, started as a single supplier distributor with 350,000 cases of annual sales, to a distributor that offers brands from over 25 beer suppliers with expected annual sales of 2 million cases in 2016.  With a customer focused culture and a passion for beer, Tri-City has continued to grow and maximize its portfolio through relentless pursuit to customer service, investing in brand building awareness and staying locally involved in the communities it serves.

COMSTOCK, Mich – The 7th Annual Bell’s Homebrew Competition Kick-off and Expo will be held this year on Sept. 10 at Bell’s Eccentric Café in downtown Kalamazoo.

The homebrewer who takes first place will get to brew their recipe at Bell’s original brewery to then go on tap at the adjacent Café.

The first place winner will also attend the Great American Beer Festival in Denver, Colorado as a guest of Bell’s Brewery. That person will team up with Bell’s for the 2017 Pro-Am Competition and attend both the awards ceremony and member’s only session.

Bell’s will cover the cost of airfare to Denver and back (must be within the continental U.S.) and provide lodging for two nights.

“Homebrewing is how we got our start and this competition is one of the ways we honor that heritage. To be able to offer this kind of opportunity to a community that has given us so much is incredible and we are very happy to do it,” said Laura Bell, Vice President of Bell’s Brewery, Inc.

As in previous years, there is no cost to enter the competition and the only requirement is that you use Bell’s wort, which will be available for free at the kick-off, while supplies last.

This year’s Expo will run from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. and will feature Blichmann Engineering, Briess Malt, Pilot Malt House, Stir Starters, Whirlpool, Kalamazoo Libation Organization of Brewers (KLOB) and others.

Sign-up times for wort pickup will begin at 11 a.m. Wort will be distributed beginning around 1 p.m., first come, first served. In past years, more than 200 homebrewers have been able to receive wort.

Competition entries (four 12 oz. bottles) are due to the Bell’s General Store by 7 p.m., Sunday, October 30.

The 2015 winning recipe, from David Hellen of New Hudson, MI, will be tapped for the first time at 2 p.m. on Aug. 13 at the Café. Bale So Hard is a Farmhouse Ale brewed with HBC 438 and Mosaic hops.

Previous winners also include –

2014: Coffee Mustache, a California Common style beer brewed with coffee from Matt VanNatter.

2013: Proud Mitten, a dry hopped IPA/Pale Ale made with Centennial, Citra and Simcoe hops from David Lyman.

2012: Manden Med Leen, a black IPA brewed with Belgian yeast from Nick Rodammer.

2011: A Bit of Heat from Geoff Groff, brewed with paradise seeds, rose hips and habaneros.

2010: Oscar’s Folly, a collaborative IPA from Jarrett Cupp, Bailey Cupp and Paul Gentz.

For more information about entering this year’s competition, please visit bellsbeer.com.

OctoberfestCOMSTOCK, MICH – One of Bell’s Brewery’s fall favorites is returning to the bottling line for the first time in five years.

Bell’s Octoberfest Beer (5.5% ABV) will also debut in 12-packs of 12 oz. bottles when it starts shipping in August. Bottles, six-packs and 12-packs will all feature the refreshed Bell’s logo and packaging.

This limited, sessionable lager will ship to all states Bell’s distributes to.

“Octoberfest is a brewery and a fan favorite, one that we get a lot of questions about,” said Bell’s Vice President Laura Bell.

“This is the year we can finally say yes, Octoberfest is coming back in bottles. It has been too long, it’s a perfect way to welcome cooler weather,” she said.

Smooth and highly drinkable, Bell’s Octoberfest opens the door to the coming autumn with a light, dry toasted malt note without too much sweetness.

Additional details will be shared at bellsbeer.com and on Bell’s social media as they become available.

upper hand brewery

Escanaba, Mich — ­Upper Hand Brewery is throwing a BBQ ­Yooper Style  in the backyard of their brewery this summer. The brewery¹s First-Ever Backyard BBQ will take place on Saturday, July 23, from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. at 3525 Airport Rd, Escanaba, MI.

Tickets to the BBQ are $25 in advance and $30 day of. Admission includes first beer, commemorative pint glass, all the BBQ you can eat, free lawn games and music by local U.P. favorites Driver, Conga Se Menne and Grassfire. To celebrate the occasion, Upper Hand will also be tapping a number of specialty beers during the event.

“Our fans and the local Escanaba community have been amazing with their support of the brewery and we wouldn’t be here without them,” commented Larry Bell, President and Founder of Upper Hand Brewery and Bell¹s Brewery, Inc. (Upper Hand is a division of Bell¹s). “The BBQ is a chance to not only celebrate summer in the U.P., but even more so, everyone who has helped us get where we are today.”

For more info or to purchase tickets, visit the brewery’s taproom in Escanaba or go to www.uppperhandbrewery.com. All attendees must be 21 or over.

ABOUT UPPER HAND BREWERY

Brewed on a 20-barrel system in Escanaba, Michigan, our beers celebrate the beauty and uniqueness of the north and our community. We may be a young brewery, but our roots run deep. Upper Hand beers are available throughout the Upper Peninsula and Northern Wisconsin. We brew our beer in the North, where it is meant to be enjoyed. We invite you to visit and enjoy not only our beer, but the wonder and beauty of Michigan¹s Upper Peninsula.

You can also stay in touch with Upper Hand on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

upper hand brewery

ESCANABA, Mich. – Upper Hand Brewery is excited to announce the upcoming release of its newest specialty beer, Double Ringer, a Double India Pale Ale (IPA).

Meant to celebrate the spring thaw in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, Double Ringer is the ninth beer to be released since Upper Hand opened its doors in November 2014, including four year-round offerings.

“You’ll find few places where spring is more vibrant than northern Michigan. With its intense aromas and flavors, Double Ringer will stir up your senses, just like the perfect spring day,” commented Larry Bell, President and Founder of Upper Hand Brewery and Bell’s Brewery, Inc. (Upper Hand is a division of Bell’s).

Brewed solely with Equinox hops, Double Ringer is robust and hop-forward, coming in with an ABV of 10.0 %. Offering a blend of pine and tropical fruit aromas, with a bit of malt backbone, this Double IPA is a beer that should be enjoyed fresh.

It is named for that elusive, perfect throw made while enjoying a friendly game of horseshoes in the backyard.

Double Ringer will be available in limited quantities on draught and in bottles throughout the U.P. and Northern Wisconsin beginning in early April, just in time for spring.

upper hand brewery