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COMSTOCK, Mich. – Bell’s Brewery, Michigan’s oldest and largest brewery, celebrates its 32nd anniversary this month.
As part of the celebration, Bell’s kicked-off its 8th Annual Bell’s Homebrew Competition on Sept. 9 at Bell’s Eccentric Café in downtown Kalamazoo.
“Three decades ago, I would have never imagined where we would be as a company, as a brewery, as an industry,” Larry Bell, President of Bell’s Brewery said.
“A lot has changed over the years. This year marks quite a few other milestones all over the state and we raise a glass to all of our fellow craft brewers celebrating as well,” he added.
bells brewery
Larry Bell founded Bell’s Brewery in 1983 and sold his first beer in 1985. The company he started is now 100% family-owned and also the largest independent craft brewery in the state of Michigan. Larry’s daughter, Laura Bell, was promoted to the role of CEO in February.
“It’s an incredible honor to be a part of the next generation,” Bell’s CEO Laura Bell said.
“As we look to what comes next, it’s very important to remember our roots and celebrate the fans and the homebrew community that helped us get to where we are today, she added.
Even before Larry Bell sold his first commercial beer, he started as a homebrewer and then founded a homebrew supply shop, a precursor to the brewery Bell’s is today. Production reached 135 barrels in 1986, all brewed and bottled by 10 employees.
Today, Bell’s employs more than 540 people, a majority in the state of Michigan, and shipped 421,000 barrels in 2016.
As the seventh largest craft brewery in the U.S., according to the Brewers Association, its impact can be seen throughout the craft beer industry in Michigan, in the Midwest and beyond. Bell’s was the first brewery to sell beer by the glass in the state and has inspired countless other breweries, homebrewers and craft beer enthusiasts.
Bell's
Free wort for the Bell’s Homebrew Competition was given away to almost 200 homebrewers. Among the first place prizes for that competition, the winner will get to brew their recipe at Bell’s original Kalamazoo brewery to then to go on tap at the adjacent Café alongside beers like Oberon and Two Hearted, a beer that was recently named #1 beer in America by the readers of Zymurgy Magazine.
Coming up later this month is a three-day Octoberfest Celebration on Sept. 22-24, also at Bell’s Eccentric Café. German cuisine, live music and of course, Bell’s Octoberfest Beer are all part of the festivities. Held in the Bell’s Beer Garden, this is a free, all-ages event.
Bell’s fans are also encouraged to see where their favorite beers are born. Free brewery tours of Bell’s original Kalamazoo brewery are offered on weekends. Tours of its nearby Comstock Brewery are offered throughout the week. Tours can be booked at bellsbeer.com/tours.
 

COMSTOCK, Mich. – Bell’s Brewery, Michigan’s oldest and largest brewery, celebrates its 32nd anniversary this month.

As part of the celebration, Bell’s kicked-off its 8th Annual Bell’s Homebrew Competition on Sept. 9 at Bell’s Eccentric Café in downtown Kalamazoo.

“Three decades ago, I would have never imagined where we would be as a company, as a brewery, as an industry,” Larry Bell, President of Bell’s Brewery said.

“A lot has changed over the years. This year marks quite a few other milestones all over the state and we raise a glass to all of our fellow craft brewers celebrating as well,” he added.

bells brewery

Larry Bell founded Bell’s Brewery in 1983 and sold his first beer in 1985. The company he started is now 100% family-owned and also the largest independent craft brewery in the state of Michigan. Larry’s daughter, Laura Bell, was promoted to the role of CEO in February.

“It’s an incredible honor to be a part of the next generation,” Bell’s CEO Laura Bell said.

“As we look to what comes next, it’s very important to remember our roots and celebrate the fans and the homebrew community that helped us get to where we are today, she added.

Even before Larry Bell sold his first commercial beer, he started as a homebrewer and then founded a homebrew supply shop, a precursor to the brewery Bell’s is today. Production reached 135 barrels in 1986, all brewed and bottled by 10 employees.

Today, Bell’s employs more than 540 people, a majority in the state of Michigan, and shipped 421,000 barrels in 2016.

As the seventh largest craft brewery in the U.S., according to the Brewers Association, its impact can be seen throughout the craft beer industry in Michigan, in the Midwest and beyond. Bell’s was the first brewery to sell beer by the glass in the state and has inspired countless other breweries, homebrewers and craft beer enthusiasts.

Bell's

Free wort for the Bell’s Homebrew Competition was given away to almost 200 homebrewers. Among the first place prizes for that competition, the winner will get to brew their recipe at Bell’s original Kalamazoo brewery to then to go on tap at the adjacent Café alongside beers like Oberon and Two Hearted, a beer that was recently named #1 beer in America by the readers of Zymurgy Magazine.

Coming up later this month is a three-day Octoberfest Celebration on Sept. 22-24, also at Bell’s Eccentric Café. German cuisine, live music and of course, Bell’s Octoberfest Beer are all part of the festivities. Held in the Bell’s Beer Garden, this is a free, all-ages event.

Bell’s fans are also encouraged to see where their favorite beers are born. Free brewery tours of Bell’s original Kalamazoo brewery are offered on weekends. Tours of its nearby Comstock Brewery are offered throughout the week. Tours can be booked at bellsbeer.com/tours.

 

bells brewery

COMSTOCK, Mich. – Bell’s Brewery is excited to announce a unique opportunity to enjoy Bell’s beer – The Ultimate Bell’s Experience Sweepstakes.

“We are extremely proud of our community and this is an incredible way to introduce two lucky fans to Kalamazoo and Comstock to see first-hand how their favorite beer is brewed. This will truly be a memorable experience, one that those outside of Michigan rarely get to see,” said Laura Bell, CEO of Bell’s Brewery.

Starting today, those 21 or older can enter for a chance to win a trip for two to Kalamazoo, Michigan for a customized trip spanning four days and three nights culminating with VIP guest treatment at their choice of one of many of Bell’s annual and unique holidays or at a time of their choosing.

Those celebrations include Bell’s All Stouts Day (currently scheduled for Nov. 5), Eccentric Day (currently scheduled for Dec. 8) Oberon (Release) Day (currently scheduled for March 26), next year’s Beer Garden Opener (currently scheduled for May 31 – June 2) and Roll Out the Barrel (barrel-aged) Celebration (currently scheduled for October, 2018)

The grand prize winners also include:

  • An extensive, behind-the-scenes private brewery tour.
  • An opportunity to meet Larry Bell or Laura Bell (subject to availability).
  • A Bell’s sensory experience exploring Bell’s most iconic and beloved beers.
  • Hotel stay
  • Transportation
  • And more!

Fifty first prize winners will win a Bell’s gift bag of sweet swag valued at $100.

The deadline to enter is midnightOctober 14. No purchase necessary. Limit one (1) entry per person. Some restrictions apply.

Enter online at bellsbeer.com/ultimate. The deadline for online entries is 11:59:59 p.m. Eastern Time on October 14, 2017.

To enter by mail, hand print your name, address, date of birth, and daytime phone number on a plain 3” x 5” piece of paper and mail it to:

Ultimate Bell’s Experience Sweepstakes

P.O. Box 2424

Battle Creek, MI 49016-2424

Mail in entries must be postmarked by Oct. 14, 2017 and received by Oct. 21, 2017.

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Limit one (1) entry per person.  See complete Official Rules at Bellsbeer.com/Ultimate for additional eligibility restrictions, prize descriptions/restrictions/ARVs and complete details.

 

COMSTOCK, Mich. – Bell’s Brewery is proud to announce a new addition to its seasonal specialty lineup for release this fall.

Arabicadabra, a coffee milk stout with an ABV of 5.5%, will debut on draught and in 12-ounce bottles, packaged in six-packs, this October.

“When we announced this year’s release calendar late last year, we knew there were a few more surprises to come. This is one of them,” said Bell’s CEO Laura Bell.

“It’s really fun to see new favorites move to a wider audience. This is another example of how we continue to explore new ingredients and flavors. The spirit of innovation that set us on this path is still a huge part of who we are and we will continue to look for ways to showcase that innovation across our distribution area,” Bell said.

Brewed with 100% Arabica coffee beans roasted by Ferris Coffee in Grand Rapids, Michigan, this beer will stand in for Java Stout, another Bell’s specialty coffee stout, for 2017.

“Java Stout will always have a special place in our portfolio and isn’t being permanently retired. This year, we are changing things up a bit. Arabicadabra is a different take on a coffee stout and very similar to a local favorite that was released at our pub and at some events. It’s time to share it with an even larger audience,” she added.

Arabicadabra is brewed with a cold coffee extract made at the brewery using a combination of fair trade, organic Nicaraguan coffee beans and Sumatra coffee beans. Lactose is also used for creaminess (those with dairy allergies or sensitivities should take note). It was inspired by Milchkaffe, another specialty Bell’s beer. That sweet, milk stout, was only available on draught and debuted in 2015.

Arabicadabra will ship to Bell’s entire distribution footprint, including New Mexico which Bell’s will begin distributing to in the fall.

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

 

bells brewery

COMSTOCK, Mich. – Bell’s Brewery will invest more than $7 million in capital improvement projects related to quality, sustainability and beer production in 2017 and 2018.

The majority of these projects will involve Bell’s locations in Comstock, but will also include its Kalamazoo brewing operations.

“We are deeply committed to our community in Comstock and will continue to invest additional resources so that we remain top in class further ensuring our commitment to quality,” Larry Bell, Bell’s President and Founder said.

“We also want to offer our partners and customers additional options. These new projects will help us accomplish both,” he added.

This significant investment will include the addition of a pilot brewery and a new specialty packaging line, among other beer production related projects, at Bell’s Comstock Brewery. A smaller pilot brewery will also be added to Bell’s original brewing location in downtown Kalamazoo, adjacent to its pub and restaurant, the Eccentric Café.

Other new investment projects include additional space at the brewery’s home office as well as a project to divert waste related to brewing.

Instead of sending low pH yeast to Kalamazoo’s waste water treatment facility, it will be reclaimed and sold to local farmers to feed their animals, further enhancing Bell’s commitment to sustainability.

Additional details will be shared at bellsbeer.com as they are finalized. For updates on these and other initiatives, follow Bell’s Brewery on social media.

ABOUT BELL’S BREWERY

Bell’s Brewery, Inc. began in 1985 with a quest for better beer and a 15 gallon soup kettle. Since then, we’ve grown into a regional craft brewery that employs more than 500 people over a 31 state area, in addition to Puerto Rico and Washington DC. The dedication to brewing flavorful, unfiltered, quality craft beers that started in 1985 is still with us today. We currently brew over 20 beers for distribution as well as many other small batch beers that are served at our pub in Kalamazoo, the Eccentric Cafe. Our ongoing goal is to brew thoughtfully, creatively and artistically. 100% family-owned and independent, we strive to bring an authentic and pleasant experience to all of our customers through our unique ales and lagers. For more information, please visit bellsbeer.com.

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.

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