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Double Two Hearted, Official & more

COMSTOCK, Mich. – A new year is in full-swing and Bell’s Brewery has a number of incredible releases planned for 2019.

First up is Hopslam. Cans, kegs and mini-kegs started shipping on Jan. 2. Events and special tappings continue as fresh Hopslam make its way to its final destinations after leaving the brewery.

Following Hopslam was the release of Larry’s Latest Flamingo Fruit Fight, a new tart Fruit Ale brewed with passionfruit and lime zest. Bottles, cans and kegs have started shipping and begun appearing on store shelves and on tap. Flamingo Fruit Fight is the latest packaged release in the Larry’s Latest series, beers that highlight and continue the innovation that Larry Bell started in 1985 and continues at Bell’s to this day.

In February, Bell’s Official Hazy IPA will start heading out as Bell’s newest year-round offering. Cans, bottles and kegs will head to all of its markets followed closely by the return of summer and Oberon Ale! This year’s Oberon Release Day is set for March 25. Oberon mini-kegs featuring a brand new design for 2019 will follow later this summer.

“This is just a preview of coming attractions, though not all of them are ready to share just yet. We still have a few more surprises to come,” Larry Bell, President and Founder of Bell’s Brewery said.  “A few years ago we debuted The Planets Series, beers inspired by the work of Gustav Holst. This year, we’re going to introduce a new series inspired by the arts, but this time a little closer to home.”

“Our Leaves of Grass series will kick off later this year, we’ll have more to share on that soon,” he added.

2019 will also see the return of Sparkleberry and, after a two year hiatus, Smitten will also return in bottles and on draft.

Debuting in bottles for the first time will be the highly sought after Double Two Hearted, everything Bell’s fans love about our classic Two Hearted Ale, but in a Double IPA. It will ship in July.

Also coming in 2019 will be new packaging options, some new looks for Bell’s classics and an impressive lineup of Bell’s General Store exclusives, including 750 mL bottles that are a direct result of recent investments in Bell’s innovation pipeline. Consecrator Doppelbock and Quinannan Falls will both be bottled on Bell’s Specialty Line for release at the General Store as well.

Hopsoulution, a Double IPA that was added to Bell’s year-round lineup for Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois and Wisconsin last year will continue to be available in those states with the addition of Minnesota in April. It will remain a specialty release for the rest of Bell’s distribution footprint.

Other returning favorites include Third Coast Old Ale, Expedition Stout, Octoberfest, Arabicadabra Coffee Milk Stout and much more.

bell's brewery

2019 releases at a glance

(Specialty releases will be limited and availability will vary from area to area.)

JANUARY

  • Hopslam Double IPA (10% ABV) – 12 oz. cans packaged in 6-packs, 5L mini-kegs and draft
  • Larry’s Latest Flamingo Fruit Fight (5% ABV) – 16 oz. cans packaged in 4-packs, 12 oz. bottles packaged in 6-packs and 12-packs plus draft

FEBRUARY

  • Official Hazy IPA (6.4% ABV) – 12 oz. cans packaged in 6-packs and 12-packs (Michigan only), 12 oz. bottles packaged in 6-packs and 12-packs plus draft

MARCH

  • Oberon Ale (5.8% ABV) – 12 oz. cans packaged in 6-packs and 12-packs (NEW), 12 oz. bottles packaged in 6-packs and 12-packs, 16 oz. cans packaged in 4-packs and draft

APRIL

  • Hopsoulution Double IPA* (8% ABV) – 12 oz. bottles packaged in 6-packs and draft

MAY

  • Smitten Ale (6% ABV) – 12 oz. bottles packaged in 6-packs and 12-packs and draft
  • Pooltime Ale (5% ABV) – 12 oz. cans packaged in 6-packs and draft
  • 5L Oberon mini-kegs
  • First release in our new Leaves of Grass series (TBA).

JUNE

  • Sparkleberry Ale (9% ABV) – 16 oz. cans packaged in 4-packs and draft)

JULY

  • Double Two Hearted (11% ABV) – 12 oz. bottles packaged in 4-packs and draft
  • Second release in our new Leaves of Grass series (TBA).

AUGUST

  • Special Double Cream Stout (6.1% ABV) – 12 oz. bottles packaged in 6-packs

SEPTEMBER

  • Best Brown Ale (5.8% ABV) – 12 oz. cans packaged in 6-packs (NEW) and 12-packs, 12 oz. bottles packaged in 6-packs and 12-packs, 16 oz. cans packaged in 4-packs and draft
  • Octoberfest Beer (5.5% ABV) – 12 oz. bottles packaged in 6-packs and 12-packs plus draft
  • Expedition Stout (10.5% ABV) – 12 oz. bottles packaged in 6-packs and draft
  • Third Coast Old Ale (10.2% ABV) – 12 oz. bottles packaged in 6-packs and draft
  • Third release in our new Leaves of Grass series (TBA).
  • Returning Double IPA (TBA)

OCTOBER

  • Arabicadabra Coffee Milk Stout (5.5% ABV) – 12 oz. bottles packaged in 6-packs and draft

NOVEMBER

  • Winter White Ale (5% ABV) – 12 oz. cans packaged in 6-packs and 12-packs (NEW), 12 oz. bottles packaged in 6-packs and 12-packs, 16 oz. cans packaged in 4-packs and draft
  • Christmas Ale (7.4% ABV) – 12 oz. bottles packaged in 6-packs and 12-packs, draft
  • Cherry Stout (7% ABV) – 12 oz. bottles packaged in 6-packs and draft
  • Fourth release in our new Leaves of Grass series (TBA).

*Hopsoulution is a year-round release for a handful of Bell’s states and a specialty release for the majority of Bell’s distribution area. 


ABOUT BELL’S BREWERY, INC.

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 550 people over a 40 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.

 

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.

 

FERNDALE — It’s 12:01 a.m. and the Emperor of Oberon has been named, crowned and caped thanks to a lucky raffle draw. Most importantly, he has also been handed the first official glass of the infamous Bell’s Brewery craft beverage. To the eager crowd, Oberon means no more winter, and with that first sip, bar patrons collectively let out blissful sighs of last year’s spring and summer nostalgia.

One-Eyed Betty’s played host to this happy event, with customers and staff excited for a special Sunday release. Sure, most everyone in the room had to be up early this coming Monday for work, but everyone seemed content, frosty glass in hand.

Erika Vitkin, a Bell’s Brewery Field Representative for Southeast Michigan, distributed free swag and good cheer in honor of the event.

“Oberon is an annual staple on the Michigan timeline of beer releases,” she says. “It reminds everyone of something different — and for me — it’s hanging out on my porch back in college, and also, it’s just home.”

So while March weather in Michigan continues to play hot-and-cold with its residents, the craft industry has officially marked the start of spring. Oberon is here!

5.8% ABV, Draft

Appearance: Cloudy gold with a small head.
Aroma: Wheat with some citrus.
Taste: Orange, wheat and malt.
Mouthfeel: Medium bodied.

Bell’s staple summer brew — Oberon — was recently tapped and is just as enjoyable as I remember. This smooth, easy-drinking brew seems to have improved from last year, with more flavor and balance than in the past. While Oberon is a great entry beer for a newbie to the craft beer scene, it continues to please even the most seasoned beer drinkers across the country.

5.8% ABV, Draft
Appearance: Cloudy gold with a small head.
Aroma: Wheat with some citrus.
Taste: Orange, wheat and malt.
Mouthfeel: Medium bodied.
Bell’s staple summer brew — Oberon — was recently tapped and is just as enjoyable as I remember. This smooth, easy-drinking brew seems to have improved from last year, with more flavor and balance than in the past. While Oberon is a great entry beer for a newbie to the craft beer scene, it continues to please even the most seasoned beer drinkers across the country.

COMSTOCK — Bell’s Brewery, the anchor of the Michigan microbrews.

The brewery is quite possibly the reason the industry has exploded the past 15 years in Michigan and only set to grow even more in the near future.

Its staple brews of Oberon and Two Hearted have gone on to mainstream success. At several restaurants, Oberon stands alone and is known for the quality summer beverage it provides.

Larry Bell started brewing in a tiny kettle he received as a gift from his mother, providing friends the brews he concocted. Soon the demand grew to where he had to open up to the public. Since that day in 1985, Bell’s has grown big and strong, the granddaddy of “The Great Beer State.” The company is expected to brew more than 220,000 barrels this year, up from the 30,000 barrels at the downtown brewery in 2002. In 1985, he brewed just 135 barrels. The brewery has grown by 20 percent over the last few years.

Recently, The MittenBrew crew headed down to Kalamazoo — and Comstock — Mich., for an exclusive Laura Bell-guided tour of the newest 200 barrel production compound, completed in May, and the rest of Bells expansive brewing facility.

The newest addition — which boosts the company’s capacity to 800,000 barrels a year — is a gorgeous mix of wood and stainless steel. A set of stairs take you up to the “museum” that details the company’s history and offers a unique view of the upper parts of the new brewing tanks.

Also part of the expansion was a new grain system that allows quicker milling of grains and helps keep the brewery clean in a sealed room — Laura Bell stated it “cuts down on dust” that floats around the brewery.

The new system will be used primarily for the company’s large scale, popular beer such as Oberon and Two Hearted.

As we were moving on to the other parts of the facility, Laura told us how environmentally friendly the company is, including a 93 percent landfill diversion rate, and recently hired on a full-time sustainability expert. Even the steam from the brewing process is reused for heat.

It’s a three pronged approach, Laura explained, saying its good for environmental, social and economic reasons.

We explored the sensory evaluation room, where all the beers are tested for quality.

“We want consistency,” Laura said. “We want beer that tastes just as good in every bottle.”

The facility before the newest addition is a 50 system that can brew four to five beers at a time. It’s noticeably different than the newer area — it’s clearly meant to be just a production facility.

The whole facility is nicely lit, using a combination of light collecting skylights and sensors that keep the areas lighted like the outdoors and not with harsh fluorescents.

Laura said the bottling portion might soon go to a 24-7 operation and the packaging department just got a robot, which won’t be named, because once it is, it “has an identity.”

The nice part about the robot is it’s job neutral — it didn’t replace anyones job. And Bell’s employs more than 180 people, including 62 additions in the last year.

Quite possibly the most unique part of the tour was seeing the giant cyprus barrels from the old Stroh’s brewery. They were in the process of being put together, and Bell’s will brew in them soon, likely a basic lager. Stroh’s closed in 1985, just months after Larry Bell sold his first beer.

“We’re going to sell it in Michigan, as a piece of Michigan history,” Laura said.

 

The Original

The original Bells Eccentric Cafe also was recently renovated. And like the brewery, it’s also quite large.

Offering a full food and drink menu, the Eccentric Cafe features unique artwork, hand selected by Larry Bell himself. There’s a garden patio, a big lawn stage for music, two brewhouses, an indoor stage and the pub.

Both the pub and the indoor music venue have lofted seating areas that offer nice aerial views of the venues, and are encapsulated by a rustic, wood feeling that leaves a person feeling right at home in this great beer state.

__
Photography by Bryan Esler. Look for our video recap of our trip to Bell’s soon! 

COMSTOCK — Bell’s Brewery, the anchor of the Michigan microbrews.
The brewery is quite possibly the reason the industry has exploded the past 15 years in Michigan and only set to grow even more in the near future.
Its staple brews of Oberon and Two Hearted have gone on to mainstream success. At several restaurants, Oberon stands alone and is known for the quality summer beverage it provides.
Larry Bell started brewing in a tiny kettle he received as a gift from his mother, providing friends the brews he concocted. Soon the demand grew to where he had to open up to the public. Since that day in 1985, Bell’s has grown big and strong, the granddaddy of “The Great Beer State.” The company is expected to brew more than 220,000 barrels this year, up from the 30,000 barrels at the downtown brewery in 2002. In 1985, he brewed just 135 barrels. The brewery has grown by 20 percent over the last few years.
Recently, The MittenBrew crew headed down to Kalamazoo — and Comstock — Mich., for an exclusive Laura Bell-guided tour of the newest 200 barrel production compound, completed in May, and the rest of Bells expansive brewing facility.
The newest addition — which boosts the company’s capacity to 800,000 barrels a year — is a gorgeous mix of wood and stainless steel. A set of stairs take you up to the “museum” that details the company’s history and offers a unique view of the upper parts of the new brewing tanks.
Also part of the expansion was a new grain system that allows quicker milling of grains and helps keep the brewery clean in a sealed room — Laura Bell stated it “cuts down on dust” that floats around the brewery.
The new system will be used primarily for the company’s large scale, popular beer such as Oberon and Two Hearted.
As we were moving on to the other parts of the facility, Laura told us how environmentally friendly the company is, including a 93 percent landfill diversion rate, and recently hired on a full-time sustainability expert. Even the steam from the brewing process is reused for heat.
It’s a three pronged approach, Laura explained, saying its good for environmental, social and economic reasons.
We explored the sensory evaluation room, where all the beers are tested for quality.
“We want consistency,” Laura said. “We want beer that tastes just as good in every bottle.”
The facility before the newest addition is a 50 system that can brew four to five beers at a time. It’s noticeably different than the newer area — it’s clearly meant to be just a production facility.
The whole facility is nicely lit, using a combination of light collecting skylights and sensors that keep the areas lighted like the outdoors and not with harsh fluorescents.
Laura said the bottling portion might soon go to a 24-7 operation and the packaging department just got a robot, which won’t be named, because once it is, it “has an identity.”
The nice part about the robot is it’s job neutral — it didn’t replace anyones job. And Bell’s employs more than 180 people, including 62 additions in the last year.
Quite possibly the most unique part of the tour was seeing the giant cyprus barrels from the old Stroh’s brewery. They were in the process of being put together, and Bell’s will brew in them soon, likely a basic lager. Stroh’s closed in 1985, just months after Larry Bell sold his first beer.
“We’re going to sell it in Michigan, as a piece of Michigan history,” Laura said.
 
The Original
The original Bells Eccentric Cafe also was recently renovated. And like the brewery, it’s also quite large.
Offering a full food and drink menu, the Eccentric Cafe features unique artwork, hand selected by Larry Bell himself. There’s a garden patio, a big lawn stage for music, two brewhouses, an indoor stage and the pub.
Both the pub and the indoor music venue have lofted seating areas that offer nice aerial views of the venues, and are encapsulated by a rustic, wood feeling that leaves a person feeling right at home in this great beer state.
__
Photography by Bryan Esler. Look for our video recap of our trip to Bell’s soon! 

6.2% ABV

Appearance: Clear burnt orange, with small head that quickly dissipates.
Aroma: Lots of orange comes through, with some floral accents as well.
Taste: Orange and coriander; I also get some honey up front. Wheat is very prevalent on the back of the tongue. Some spice comes through as well.
Mouthfeel: Slightly carbonated, with a slightly medium body. Crisp and very easy to drink.

Arcadia’s Whitsun Ale is what I’d best describe as a beefed-up Bells’ Oberon. The brew features strong orange flavors, with some coriander, honey and some wheat on the backend. There’s also a bit of a spice to it — making it slightly less balanced than most wheat ales — but still very enjoyable.

The brew pours a clear burnt orange, and has a small head that does not linger. It’s a very easy to drink, medium-bodied ale, with a bit of a crispness coming from the slight carbonation of it.