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season oberon

COMSTOCK, Mich. – Bell’s Oberon Ale officially returns March 25th, signaling the end of winter and return of summer.Bars, restaurants, retail locations and fans will celebrate Oberon’s return with midnight tappings, release parties, pub crawls and other special events throughout the week.

“I think we’re all ready to put winter away and say hello to warmer weather with an annual tradition: raising that first Oberon of the season,” said Larry Bell, founder and president of Bell’s Brewery.

“We’ll see if Mother Nature agrees, but we already have spring training (baseball) and between the two, that’s a good start,” he said.

One of Bell’s most popular beers, Oberon (5.8% ABV) is an American Wheat Ale fermented with Bell’s signature house ale yeast, mixing a spicy hop character with mildly fruity aromas. The addition of wheat malt lends a smooth mouthfeel. A classic summer beer, Oberon is only brewed with water, malted wheat and barley, hops and yeast. It is available seasonally beginning in late March through August (Arizona and Florida are year-round distribution states).

This year’s release will mark the first official Oberon Day for Bell’s fans in Colorado, New England and New Jersey.

Oberon will be available on draft, in six-packs (12 oz. bottles and cans), twelve packs (12 oz. cans and bottles) and 4-packs (16 oz. cans). Six-packs of 12 oz. cans are new this year for those who live in states where Oberon is not available year-round. Oberon mini-kegs will ship in May.

oberon season

Bell’s fans on Untappd can check-in to their first Oberon of 2019 to claim a special commemorative release badge starting on March 25 through April 1. Everyone is invited to share photos of their first pints and how they are celebrating on social media by using the hashtags #OberonDay and #bellsbeer and by tagging Bell’s (@bellsbrewery on Twitter and Instagram).

For those who need a little help getting out of work, class or other responsibilities on Oberon Day, a brand new Oberon Day Excuse Generator is now live. Fans can send pre-made “official” Oberon Day excuse notes to their bosses or others at http://bellsbeer.com/excuse/. There is also a special Oberon frame you can add to your Facebook profile picture.

Bell’s pub, the Eccentric Café in downtown Kalamazoo, will open at 9 a.m. on March 25 (this celebration is 21 and up all day). There will be live entertainment, food specials, special tappings, games and prizes. Sold out, free Oberon Day tours will also he held throughout the morning and afternoon with bus trips to Bell’s main brewery in nearby Comstock and back to the Eccentric Cafe.

For more information about where to enjoy that first sip of summer, check out Oberon recipes, learn about the history of the beer and more, visit bellsbeer.com or join Bell’s on social media – FacebookTwitterInstagramSnapchat and Untappd.

 

A year ago, Fermenta: Michigan Women’s Craft Collective premiered 10 collaboration brews with breweries at the 2014 Michigan Brewers Guild (MBG) Summer Beer Festival. At the Winter Beer Festival this past February 2015, they premiered 19. Over the weekend at the 2015 Summer Beer Festival in Ypsilanti, Michigan, Fermenta premiered 26 new collaborations. With many months of prep work, planning and improvised, last-minute tweaks, Fermenta members and involved brewers got to taste the final products of shared labor.

“We tried some of them last night, but you know, there are so many! We have more to try today. It’s a beautiful day to try some amazing beers,” said Annie Zipser, a dedicated Fermenta member attending the festival both Friday and Saturday.

With 26 collaboration brews marked in the official MBG Summer Beer Festival pamphlet, everyone, Fermenta members or not, had a potential checklist to mark between Friday and Saturday at the fest. The large scope of the festival—over 100 breweries with a combined number of over 900 beers—made finding beers a kind of scavenger hunt, but definitely a good excuse to meet new people and revisit fellow craft beer enthusiast friends.

“I’m really proud of the Hibiscus Wheat—it turned out really nicely. Make sure to get over and try it!” said Morag Goyette of Blue Tractor. And indeed, the collaboration brew was a delicious concoction for the hot summer day—refreshing with a light, floral aroma.

To have this many people in one place at one time for the sole purpose of drinking craft beverage was an opportunity for enthusiasts and professionals alike in the Fermenta organization. Members shared their collaborations and toasted each other’s accomplishments, while many were just discovering the organization for the first time.

“I just bought my Fermenta t-shirt today!” proclaimed an excited Fermenta newcomer. “I heard about you ladies and I’m just so excited to try some of your beers.”

The breweries participating in the Fermenta collaborations were as follows: Arbor Brewing Co., Batch Brewing, Beards Brewery, Blue Tractor, Boatyard Brewing Co., The B.O.B., Brewery Ferment, Cotton Brewing Co., Eternity Brewing Co., Fenton Winery & Brewery, Founders Brewing Co., Gravel Bottom Brewery, grizzly peak, Liberty Street Brewery, Mitten Brewery, New Holland Brewery, One Well Brewing, Ore Dock Brewing Co., Our Brewing Co., Pike 51 Brewery, Pleasant House Brewery, Saugatuck Brewing Co., Short’s Brewing Co., Tapistry Brewing Co., Unity Vibration.

There were so many different varieties of beer due to the great enthusiasm of both the breweries and Fermenta members. Some of the final products boasted unique combinations: a cucumber lime gose from Arbor Brewing Co., a passionfruit and scorpion pepper combo from Brewery Ferment, a saison from Batch Brewing that combined a French yeast with Slovenian hops. Each collaborative brew reflected Michigan as a whole, but also the creativity, innovation and ethos of each individual brewery.

“The spiciness will give you a kick, but not too much that it hurts going down!” said Kirsten and Dustin Jones of Brewery Ferment, who brewed Passion and Pain, made with scorpion peppers and passion fruit.

This Fermenta project captured the purpose and inspiration of the ever-evolving Michigan craft industry. Brewers were eager to lend their time and guidance to those interested in order to share the creative and collaborative spirit of brewing. And with the end product proving to be a satisfying success across the board, it’s a tradition that Fermenta hopes to carry on into the future.

In addition to creating a collaboration brew, many breweries have agreed to donate certain amounts of their proceeds directly to the Fermenta scholarship fund. This new development highlights the importance of education in the Michigan craft industry and the support it offers for future pioneers.

Fermenta will also be celebrating its one-year anniversary this summer. To toast such an accomplishment, Fermenta will be hosting an anniversary party on August 23rd, 2015 at Block Brewing Company located in Howell, Michigan. Besides offering great craft beverages and delicious barbeque, there will also be membership renewals, Fermenta merchandise to buy, raffles, educational seminars, and executive board elections. For more information and how to purchase tickets, please visit www.fermenta.weebly.com.

4.0% ABV
Appearance: Golden-straw in color and slightly hazy; light carbonation.
Aroma: Gentle notes of citrus.
Taste: Tart but not overwhelmingly so, overlaying a dry, light wheat malt backbone.
Mouthfeel: Light, refreshing body.
Move over, Oberon. Bell’s Oarsman Ale is my choice for Official Beer of Summer. With a light, refreshing body courtesy of the wheat-dominated malt profile, the gentle tartness provided by Bell’s use of a traditional German sour mash method combines to deliver an easy-drinking, palate cleanser of a brew. Perfect for those dog days of summer or any time the craving for a light yet flavorful “session” beer strikes. So drinkable I’ve taken to calling it “Moresman.” Available year round.

4.0% ABV

Appearance: Golden-straw in color and slightly hazy; light carbonation.
Aroma: Gentle notes of citrus.
Taste: Tart but not overwhelmingly so, overlaying a dry, light wheat malt backbone.
Mouthfeel: Light, refreshing body.

Move over, Oberon. Bell’s Oarsman Ale is my choice for Official Beer of Summer. With a light, refreshing body courtesy of the wheat-dominated malt profile, the gentle tartness provided by Bell’s use of a traditional German sour mash method combines to deliver an easy-drinking, palate cleanser of a brew. Perfect for those dog days of summer or any time the craving for a light yet flavorful “session” beer strikes. So drinkable I’ve taken to calling it “Moresman.” Available year round.

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.