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Bell's Brewery, Inc.
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Active Beers: 75
Beer Ratings: 47,176
Beer Avg: 3.9
Taps: 20 / Bottles: 12
Cask: N / Beer-to-Go: Y
$$ - reasonable
[ Brewery, Bar, Eatery ]
355 E. Kalamazoo Ave.
phone: (269) 382-2332
Bell's does not sell growlers of their beer at the Eccentric Café & Beergarden.
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Reviews by semihobo:
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5 | $$
[seems like the general store should be a separate entry from the eccentric cafe but I don't see it listed so I'll review both as one]
Stopped by for dinner on the way back to Chicago from East Lansing, I might have to do that again. About 5-10 minutes off of I-94, easy to get to, I saw the general store too late and ended up having to circle around to get in the parking lot in the back.
The general details are well covered in other reviews. I liked the clear posting of taps and prices, as well as the prices themselves. 12 oz pours of Two Hearted were $2.50, and the special on the Sunday I visited was that all sizes of one of their low ABV beers (a stout?) were $2.00, including the 20 oz. I drank the poolside wheat and loved it, the cherry taste was thick and authentic. Wife had the Wedding Ale, not great but fine. Pouring into plastic cups to take outside was a little annoying but not a deal breaker.
Great vegetarian options, I had the tempeh reuben sandwich and it was tasty, wife had the black bean burger which came with tasty homemade salsa. Yum. Not mindblowing, but good. Also cheap, mine was $6 and hers $6.50, including chips with both and a pickle with the reuben.
I thought the porch (wouldn't call it a garden) was a little beat up, the weather was beautiful so we stayed outside. There was a group blathering obnoxiously and smoking cigarettes by the door... thanks dude, we enjoyed your story about how you got black out drunk and then woke up and your car was in your front yard but you don't know how it got there and you slept in all of your clothes... that was a song in the 1990s, and it wasn't cool then. You're awesome. On the flip side, the inside of the cafe was quiet and there were some little kids playing quietly, so I'd say that part is family friendly.
Service was slightly above average, nice but laid back.
The general store: loved it. The guy there was also knowledgeable but laid back. They were out of screw-on growler lids that take airlocks. I bought one of each single to take back to Chicago, the mix and match six packs are a great call on their part. Also got some homebrewing supplies, they were pretty well stocked in that area and reasonably priced.
If you are into disc golf, the general store has a ton of discs, check 'em out. Also, some t-shirts were on discount for $9.
Neat place, I think I enjoyed it more having come on a quiet Sunday than when a band is there. Fresh Bell's beer + good food = how can you go wrong?
10-13-2008 17:21:28 |
More by semihobo
More User Reviews:
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 3 | selection: 4.5 | food: 2 | $$$
Atmosphere - pretty cool place. Turned a old looking warehouse into a bar and have a large field with stage for concert events in the back.
Quality- Bell's is one of the best and the beer showed it. Got a cool sampler and tried Mead for the first time.
Service- Not so good but they are trying to accommodate a pretty large set up
Food- Don't come here for food because there isn't really anything to choose from.
Value- A little pricey but I'd say its worth it.
06-11-2013 02:20:10 |
More by bobbyr5
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.25 | food: 4 | $$
I've been to Bell's several times and would highly recommend it to anyone that's a fan of their brews. Always lots of options on tap, and several of them are one-offs unique to the brewpub. As far as food, I've only had the pub dip which is always excellent. I can't really comment on the rest of the food. It's always a good time though, and the beer is, just as expected, superb. Very nice gift shop next door as well. Must visit if you're going through Kzoo.
05-29-2013 20:04:34 |
More by HarmonMW
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 3.75 | service: 3 | selection: 4 | food: 2 | $$
You go here for the beer. Incredible venue - super cool, I mean really cool building but quite small so we had to stand for 30 minutes before seats opened up.
The beer was great. Great selection and great tasting. Food... well there wasn't much selection and it was unusual that after we ordered it you have to go to the little window to get it. Anyhow the food was fine but overall you don't go there for the food.
The shop next door was fantastic, some of the best brew pub swag around. We bought lots of beer - as much as good from the limited choice left.
Can't wait to go again!
05-12-2013 23:26:34 |
More by hotsudge
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | $$
Visited early on a Saturday morning & took the brewery tour. beautiful building/facility. the taproom is a bit on the small side: bar seats maybe a dozen, small selection of tables (10-12) with a crows nest space that allows for additional limited seating. there is an outdoor stage in a well manicured courtyard that provides additional space/seating - a perfect spot for a family picnic. company store has a separate entrance & carries typical swag, reserve bottles, and home brewing supplies. employees (pub, tour, and store) are top notch in their knowledge, passion, and enthusiasm. sampled two hearted, larry's latest lager trial, le pianiste, trumpeter's stout, le contrebassiste, and bear hug. really enjoyed the tour - you don't cover a lot of ground by any means, but the guide was extremely knowledgeable & you get to see the tanks where the small batches are made. also get to see some vintage bottles from back when they reused bottles & did so by hand. awesome, awesome spot: lots of history & kickass beer.
04-07-2013 16:05:16 |
More by craft_shannie
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 3 | $$
Visited Bell's Eccentric Cafe while in Kalamazoo as a stop on a beer-centric road trip.
My wife and I got there at about 6:30 pm on a Saturday night. The cafe is kinda small and was crowded. No empty spots at the bar (which only has about a dozen bar stools), but we got one of the few remaining empty tables.
You have to go to the bar to place your order, but despite the crowd, they did a pretty good job. There were 5 or 6 bartenders constantly getting beers, so the line at the bar moved pretty quickly.
The wife and I both started off with a Two Hearted, which is one of our favorite beers. I was excited to see that they had several beers on tap that I hadn't had before. The Raspberry Wild One was pretty tasty and so was the Dagger Stout, but my favorite beer of the night was Black Note...awesome stuff.
The food was just OK. I had a catfish po'boy and I thought it was pretty meh. My wife didn't really like her turkey avocado sandwich either.
Overall, I'd visit Bell's again, but I'd probably skip the food.
03-22-2013 21:57:17 |
More by meanmutt
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 2.5 | selection: 4.25 | food: 4.25 | $$
Great tap selection. They had black note, a really tasty mead, and lots of great exclusives. However they waited a half an hour to inform me what I ordered to eat was out for the night, then there was no bar tender to be found for the same amount of time. Everything was great but the service didn't match.
02-11-2013 01:35:33 |
More by sapples
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.25 | selection: 3.75 | food: 4 | $$
Decided to stop in after passing by on I- 94 for years...got there just before noon but already most seats were taken, a few small tables by the street. Ordered food and a 12oz snifter of Hopslam at the bar. Didn't seem like the beer selection was all that great but had to drive anyway so probably a good thing. Food came out quickly ( pulled pork sandwich) and was pretty good, average to slightly better. Not a big menu, but several item that look interesting. The atmosphere is nothing unusual with a few families mixed into the patrons and few business types.
Next door at the general store, nice selection of Swag at decent prices. Beer coolers well stocked and nice selection oh home brewing supplies..
Will visit again to see what the vibe is on a non- weekday lunchtime crowd.
Overall a pleasant experience.
01-12-2013 21:45:06 |
More by Docrock
vibe: 3 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4 | $$
Visited in winter 2012, Saturday afternoon.
V: Nothing really that spectacular. Probably would have been a little better if it was summer and their beer garden was opened up. The eccentric cafe was alright. Lot of strange decor from around the world. No TV's. Actual bar stool seating was limited.
Q: I feel that Bells beer is (and always has been) very high quality. I might be a little bias, because Bells was the first beer that really opened my world to "craft" beer.
S: During lunch at least it was pub style service. Ordered from the bar tender, for food he gives you a buzzer and you pick up your order from the kitchen window. Both the bartenders and kitchen staff was helpful.
Selection was very good, Around 20 taps to choose from. Most of the beers were brewed at their production facility and then shipped to the cafe, however they do have a few on tap that are brewed in house, which i thought was awesome.
F: Wasn't bad, but a little pricey. Mostly sandwiches, a few appetizers, soups and salads.
Their general store was was well stocked. A lot of home brewing supplies that are priced well. Their clothes and other merchandise is a little pricey. Good bottled beer selection available to go.
01-02-2013 17:14:09 |
More by theecaleb
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5 | $$
I have loved Bell's beer since the first Best Brown I tasted, and with one notable exception (which I won't name because...why?), I have loved every Bell's I've had since. When we started to plan breweries/pubs to hit on our trip to MI, Bell's was naturally on the top of the list. It did not disappoint.
The atmosphere was great, an old building with a ton of weird, eccentric stuff that either inspired the name or resulted from the name all over the place. Nothing too fancy, but perfectly interesting.
The barkeep was awesome, friendly and knowledgeable and very accommodating to my girlfriend's hangover from our adventures in Grand Rapids the day before. We had spinach and artichoke dip that was delicious. Their nan bread is excellent.
My only very minute "complaint" is one of preference. Stout is not my favorite style, but we hit town just after some sort of stout extravaganza, so the selection was very stout heavy. I prefer to try things at the brewery that I cannot get in stores, and would have liked to see a more unique variety, but there was something for me to choose regardless. I had the Bourbon Barrel Batch 9000 American Strong Ale and it was very smooth, very tasty. And very heavy. My girl had the Two Hearted, which I finished because of the aforementioned adventures.
The overall experience was great, the prices were reasonable, the appetizer was tasty, and the unique beer I had was worth the trip. It's a no-brainer that any beer fan has to hit this place when visiting MI.
11-07-2012 14:58:00 |
More by tat2matt
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Bell's Brewery, Inc. in Kalamazoo, MI