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Bell's Brewery, Inc.
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Active Beers: 75
Beer Ratings: 46,008
Beer Avg: 3.9
Taps: 20 / Bottles: 12
Cask: N / Beer-to-Go: Y
$$ - reasonable
[ Brewery, Bar, Eatery ]
355 E. Kalamazoo Ave.
phone: (269) 382-2332
Bell's does not sell growlers of their beer at the Eccentric Café & Beergarden.
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4 | $$
I stopped by this joint last Sunday thinking that I would be able to get a tour. Wrong. The place was freaking packed. I went to the store and got a couple bottles and was going to leave when I seen the bloated tour group leaving. That cleared the bar out so I could actually get a seat. I hate busy places because the service is usually lacking.
It is a walk up and order bar which I don't mind because that way I didn't have to wait on a server. I got a pint of rye stout to start out with then got a 6 beer sampler. There were 5 beers on tap that are not available in bottles. All were stouts.
They Eccentric Cafe is not a big place. I did not check out the patio since it was over 90 degrees outside. They had some stained glass windows and a loft seating area. I ordered tempeh tacos and pretzel rods. There are a lot of vegetarian options. I am not a vegetarian, but I do like to try new things. The tacos were surprisingly good to this carnivore.
It wasn't a bad place, but I wasn't impressed. I love their beer, but there is just nothing special about the pub.
06-03-2012 22:55:30 |
More by buschbeer
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | $$
After stopping by Dark Horse, I dropped by Bell's on my way back to South Bend.
The Eccentric Cafe is pretty great. At roughly 2pm on a Friday, this place was busy. There were a good amount of people inside, but on a beautiful Michigan day, there were a ton of people chillin' on the patio.
The beer list was ridiculous... They had all of their standout regulars with a bunch of different one offs on draft. (Raspberry Wild One, Hopslam, Experimental 2011-2, Experimental 2012-2, etc.) They offer a sampler platter of six beers for $13 bucks, and you choose which six you want to try. In hindsight, I should had gotten that.
The wait staff were incredibly friendly, and very knowledgeable. I over heard them giving recommendations to many of the customers who wanted the sampler.
The next time I'm in Kalamazoo (who knows when that will be) Bell's is the first stop on my list. Cool place.
05-19-2012 22:20:49 |
More by trxxpaxxs
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.5 | $$
Took a trip to K'zoo to visit Bell's and was happy that I did. The bar is a cool place that is clean, has a unique atmosphere and just the right size to still feel cozy while not being too small.
The taps were great - with a great selection or regular offerings, seasonal offerings and a few experimental beers. Roundhouse Red was probably my favourite tap room only beer that I had but it was great to finally try Hopslam on tap as well. The experimental beers that I tasted were great as well.
Only disappointment was not finding Expedition on tap.
03-16-2012 02:15:30 |
More by TheSevenDuffs
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4 | $$
Popped in Bells while on a business trip to Kzoo. Finding this place is easy enough as it is off the main street near the Amtrak line running through town. Don't make the mistake of being rerouted by your GPS to their Corporate office-factory in nearby Comstock/Galesburg.
The atmosphere of this place is great. A nice exclusive feel as you walk into a long hallway to get in. There is a fountain and a nice area to stand to enjoy a beer if you want to escape the main cafe section. The place is cozy with wood ceilings and walls. Decorated with cool nick knacks. There is a decent size bartop with plenty of seating and an upstairs area as well.
S: I was at the bar so service was quick and friendly.
Sl: I love how Bells has their taps set up. All the same design and shape minus the unique decal of the specific beer. All the current tapped beers are located on the giant chalkboard above the taps. The bartender offered samples so you could taste different beers. They carry exclusive beers to the Eccentric Cafe as well as their more popular beers.
Food: I had dinner and had no complaints. Not a massive or great menu, but you can definitely find something that you enjoy eating. The Bells porter sauce with the soft pretzels was worth noting.
If you are passing through kzoo, this is def. worth stopping in.
03-08-2012 21:22:37 |
More by cagocubs
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3 | selection: 5 | food: 3 | $
There are few cooler sights than seeing 20 Bell's taps alongside each other. Their options range from the easy-to-find Two-Hearted, to the rarest, like Eccentric Ale. Their Cafe is located in the middle of a forgotten railroad town, where the locals avidly support their jeweled export. The atmosphere is warm, even in the winter, as it is decorated like a Midwestern ski lodge. The food is OK; mostly slightly unique sandwiches with chips. And the souvenir shop nextdoor is packed with homebrewing supplies and memorabilia. If you are a fan of their beer at all, you will cherish your time spent at the Cafe.
02-22-2012 02:41:00 |
More by dorianmarley
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4 | $$
I've visited Bell's a couple of times driving through Michigan on various beer-cations and it is always a quality stop. I thoroughly enjoy the fact that the building is an old train depot and they've done an excellent job restoring it to a quality brewery.
The service is usually hit or miss depending on how many locals are there compared to visitors. I often feel like folks get offended when they visit a place and people don't bend over backwards to make their experience memorable; however, I can appreciate that Larry Bell and his staff at the brewery are extremely loyal to local enthusiasts/regulars. There is something to be said for that and I really enjoy seeing a bartender start pouring a guys beer as soon as he walks in the door before he's even opened his mouth. With that said, if it is "crowded", just sit back, relax, and enjoy your time there - no need to harsh on Bell's for their commitment to locals. If it bugs you that much, simply move to Kalamazoo and start visiting regularly!
The selection is usually pretty quality as I dig a lot of their beers (generally speaking). Two Hearted on-tap is one of my favorites, but they also switch it up from time-to-time with one-off surprises. I enjoyed a small snack during my first visit here and it was quite tasty - reasonably priced and good to pair with a brew. Decent menu from what I recall, but remember...this is a brewery!
My final point is that I really enjoy the fact that they have board games available to people. There is something to be said for losing track of time enamoured in a game of chess with a friend (or complete stranger) enjoying a darn tasty brew. A must stop if you are passing through the area and centrally located within the state of Michigan!
02-14-2012 12:01:44 |
More by spdyfire83
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 3 | $$
Bells Brewery is a beautiful building and a very nice large courtyard/bear garden.
The staff was very friendly and informative. The food was pretty good, your everyday bar food; sanwiches and stuff like that. But who goes to a brewery for the food!?
Its all about the beer here and they have a large selection beers including some cool small batch Bells beers that you wont/can't find anywhere else. Prices are very resonable and they write them all on a very large blackboard in the bar, it's sure to make any Bells fan smile from ear to ear!
I love this place and I plan on going back in the summer!
01-19-2012 04:28:35 |
More by C2H5
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3 | $
I just want to share some love for the hometown brewery… But, of course, it’s not just any brewery—it’s Bell’s, and their reputation is rightly deserved.
Since the last time I visited Bell’s has remodeled, expanded, and begun to offer tours of the original brewhouse (in the back of the Eccentric Café). So, naturally, I had to experience as much as I could!
The tour is small, , especially compared to similar-sized breweries, lasting maybe 30 minutes tops, but it’s impressive—and, dare I say, inspiring—to see the humble beginnings from which Larry Bell started.
The tap selection has grown, possibly doubling in size so there’s always a half-a-dozen or more rarities/brews unique to the Eccentric Café. They will also offer you tasters if you are undecided—or just want a taste of something different in between your pints of Two Hearted. Which brings me to my next point—the waitstaff is great. Knowledgeable and informative and more than friendly too. Their enthusiasm for Bell’s beer is contagious.
They offer a number of vegetarian options and the food is decent, but that’s not the reason why you’re here.
A must-visit. If only to drink fresh Bell’s on tap!
12-28-2011 04:52:01 |
More by elNopalero
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4 | $$
First formal review of Bells, after many many visits over the past 8 years or so.
My most recent visit lead me to actually throw down a formal review, as the Eccentric Party was an absolute blast.
Larry and Laura put out an awesome spread of free food, and provided a fantastic atmosphere the was a real pleasure to be part of. A great variety of some of their vintage beers (batch 6000, vintage Expo, etc) really was a terrific surprise.
The Cafe used to be a small bar area, with a stage, which they brought some truly terrific acts in for. They have recently renovated to add a big banquet area, and a big stage. I have yet to see a show on the new side, but the DJ appeared to be digging the stage...
Always a great time when visiting Bells. If you are in SW MI, take the time to stop by. You won't be disappointed.
12-26-2011 17:23:32 |
More by MarcatGSB
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 3 | selection: 5 | $$
What a great brewpub, based primarily in their selection of wonderful beer. I went the day after thanksgiving, which was a few weeks after all stouts day. I don't know if that influenced their stout selection but I did two paddles of six with my lady, dad, and sister and it was almost entirely stout. The atmosphere is brewpub like. A few tables downstairs, a counter to pick up your food, and a couple bar tenders to take your order. No table service, which honestly was a bummer because the line to order on this particular day was long after our first round. 15+ minutes long. I'd imagine it was due to all the homers being back for the holiday.
When we first walked in, there was no sign telling us to seat our selves and the bartender basically ignored us, and the other couple that walked in ahead of us. We politely asked them what is expected of us and they weren't sure either. A cue from the bar keep would have been nice but he kept on doing what he was doing. I eventually walked to the food counter and someone politely told me to order at the bar and sit anywhere. Done and done. Only other gripe about the service was this same bartender who had ignored us and the other couple when we were standing there dumbfounded also served two other couples before my group. I know you saw me bro, why the obvious diss? This whole process probably took 5 minutes so I considered it alright and once he did engage me, he was actually very polite and efficient.
We were there to taste so we were walked through how that works and then were served our beer on two Michigan paddles, one for the Mitten and one for the UP. Pretty cool. Black note was also on tap so our second round was to polish off a whole glass of that delicious beer. The food looked amazing although we didn't eat.
The atmosphere was great, lots of friendly people, which I would say is partial credit to the good people of Michigan and partially because they built a good bar. When we were in the long line for our second round, my father and I had several conversations with other patrons. Some decent beer knowledge on some folks.
I would certainly go back again. Great beer, great atmosphere, decent service, and what looked like some really great food.
12-03-2011 15:30:12 |
More by robboyd
Bell's Brewery, Inc. in Kalamazoo, MI