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Bell's Brewery, Inc.
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Active Beers: 75
Beer Ratings: 47,236
Beer Avg: 3.9
Taps: 20 / Bottles: 12
Cask: N / Beer-to-Go: Y
$$ - reasonable
[ Brewery, Bar, Eatery ]
355 E. Kalamazoo Ave.
phone: (269) 382-2332
Bell's does not sell growlers of their beer at the Eccentric Café & Beergarden.
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4 | $$
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
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3 | $
Stop #1 on my great midwest brewery tour.
Bell's original brewery located in downtown Kalamazoo. It has a small 15 BBL brewing system that they use for pilot batches, a tasting room and restaurant, as well as a store that sells homebrew supplies and Bell's merchandise.
The tasting room and restaurant is in an old brick building with great decor. It's a bit on the small side. They have a chalk board with all their current offerings. They offer most of their beers in 3 sizes and the prices are really cheap, at least compared to what I'm used to paying in California. The food is mostly sandwiches which was pretty good. We got the taster menu which was 5oz pours of 6 different beers for $12. You get to pick whatever 6 you want. We arrived at noon on a Sunday and it was pretty empty. When we left to go on the tour at 1:30 it was starting to fill up. The service was great, the bartender that served us was very friendly and helpful.
We went on a short tour of the original brewhouse. It's pretty small, they just use it for pilot batches now. The production brewery is about 15 miles outside of town. The general store was neat to check out as well.
A highly recommend place to visit. A top notch craft brewery with a great tasting room.
11-30-2011 19:03:58 |
More by willjschmidt
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 4 | $$
I have been to Bell's about 8 times and it has yet to disapoint as far as beer and food.
They always have a great tap list with a few you can only find there as a one off.
I love how often they offer the seasonal beers in the off season of that beer. I recently tried Black Note and Dagger Stout a week after
"All Stouts Day". The staff is helpful, but not overly friendly.
The food is up to par,not great, but worthy of a solid lunch or dinner. They offer a lot of veg meals + meat based meals. Good eclectic mix.
For a while it was cash only, which was a bummer. Now they accept cards, so all good.
11-19-2011 04:03:28 |
More by JDizzle
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 4 | food: 3 | $$
Have been here many times but most recently for All Stouts Day.
I really like the new expansion here. Beautiful wood interior with plenty of space for many. Weather permitting the outdoor seating has room for a hundred or more people. They do not have table service here, so you order food and drinks at the bar. The food menu is not extensive but was decent. The service can be slow at times when they are busy so don't plan on being in a hurry. They keep the place quite clean, which must be a chore for the number of customers they have. Overall a nice place to spend a few hours drinking great Michigan beer.
11-07-2011 18:35:32 |
More by jale
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4 | $
Atmosphere- Really awesome brick building. Really cool decor. Outdoor beer garden, sweet big bar chalkboard. Awesome.
Quality- It doesn't get a whole lot better than bell's beer wise. So this is up there.
Service- It was so busy the whole time I was there, they could double in size and still barely keep up.
Selection- Not trying to be a debbie downer. But they only had a couple of non bottled brews on hand. That was a bit of a disappointment. But it still is bell's brewery so who's complaining.
Food- Sandwich type stuff. Had an amazing sandwich which was decently but maybe slightly overpriced.
Value- Beer is pretty cheap, food maybe a little high. But overall a great place. I will be going back.
10-28-2011 01:06:56 |
More by tykees88
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3.5 | $$
Bell's has a great atmosphere, emphasizing an old beer-hall feel, while adding modern touches via excellent music and plenty of space. The beers on tap have consistently far exceeded their bottle quality. Being from Kalamazoo, I can't stress enough that grabbing a Bell's beer at Bell's is an excellent experience. The food prices are a little high and it's usually busy, but this is Bell's. The most recent time I was at Bell's I tried Third Coast Beer. I was skeptical because I think Third Coast Beer is mediocre from a bottle, but the beer I had on tap was nothing short of outstanding. Just goes to show what a great tap-room can do for even modest beers.
10-20-2011 00:51:28 |
More by Ehrnstrom
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | $$
I've been here 3 or 4 times now. I always look forward to coming to this place. It has a nice atmosphere and everyone is friendly here. They only have their own beers on tap. They have a pretty large selection to choose from though. The bartenders do a good job here at keeping your glass full. I didn't eat the food here, but I was givin a free cup of cashews to munch on while I was drinking. The outside seating section is a great place to hang out when its nice outside. I also love that they have a store next door were you can buy beer, shirts, and other things. This is a must if you go to Michigan for a brewery tour.
10-09-2011 19:02:15 |
More by Labonix
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | $
Went here with Kzoobrew while in Kalamazoo.
We actually went here twice last Friday, and both times the atmosphere was hopping. The quality was great (the brewpub was recently redone/expanded). Thus, the quality was quite nice. The service was also very good – it helped that Kevin knew most of the people there! The selection was extensive, and I was able to try a new Bell beer for me, the Quinannan Falls Lager (very good). I didn’t try the food, but overall the experience was quite nice and the beers cheap. Will stop here in the future.
10-09-2011 00:44:05 |
More by SpdKilz
vibe: 2 | quality: 3.5 | service: 2 | selection: 3 | food: 2 | $$
i had already been a bell's drinker for over a decade before i stepped foot into the cafe a few months ago.
we arrived at dinner time ready to eat and immediately forked over a sizable cover for a band outside that we never had any intention of seeing. our bartender was rude with absolutely no explanation whatsoever-- we were all familiar with the beers but had a question about size and were treated like we were martians.
with no seats available in or outside except for the extremely stuffy attic, we camped out upstairs alone, downed two delicious beers and left.
my entire group was comprised of big bell's fans from across the state and we were all sorely disappointed. the night was saved when we ended up at old peninsula for awesome food and drink a few minutes later thanks to a quick phone call with a friend and western alumni. save yourself the trouble and pick up a six pack instead-- they're really cheap locally.
09-14-2011 13:11:11 |
More by funkyaudio
Bell's Brewery, Inc. in Kalamazoo, MI