Log in or Sign up
Extreme Beer Fest
returns to Boston on March 21 & 22, 2014.
Tickets are on sale now
BeerAdvocate mobile beta: Testers Wanted
. Give it a try and let us know what you think.
Android or Google Chrome user? Get a
14 day free trial to BeerAdvocate magazine on Google Play Newsstand
today! (AU, CA, UK, US only).
Extreme Beer Fest
Google Play Newsstand
Bell's Brewery, Inc.
Active Beers: 96
Beer Ratings: 53,915
Beer Avg: 3.86
Taps: 20 / Bottles: 12
Cask: N / Beer-to-Go: Y
$$ - reasonable
[ Brewery, Bar, Eatery ]
355 E. Kalamazoo Ave.
phone: (269) 382-2332
Bell's does not sell growlers of their beer at the Eccentric Café & Beergarden.
(Place added by: BeerAdvocate)
Ratings & Reviews
| Reviews: 172 | Show All Ratings:
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 4
My friends and I went to Kalamazoo solely for the purpose of going to the Eccentric Cafe & Beergarden, and was it a treat! It was hard to find at first, we were in the right area, there is just no sign for the entrance to the bar. I was suprised by the size the of the bar as i walked in, very high sealings, nice furnished wood flooring. I was a little skeptical of the beer selection they were going to be offering, since most of the reveiws on BA i read before i left for the trip mentioned only having 5 to 7 beers on tap. Fortunately the reviews were wrong, there were 11 beers on tap, It was a great selection, barley wine, stout, double IPA, Two-Hearted Ale. We ordered some food and ate inside, nice music was playing, and the food was not bad. The best part of it was the beergarden, the outside was really nice, luckly the weather was great too. Lots of picnic tables, well groomed shrubs green grass, it was great! My advice is that if you are in the Kalamazoo area go the Bells Eccentric Cafe!
07-04-2004 20:31:31 |
More by seanthornton152
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | $$
Bell's Eccentric Cafe was a very fun stop after a long drive through Chicago (from Minnesota) to stop for the night. The building is brick, and not overly furnished. Some nice beer pieces on the wall, but almost has the feel of a buddy's decorated basement, comfortable and easy to drink all night in. Except, it isn't air conditioned, and even w/ many of the people outside listening to the band, it was very hot in spite of being 8:00 at night when I arrived. A visit in other than summer might be better, but the beer is well worth the sweat.
Being from Minnesota, I get the standard Bell's beers, but think I'm missing out on many others. I started with a Belgian Dubbel--Hell Hath No Fury, a high alcohol malty Belgian that went straight to my head. Very good. Followed that w/ Two Hearted from the Firkin, which was also excellent, and a fine treat to have Bell's on cask. Finished the tasting with barleywine, simply known as Old Ale. Again, a high alcohol but extremely smooth beer that I sipped for a long time.
Staff was extremely helpful, and really knew how to handle and pour a beer--the kind of love of presentation that makes drinking feel like an event. Food looked good. You order at a window, and get it yourself. Many people were eating, but I was a bit late and kitchen had just closed.
If you can conjure up an excuse to drive through Kalamazoo for any reason, stop and hit Bell's.
07-27-2006 03:49:54 |
More by FightingEntropy
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | $$
I visited Bell's Eccentric Cafe late in my journey home. It was the third brewery of my trip but the one I was most looking for ward to. The guy checking IDs at the door was friendly and explained to me that the swag shop was closed and the bar was open. So I went to the bar.
The beer selection was quite large, lots of flavors to try. The sampler is done where you pick your beers from the menu and they give you a paddle with your beers in the appropriate slots. I had to go for the lower ABV choices because I was driving again and even then I only finished half of each sample. All the samples were to style and delicious.
The kitchen was closed which I found unfortunate.
10-24-2012 02:32:43 |
More by RobWilson
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 3.5 | $$
Bells eccentric cafe is an amazing atmosphere with q top notch selection of beers (duh) ... Pretty much the only reason i wished i still lived in Kalamazoo. Pre expansion the cafe was far too packed any evening or weekend for my tast but with the new expansion the place is perfect! During the summer there is an amazing beer garden that's fun to hang out in. The original cafe has an amazing charm and the food (at least the old food) was very tasty. Overall a must stop for any beer lover in the area
01-18-2011 03:05:28 |
More by Urbancaver
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: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5 | $
Visited here last month with the same friend I mentioned in my New Holland review. I *love* this place. The atmosphere just about couldn't be better for a brewpub... spacious, open bar area inside and a huge biergarten outside. The food was interesting; sandwiches and burgers with some oddball choices. I got an ostrich burger which was quite tasty. They keep about 15 beers on tap at a time, and they have many more of their beers handy in the bottle. They don't have a sampler as an option, but the bartender there said I could have free tasters of anything I wanted. In addition to a couple of those, I had a Wedding Ale and a Rye Stout, both of which were excellent on tap. The Bell's Store across the way has just about every beer of theirs that hasn't been retired ready for purchase. They said they were looking into further distribution and may be heading into Georgia soon; I cannot wait for this if it's true. This was a fantastic beer experience, and a must stop for anyone in the Kalamazoo area.
07-18-2006 15:50:32 |
More by se7enchurches
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | $
Stopped by the Eccentric Cafe on my way home from the Michigan Summer Beer Festival. Being a long time lover of Bell's brews I was excited to finally get out here. The outside of the building is sorta like a colorful warehouse with a tower in the middle featuring a big American flag. Signage is a little unassuming and it took us a bit to figure out where to park and enter. Once inside you walk into a big room with the bar staring you in the face and a loft area overhead. The fishtank catches your eye right off the bat with some really big, cool fish swimming around. Interesting artifacts can be found all over the walls, along with some wonderful stained glass work on the wall to the left of the bar. Quite eccentric indeed!!
Our bartender greeted us as soon as we sat down at the bar. I looked up at the chalkboard and marvelled at the selection of 12, yes 12, fresh Bell's brews on tap. From the Pale Ale to Two Hearted to Hell Hath No Fury to Bell's Beer to the Porter and on and on. 12oz pours ranged from $1.75 to at most $3.50...cheap! They also had cellar temperature bottles of Batch 7000, Cherry Stout, Expedition and Third Coast Old Ale. Basically, any Bell's beer you could want to drink at that moment was available. Bartender was very nice and chatted us up about the Michigan fest and beer in general. Our glasses were always kept full as soon as they were empty.
If you go outside to the big, lovely beer garden, you'll be forced to use a plastic cup. But really, this is a small inconvience in the grand scheme of keeping broken glass off the ground. I like the 3 tiered pricing that let's you choose between 12oz glass, 16oz plastic and 24oz glass. I enjoyed the Bell's Beer and then moved onto some wonderfully fresh Two Hearted. We didn't try the food at all, but that just gives me a reason to make a trip back to the Eccentric Cafe before too long. If you love Bell's beer then you must venture out here. Good music on the stereo, cool people, laid back ambiance and some of the best fresh brew you can get. Overall I had a great time here.
07-26-2006 03:29:01 |
More by orbitalr0x
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | $$
This was a favorite college hangout. Great atmosphere in which to enjoy Bell's quality brews. A dark, woodsy type of place that reminds me of an old church with the stain glass windows. Nothing fancy, just a lowkey place where you can enjoy beer and converse, or do as I did and study in the loft with a two-hearted ale. They have an eclectic variety of music most nights of the week. Sometimes good, sometimes not so good but always interesting. Also, great beer garden for enjoying Oberon on a muggy, summer afternoon in Michigan.
09-23-2006 18:39:55 |
More by thanatos2948
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4 | $$
I haven't been here in a while, and had not yet seen the new additions to the cafe. Wow! Even nicer than before. When they spend money on the facility, they go first class and it shows. And they finally redid the bathrooms.
Bell's quality is what you would expect from an operation this big: Consistent and good. The service is always friendly, helpful and timed just right. The selection this time seemed a bit more extensive than I remember...good. I always try to get stuff I can't buy in the bottle elsewhere, and the smaller glasses help try a bunch of different beers efficiently. This time around I had a nicely balanced Mild (with that characteristic Bell's yeast), an oddly hopped pale called All Fours, a sort-of-spiced French "farmhouse brown", the Oarsman is nicely sour too. The sandwiches and other food are excellent too.
My only complaint is one of geography: I usually stop here on the way home after visiting Grand Rapids and all of its beer-y goodness. Therefore, I unfortunately give Bell's short shrift due to a little sluggishness. I MUST rethink that strategy from now on.
06-06-2011 00:02:35 |
More by BertSugar
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5 | $$
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
Bell's Brewery, Inc. in Kalamazoo, MI
Your name or email address:
Do you already have an account?
No, create an account now.
Yes, my password is:
Forgot your password?
Stay logged in
Top 250 Beers
Change of Address