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Bell's Brewery, Inc.
Active Beers: 96
Beer Ratings: 53,960
Beer Avg: 3.86
Taps: 20 / Bottles: 12
Cask: N / Beer-to-Go: Y
$$ - reasonable
[ Brewery, Bar, Eatery ]
355 E. Kalamazoo Ave.
phone: (269) 382-2332
Bell's does not sell growlers of their beer at the Eccentric Café & Beergarden.
(Place added by: BeerAdvocate)
Ratings & Reviews
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| Reviews: 172 | Show All Ratings:
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.5 | $$
Bells is one of the best breweries I have ever been to. From the quality of their beers to the overall atmosphere of the building, everything is pretty much perfect. Really enjoy the beer garden in summer along with some of the special events like Eccentric Day.
10-19-2013 20:45:15 |
More by robriley
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5 | $$
I did a quick MI brewery tour on my way to Founders KBS Day, and we stopped at Bell's third.
The Atmosphere is really nice. They have a small, quaint Eccentric Cafe that seats a decent amount of people downstairs, and they also have a small upstairs area as well with extra tables. That's the best place to look when it's crowded because it seems like not everyone knows to check up there. The place was jammed when we got there around 5 on a Friday night, but we found a table upstairs.
The Quality is great. They make top-notch beers and serve really good food.
The Service was good. You have to go up and get everything yourself, but they have multiple people taking beer orders, and they have a separate line for food. It can get really crowded, but they crank through the line at a good pace.
The Selection is fantastic. They had over 20 of their beers available on tap, and they offer up some draft-only versions as well. They still had Hopslam on tap, and the 2nd time I visited they were pouring The Wild One.
The Food was delicious. I had an absolutely amazing grilled cheese sandwich, and everyone thoroughly enjoyed what they ordered. I liked their menu and would go back multiple times to try different things.
Bell's is one of the best brewpubs I've been to thanks mainly to the selection of beer and great food. I highly recommend it.
09-24-2013 15:06:49 |
More by smartassboiler
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.75 | food: 3.75 | $$
They had quite a selection of beers on tap with a decent amount of brewpub-only beers. Most of them were good. The place seems kind of small, but apparently there's a second bar in the back that wasn't open the day I visited. The food was pretty good, but nothing amazing. The staff was good and extremely helpful. They tried to help me and my friend pick out some beers that we would like based on our favorite styles and did a pretty good job. They also helped us locate a decent bottle shop and then find the quickest path to the freeway from there so we could continue our journey to Grand Rapids.
09-16-2013 20:44:28 |
More by ari32
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4 | $$
Visited the brewery and general store and went on the tour and it is a must! The staff was very friendly and knowledgeable(big shock there right :) And the one offs in the tap room could have kept me there all day if we didn't have plans later that day in Grand Rapids. Had the Wild one for the first time and it was the highlight of the trip for me beer-wise. Loved it!
09-01-2013 18:30:02 |
More by MSandahl23
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.25 | selection: 4.25 | food: 3.75 | $$
*From my Yelp profile*
I was torn between a four and a five for the Eccentric Cafe. Eh... I guess take this as a 4.75/5, if that shit matters at all.
I got here at about noon or so on a Friday (July 5th to be exact) and I still had to wait about 10-15 minutes in line. Considering it was lunch time, I'm actually kind of surprised I didn't have to wait longer. Got to the front of the line (which is at the bar, oddly enough), ordered a paddle, and the reuben sandwich. I was given one of those -- for the lack of a better word -- vibrators, and sat down at an open table with my beer. All six that I had sampled were average or better. My personal favorite was the Quinannan Falls Lager... holy hell that stuff is great. I know. "Lager". Just trust me, it's fantastic.
To my surprise, the Eccentric Cafe is *somewhat* small... there are probably a few less than two dozen tables. For those that want to, there's the option to sit outside. Well, during Spring until maybe Fall... who the hell would want to sit in the snow and drink.
Alright, okay, the reuben. The price of the sandwich escapes me, but it was between $8-$10... which turned out to be a super fair price. There was about an inch of meat on the sandwich, which is A-OK with me. The sandwich also came with some really tasty chips... I'm not sure if they make them at the cafe, or if they're store bought, but the seasoning on it was pre' good. I also had a taste of the sausage from the jambalaya and thought that was well above average. I should also add that the $10 (?) jambalaya comes in a pretty big bowl. Just sayin'.
Bell's Eccentric Cafe is a great place. I had the option of going here or to Arcadia in Battle Creek on my way to Chicago... is there really a comparison (as far as beer is concerned)? No. No there isn't.
I only have one minor gripe with the Eccentric Cafe, if you can really call it that. Is there no waitressing? The way this place is run is somewhat unusual to me. Order drinks *and* food at the bar. Get your drink(s). Wait awhile. Get buzzed in for your food. Pick up your food... nobody comes to your table. If you want a refill, you have to go up and get one yourself. Oh yeah, and that wait can take quite a little while.
Despite that, this is a must visit for a beer fan. I came here with a couple other people that have zero interest in craft beer (SHAME ON THEM!), but they really liked their food as well. I'd definitely come back if I'm in Kalamazoo again.
08-29-2013 00:16:06 |
More by Alextricity
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.75 | service: 3.75 | selection: 4.75 | $$
This is my second visit to Bell's General Store and Eccentric Cafe. This time proved to be far more entertaining, merely based on better weather, timing, and people (last time was a bit dull). Getting here isn't too bad and it's "near" the interstates in downtown Kalamazoo. Parking can be found next to the door, but just in case there is also a large parking lot less than a block away.
There are 5 main areas to Bell's: the Foyer, the Patio, the Garden, the Back Room, and the Cafe. While I spent some time in each minus the back room, I'll focus a bit more on the cafe. The Cafe (the main bar) is eccentric indeed with lots of different posters, beer adds of old, maps, random objects, and a lot of African masks. Tile flooring, aged brick walls, wooden ceiling, and wooden accents all around. Plenty of seating downstairs, as well as in the loft above. There are 6 bar stools with a nice wooden bar as the center piece. Lighting is a bit boring, but there are some very pretty stained glass windows at the far side of the room. It can be slightly loud inside, just so you know. There is also the general store (merch) around the corner (but you can't take a beer there to peruse).
Tonight there are 21 beers on tap, with all the classics, as well as some awesome seasonals/rarities (Oracle, Wild One, Exp Hop series). Bell's is a classic overall in my book, and creates a very solid, quality beer, nearly regardless of style. Personal favorites of mine are Two Hearted, Hopslam, Oracle, Porter, and Kalamazoo Stout.
Overall, I like this place a lot more than the first time. I can say I'm not a huge fan of the Cafe atmosphere, but I usually like a brewery that stands out as original and Bell's certainly does. The patio and garden areas are really nice, peaceful, and relaxing so if the weather permits I'd drink there after seeing the Cafe. Seeings how I think Bell's is a classic in beer, you should absolutely visit if near by, at least once - it's worth the experience.
08-21-2013 23:48:00 |
More by qcbrewer
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5 | $$
I was lucky enough to visit Founders and Bell's on my way home from a family vacation. Didn't think Founders could be topped, then we pulled into Kalamazoo! I was a bit biased going in, because Bell's is my overall favorite beer. The taproom is eclectic with a huge offering of regular Bell beers and special taproom-only offerings. My wife loved her Wedding Ale and Raspberry Ale while I had to get a Two Hearted. I also wanted to try something I could only try at Bell's, so I went with a Larry's Latest Pale. It was awesome! Just wish I could have taken some home! The food was great (Spinach dip and Buffalo Chicken dip - with awesome pitas) and the beer garden provided a place for our children to stretch their legs. I had this place built up in my mind, and it didn't disappoint.
08-04-2013 20:16:49 |
More by henrichsj
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.75 | selection: 4.75 | food: 3.25 | $$
Really cool atmosphere, but it feels a bit cluttered - they have several rooms, but it feels tight in spots; outdoors is cool, but it's not serviced at all; etc. The service was fine, but I was there on a Tuesday evening and the place was packed, so I feel bad for the servers but they were under a ton of pressure. It's strange that they didn't have servers at the actual tables for such an incredibly busy place - just 3 bartenders taking drink and food orders. The selection was amazing. At least 21 beers on tap - several staples, all the seasonal offerings, and about 12 unique/one-off beers. Just incredible. The food menu is tiny, and I got the pretzels. They were pricey for not being fresh - just crunchy pretzels from a bag mostly, and the dips were good but not fresh made. Price was right for all beers, I got a flight for a good deal.
07-23-2013 00:15:43 |
More by Lunny777
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5 | $
Atmosphere: awesome places, very eccentric as expected by the name. nice laid back feeling. love the beer garden and outdoor area. haven't ever seen it to busy.
Quality: the quality of the beers they bottle is hard to beat. add that to the even higher quality experimentals and pub exclusives and its unbeatable
Service: it is go up to the bar service but i have never had a problem. when there is a long line you can usually catch a server at the side and skip the line
selection: all beer are quality. i could go here every night and order 2 or 3 and never get sick of what they have on tap. they really but some good stuff up there
food: simple but delicious. i have had the jambalya and pulled pork sandwiches. both were great
Overall: Bell's is easy one of my favorite places to drink. and possibly my favorite. I wouldn't change a single thing about the place
07-19-2013 00:04:24 |
More by SportsandJorts
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4 | $$
Stopped in here last weekend while I was in town for the Michigan Mile. Figured it was a ten hour trip, might as well drive another twenty minutes and check out one of my longtime most wanted places.
Atmosphere is a little chaotic but in a sorta good way. People are all over the place drinking, eating and just hanging out. We must have hit the jackpot as we got a parking spot right out front, got served at the bar with no wait, and got a nice table just a few feet away all in the span of five minutes. Lots of cool stuff hanging on the walls from all over the world, its just a really cool place to have a beer. Service was good. It was a little hard to get their attention but once I got it I had no problems. Quality was pretty high all things considered. The beers are top notch and the food was solid.
Selection was pretty large. I tried about 7-8 of them and they were all at least solid. The Larry's Latest DIPA I tried was incredible. We got an order of chips and some buffalo dip, both were excellent. My only knock on the food is that the menu seemed a little small but it was more than enough for a snack or two. Everything was priced pretty well. Beers were a touch high but I was expecting them to be that way since most of them weren't your everyday Bell's beers.
Overall I am glad I made the side trip over here. It is exactly what I expected and more. I look forward to returning in the future and spending a bit more time, hopefully out on the deck.
07-12-2013 04:13:42 |
More by orangesol
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Bell's Brewery, Inc. in Kalamazoo, MI
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