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Bell's Brewery, Inc.
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Active Beers: 75
Beer Ratings: 45,636
Beer Avg: 3.9
Taps: 20 / Bottles: 12
Cask: N / Beer-to-Go: Y
$$ - reasonable
[ Brewery, Bar, Eatery ]
355 E. Kalamazoo Ave.
phone: (269) 382-2332
Bell's does not sell growlers of their beer at the Eccentric Café & Beergarden.
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vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | $$
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: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5 | $
A- A bit smaller than I would have guessed. It seemed to be lacking in space. We got there shortly after it opened and snagged a couple bar seats, but when we were leaving there were people lined up to the bar.
Q- The quality was quite nice. There was natural light coming in through stained glass, as well as enough cleanliness to meet my OCD enhanced standards. The washrooms were very clean as well and it almost had a feel like it had just opened.
S- I might be a bit biased as I got bar seats, but I had service which couldn't be complained about in any way. I was the DD, but they still let me try They also gave us room to breathe and weren't pushy.
S- The selection was superb. They had a lot of brews that I'd never heard of before, and I was like a kid in a candy shop. I sampled their sparkling ale in a small shot as well as one of my favorites "The Oracle". I ended up getting a 12oz of their "mild ale" as well which was not lacking despite it's 3.5%. If I had more time I would have tried their wedding ale, and farmhouse brown too.
T- The food was great, and presented very nicely. The only downside being that they replaced fries with chips. More or less a personal irk though. I got a turkey sandwich, and my friend got the pulled pork which looked disgustingly good.
V- The food was a decent value, and the drinks were priced very reasonably. I got my 12oz pour of their mild ale for 2.75, as well as 2 mini shots to try for free. My friend got a 16oz of The Oracle and a 12 oz of the brewpub IPA which I can't recall the name of for around $8.
Great experience. Very recommended.
06-14-2011 16:14:53 |
More by BBP
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4 | $$
We made a trip up to Kalamazoo this weekend just to check out Bells. We found the place with no real problems, although i had anticipated it being poorly marked and it was. Very impressed with the place. Inside it is very spacious and bright with lots of tables available. We had a meal inside (Ostrich for me, black bean burger for my wife, and a burger and fish tacos for the other two with us). Beer selection was fantastic. About 8 on tap (all bells) including Consecrator Dopplebock, 2 hearted, rye stout, bells beer, and winter wheat (which was a buck for any size because they're trying to get rid of it before it goes bad). Can get most beers in any of three sizes. In addition, you can get pretty much any other Bells beer in a bottle from the cooler behind the bar so that extends what you can drink considerably. still had a lot of the wheat series in bottles and expedition and others. After eating we went out to the beer garden which was great because it was nice and sunny. Drank a bunch of those $1 winter wheats and got good and tipsy. Later we hit up the general store and loaded up on the mix and match bottles and a couple of t-shirts. i will go back, despite the long drive.
04-24-2006 18:00:40 |
More by aforbes10
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 3 | $$
We went here around lunch time. The building is kind of cool, and it was nice to just find somewhere to sit. We sat near, but not at the bar, which made getting anything we needed really easy.
The chalkboard of beers was extensive, and the wife and I each started with their farmhouse ales. She had the brown, which she loved, and I had the blonde, which was good.
We then had a sampler tray, pick any 6 beers for 12 dollars. It was honestly a lot more beer than I expected. The rye stout and the fresh two hearted were stand outs.
The food was average, though not bad.
The service was great, and I liked the atmosphere as well. A great place to spend a few hours and enjoy oneself. The shop also had a nice selection of beer and merchandise.
07-14-2011 20:01:20 |
More by ebby82
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5 | $$
I was at the cafe this past Sunday.
A: This is a nice big place that you sometimes don't see in some brewpubs. Had a unique touch to it with old maps and hanging boxes of what seemed like a insect geeks collections on display. It seemed a lot more home driven than most places I have been too.
Q: Everything from the beers to the food that I had or saw was pretty amazing. I couldn't have been happier with the quality of everything that was there.
S: Couldn't have asked for a better bartender. I feel bad because her name I can not remember at all. She was very knowledgeable with her beers and even helped a couple people I was with their beer recomendations.
S: Had almost any Bell's regular offering there along with a couple (4) offerings that you couldn't get anywhere else which was pretty sweet.
F: Everything I saw coming out of there looked and smelled great. Not a deepfried place for sure and I liked that aspect of it. My food that I got was very tasty.
V: Talk about deals. This has to be one of the only places that I have been too in a long while (HopCat is the only exception here) that I didn't feel like I was getting kind of ripped off. I was very impressed with seeing the prices.
Overall it pretty much looks like this Bell's equals one of the best brewpubs in terms of service and quality I have been to in a long time.
06-18-2009 02:27:16 |
More by alleykatking
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | $$
Visited early on a Saturday morning & took the brewery tour. beautiful building/facility. the taproom is a bit on the small side: bar seats maybe a dozen, small selection of tables (10-12) with a crows nest space that allows for additional limited seating. there is an outdoor stage in a well manicured courtyard that provides additional space/seating - a perfect spot for a family picnic. company store has a separate entrance & carries typical swag, reserve bottles, and home brewing supplies. employees (pub, tour, and store) are top notch in their knowledge, passion, and enthusiasm. sampled two hearted, larry's latest lager trial, le pianiste, trumpeter's stout, le contrebassiste, and bear hug. really enjoyed the tour - you don't cover a lot of ground by any means, but the guide was extremely knowledgeable & you get to see the tanks where the small batches are made. also get to see some vintage bottles from back when they reused bottles & did so by hand. awesome, awesome spot: lots of history & kickass beer.
04-07-2013 16:05:16 |
More by craft_shannie
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | $$$
Being in PA, I see Bell's beer everywhere. So, when I went to the Eccentric Cafe I assumed a huge restaurant that has lost that small brew pub atmosphere. I was so wrong!
Bell's has the coolest little Bar Room with some upstairs seeting and some on the bar floor. They play live music on the weekends and have a huge beer garden in the back (it was like 40 degrees so nothing happening but it is probably awesome in the summmer.
The decor on the wall was of some seriously cool tribal type gear. Masks and things of that nature. They all sorts of cool things covering the walls and the bartender told me they rotate those items to keep it "fresh." Those are my words. They also had sweet stained glass windows that looked beautiful with the sun shining through.
The bartender was totally cool and very atrractive (that was a plus in my book). The beer is obviously great. I actually did pay about the same or more for the beer as I did at some local spots so I docked them slightly for that; but their beer rocks, can't wait for hopslam!
I can't say that I ate so I can't help there.
12-02-2009 00:57:42 |
More by cpetrone84
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5 | $$
Located on the edge of downtown Kalamazoo, the building may sneak up on you and parking is a bit of a mess.
The atmosphere is excellent! Decor is interesting, beautiful stained glass, and the new expansion and renovations make for a wonderful facility. The new patio and beer garden are great for soaking in the West Michigan sun as you down your brews! The staff has never been anything but friendly and helpful to me.
Bell's brews are of the highest quality and they've had about 20 on tap each time I've been in recently. 3-5 of those beers are brewed and only available on-tap at the Eccentric Cafe. They have great examples of many styles and many in-between/alt styles to choose from.
The food menu is limited but ever changing. What I've had has been good. The guacamole is delicious and the pretzel rods are a great value!
Bell's does not fill growlers. They don't want a growler of their beer going cross-country and the flat, warm result giving them a bad name. I don't love this, but I get it. Also, the promise of the 750ml series to be available only at the attached Bell's General Store will soon remedy this issue.
In my experience Bell's has always been CASH ONLY... so bring cash or hit the ATM just inside the doors so as not to ruin your day.
06-04-2011 13:39:02 |
More by MikeyRx
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Bell's Brewery, Inc. in Kalamazoo, MI