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Bell's Brewery, Inc.
Active Beers: 96
Beer Ratings: 53,816
Beer Avg: 3.86
Taps: 20 / Bottles: 12
Cask: N / Beer-to-Go: Y
$$ - reasonable
[ Brewery, Bar, Eatery ]
355 E. Kalamazoo Ave.
phone: (269) 382-2332
Bell's does not sell growlers of their beer at the Eccentric Café & Beergarden.
(Place added by: BeerAdvocate)
Ratings & Reviews
| Reviews: 172 | Show All Ratings:
vibe: 3 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | $$
Swung through here this past weekend visiting the GF's family up in Grand Rapids. I'm actually pretty sure she brought me here because of that, as some kind of reward!
The Eccentric Cafe is a pretty wide open space, with plenty of random shit on the walls to stay true to its name. This being an early Saturday afternoon, there were a surprising number of people in the place, most just kicking back and having a drink. I actually think there could have been a few more tables, because there was a lot of wide-open floor space, and it took some minuted before we were able to sit after someone left their table. Didn't do the food, but the beer selection was pretty nice; Bell's has quite a variety of stuff on tap, so they had most tastes covered. Pints were fairly reasonable, from 2.50 for some of the lighter brews to 5.50 for Hopslam (which I was sadly disappointed by; guess I'd read too much hype...). All in all a decent place with good beer to kick back on a Saturday afternoon.
03-03-2009 04:34:24 |
More by Rchap1
vibe: 2 | quality: 3 | service: 2 | selection: 4 | food: 4 | $
A - Not enough tables, and none of the furniture or anything is nice. There is an empty stage and just a lot of dead space here. Bar area seems standard enough.
Q - Beer was decent craft beer, food was pretty good.
S - The service was pretty bad. Not enough people to take orders, could only get food/beer at the bar, which lead to long lines and and congestion as the bartenders were not plentiful enough. They didn't take credit cards, so having to cash out every order just made things even slower.
S - Solid selection of their offerings as well as a couple guest brews.
V - $12 bucks for a 6 pour flight was great value. Had a special on the Winter Wit for $2, which is a steal (although not a beer I drink). Prices were good and food was not badly priced either.
03-28-2011 17:44:59 |
More by AgentZero
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: 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: 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: 4.5 | 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: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5
Well, I've lived in Kalamazoo nearly all my life, and this weekend was the first time I've had the chance to experience the legendary Eccentric Cafe and Beergarden. If it wasn't for the sound of live music emanating from the establishment, and massive amounts of cars parked around, I would think that KBC was nothing more than an old abandoned warehouse. Upon walking into the building, (and paying the $3 cover charge) you are instantly subjected the very !Eccentric! decor that adorns the walls of this fine brewery. Very unique and 70's hippie-ish. Of course; I was more interested in the beer selection than admiring the building(can you blame me?). Their brews are written on chalk boards. Without much thought, I immediately went for the Expedition Stout. It's out of season, so no draft for me. The friendly bartender asked if I would be going to the Beergarden to enjoy my treat. Well, I had planned on it, but wondered why she would be asking. She proceded to tell me that I would have to use a plastic cup if I would be going outside(understandable yet disappointing). I bowed my head in shame and agreed to do so. It was quite dark when I stepped out through the back door on my way to the Beergarden, so I fear that I didn't get the full effect. I could make out a couple of picnic tables on my way through the ivy-covered lattice archway to the stage. Beautifuly constructed stage with what resembled a copper forged Oberon logo. I only wish that the band had been talented enough to make me want to stay for a second round. Blah! Sometime this week during the daytime, I plan to visit the Beergarden once more, and also make a trip to the "General Store", which sells Bell's beer, merchandise, and homebrewing supplies(?). Overall, I was genuinely impressed with Kalamazoo Brewing Company.
07-13-2004 03:23:13 |
More by noclue
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | $$
Stop #2 of 6 on our I-94 brewery tour. Showed up to the Eccentric Cafe with a group of 11. Beautiful Saturday afternoon. Awesome atmosphere, the bar is decorated with African masks and Michigan paraphernalia. Walked right up to the bar and tried to order a flight, but all the glasses were out at the time so I settled on my favorite beer, Two Hearted Ale. I wasn't let down. Also tried the Poolside cherry wheat and Amber.
We headed outside and discovered one of the nicest beer gardens I have ever seen. Lots of tables, some shaded by hop trellises. They have a huge grass area for laying out and relaxing. There was a fairly large stage at the far end, but we left before the entertainment had set up (Pink Floyd tribute band).
Wish I could have spent more time. The food looked great, but didn't try any. If you're in Kalamazoo, this is a must stop.
08-22-2008 17:32:41 |
More by dlauver
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3 | selection: 4 | $$
It had been a few years since I've been in here and it was nice to be back. The selection of beers on tap was decent, they even had a few of their 'experimental' beers on tap which was a nice suprise. The Kal-Haven was one of those beers and I have to say, it was one of my favorites. We went on a cold and rainy Wednesday afternoon, it wasn't packed by any stretch, but it was full and the outside area was pretty sparse also. For the money, it was a great visit, around $4 for any drink, had the following 11 beers on tap (had never heard of a few of them). Oberon, Poolside, Oarsman, Golden Rye, Debs Red, Kal-Haven, Kalamazoo stout, Oatmeal stout, hell hath no fury and Third Coast. A great place to visit with some great beers!
07-06-2009 16:57:35 |
More by Azumel
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5 | $$
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
Bell's Brewery, Inc. in Kalamazoo, MI
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