Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Bell's Inspired Brewing in Kalamazoo, MI

Our third brewcation brewery stop was Bell's in Kalamazoo. Since we have purchased their brew from several of our local stores that carry Bell's six packs we had actually considered not going to this brewery. But after some thought we decided a true brewcation to the Southwest area of Michigan required a visit to Bell's. We were able to check out their General Store, Pub and outdoor patio.

First impression: Where are we going to park?! By this time of the day it was late enough for after work crowds (on a Friday too). We had to circle the block twice to find a parking spot. It was worth the hassle, but it was a hopping place and pretty packed.

Service: The tables were clean and we ordered at the bar. The bartender was knowledgeable and answered our questions about the "Beer Engine" (see more below in beer descriptions)

Food: We did not have any food here. Our original plan had been to eat at the cafe, but since we had made our impromptu stop in Indiana we weren't really hungry. If we ever go back I definitely want to try something because the food that was passed around the nearby tables looked AMAZING!

Prices & Other Notes: 

We spent some time in the General Store which was really neat. They had Bell's gear, home brew supplies and a chilly walk in cooler.

We noticed the use of Greenware cups for the patio and the crowd seemed pretty laid back. Mostly groups of friends meeting to start off the weekend. Some groups did have children with them, many of them sat outside and the kids ran around the patio area. It was very relaxed.

As for the beer:

The bar selection was awesome! So many brews on tap and they even had Two Hearted Ale on the "Beer Engine". Which we thought was fun to try. The beer was less carbonated with accentuated hop flavors. It tasted as if it was straight from the fermenter. It was also served a little warm.

We ordered two specialties beers from the bar and one year-round brew:

Le Contrebassiste Ale (specialty) - a "French Bier de Garde" style ale, it was smooth, nutty and had a rich maple flavor.(7% alcohol by volume)

Wedding Ale (specialty) - mmm! Honey flavor (more so than the orange peel and coriander) but not very sweet. Pretty strong ale at 8% alcohol by volume. 

Oarsman Ale (year round) - A tasty session beer at 4% alcohol by volume it was easy to drink. It is described as palate-cleansing beer which makes it great for drinking with different foods.

Beautiful bar, great location, tasty brews. Definitely recommended. 

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