Founded in 1983, by Larry Bell, in Kalamazoo, Michigan, Bell’s Brewery has grown remarkably. Bell’s sold its first commercial beer in 1985, selling 135 barrels in 1986, and is now producing over 310,000 barrels of beer a year! That’s amazing! Originally Larry and his staff bottled and delivered all of the orders by themselves, and now Bell’s is available across a 20 state area, in addition to Puerto Rico! In 1993 Bell’s became the first Michigan brewery to open a pub on site. Bell’s also owns a farm where they grow barley for a select number of their specialty beers and they have built a Bio-Energy building where they treat their own process water waste. Also a majority of their beers are VEGAN FRIENDLY! Woohoo!
Despite repeated expansions at the main production facility, they haven’t forgotten their roots and continue to brew at the original Kalamazoo location. They use the same equipment from over 20 years ago and use this space as a home to several specialty projects, including an extensive array of brands typically only available at the Bell’s pub. I suggest a visit if you’re ever out that way!
Amber Ale- I love amber ales, they’re one of my favorite types of beer out there! In my opinion they’re some of the most well balanced beers, and the Bell’s was no exception. It is no surprise that this beer is their flagship, it is simply wonderful! It’s light, toasty, slightly floral, and not very bitter at all. At 5.8% alcohol this beer was clean and went down very easy…maybe too easy. I highly recommend this beer to any beer drinker, especially to someone who is looking to branch out a little bit. It’s available year round which is great if you fall in love with it like I did; this beer has earned a permanent spot in my refrigerator for sure!
Two Hearted Ale- I have to say this beer surprised me. I had heard so many great reviews about it, I didn’t think that it could possibly stand up to all the hype. Well, it did! At first smell, I was expecting this beer to be huge; the nose was quite hoppy and malty, I was expecting a rather bitter IPA. I soon realized that the smell was extremely deceiving. This American Style IPA is very well balanced especially at 7% alcohol. Hints of pine and grapefruit, and a malty body are refreshing and not overly bitter. The Bell’s yeast also gives the beer a lovely fruity aroma. This is a great all around IPA! Available all year round I highly suggest grabbing a 6 pack of this the next time you find yourself at Healthy Living!
Oberon- This is Bell’s Seasonal Summer Wheat beer. Considering how much I loved the other two beers, I was unsure about this one because most wheat beers are a tad too light for my liking. Oberon reminded me of most typical summer ales; a little bit hoppy, fruity, citrusy, and smooth. It was delicious and is perfect for sipping on a hot summer day. It was crisp and clean, and I wouldn’t turn it down if offered to me, but I’m not entirely sure that I would buy it on my own. With that said, if you love summer wheat beers then definitely give this one a go, and form your own opinion. It’s only available in the summer months so grab it while it’s in stock! We’d love to hear what you think of this delicious wheat beer!
Stop into Healthy Living, make your way over to the beer aisle, and check out all of the Bell’s products we carry! Then stop over to Divine Wines and tell what you thought! Cheers!
-Lauren, Divine Wines