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Bell's Brewery, Inc.

Not Rated.
Bell's Brewery, Inc.Bell's Brewery, Inc.
BEER AVG
3.82/5
Based on:
114 Beers
84,982 Ratings
Place Score: 97
Ratings: 620
Reviews: 207
rAvg: 4.35
pDev: n/a
Taps: 20
Bottles: 12
Cask: N
Beer-to-Go: Y
[ Brewery, Bar, Eatery ]

355 E. Kalamazoo Ave.
Kalamazoo, Michigan, 49007-3807
United States
phone: (269) 382-2332

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap @bellsbrewery

Notes:
Place added by: BeerAdvocate

Bell's does not sell growlers of their beer at the Eccentric Café & Beergarden.

Bell's does sell growlers at their General Store.
Place: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 620 | Reviews: 207
Reviews by mynie:
Photo of mynie
4/5  rDev -8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

The cafe isn't all that eccentric. Like, maybe in the mid 90s it might have been a little kooky--maybe just a skoosh bizarre or a wee bit off--but now, in this rotten year of our lord 2012, this place is downright normal. A little like a hunting lodge, yes. And filled with some interesting vintage prints and old things made of wood, but still pretty normal. The vibe, thankfully, is very adult. Its unique, but entirely unhip, unpretentious, and therefore quite easy for a late-twentysomething fellow like myself to stomach.

Everything was quite reasonably priced. They only offered a small handful of beers that you couldn't get out of state, which was a little disappointing, but their offerings were expansive and uniformly solid (you don't need me to describe Bell's beers to you, do you?). No growlers, but since there's little here you can't get in a sixer that's really not much of a problem.

Outside featured a big wooden deck that functioned as a charmless, but highly functional, beer garden. Unfortunately they don't allow glass outside, so if you want to enjoy the sun you'll have to take your Hopslam in a plastic cup. The gigantic homebrew/beer/schwag store is pretty nice.

Uhh, what else... The food was good. And also probably the most eccentric part of the place (although it wasn't really *that* eccentric). They had TONS of vegetarian options, which I consider a big plus, and most of the dishes had some quirk about them. I ordered the grilled cheese and it came with jalapenos and pineapples and was really tasty.

The bar was staffed with enough people so there was practically no line, and everyone in the place just seemed in a really good mood. Still, I don't know if this is really a must-see kind of place. Bell's has been around so long and as seen so much success that pretty much every American beer person is already familiar with their beers and their ethos, so going in an experiencing the place won't clue you in to anything new. It's still a nice place to stop, though.

More User Reviews:
Photo of bassfishingguy
4.69/5  rDev +7.8%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

We decided to make a day trip to Bell's being that we've never been here and live about 40min NE. We really like atmosphere of the place and the number of offerings. The food was pretty good as well. We split the brisket sandwich and the 'crack' appetizer.

I was a little bummed that Expedition wasn't on tap anymore as I really like it, but they had plenty of other solid choices that I hadn't previously had. We will definitely be back.

Photo of core42
4.58/5  rDev +5.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 3.75

Food is really good but not a lot of options right now. They are expanding to include a new, full kitchen area which will change my food rating.
They always have tons of beer options including a lot of brewery only selections

Photo of Jeffrey84
3.85/5  rDev -11.5%
vibe: 2 | quality: 4.25 | service: 3.75 | selection: 4.25 | food: 3.75

The brewery was under construction when I went. Really killed the vibe and overall experience.

Photo of Tarabeth
4.83/5  rDev +11%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

Always a nice place to go hang out and see live music, especially in the summertime.

Photo of Suds_Suds
4.5/5  rDev +3.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

Great selection of beers; had fresh Hopslam on tap. The bartenders were super friendly and the food selection was great. Very vegetarian friendly and much better than regular bar food.

Photo of aboyd87
5/5  rDev +14.9%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

The staple brewery of Michigan. Any beer you drink from Bell's is consistent quality and enjoyable.

Photo of jasonpeckins32
4.35/5  rDev 0%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.5

Nearly as good of a music venue as it is a brewery. A nice facility is split in 2 sides, one for dinner and great beer, and the other for great beer and good tunes. Good selection of their beers available. Its one of the go-to stops if you're ever in Kalamazoo.

Photo of chinchill
4.36/5  rDev +0.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

What a great place! It has a large selection and variety of quality beers (very large for a single source repertoire), a variety of spaces for customers, and loads of friendly beer aficionados. In addition, there's a performance venue under the same roof with a secondary, smaller bar. Unfortunately, I didn't get to the store just across the parking lot since it closed much earlier.

Photo of Longhorn2750
4.01/5  rDev -7.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.25 | service: 3 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4

This was my second trip to Bells, as always a great selection on tap. The food was much improved from my previous visit. As always there were some brews that were very impressive and others I did not care for. The double cream stout was by far the stand out of my most recent visit and the cherry stout was a big let down. Bells is a great stop just off I-94 on my way from Texas to Detroit.

Photo of Slick50
2.39/5  rDev -45.1%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3 | service: 1.5 | selection: 2.75 | food: 1.25

First trip there for Black Note was a cluster. I'm used to "shit shows" but it was stupid. Drove there, stood in the cold. Was like #10. Two case max. Got in, one case max. Pissed, I took it and left. Found out three hours later (after the 4hour drive) they made a mistake and it was back to 2 cases about 30 minutes after I left. And the lack of food is relative to my rating. Sorry to say it but it is what it is.

Photo of docoman
3.6/5  rDev -17.2%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 4 | service: 2.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Overall not as I had hoped for their taproom. It is pretty much self serve and seating is just come as you go and layout not so great with the up stairs too far from bar area to order beer and food. Beer selection of course is really good and food was good.

Photo of almostjay
4.5/5  rDev +3.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

Lives up to the hype. Not pretentious at all. Obviously great beer. Really good pub style food. Big, open, and inviting. One of the best breweries in the country. Love it.

Photo of ILuvBeer
4.25/5  rDev -2.3%

Excellent Brewery

Photo of HunterSBeerson
5/5  rDev +14.9%

This brewery really puts out some world class beers.

Photo of AlexM
4.75/5  rDev +9.2%

Visited Bell's Eccentric Cafe in Kalamazoo ... not much to gripe about here ... cool vibe, great beers (really appreciate the tasting flights), great brew-pub only beers, neat decor, chill vibe, etc ... really a must visit if you are in the area.

Photo of PPIV
5/5  rDev +14.9%

I cut my teeth here in the mid 90's. After working for the Grand Rapids Brewing Co I fell in love with the micro brews. Luckily I knew some people that worked in the Eccentric Cafe and I got beers quicker than the unlucky bastards that had to seemingly wait in line for a refill. The ambiance of the cafe has changed a lot over the years. No more fish tank or ping pong. The beer remains fresh and as awesome as the first time I had it though! I reach for Bell's beer first, out of any in a cooler full of exciting micros.

Photo of indianabeerman
4.75/5  rDev +9.2%

great beers always on tap. 4 or 5 1 offs on tap, great food and the service always top notch

Photo of bouldercellar
5/5  rDev +14.9%

Always producing top notch beers and crushing the competition!

Photo of brockg
5/5  rDev +14.9%

Amazing for good local brews and music...go k-zoo

Photo of stouts4me
4.25/5  rDev -2.3%

I like this place, everyone will tell you to make a visit. Great beer, atmosphere, food. The General Store is awesome after your time in the bar. Too many beers that are on the great beer list for me to name, look 'me up yourself, just don't miss this place on your beer Mecca.

Photo of JefferyLaGrow
4.5/5  rDev +3.4%

Consistently has great beers on tap for all to try...

Photo of cb500rider
3.86/5  rDev -11.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4

The Gastro Pub at the original site of Bell's Brewery is a great little place. Raw stonework inside, beer garden out back. They also have concerts and a swag shop. They have a great selection of Bell's beers, including many that are not commercially available. Sadly, the kitchen had closed by the time I got there, so I was not able to eat anything. More room for beer!!!

Photo of Mothergoose03
4.33/5  rDev -0.5%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.75 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.25

The vibe in this brewpub is near perfect in my mind. The only thing that I don't like is the cramped area and typical line-up for ordering your food and beer at the bar. But that's a minor issue since everything else is outstanding. The beer list always has a bunch of the standard menu year-round beers, and a bunch of seasonals, specialty and experimental beers. And there is never a brewing flaw to be found. The food menu is not lengthy, but there are enough choices to satisfy most people, especially if pub food with an upward twist is okay with you. This pub is a must-visit for any craft beer lover.

Photo of Jackofallbrews
3.93/5  rDev -9.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.75 | selection: 4

This is for Bells Eccentric Cafe in Kalamazoo. If you haven't tried some Bells beers you might just be a hermit living in a cave. The café itself is a small tasting room with loads of old beer signs, posters, and tribal art on the walls. The small bar serves up many Bells favorites like Two Hearted (way better fresh on tap here than when it gets to MN in the bottle). They also have several pub only smaller experimental batches on tap. Sj and I ordered two samplers and shared so we could try as many as possible. Just like Latitude 42 and Acadia, we still didn't try everything! My favorite at the time was the Experimental Hop 2014 number 2 that had a bright melon-like flavor and a light and refreshing session feel. They also have a small kitchen to fulfill your eating needs., but I didn't get a chance to try that out.

The general store is right around the corner, selling beer, homebrew supplies and swag.

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Bell's Brewery, Inc. in Kalamazoo, MI
97 out of 100 based on 620 ratings.