Bell's Brewery, Inc.
Ratings: 421 | Reviews: 185 | Display Reviews Only:
2.7/5 rDev -37.4%
i had already been a bell's drinker for over a decade before i stepped foot into the cafe a few months ago.
we arrived at dinner time ready to eat and immediately forked over a sizable cover for a band outside that we never had any intention of seeing. our bartender was rude with absolutely no explanation whatsoever-- we were all familiar with the beers but had a question about size and were treated like we were martians.
with no seats available in or outside except for the extremely stuffy attic, we camped out upstairs alone, downed two delicious beers and left.
my entire group was comprised of big bell's fans from across the state and we were all sorely disappointed. the night was saved when we ended up at old peninsula for awesome food and drink a few minutes later thanks to a quick phone call with a friend and western alumni. save yourself the trouble and pick up a six pack instead-- they're really cheap locally.
09-14-2011 13:11:11 | More by funkyaudio
2.95/5 rDev -31.6%
I've got to say I was a little disappointed. Having somehow managed to miss trying any Bell's beers, I thought this would be a happenin' place. Of course I did stop by on a Sunday with both playoff baseball and a Lions game on, to a place with no TVs. But it just seemed dead. This is one of those warehouse spaces where the exposed brick just made it feel cold. They only had six Bell's beers on tap, with more in a cooler. The drafts I tried just weren't up to snuff; perhaps it's better to get it bottled and let it condition a while. I wanted to buy some sixpacks from their store, but "the girl was sick." Decor seems too "art student" style. However, I will come back on a warmer day next year and give it another shot.
10-20-2003 13:56:25 | More by DrunkMcDermott
3/5 rDev -30.4%
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
3.05/5 rDev -29.2%
We went on a Saturday night when they were having a band play... Not the ideal time to visit a brewery for the first time, I realize, so I am going to be more lenient in this review than I may have been immediately following my visit.
First of all, the service was just not up to snuff, even considering that they were extremely busy that night. Ordering was incredibly chaotic. They don't have servers go around and take orders, so you have to go up to the bar every time... which wouldn't be a big deal except for the fact that there were a ton of people just standing in front of the bar having conversations with each other and not even ordering. The bartenders, at least in my interactions with them, were inattentive and nonchalant about service. Granted, it was very busy that night, but things could have gone more smoothly with a bit more effort from the staff.
On a more positive note, the decorations were interesting and I really liked that the tables had chessboards on them. The atmosphere was alright; a few of the other patrons were really obnoxious, but most of them seemed cool. For most of the night, it seemed like everyone was packed in like sardines, which was a little uncomfortable.
We had to pay $7 cover for one band and we saw a flyer in the bathroom advertising the same show for $6.
Going in, I had no illusions about the quality of Bell's beer. I had sampled many of their offerings prior to my visit both on tap and bottled. Bell's has always been hit or miss for me. Although, they have some beers that I think are just incredible, like Two Hearted, Hopslam and Third Coast Old Ale. Most of their other beers are mediocre at best.
They wanted to serve everything in plastic cups, even though they did have some glassware. But somehow we managed to get our second beers in snifters, and it was probably the best beer of the night: Überon, a barrel-aged Oberon which weighs in at 10% ABV. A pretty amazing beer which I would definitely recommend. I also tried the Golden Rye, the Black Rye, the Wedding Ale, and the Poolside. The golden was good. It tasted like a good pale ale, but with an added zest from the rye. The black didn't have much flavor, but it wasn't bad. The Wedding Ale was probably the most floral-tasting beer I've ever had. I thought the Poolside was nasty, but my friend liked it.
Bell's perpetrated their biggest offense at closing. My two friends and I were sitting in the upstairs area and we were the only people remaining up there. The bartenders and manager (?) came up 3 or 4 times and told us that we needed to leave. I informed him that we were still finishing our beers (that we paid for!!!) Their tones were incredibly rude and the whole thing was just uncalled for. I don't know if they close the upstairs first, because they never made that clear to us, but at any rate, there were plenty of people still downstairs at that point. Plus, we were sitting on couches. It's not like they would have had to do any extra work (like putting up chairs) by us staying up there. I don't see any reason that they should treat their customers like that.
This visit left a sour taste in my mouth and, to be honest, really changed the way I feel about this company for the worse. The overall impression I took away from it is that Larry Bell cares more about his profit margin than anything else including customer service and the quality of his beers.
But it's not like this was the worst night of my life or anything. We had a lot of fun in spite of everything. I'm just saying, it would have been much better if the staff had tried a little harder and been a little more accommodating.
06-30-2008 17:41:58 | More by sarahspat
3.2/5 rDev -25.8%
Visited there just this past Sunday. The beer selection was very good as there is a wide variety of Bell's products to sample. They had a few specialty brews on tap so the trip there was some what special, though I must admit that Founder's really treats those who visit with more specialty stuff.
The food was good, however it seemed like an after thought. Only chips are available with your sandwich and they are peppery chips so if you do not like them then tough.
The service on the other hand was terrible. Water served out of igloo coolers with self serve in the corner. No glass outside on the patio and no credit cards excepted, however they have an atm in the lobby that will charge you 2 bucks to use, which Bell's gets the 2 bucks from. That automatically pissed me off. Will I visit again, maybe with my friend who has never gone, otherwise when I visit a brewery it will be Founders first and Three Floyds second.
07-16-2009 19:16:36 | More by Tetano
Bell's Brewery, Inc. in Kalamazoo, MI
96 out of 100 based on 421 ratings.