Bell's Brewery - Eccentric Café & General Store

Bell's Brewery - Eccentric Café & General StoreBell's Brewery - Eccentric Café & General Store
Bell's Brewery - Eccentric Café & General StoreBell's Brewery - Eccentric Café & General Store
Brewery, Bar, Eatery, Homebrew, Beer-to-go

355 E Kalamazoo Ave
Kalamazoo, Michigan, 49007
United States

(269) 382-2332 | map
bellsbeer.com

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

Bell's does sell growlers at their General Store.
BEER STATS
Average:
4.08
Beers:
150
Reviews:
31,520
Ratings:
105,933
PLACE STATS
Average:
4.35
Reviews:
226
Ratings:
796
pDev:
11.26%
View: Beers | Place Reviews
Reviews: 226 | Ratings: 796 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of cratez
4.05/5  rDev -6.9%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4.25

Visited with my wife on our way back home from Indianapolis.

Tried the following beers on tap:
Bell's Boiling Pot Ale (sample)
Bell's OG Twoey (draft)
Bell's Belgian Style Pale Ale (sample)
Bell's Ales for ALS (draft)

All were drinking great. Also bought a mixed case of Expedition Stout, Porter, Two Hearted, Kalamazoo Stout, Best Brown, Oberon, and Oktoberfest to go. No Oracle to be had on my visit, but I go to try four new beers, so all was well. Our overall experience was wonderful, and I highly recommend this place.

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Photo of TooManyGlasses
4.41/5  rDev +1.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.25

November 2019 second visit from Edmonton, Alberta - lunch on both occasions on a weekday. Busy but not packed - sat in pub side - high ceilings - bright decor.
Friendly and prompt service - responsive to queries and for recommendations.
Nice selection of multiple styles of superbly made beers - clearly Bells knows how to make beer!! We shared a couple of flights and not a bad beer in the bunch.
Food is fairly standard pub fare, but made well and delicious.
The General Store is well stocked with both merchandise and excellent selection of beer to go (even had different vintages of Third Coast Ale).
A definite must for any craft fan - worth the trip...and you can say you were in Kalamazoo.

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Photo of VoxRationis
4.95/5  rDev +13.8%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

I was in Ann Arbor and was able to get out to Eccentric Café and to the General Store, which attached but accessed from a different door. Eccentric is the best place of its kind I have been thus far and I have been to some very, very highly respected breweries throughout the New England, the Mid-Atlantic States and northern California. If you intend to go, just be aware that the parking in front of the General Store is strictly short term. Don't fret, as Bell's has a decent sized parking lot across the railroad tracks from them for which they validate.

The server was fantastic, making excellent, spot on recommendations and talking candidly about some behind the scenes stuff, which was just fascinating. I've liked Bell's beers, they are great out of the bottle, but at Eccentric, mind blowing. They serve in 5 oz (suitable for a flight) and 16 oz glassware, but the server will bring you tastes to help you make up your mind. They had about two dozen brews on tap, a quarter of which were labeled as experimental. I was able to try the first installment in the Leaves of Grass series (and may have scored a sneak peak at the second). If the rest are as good, please, please, please distribute them nationally (especially to NY).

Eccentric's space is huge with a bar sporting perhaps 40' of frontage and lots of different seating thereabouts. One can eat there or in a dedicated, sit down dining area off to the left. The food was excellent: I had the Italian Sandwich special which was out of this world. The General Store sells Bell's memorabilia, prepackaged beer, and home brew materials.

Not just saying this, if it were remotely near my home, I'd be a regular. If you are anywhere near Kalamazoo, go; you'll be glad you did.

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Photo of wmscottsimpsonjr
4.31/5  rDev -0.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4 | food: 4

A very neat setting with shellacked wood and stained glass. They had about 20 beers on tap, and Bell's makes solid beer. Their Porter cheese soup was tasty and paired well with their porter. Service was very attentive.

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Photo of Blogjackets
4.45/5  rDev +2.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4

We visited the cafe twice during a long weekend. Staff at the bar were cheery and servers in the cafe were prompt and helpful. Hard to find someone there, staff or patrons, who wasn’t in a good mood. The vibe is friendly and welcoming. At the time of our visit, there was a concert that was barely audible from the main cafe area (held in a small venue in the back) and that was appreciated. The food was above standard pub food, well prepared and a good selection for the differing tastes of the members in our party.

The beer. We came for the beer. And a great selection of favorites was on tap including, among others, the 30th Anniversary Cherry Stout, Expedition Stout, Two Hearted Ale and more. I even found a few stray bottles of Black Note in the General Store, so check it out.

By all means sign up for the brewery tour. It was informative and a great look at the original place. Our guide was well seasoned and answered all questions. We hope to tour the newer Comstock facility another time.

We’d definitely go back to the cafe if in Kalamazoo. Highly recommended.

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Photo of dukeandduke
4.54/5  rDev +4.4%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.5

11/4/18 (Kalamazoo): Visited today for a brief visit, fortunate to hit the brewery and general store on All Stouts Day. Line was 15 deep when I arrived 15 minutes before open, about 50 deep when they opened. Very brick structure, mix of modern and vintage decor. Both front of house and a large back room where concerts are held, and large outside grounds open to accommodate the crowd. Nowhere to sit at the bar, you order up front (or server) and plenty of tables were available. We grabbed a table in the upper section of the back concert area

Many special excellent offerings available today, the BA Expedition Stout was the highlight. 18 draft offerings, proper glassware, friendly and accommodating bartenders who handled the large crowd well. Nice to see the brewery properly staff this event.

Didn't have a chance to tour the brewery beyond walking around the public areas, or have the food which looked great.

Went to the General Store to look around and pick up a six pack of Two Hearted IPA. Nice supplies for home brewers are available, as well as brewery merchandise with decent pricing.

Definitely want to return when I have more time for a tour, meal and several offerings.

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Photo of edward_boumil
4.01/5  rDev -7.8%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4 | selection: 3.75 | food: 3.75

Did the tour and ate at the brewpub
V: Really cool indoor deco. Some interesting stuff on the walls, my fiancee and I were quite entranced with some of it. Had some old metal pieces holding up rafters, love that kind of stuff. Sort of an old meets new theme I guess, if I had to summarize, with an artsy sort of vibe
Q: Beers were great. Really enjoyed their sour brown ale
Ser: Tour guide was awesome, bartenders were great, waitstaff was good as well.
Sel: Was so-so. Was told during tour that some of the beers on the menu were only available there at the brewery, but they seemed to be out of most of them. Was a bummer. Overall though found some great beers.
Food: Was good, got a meat and cheese platter. Could have used more cheese, but everything on it was great

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Photo of Beginner2
4.18/5  rDev -3.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.25 | selection: 3.75 | food: 4.5

I was thrilled to pull into one of the Midwest's Meccas for craft brewing.
With at least two other crafters across the street, this brewing hotbed is helping revive Kalamazoo's warehouse district.

Cool conversion of a brick warehouse with bar, beer garden and restaurant.
Service was upbeat and inviting. There were no other beers other than Bells, which is ok but not a good consumer practice.

All four of us agreed that the food was very good for a brewpub.

Glad to make this pilgrimage.

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Photo of ovaltine
4.21/5  rDev -3.2%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4 | selection: 4.25 | food: 4.5

First visit, love the look/vibe, very nicely appointed, excellent selection of beers (had 3 I’d never had before, and I’ve had a lot of Bell’s stuff), and the food was outstanding (best popcorn I’ve ever had, and I’m an inveterate popcorn connoisseur). The service was a smidge slow, but nothing truly bothersome. I’ll be back.

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Photo of Oconomowocian
4.04/5  rDev -7.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.25 | service: 3.75 | selection: 4 | food: 4.25

Went to both the general store and the cafe for dinner and a beer. General store has a lots of home brewing supplies, but the growler fill station was down the day I visited. The cafe is around back and is an eclectic place with pretty good food. Best brew I had that day was actually a home brewer recipe that had one a contest and was brewed by Bells. Cool place, different than most has some charm.

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Photo of Foxman27
4.31/5  rDev -0.9%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4

General store was cool, but didn't have much beer I couldn't get at the grocery store. I really liked that a big brewery sold homebrew equipment, and encourages homebrewers. The Cafe was great and had nice outdoor seating and a cool vibe.

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Photo of Penguins66
4.44/5  rDev +2.1%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

Still one of the best breweries around and vying with Founders for best brewery in Michigan, in our opinion. We make it to Bell's about once a year and are consistently impressed by the quality and selection of their beers. Their Eccentric Café is large (and has gotten larger over the years) although curiously, half the bar is off limits. Usually we go early in the day before it gets busy, so we can grab one of the high-top tables across from the bar, which is great for studying the beer list as well as people watching.

It seems as though Bell's has really strived to make their food on par with their beer. The food menu is large, with good portion sizes and reasonable prices. Service so far has been good. But the real highlight is the beer--especially, for us, the porters and stouts. One of these days we'll make it there for All Stouts Day....

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Photo of West_Chester_Ale_Tester
4/5  rDev -8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4

A true American classic. A bucket list trip for sure. This is the original spot. A nice place with plenty of history. The new Comstock brewery is much bigger, but this is the spot you want to go to. They don't have a ton of different stuff here. You've probably had everything they have on, but you need to experience those styles in the place they originated from.

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Photo of firkingroovin
4.38/5  rDev +0.7%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Wonderful laid-back place. The bar decoration sets a good eccentric vibe - hence the name. Outside areas are a bit small, but a good place to gather. Slightly disappointed that the draught offerings on this night were mostly beers widely available. Larry's latest coffee milk stout, however is the best I ever had. This place is well worth a visit.

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Photo of Brianz81
4.56/5  rDev +4.8%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.25 | service: 5 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4.25

Bell's has a great selection of top-notch beers, as well as the best staff. They have a nice stage for performers, and are very friendly. Out of Michigan's larger breweries, Bell's has the best atmosphere, by far.

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Photo of DesMoinesMike
4.55/5  rDev +4.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4.25

Stayed at a hotel just off the interstate which wasn't too far from here. The place was hopping since it was Friday night during football and world series season when we visited. We got some beers at door while we waited for our table out in the beer garden. The food menu had good variety and tasted nice, but the kids menu could be expanded. 20+ beer choices and most seemed like solid picks, even though my dream of Hopslam being available didn't come true. It's spacious but gets loud with all the industrial materials bouncing sound everywhere. We were able to get several beer samples before picking and we had some amazing stuff like Oracle. If you are in SW Michigan get over here.

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Photo of Benjolovesbeer
4.9/5  rDev +12.6%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4

This place is great for the many beers to choose on tap, food is ok but mostly appetizers, but what makes this place the bad ass it is would be drinking good craft beer while listening to bad ass performers that have included Great American Taxi, Greensky Bluegrass, Keller Williams, and Yonder Mountain Stringband which of course was good when Jeff Austin was in the band. CHEERS!

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Photo of ELS
3.93/5  rDev -9.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.5

The tap room has a very nice atmosphere with a big restaurant full of tables and about 10 stools at the bar. Snagged a couple of bar stools with a friend. Had a lunch special and a flight of beers. The food was good but not memorable. The beer on tap was really no better than the bottled versions I find in my beer store. I was expecting two hearted ale to be even better at the brewery. It's not. If you are a huge Bell's Fan you're going to love this place. Otherwise, it's nothing special except for the nice restaurant.

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Photo of spacecake9
4.63/5  rDev +6.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

I've been to Bell's Brewery 3 times. Each time they were busy but there was room for us to be seated right away. The board at Bell's is always loaded with draft only Bell's beer options so I've never had a beer at Bell's that I could buy in a store. And I've never been disappointed in any of the beers at Bell's. The food menu is large and top notch. Service is very good, at the bar or a table. The store has every Bell's item you could want and a nice selection of their beers. The first time I bought Hopslam was at the Ball's store. Bottom line is I always look forward to visiting Bell's.

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Photo of TheCzarof85
4.69/5  rDev +7.8%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.75 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

Bell's is one of the best. Eccentric Cafe is an amazing place where you can catch a big name musically, chill with a glass of a special batch in the garden, eat good food, and catch good vibes. The selection is amazing and nothing beats a fresh Two-Hearted. Nothing!

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Photo of pezhead_79
3.96/5  rDev -9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.25 | service: 3.25 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.5

Beer selection is great and some brewery only options are always top notch. The food is average and with no table service, can be a drag to order. The merch store could be larger as well, but we all really are here for the beer and Bell's is world class.

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Photo of TheStoutHound
3.88/5  rDev -10.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.25 | service: 3.75 | selection: 3.5

Visited the eccentric cafe on a Friday evening. Busy as expected with a mixed group of people. We snagged a table after about a half hour of standing. The beer selection was ok; not much that I couldn't purchase in WI but the beer was still great. I enjoyed Expedition, Java, and Consecrator. Our server was friendly and tended to us frequently. After 8:30 or so it started to clear out and quiet down; at that point it was a very comfortable and enjoyable venue. Overall, it was an enjoyable experience and a must stop if in Kzoo.

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Photo of WesMantooth
4.21/5  rDev -3.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Extensive tap list. The food I had was very good, but wasn't crazy about the menu. My only complaint here is that they only fill their own growlers, and only the 3 to 4 beers they offer in the gift shop. Very nice place otherwise.

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Photo of arizcards
4.43/5  rDev +1.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4.25

Vibe was pretty solid. We chose the outdoor seating area (not the pub or beer garden).

Quality of the beer available was world class. They had approximately 30 brews on tap that included their regular lineup, the seasonals, and the specialties!

Service was solid, the server or her sidekick were very timely!

Selection of the brews was awesome! World class beers dotted the menu including Two Hearted, Expo Stout, 30th Anniversary, etc!

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Photo of CardinalKen
4.59/5  rDev +5.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

Very nice ambiance in the expanded Eccentric Cafe. Bar and restaurant seating are slightly separated, which is appropriate. Open and airy with soaring ceilings. Decent beer garden. Very interesting architectural details were used in the design of the space. Parking is tricky. Wait staff is well-versed on the product offerings and very, very friendly. (P.S. -- get the 30th Anniversary Ale before it's all gone)

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Bell's Brewery - Eccentric Café & General Store in Kalamazoo, MI
Brewery rating: 4.08 out of 5 with 105933 ratings