Bell's Brewery, Inc.

BEER AVG
3.91/5
Bell's Brewery, Inc.Bell's Brewery, Inc.
PLACE INFO

Type: Brewery, Bar, Eatery, Beer-to-go

355 E. Kalamazoo Ave.
Kalamazoo, Michigan, 49007-3807
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.

Added by BeerAdvocate

BEER STATS
Beers:
120
Ratings:
98,220
Reviews:
29,581
PLACE STATS
Score:
93
Ratings:
743
Reviews:
213
Avg:
4.18
pDev:
5.26%
 
 
View: Beers | Place Reviews | Events
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Ratings: 743 |  Reviews: 213
Reviews by scoobybrew:
Photo of scoobybrew
3.65/5  rDev -12.7%
vibe: 2 | quality: 5 | service: 2.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 2

Okay, I've labored about how to review my experience at Bell's to give a fair opinion. So...here goes:

In short - go for the beer and the beer only. Eat somewhere else first.

The beer at Bell's was outstanding. I don't think I've enjoyed such good beer fresh at the source from the CASK, not just a carbonated keg. I've always enjoyed Bell's offerings from the bottle, but these were incredible. Ok, that's the good (and best) part.

First off, as we walked in there was a $5 cover charge for the band that was to be playing. Okay…I feel old at this point. I haven’t paid to get into a bar since college. But, I dutifully pay, as I don’t want to cause a scene and be a square. But I did come for the beer, not the band.

The food has something to be desired. The special of the evening was 'blackened tofu'. Now, I try to eat healthy all right, but I find tofu pretty disgusting. Personal preference perhaps, but not usually what I consider an appetizing bar/grill dish.

The service was good, but you always had to go to the bar inside or the mini bar outside to get a drink. There was no wait staff walking around filling up empty drinks. I hear this place can get really busy on some nights with the college crowd, but this was the middle of the summer and it wasn't very busy. Don't get me wrong, I always got my glass filled promptly at the bar, but there's something to be said for having someone come by and fill you up. Which somewhat leads to the next point...seating.

There was a large disparity of seating in the joint. The inside floor space had less than a 1/4 of the tables that could have been there. Also, the beer garden was very nice, but had a large expanse of concrete with very few picnic tables. My wife and our friends sat on a concrete planter while I enjoyed my beer standing. Again, I'm told that Bell's gets really packed and this whole area has been filled with people all standing and chatting and enjoying their beer. This night was not the case, so fair warning.

Plastic cups outside - plastic cups outside was the rule. You couldn't have a glass out, probably because in the past too many people got a little tipsy and busted them on the concrete. Fortunately the beer was SOOO good, that it didn't seem to diminish the experience, but...fair warning.

The crowd was fairly diverse, but skewed somewhat to the eccentric 20-something crowd. Being an old man of 32, I was in the minority, but not completely out-of-sorts as there were other 'old' people there. However, I came with my wife and friends, so big deal. I think this place is more of an alternative for young people to the discotech/college bar scene. Good for them (just get the old man a chair please...).

To sum it all up, I had some of the best fresh beer ever here. It is definitely worth a visit and a return visit. Just don't expect a typical brewpub (and some of the comforts therein), I suppose after all it is the Eccentric Cafe.

 2,957 characters

More User Reviews:
Photo of firkingroovin
4.38/5  rDev +4.8%
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.

 348 characters

Photo of HopHEAD1522
4.75/5  rDev +13.6%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.75

Photo of Gagnonsux
4.28/5  rDev +2.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

Photo of iRun2Beer
4.22/5  rDev +1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

Photo of Rhettroactive
3.96/5  rDev -5.3%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 3.25

Photo of Brianz81
4.56/5  rDev +9.1%
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.

 213 characters

Photo of heddar33
4.25/5  rDev +1.7%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.25 | food: 4.25

Photo of BarrelAgedG
4/5  rDev -4.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Photo of ZEB89
4.18/5  rDev 0%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Photo of Jeffsbowen
4.2/5  rDev +0.5%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4.25

Photo of TH28
4.35/5  rDev +4.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.25

Photo of Red5StandingBy
4.4/5  rDev +5.3%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

Photo of slhuggy
3.96/5  rDev -5.3%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 3.75 | service: 4.25 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4.75

Photo of B_Crawford_C
4.83/5  rDev +15.6%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

Photo of scud83rp
4.95/5  rDev +18.4%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

Photo of Spaceman_Jer
4.14/5  rDev -1%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3.75 | food: 3.75

Photo of DesMoinesMike
4.55/5  rDev +8.9%
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.

 689 characters

Photo of PhillyBoy23
4.6/5  rDev +10%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 5

Great outdoor space here. Excellent food as well.

50 characters

Photo of Zaktcc
4.75/5  rDev +13.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 3.75

Photo of Svyturys30
5/5  rDev +19.6%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

Photo of CPAles
4.04/5  rDev -3.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 4.75 | food: 5

Photo of Benjolovesbeer
4.9/5  rDev +17.2%
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!

 382 characters

Photo of BubbleBobble
4.58/5  rDev +9.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5

Photo of MI_beerdrinker
4.28/5  rDev +2.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.25

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Bell's Brewery, Inc. in Kalamazoo, MI
3.91 out of 5 based on 98,220 ratings.
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.