Photos: Brewing Eccentric Ale with Jamie Floyd of Ninkasi Brewing Co., Eccentric Day 2012

Josh Smith | Bell's Brewery
12.11.2012

MapleSyrup.jpgWe were joined by a very special guest in our Kalamazoo brewhouse on Eccentric Day Eve.

Jamie Floyd, owner and founding brewer of Ninkasi Brewing Co. in Eugene, Oregon, stopped by to help brew next year’s batch of Eccentric Ale.

Traditionally, our guest brewers bring an ingredient or two to contribute to the recipe and Jamie did not disappoint. He brought honey and a combination of pureed squash, pumpkin and sweet potatoes - ingredients all local to the Eugene area - along with him.

That batch of Eccentric Ale, which will be released in December 2013, was also brewed with ginger, Michigan maple syrup and a variety of spices.

Below are a few more photos from our brew with Jamie.

Photos from this year’s Eccentric Day are also now online. Take a look at them on our Flickr page, on the Eccentric Café’s Facebook page or on Google+, depending on your preferred social network.

Also, If you haven’t already, be sure to take a look at our post about how this year’s eccentric menu came together as well.

A huge thank you to Jamie for everything - cheers!

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Bell's beer event roundup: Holiday parties, beer dinners, Black Note and more

Josh Smith | Bell's Brewery
12.10.2012

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Below is a roundup of our events this week in Indiana, Illinois, Minnesota, Michigan, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Georgia, Wisconsin and Florida.

Indiana

Dec. 10

Beer 101 Tasting: Point Blank Brewing Co. in Corydon at 7 p.m.  – Winter seasonals

Dec. 11

Ring in the Bell's: Rocky's in Jeffersonville at 5 p.m. - 12 Bell’s on tap including Bourbon Barrel Aged Batch 9,000, The Oracle and Golden Rye

Dec. 12

3rd Annual 12 Bell’s Of December: Chatham Tap in Indianapolis at 6 p.m.  - 12 beers on tap including Bourbon Barrel Aged Batch 9,000 and This one goes to 11

Dec. 13

12 Bell's of Christmas: Chubby Trout in Elkhart at 4 p.m.  - Best Brown Ale, Christmas Ale, Midwestern Pale Ale, Sparkling Ale, Two Hearted Ale, Winter White Ale, This one goes to 11 Ale, Kal-Haven Ale, Harry Magill's Spiced Stout, Bourbon Barrel Aged Batch 9,000, Debs' Red and Golden Rye

12 Bell’s of Christmas: Bar Louie in Evansville at 5 p.m. – Amber, Bourbon Barrel Aged Batch 9,000, Best Brown, Christmas Ale, Debs’ Red, Double Cream Stout, Golden Rye, Midwestern Pale Ale, Porter, Sparkling Ale, Two Hearted and Winter White

Dec. 15

Celebrate the Dark Side: Bone Dry in Highland at 4 p.m.  - Best Brown, 2011 Cherry Stout, Expedition Stout, Porter, Rye Stout, Special Double Cream Stout, Two Hearted Ale, Oatmeal Stout and Bourbon Barrel Aged Batch 9,000

Illinois

Dec. 11

Bell's Night: Fatpour in Chicago at 6 p.m. - Oatmeal Stout, Two Hearted, Winter White and more.

Dec. 12

Bell's Night: The Long Room in Chicago at 5 p.m.  - This one goes to 11, Hell Hath No Fury, Special Double Cream Stout, Bourbon Barrel Aged Batch 9,000 and Two Hearted

Minnesota

Dec. 11

Bell's Beer Dinner: Moonshine Lounge in Brainerd at 6:30 p.m. – four course beer dinner featuring Le Contrebassiste, Hopsoulution, Rye Stout, and Smoked Vienna Lager. Seating is limited and reservations are required.

Dec. 12

Jingle Your Bell's: New Bohemia in Minneapolis at 5 p.m. - Black Note, Bourbon Barrel-Aged Cherry Stout, Bourbon Barrel-Aged Batch 9,000, Harry McGill's Spiced Stout, The Oracle DIPA, and of course, Sparkling Ale

Michigan

Dec. 12

12 Bell's of Christmas, Ugly Sweater Party: Jet's Pizza in Chelsea at 6 p.m. - Best Brown Ale, Christmas Ale, Hell Hath No Fury … Ale, Hopsoulution, Midwestern Pale Ale, Sparkling Ale, Winter White Ale and This one goes to 11 Ale

Dec. 13

Holiday Party: Uptown Grille in Commerce Township at 6 p.m. - Amber Ale, Best Brown, Christmas Ale, Hell Hath No Fury … Ale, Midwestern Pale Ale, Special Double Cream Stout, Two Hearted Ale, Winter White, Bourbon Barrel Aged Cherry Stout, Golden Rye, Sweet Potato Stout and Roundhouse IRA

Men's Night - Tap Explosion: U & I Lounge in Traverse City from 6-8 p.m. - Winter White, Best Brown, Two Hearted, Christmas Ale, This one goes to 11, Special Double Cream Stout, Hell Hath No Fury and Sparkling Ale

12 Bell's of Christmas: Stein Haus in Bay City - Midwestern Pale Ale, Amber, Winter White, Best Brown, Black Note, Christmas Ale, Two Hearted, 2011 Cherry Stout, Sparkling Ale, Oarsman, Hell Hath No Fury ... Ale and This one goes to 11

Brewer Night: Pints and Quarts in Muskegon at 5 p.m. – Eccentric Café specialties!

Dec. 14

Tap Takeover: Whole Foods Cranbrook in Ann Arbor

North Carolina

Dec. 12

Pint Night: Westville Pub in Asheville at 6:30 p.m. - Bourbon Barrel-Aged Batch 9,000, Black Note, 2011 Cherry Stout, Amber, Best Brown and Two Hearted. You also get to keep the glass – Cheers!

Dec. 13

Bell's Tasting: Vitner Wine Market in Charlotte at 6:30 p.m. - Amber, Two Hearted, Expedition Stout, Java Stout, Christmas Ale, 2011 Cherry Stout, Black Note, Sparkling Ale and This one goes to 11.

Dec. 14

Bells Tasting: Whole Foods in Winston Salem from 4-8 p.m. - Two Hearted Ale, Winter White, Christmas Ale, Best Brown and Special Double Cream Stout

Bell's Tasting: Custom Home Pubs in Matthews at 6:30 p.m. - Sparkling Ale, Expedition Stout, Midwestern Pale Ale, Third Coast Old Ale and Christmas Ale

Pennsylvania

Dec. 13

Black Christmas: The Library in Pittsburgh at 7 p.m.  – Black Note (last chance to get this beer in 2012), Christmas Ale and Special Double Cream Stout. Get there early for a special stocking (limited).

Dec. 14

Two Hearted Firkin Tapping: OTB Bicycle Café in Pittsburgh at 6 p.m.  – Two Hearted (draft as well) and Winter White

Georgia

Dec. 13

Christmas Beer Dinner: Big Tex in Decatur at 7 p.m. – Four course meal will feature Winter White, Two Hearted, Best Brown, Porter and Black Note. Tickets are available online.

Wisconsin

Dec. 17

Bell's Sampling: Dublin Square Irish Pub in La Crosse from 6-9 p.m. - Two Hearted, Amber, Best Brown and Winter White   

Florida

Dec. 13

Bell's Night: World of Beer Carrollwood in Tamp from 7-10 p.m. - Oberon, Two Hearted, Amber, Best Brown, Christmas Ale, Winter White, Kalamazoo Stout, 2011 Cherry Stout, Special Double Cream Stout and 2 surprise kegs

Looking ahead

Join us at Village Tap in Chicago, Ale Jail in St. Paul, Minnesota, The Buck in St. Joe and more. Take a look at our full calendar here.


A behind the scenes look: Prepping the menu for Eccentric Day

Josh Smith | Bell's Brewery
12.06.2012

IMG_1761.JPGWild boar, bison, squid, smoked lamb bacon, emu, quail, antelope, duck … these are just a few of the items you will see offered on Eccentric Day this year.

But how does a menu like this come together?

The planning starts early.

For Melissa Bont, the Eccentric Café’s Kitchen Manager, that planning began in early October.

And then there is the prep work.

Deliveries started late last week. And since then, cases of food have been arriving almost daily.

Most of the caviar, smoked salmon and other delicacies won’t actually arrive until the day before Eccentric Day though.

But during the week leading up to the event and especially the day before, there is still plenty of chopping, slicing, stirring and tasting to make sure everything possible is ready to go.

The entire kitchen staff, including a few dedicated “retired” kitchen staff members - who have since gone on to other positions at the Café - put in some long and late hours to make everything happen.

There is also a fair amount of improvising as well – adding chorizo to the alligator gumbo for example.

Being incredibly organized is also helpful, Bont said.

On Eccentric Day, that same team will set up, do any last minute cooking and restock two buffet style tables in both the front and back bars of the Café before opening at 9 a.m. until around 10 p.m. (depending on how fast all the food goes).

Even the menu is still being tweaked a bit this week as some items are a little harder to come by than originally planned.

Sorry, no organs (sweet breads) this year.

But bugs have been added (scorpion suckers, crickets and larvae - fried with spices) in addition to emu. And Bell’s beer will also be used in a few of the dishes.

The idea of getting a pig uterus was even pitched, but that won’t happen this year.

Not to say they didn’t try.

There will also be plenty for vegetarian appetites as well including a vegetarian turducken, stuffed jalapenos and smoky tofu bites. Bont said she recognizes the need to have something for all tastes.

“It’s a great tradition. We’re busy and there is a lot to do, but we make it fun and we get to experiment with different foods. It’s nice to be able to offer people things they wouldn't normally get to try,” Bont said.

2012 Eccentric food numbers:

20 lbs. of alligator

10 lbs. of shepherd’s pie

About 100 squid (stuffed with bison cornbread)

10 lbs. of antelope

2 wild boar legs (10-12 lbs. each)

20 lbs. of shrimp

12 lbs. of elk

12 lbs. of bison

24 duck breasts

12 lbs. of venison to make sausage

About 80 lbs. of cheese in 20 different varieties


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