More ways to connect
Join us for homebrew events, Bell's brewery tours, a hot dog eating contest and the Beer Garden closer on Sept. 10
Sept. 10 is going to be a very busy day for Bell’s Brewery.
We will be hosting not one or two, but seven different events at Bell’s Eccentric Café, 355 E. Kalamazoo Ave., in downtown Kalamazoo and at our production facility, 8938 Krum Ave., in Comstock.
Here’s a look at what’s scheduled.
2nd Annual Bell’s Homebrew Expo and Competition (kick-off)
The Expo will take place from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m. and feature local and regional homebrew suppliers. There will be representatives from the American Homebrew Association (AHA) and the Kalamazoo Libation Organization of Brewers (KLOB). If you want to take part in this year’s competition, you can sign-up beginning at 11 a.m. Wort can be picked up beginning at 1 p.m. For more information, go here.
You can tour the original facility located next to the Eccentric Café in downtown Kalamazoo, head out to the Open House at our Comstock brewery, or do both. The Comstock facility will be open to the public from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m., and we will be offering free food and soda there as well.
4th Annual Bell’s Hot Dog Eating Contest
The eating marathon begins at 4 p.m. It’s free to enter and includes a t-shirt, plus all the dogs you can stomach. Sign-up at the Café, call Jason Reicherts at 269-250-8485 or email email@example.com.
Beer Garden Closer/Meet and Greet
Kyle Hollingsworth of String Cheese Incident and our very own Laura Bell will host a meet and greet and talk about all things beer at 8:30 p.m.
The Macpodz will also add their “Disco Bebop” to the mix before Kyle Hollingsworth and his band take the stage at 9:30 p.m. to close out another great year. Don’t miss this amazing team-up of talent.
Hour by hour breakdown
All day: Get $1 off pints if you wear your Bell's apparel.
11 a.m.: Homebrew Expo and Cafe open. Sign-up for competition begins.
Early afternoon: Brewery tours
1 p.m.: Wort pickup (until gone)
3 p.m.: Homebrew Expo ends
4 p.m.: Hot Dog Eating Contest - free to enter, also includes t-shirt
8:30 p.m.: Meet and greet, beer discussion with Laura Bell and Kyle Hollingsworth
9:30 p.m.: Beer Garden Closer featuring Kyle Hollingsworth Band and The Macpodz
11 a.m. - 4 p.m.: Open House - tours, free food & soda
2nd Annual Bell's Homebrew Expo and Competition announced; winner will get to brew their beer on our system to go on tap at Eccentric Cafe
KALAMAZOO – Have you always wanted your beer up on the big board at Bell’s Eccentric Café alongside Oberon, Two Hearted, Porter and others?
Here’s your chance – we’ll even provide the wort.
On Sept.10, Bell’s Brewery Inc. will host its second annual Homebrew Expo and Competition at the Café in downtown Kalamazoo.
The homebrewer who takes first place honors will get the chance to brew his or her beer with our downtown brewer Andy Farrell. The winning beer will be served on draft alongside other Bell’s favorites at the Eccentric Café.
First and second runners-up will receive gift certificates to the Bell’s General Store.
The expo will take place from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. You can sign up for the competition starting at 11 a.m.
What you choose to enter is entirely up to you. The only requirement is that each entry must be brewed with Bell’s wort, which can be picked up beginning at 1 p.m.
Homebrewers should bring a sanitized vessel with them to transport the wort home (plastic bucket, corny keg, carboy or cooler).
The wort will be made with 100-percent Michigan grown pale malt. It will be minimally boiled and completely unhopped. You will have complete freedom from there.
Last year’s winning entry was a collaborative IPA brewed by brothers Jarrett and Bailey Cupp and Paul Gentz called Oscars Folly. More than 60 homebrewers participated in the inaugural event.
Representatives from the Kalamazoo Libation Organization of Brewers (KLOB), the American Homebrewers Association (AHA) and local suppliers will also be at the expo to talk about homebrewing, answer questions and raffle off some Michigan and Indiana products.
Scheduled to be there are:
• Brew Hauler (Plainwell)
• Stir Starters (stir plates, southwest Michigan)
• Coldbreak Brewing (wort chillers, Grand Rapids)
• Fetzer Farms (hop rhizomes)
If you are interested in entering, below are the complete details.
As mentioned above, the wort will be made with 100-percent Michigan grown pale malt. The initial OE of the base wort will be roughly 12 Plato (about 1.048 gravity), which will yield a knock-out gravity of 13+ Plato (about 1.052 gravity) after the final boil. Left unchanged, the fermentability will result in a beer with approximately 6% ABV.
Again, the wort will be minimally boiled and entirely unhopped, giving you complete freedom with your recipe. However, homebrewers will have to complete the kettle boil on their own systems.
There are no restrictions or style guidelines for the final beer, as long as it uses the base wort provided by Bell’s Brewery Inc. Beers will be judged based on a purely hedonic scale, not formal Beer Judge Certification Program (BJCP) criteria.
Please submit four (4) bottles of your homebrew made with Bell’s wort. The bottles must be submitted to Bell’s by 9 p.m. Oct. 28 with your entry form and properly identified with the labels provided. Any late entries will not be considered. They can be dropped off at the Bell’s General Store, Attn: Bell’s Homebrew Competition.
Winners will be announced Sunday, Nov. 6 during All Stouts Day at Bell’s Eccentric Cafe.
For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bell's Eccentric Cafe servers are now all Certified Beer Servers as recognized by Cicerone Certification Program
KALAMAZOO –Bell’s Brewery Inc. is proud to announce that all servers at its Eccentric Café are now Certified Beer Servers as recognized by the Cicerone Certification Program.
All 13 recently completed the process which is the first step in becoming a Certified Cicerone, the beer equivalent of the wine sommelier.
It’s an effort to arm our staff with the knowledge to serve good beer, said Jason Reicherts, Retail & Pub Manager for the Eccentric Café.
“We want to do everything in our power to help our customers and give them the service they deserve. It’s an investment in service,” he said.
To become a Certified Beer Server one must possess a competent knowledge of beer storage and service issues as well as a modest knowledge of current popular beer styles, culture and a basic familiarity with beer tasting and flavors. Servers also need to be familiar with the brewing process and ingredients, according to Cicerone.org.
The program’s founder and director, Ray Daniels, is a veteran of the U.S. beer industry and president of the Craft Beer Institute. Daniels has experience in nearly every aspect of brewing and beer service.
On April 21, the Cicerone program recognized its 5,000 Certified Beer Server.
Bell’s is a proud supporter of the Cicerone Certification Program.
Every Bell’s employee also goes through extensive training on the history of Bell’s and its beers.
For more information about the Cicerone program, visit www.cicerone.org.
The Eccentric Café is located at 355 E. Kalamazoo Ave. in Kalamazoo, MI and is open from 11 a.m. to midnight Mondays-Wednesdays; 11 a.m. to 1 a.m. Thursdays-Saturdays and noon to midnight Sundays.