Homebrewing guide, Eccentric Café chili recipe now available to download

Bell's Brewery, Inc.

IMG_2240.JPG The General Store's David Curtis and Ryan Kramer recently led a homebrewing demonstration as part of Kalamazoo Beer Week at the Eccentric Café.

A five gallon batch of amber ale was brewed in honor of Bell’s flagship beer, Amber Ale.

We had a great turnout and want to thank everyone who joined us.

If you would like a copy of the handout from the event, you can download a PDF version (also includes basic steps to your first bottling day) here: BellsHomebrewNotes.pdf

The Eccentric Café also participated in the 2012 Downtown Kalamazoo Chili Cook-off. If you were unable to get a sample or simply want another taste at home, you can download the smoked buffalo and black bean chili recipe here as well: SmokedBuffaloChili.pdf

Bell's beer event roundup: Black Note, Hopslam, a frozen golf outing and more this week

Bell's Brewery Inc.

Here is a look at Bell’s beer events coming up this week in Illinois, Wisconsin, Michigan, Minnesota and Kentucky.


Jan. 24

Hopslam release party
Northdown Café and Taproom in Chicago will tap their keg at 6 p.m. Oarsman Ale will be on tap and other Bell’s bottles will be featured as well. Call 773-697-7578 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting            773-697-7578      end_of_the_skype_highlighting for more information.

Jan. 25

Bell's beer dinner
A five beer, four course dinner at Branch 27 in Chicago will start at 7:30 p.m.  Space is limited. Call 312-850-2700 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting            312-850-2700      end_of_the_skype_highlighting for more information.

Black Note tapping
Tribes Alehouse in Mokena will feature this rare and elusive beer along with Hell Hath No Fury … Ale at 4 p.m. Call 815-464-0248 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting            815-464-0248      end_of_the_skype_highlighting for more information.


Jan. 25

Hopslam and Black Note tasting
Join us for a special tapping at The Malthouse in Madison of this year's Hopslam along with Black Note Bourbon Barrel Aged Stout, a special blend of Special Double Cream Stout and Expedition Stout aged in freshly retired oak bourbon barrels, starting at 7 p.m.

Jan. 26

Hopslam and Black Note release party
Bodega Brew Pub in La Crosse will tap these two beers at 7 p.m. Call 608-782-0677 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting            608-782-0677      end_of_the_skype_highlighting for more information.

Jan. 28

Bell's Waterfront Frozen Golf Outing
Registration starts at noon for this event at Waterfront Bar and Grill in Menomonie - six holes, four person teams, one golf club and tennis balls. Call 715-235-6541 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting            715-235-6541      end_of_the_skype_highlighting for more information.


Jan. 25

Hopslam firkin, Black Note tapping
Sample Black Note and a firkin of Hopslam at 7 Monks Taproom in Traverse City starting at 7 p.m. Call 231-421-8410 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting            231-421-8410      end_of_the_skype_highlighting for more information.


Jan. 24

Festival of Hops
Muddy Pig's Festival of Hops will include a rare tapping of Hopslam in St. Paul. Call 651-254-1030 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting            651-254-1030      end_of_the_skype_highlighting for more information.

Jan. 26

Hopslam cask tapping in Minneapolis
The Bulldog Northeast will tap a cask of Hopslam at 5 p.m. Call 612-378-2855 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting            612-378-2855      end_of_the_skype_highlighting for more information.

Jan. 27

Hopslam cask in downtown Minneapolis
Grumpy's Bar & Grill will tap a cask at noon and offer a small appetizer pairing as well. Call 612-340-9738 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting            612-340-9738      end_of_the_skype_highlighting for more information.

Jan. 28

Bell's at The Winter Carnival Beer Dabbler
Join Jason Gillum for a number of rare Bell's beers including Raspberry Ale, Le Pianist, Le Battuer, and Sparkling Ale at the St. Paul Farmers Market from 4-8 p.m.


Jan. 28

Bell's multi-tap event
This tap takeover at Beer Engine in Danville will feature nine Bell’s beers on tap starting at 4 p.m. including Quinannan Falls Special Lager, Hopslam, The Oracle, Hell Hath No Fury … Ale, Expedition Stout, Winter White, Amber Ale, Kalamazoo Stout and Pale Ale. Call 859-209-4211 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting            859-209-4211      end_of_the_skype_highlighting for more information.

Jan. 29

Bell's beer dinner
This five course meal at Pazzo's Pizza Pub in Lexington will be paired with Amber Ale, Best Brown Ale, Cherry Stout, Bell's Lager Beer, Oarsman Ale and Two Hearted starting at 6 p.m. Call 859-255-5125 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting            859-255-5125      end_of_the_skype_highlighting for more information.

Still looking for Hopslam?

For more Hopslam events in your area coming up, take a look at our previous blog post.

Looking ahead

Next week Bell’s will be at ChurchKey, hosting a Super Bell’s party in Indianapolis, tapping a Hopslam firkin in St. Louis and more. Take a look at our calendar for more.

Larry Bell honored with inaugural Tom Burns Award by Michigan Brewers Guild

Bell's Brewery Inc.

BurnsAward.jpgBELLAIRE  – Nearly 200 leaders in Michigan’s craft brewing industry were present at the Michigan Brewers Guild annual conference at Shanty Creek Resort in Bellaire last week, where the inaugural Tom Burns Award was presented to Larry Bell, president and founder of Bell’s Brewery, Inc.

The award recognizes the pioneering spirit of the “Great Beer State” and is named after Tom Burns, founder and brewer of Detroit & Mackinac Brewing Co., who passed away from cancer in 1994.

Burns, a “recovering attorney,” had a passion for brewing and is credited with many of the advancements in brewing legislation, rules, and regulations in the 1990s and paving the way for a thriving craft beer industry here in Michigan, which is currently ranked fifth nationally.

Laura Bell, Marketing Director for Bell’s Brewery Inc., accepted the award on behalf of her father, who was out of the country and unable to attend. She read a letter sent from her father, addressed to the group:

“Everyone in this room has been affected by Tom's efforts back in the nineties. His push for, and success at getting brewpub language adopted in the state laws paved the way for what is now one of the most dynamic brewery scenes in the USA. While there may be those today that think that trading away self distribution wasn't right, Tom and I thought we cut a pretty damn good deal, and I still think that.

Tom was able to get legislation enacted because he knew the importance of building consensus, and he knew that it was essential to have dialogue with all of the legislators involved, as well as reaching out openly, and with a eye toward fairness, to Michigan's wholesalers; he respected the realities of the situation while trying to enact change. And enact change he did.

I am glad that we are honoring Tom as I feel that his contributions to the early days of craft brewing are often buried by people who want to take more credit than they deserve. He was one of those people who was there at the dawn of the movement. I have in my collection a bottle of "Legal Lager" that Tom brewed at the Cartwright Brewing Co. in Portland back in the early eighties when, I believe he was in law school. He brewed at the goat shed with Boulder Brewing. And he was in on the start of the then American Homebrewers Association Beer Festival, now the GABF (Great American Beer Festival).

It was heartbreaking to see Tom get sick. Having been through a "mild" cancer myself I have an inkling of the terror it brings to one’s soul. But Tom was always upbeat when I saw him and never became morose, even as his diagnosis got worse.

I was very honored to be asked by Priscilla (Tom's widow) to be the brewer representative pall bearer at Tom's funeral. It was a difficult day for me. To see one's contemporary die too young is a very troubling thing. After the funeral service we went to Tom's Oyster Bar, a place Mr. Burns loved to go, and I stood in for him – singing show tunes with the piano player as a way to pay my respects. Tom loved a good show tune. And a great beer.

Though Tom's life was too short, he left an important legacy that we all can honor and that honors us all. I was proud to call him a friend and I am proud of the Guild for honoring him today. So please, let's raise our glass and toast Tom Burns.” 

To read the full press release, go here.


From left: Larry Bell, Detroit City Councilwoman Maryann Mahaffey, Sen. Eugene McCarthy, and Tom Burns, for whom the Michigan Brewers Guild award was named, at the old Tiger Stadium on July 11, 1991.

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