Bell’s experimental hop series will feature 7 different styles of beer exclusive to the Eccentric Cafe

Bell's Brewery, Inc.

EXPhops.jpgKALAMAZOO - If you’ve visited the Eccentric Café or checked the tap cam recently, you may have noticed an odd name on the big board above the bar.

Beside more familiar names like Two Hearted Ale, Amber Ale and Kalamazoo Stout was something more formal – EXP Hop 2011-1. This experimental beer was just the beginning of a series of brews that will only be available at our pub in downtown Kalamazoo.

This experimental hop series will continue with six additional beers, each brewed using a different type of hop and released over the next few months. The overall goal is to explore the aromatic qualities of each and assess their potential for future brewing.

“This is a series of beers where we are actually working hand in hand with hop growers. Just like brewers, hop growers are also looking to expand the flavor profiles available to craft beer drinkers and we are very fortunate to have this kind of unique access,” said Andy Farrell, one of Bell’s brewers working on the project.

The series started with a newly developed hop now named Zythos, which is in its first year of commercial use. The rest of the series will feature hop varietals coming straight from the growers’ trial plots; these have yet to been formally named and are still designated with numbers. They are very limited both in quantity and availability, arriving as single bales or even mini-bales (photo at right).

While a few of the beers in this series have been brewed, most are still in the planning stages. Rather than brewing multiple variations of a basic pale ale, this project will match each hop to a different style aimed to showcase the varietal’s range & versatility. Below is a brief rundown of which hops we will be using in this series, along with aroma descriptions from our bale assessments to get you acquainted.

We’re tremendously excited about this opportunity to work with hop growers from the Pacific Northwest in evaluating these new varietals, and we think you’ll enjoy this window into the future of American hops. Look for more information about each here on our blog and on our social media sites (Facebook, Twitter and Google+) as we go forward.

The hops used in this series:

EXP Hop 2011-1: Zythos  – Citrusy, with a bright grapefruit note and apricot & pine aromas in the background

EXP Hop 2011-2: Type 366 – Tropical fruit notes and piney, reminiscent of Simcoe hops 

EXP Hop 2011-3: Type 509 – Floral, with an interesting herbal note 

EXP Hop 2012-1: Type 423 – Very pungent fruity & floral aroma, with pine as a secondary note

EXP Hop 2012-2: Type 556 – Intense floral character with fruity undertones 

EXP Hop 2012-3: Type 998-13-1 – Distinctive lemon notes

EXP Hop 2012-4: Type 291 – Citrus & pine notes, very pungent

To see if any if any of these beers are currently on tap at the Cafe, take a look at our Draft Cam.

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.

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