Bell’s Brewery and Proper team up to fight cancer with beards, mustaches and beer

Josh Smith | Bell's Brewery

Shave_the_date_facebook_timeline_image.jpgBell’s Brewery, Inc. in partnership with The Proper Possible Movement (Proper) and other Kalamazoo area businesses are teaming up to raise awareness and money to help fight cancer.

Two events will be held coinciding with No-Shave November, a non-profit organization devoted to preventing the disease, saving lives and aiding those fighting the battle.

All money raised during these events will go to the West Michigan Cancer Center.

The kick-off, “Shave the Date” party, will be held at Urban Modern Hair, 234 S. Kalamazoo Mall, in downtown Kalamazoo on Nov. 1 at 6 p.m.

The party will offer participants an old fashioned clean shave while enjoying cans of Winter White and Two Hearted Ale. Victor Vague Photography will shoot “before” tin type portraits and a DJ will also perform. A complimentary shuttle service will transport guests from Urban to Bell’s Eccentric Café, courtesy of Maple Hill Auto Group.

A concluding “Beers with Beards” celebration will be held at the Café, 355 E. Kalamazoo Ave., in downtown Kalamazoo, on Nov. 26 at 8 p.m.

That event will feature a beard and mustache competition, a DJ, dancing, “after” photos from Victor Vague Photography and of course, plenty of Bell’s beer.

There will be a $5 suggested donation for admission at both events along with a $20 suggested donation for the shave.

Proper apparel pop-up shops and representatives from the West Michigan Cancer Center will also be at both events.

New ‘Inspired Hospitality’ kitchen and dining experience coming to Eccentric Café in 2015

Josh Smith | Bell's Brewery

10641141_914989011848034_1567942571393943354_n.jpgConstruction has recently begun on a brand new full service kitchen and dining room at Bell’s Eccentric Cafe, 355 E. Kalamazoo Ave., in downtown Kalamazoo, adding about 130 seats.

The gastro pub style space will occupy more than 6,600 square feet of space that most recently served as storage and warehouse space to the east of the original Café.

This space was also part of Bell’s original brewery and well before that, a full service gas station.

“Our goal is to match and even enhance the high quality beer that is already being served with high quality food and service,” said Jason Reicherts, Director of Retail at Bell’s.

“We will be focusing on both the front and back house experience and with our Inspired Hospitality program, service will be a huge focus,” he said.

“Our staff training program will feature an ever evolving and ongoing course of modules covering everything from the latest news in the craft beer industry to food and beer pairings,” Reicherts said.

The new menu will be a collaboration between kitchen management and the eccentric mind of Bell’s President and Founder, Larry Bell.

While still being developed, the new menu will feature fish and chips, fresh ground burgers (more than beef), fresh and unique salads, smoked meats, steamed mussels and eggs prepared in a variety of ways.

 “We will try to source our ingredients locally whenever we can, but our focus will also be non-GMO and organic foods. Quality is the top priority, no matter where it comes from,” Reicherts said.

The new dining space will feature a gas fireplace along with an intricate mosaic tiled floor. The bar inside the original Café will also be expanded into space where the current 150 sq. ft. kitchen now resides, adding even more seating.

An employee area for the approximately 120 employees that work at the Café will also be part of this expansion. Adding additional parking options are also planned.

Local architect Nelson Nave, structural engineer Nehil-Sivak and construction company Maxwell & Associates are all working on the project.

“There may be some minor inconveniences in the interim, but the end result will be more than worth it. We hope our customers will be patient with us as we work to bring them an even better experience here at the Eccentric Café,” Reicherts said.

Brewery tours downtown

Because of construction, brewery tours of Bell’s original brewery will not be offered on the weekends for the time being. Brewery tours in Comstock will be expanded however to Sundays at 1 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. A third Saturday tour option has also been added (2 p.m.) in Comstock.

Where to catch live performances of Gustav Holst's 'The Planets'

Josh Smith | Bell's Brewery

Planet_Series_Poster.jpgHas our Planet Series encouraged you to seek out the music that inspired the beers?

You can listen to each piece as well as the entire suite on our Planets website, but we’ve also compiled the list below (with links to more information) of upcoming performances of Gutav Holst’s “The Planets” in states where we distribute.

If you know of another live performance coming up this year or in 2015, please let us know and we’ll add it our list.



May 1-3, 2015: Florida Orchestra (Tampa, St. Petersburg, Clearwater)


Oct. 25: Gwinnett Symphony


April 25, 2015: Coronado Performing Arts Center, Rockford, IL (Not a full symphony, but a pianist. The Planets will be accompanied by images from Chicago’s Adler Planetarium.)


June 5, 2015: West Michigan Symphony (Muskegon)


Oct. 11: Duluth Superior Symphony Orchestra

March 15, 2015: St. Cloud Symphony Orchestra


Nov. 28-30: Kansas City Symphony – featuring the Women of the Symphony Chorus

North Carolina

March 21, 2015: Wilmington Symphony Orchestra

June 7, 2015: Charlotte Civic Orchestra


Feb. 19, 21-22, 2015: Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra


March 20, 21, 22, 2015: Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts (Philadelphia)

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