Common questions (and answers) about Bell's beer
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There are four main components to our beers: water, malted barley and/or wheat, hops, and yeast. On rare occasions, we will add other specialty ingredients, which will be listed on the label.
This material is comprised primarily of yeast & some protein, and its presence is fairly typical for our beer. Unlike most breweries, we do not filter any of our ales. Most of the yeast cells and malt protein complexes will settle out in the fermenting vessel due to gravity, but some will remain in the finished beer.
This material will continue to settle out in the bottle, forming a layer at the bottom. The color of the sediment can range from a creamy white to a dark tan, depending on the style. There is some variability from batch to batch in the amount of residual yeast, so the thickness of that layer can change. Depending on the ratio of yeast to protein, some of this sediment will bind together & form particles that are easily roused back into suspension. A cold environment will accelerate the process. In addition, cold temperatures can cause proteins to clump together into what is called chill haze, making the liquid cloudy. None of this will hurt you, but concentrated yeast has a distinct taste. We recommend pouring the beer into a glass slowly, leaving the last bit of sediment in the bottle.
We don't perform any formal nutritional analyses on our beers, so we can't state how many grams of fat, carbohydrates, or fiber are present. If you have specific questions or concerns, please feel free to Contact us.
All of our beers meet the criteria for vegetarian status, as we do not use isinglass or other animal-derived process aids at any point in our brewing process. Unlike most breweries our size, our beers are entirely unfiltered, except for our three lager brands, and we do not use finings in any of our brands.
With three exceptions, everything that we package for distribution to bars & stores qualifies not only as vegetarian, but also as vegan. Those three exceptions are Hopslam Ale, Sweet Potato Stout and Eccentric Ale, all of which contain honey. Occasionally, we will make other specialty batches specifically for our own bar that may have honey; just ask any of the bartenders at the Eccentric Café in Kalamazoo & they'll be happy to answer questions about our specialty taps.
No, we don't. All of our beer are made with barley, which contains gluten. Several also contain a portion of wheat.
No, they are not pasteurized. Yes, they are safe to drink. Due to the levels of alcohol and acidity, human pathogens do not survive in beer, so pasteurization is unnecessary from a food-safety standpoint.
Several of our specialty beers contain ingredients outside of the traditional malt, hops, water & brewer's yeast. These ingredients are listed on the label.
We also make several beers containing significant portions of wheat: Oberon Ale in the spring/summer, Winter White Ale during the winter, and Oarsman Ale year-round. Because these are made throughout the year, there is a possibility that other beers in our portfolio will contain trace amounts of wheat. We do run barley through our system at the end of every batch of a wheat beer in order to help purge the conveyors of any residual wheat. We urge those allergic to wheat to discuss sensitivity & risk factors with their physician.
In addition, all of our beers contain gluten, which is a problem for those with celiac disease. Gluten comes not only from wheat but also barley, which is present in every beer we make. Again, if this is a concern, we recommend discussing these matters with a physician.
No. We do not use sulfites or other forms of preservatives in our beers.