Bell's Brewery - Kalamazoo and Comstock, Michigan
Founded by Larry
Bell as a home-brewing supply shop in 1983, Bell's Brewery, Inc. sold its
first beer in September 1985. Beer was initially brewed in a 15-gallon soup
kettle and the company has grown remarkably from its production of 135
barrels (1 bbl = 31 gal.) in 1986 to over 124,000 barrels in 2009.
Originally self-distributed, Larry and his staff of 9 employees bottled and
delivered all of the beer to market for the company's first four years. By
1989, Bell's was shipping over 500 barrels annually and assigned its first
wholesaler to further establish itself across the State of Michigan. In
1993, Bell's became the first Michigan brewery to open an onsite pub.
After struggling several years to produce and sell robust, full-bodied ales
against a tide of a mass-market domestic beer, Bell's began to see the
demand for craft beer grow dramatically and expanded into new markets.
Bell's currently sells beer across an eighteen-state area through a network
of over fifty quality wholesalers.
In 2003, Bell's opened a new production brewery in nearby Comstock,
Michigan. The new facility has now seen three major additions since then and
encompasses over 60,000 square feet of building on a 24 acre site. Beers are
now brewed on a 50-barrel system, with the operations running 24/7. With
vessels ranging in size from 50-400 barrels, the fermentation cellar can
hold up to 20,000 barrels at any given moment, allowing the brewery a total
annual brewing capacity of 170,000 barrels.
Despite expansion at the main production facility, we haven't forgotten our
roots, and we continue to brew at the original Kalamazoo location. Using the
same equipment that served us so well for years, this space has become home
to several specialty projects, as well as brewing an extensive array of
brands typically only available at the adjoining Eccentric Café. Between the
two brewing locations, the company currently employs over 100 people.
In the beginning of 2010, renovations to the downtown Kalamazoo facility
began with plans to make significant improvements to the existing Eccentric
Café and transform former warehouse space into a separate, dedicated music
venue. The brewery is expecting all phases of this project to be completed
in early 2011.
Bells Brewery's Beers
Third Coast Beer
Two Hearted Ale
Best Brown Ale
Winter White Ale
Bell's Special Double Cream Stout
Third Coast Old Ale
Twentieth Anniversary Ale
Batch 7,000 Ale Stout
Batch 8,000 Ale Witbier
Batch 9,000 Ale
Hell Hath No Fury ... Ale