A few weeks ago, I mentioned that Miles Lab was featuring a Bell’s Brewery tap takeover. At the time, we were only able to confirm seven of the featured Bell’s brands, which included four draft only products. The tap takeover was Saturday, Oct. 25, and all nine of the Bell’s offerings are still on tap.
If you have not had Miles Lab on your beer radar, you have been missing out on the restaurant’s 20 taps, which currently include Fat Head’s Head Hunter IPA (7.5 percent ABV), Great Lakes Lake Erie Monster (imperial IPA, 9.1 percent ABV), Lagunitas Fusion 22 (IPA, 7.8 percent ABV), Schlafly Pumpkin Ale (8 percent ABV), Three Floyds Brewing’s Arctic Panzer Wolf (double IPA, 9 percent ABV) and Three Floyds Brewing’s Zombie Dust (American Pale Ale, 6.4 percent ABV).
This is a very nice tap list, with plenty to choose from, although it is a bit on the hoppy side at the moment. You can always keep up to date with Miles Lab’s tap list at beermenus.com, including what’s coming soon – including Saugatuck Brewing Neapolitan Milk Stout (6.4 percent ABV). This award-winning seasonal is one of my favorites from Saugatuck Brewing Company. It is a unique blend of milk sugar, and as you might expect from the name, chocolate, vanilla beans and strawberries. It is available at select bottle shops in Michigan (12-ounce four packs), and I just picked up a bottle last weekend.
I stopped in on Monday to enjoy a Deb’s Red while my kids sampled some of the restaurant’s wonderful desserts. Here are the featured Bell’s taps, including two flag ships, two seasonal and five draft-only beers:
Bell’s Amber (5.8 percent ABV): Made from mostly pale malt and some Munich and caramel malts. These add a little sweetness, which is balanced by more hops. The result is a rich color and fruity flavor.
Bell’s Two Hearted Ale (7 percent ABV): India Pale Ale style well suited for Hemingway-esque trips to the Upper Peninsula. American malts and enormous hop additions give this beer a crisp finish and incredible floral hop aroma.
Bell’s Best Brown (5.8 percent ABV): A smooth, toasty brown ale, Best Brown Ale is a mainstay in Bell’s fall and winter lineup. With hints of caramel and cocoa, the malt body has the depth to stand up to cool weather, but does not come across as heavy.
Bell’s Java Stout (7.5 percent ABV): Technically, this is listed under Bell’s specialty lineup but is released during stout season. The satisfying elements of both stout and coffee come together in this full-bodied treat. A marriage of Sumatra’s best with rich chocolate and roasted malt provides for a truly enlightening beer.
Bell’s Debs’ Red Ale (5.8 percent ABV): Named after Eugene V. Debs, Debs’ Red Ale starts with a floral hop nose combined with light caramel notes. An even-handed blend of mild caramel flavors and a dry biscuit character follow from various specialty malts. Together, these offer a crisp, even-handed beer that suits any occasion or season.
Bell’s Hopsoulution (8.2 percent ABV): Hopsoulution Ale falls roughly into the Double India Pale Ale category, incorporating several modern hop varieties from the Pacific Northwest, with classic noble hops from Germany to present a blend of fruity, citrus and resinous pine aromas.
Bell’s Kal-Haven Ale (7 percent ABV): Combining malted and unmalted rye with a blend of kilned barley malts, Kal-Haven Ale brings a rich, earthy malt body to the glass. The use of Brettanomyces yeast in fermentation adds a bit of funky tartness which may not be for everyone, but I find it quite tasty.
Bell’s Quince Third Coast Old Ale (barleywine, 14.6 percent ABV): Not only is this a draft-only option, but this is a relatively new beer from Bell’s, and I have only seen it at Bell’s Eccentric Cafe. I’m guessing that this is one of very few barrels that have left the brewery. This is Bell’s Third Coast Old Ale brewed with Quince juice aged in Bourbon Barrels. I recently enjoyed this at the Brewery and thought it was wonderful. This beer alone is worth the trip to Miles Lab, although it is not for the faint-hearted beer drinker.
Bell’s Roundhouse IRA (7.7 percent ABV): Hop forward India Red Ale brewed with a substantial amount of hops and then dry hopped for lots of fruity citrus flavors.
My guess is that these won’t be around much longer, so plan a trip to Miles Lab soon for a great lunch or dinner along with your choice of Bells beer.