Bell’s Brewery is no stranger to commemorative ales. I have a bottle in my collection from the brewery’s 20th anniversary release, and I still have bottles of the 25th anniversary beer in my cellar.
Other notable commemorative beers include when both of Larry Bell’s children, Laura and David, turned 21. (I have those bottles in my collection as well.)
The next big milestone for Bell’s is its 30th anniversary, and from what I can see of the planning and guest brewery list for the Funvitational beer fest Sept. 12, this is going to be the grandest party of the year!
- RELATED: Hop Notes: Kalamazoo brewery will host Funvitational Beer Festival in honor of 30th anniversary, Jan. 21, 2015
Tickets for the Bell’s 30th anniversary Funvitational are all sold out, and mine arrived in the mail while I was gone on vacation.
Bell’s has always brewed solid stouts, and I have mentioned many times in Hop Notes that Bell’s Expedition Stout (Russian imperial stout, 10.5 percent ABV) is one of my all time favorite stouts — especially when aged two years or more. In fact, it is one of the earliest commercially available beers of this style, so it is no surprise that Bell’s 30th anniversary ale will indeed be an imperial stout.
I won’t repeat the story of Larry Bell’s humble beginnings with a 15-gallon soup pot, in the back of Sarkozy’s Bakery, but I suggest you track down Judy Sarkozy if you want the full detailed story.
“This beer is a testament to three-plus decades of hard-work. It honors all that has helped us get to this point – hard work, quality and authenticity,” said Larry Bell, Bell’s president and founder.
“It reminds us of where we’ve been, how we’ve grown over the years, the challenges we’ve faced and at the same time, looks forward to what comes next,” he added.
- RELATED: Dining A La King: Bell’s Eccentric Cafe is now a sit-down restaurant with full-blown menu, July 13, 2015
Here is the official description from the brewery press release:
“Flavors of dark fruit and roasted chocolate meld to create a full-bodied, roasty stout. A fair amount of Polaris hops lend a brightness and a nice character that will help carry the beer in its early stages making it incredibly drinkable and interesting. Dark malt characteristics will continue to develop over time, so that beer drinkers who choose to cellar it, can enjoy the beer for years to come.”
This big, strong celebratory beer (11 percent ABV) will be released in September coinciding with Bell’s 30th anniversary Funvitational event.
It will be available in bottles (six-packs) and on draught. The label will feature a special seal designed and made specifically to commemorate and celebrate Bell’s 30th Anniversary.
Other recent changes at Bell’s Brewery include the new Eccentric Cafe dining room. This addition means an expanded kitchen menu with great entrees that can be ordered from anywhere in the dining room or tap room. For more details, check out Marshall King’s article about our trip to the soft opening on July 9. I have included several photos from our trip for you to enjoy.