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Bell's Brewery Tour

Join us on Thursday, July 13, to tour Bell's Brewery.

Click HERE to register!

Event: Bell's Brewery Tour

When: Thursday Morning - July 13 or Thursday Afternoon - July 13

List of CCCoA Convention Events:

  • Tour Bell's Brewery (Thursday);

  • Visit the old Checker Motors plant site and Markin Glen Park (Thursday);

  • Tour the Gibson guitar factory (now called Heritage Guitars) (Thursday or Friday);

  • Visit Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park (Friday);

  • Visit the Gerald Ford Presidential Library (Friday);

  • Tour the Gilmore Classic Car Museum (home of Checkers) (Saturday);

  • Visit Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park (Friday);

The Bell journey began with a 15-gallon soup kettle, a quest for better beer and countless batches of home brew. The passion and personality that began Bell’s continues today through the breweries and Eccentric Café. Bell's continues to grow and evolve, dedicated to its mission; to be fiercely independent, 100% family owned, deeply rooted to our community, committed to the environment and brewers of inspired beer.

Here is the shortened version of Bell's history*:

Late 1970's: Late 1970s Larry Bell moves to Kalamazoo to attend Kalamazoo College. After college, he begins working at the original Sarkozy Bakery where he gains an interest in yeast and fermentation. Soon after, Larry starts brewing his own beer and sees an opportunity.

1983: Larry opens his homebrew supply store under the name Kalamazoo Brewing Co.

September 1985: Brewing with a 15-gallon soup pot, Larry sells his first commercial beer.

1986: Production reaches 135 barrels (1 barrel = 31 gallons). Originally self-distributed, Larry and a staff of 9, bottled and delivered everything for the next four years.

1989: Bell’s was shipping more than 500 barrels annually and assigned its first wholesaler, Rave Associates, based in Ann Arbor, Michigan, to further establish itself across the state of Michigan.

1990: Bell’s beer starts heading to states beyond Michigan.

June 1993: Bell’s became the first Michigan brewery to open an onsite pub, the Eccentric Café.

2001: Bell’s original, downtown Kalamazoo Brewery is brewing 7 days a week to keep up with demand. With no more room to grow, plans are put in place for a second brewery.

2003: Bell’s Comstock Brewery opens about seven miles east of Kalamazoo on 32-acre site. The original footprint is just over 35,000 square feet.

2005: Comstock facility expands for the first time. Construction will continue, in stages over the next few years.

March 2011: The Eccentric Café reopens after a $3 million renovation that includes a state-of-the-art music venue, expanded restrooms, additional seating options, a transformed Beer Garden, a new patio and a new main entry way.

May 2012: A brand-new American made 200-barrel brewhouse and an expanded Comstock Brewery officially opens.

April 2013: Our sister brewery, Upper Hand Brewery, is officially announced.

2014: A canning line and twelve 800-barrel fermenters added.

Fall 2014: Upper Hand begins brewing and packaging beer in Escanaba, located in Michigan's Upper Peninsula.A division of Bell's, it is an entirely separate brewery, offering a completely different line of beers available across Michigan’s Upper Peninsula and northern Wisconsin.

2015: The Eccentric Café unveils a full-service restaurant and full-sized kitchen in a space once used to brew and package beer. The 150 square-foot kitchen that served the Café’s guests for more than 20 years, makes way for an expanded, brand new bar and additional draught options.Construction begins on our eighth brewery expansion in Comstock.

September 2016: Construction is completed on a brand new Bottling Hall, warehouse space, additional fermentation space, employee care areas and Logistics Center.

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