Bell’s has been brewing award winning beer for over twenty-five years and is easily amongst the founding fathers of the new craft beer movement. Simply stated, Bell’s Brewing is craft beer.

Where do I begin with profiling such an established and consistent brewery such as Bell’s from Kalamazoo, Michigan? Bell’s has been brewing award winning beer for over twenty-five years and is among the founding fathers of craft beer.  Everything about this venerable brewery screams craft beer.

Bell’s is currently distributed to fourteen states. In 2010, the brewery produced 23% more beers than the previous year. Some of my personal favorites include the seasonal powerhouse Hopslam, The Oracle, and the household staple Two Hearted Ale. I tend to go out of my way to tell our readers that Two Hearted is one of the top IPAs in the world.

Type: Production brewery

Available in DC Market: Yes, we get some great one-offs as well. Bell’s has been good to our market.

SAVOR Offerings:


Bell’s Amber Ale

Beer Advocate: B + (684 Reviews)
Rate Beer: 90 Overall, 98 Style

Notes: Think American red ale with slight sweet caramel notes. This amber has a nice body and finishes clean. The bitterness might be a tad high for this style but nothing substantial or un-balanced.

Bell’s Cherry Stout

Beer Advocate: B (770 Reviews)

Rate Beer: 92 Overall, 83 Style

Notes: This one is a bit odd, to say the least, and should be one of the more unique beers of the event. Cherries tend to dominate a beer’s flavor profile but in this case, the cherries are kept in balance by the dark malt and slight coffee notes.

What you need to know: I’ve never had a beer from Bell’s that I didn’t enjoy, but I would have preferred something a bit more exciting for this year’s event.   Bell’s just celebrated their 25th Anniversary and is currently the 15th largest brewery in America.  Bell’s Brewing was craft beer before craft beer was cool. I recommend trying the Cherry Stout early in the evening before the hop bombs destroy your pallet.

This profile is a part of the DCBEER.COM SAVOR Brewery Profile series. For more information, follow this link to see profiles of all 2011 SAVOR participants.

Beer Review Disclaimer: The beer reviews found on Beer Advocate and Rate Beer do not represent the opinions of this site. We provide these in the hope that they will serve as a resource showing what some craft beer fans have thought of the beers. These reviews can be a helpful guideline, but are not the be-all end-all about a beer’s strengths or weaknesses.