The last time I was back in the mid-west I made a detour to Kalamazoo Michigan and stopped into Bell’s Brewery. They had numerous beers on tap at the Eccentric Cafe, so I pulled up a seat at the bar and dove right in!
Wild One is an experimental ale with a 6.8% ABV.
This auburn colored brew had a mild head with no lacing. The smell is of grapes, very wine like.
Tartness jumps all over your tongue with each sip of this brew. It tastes a lot like a white wine. Mouthfeel is very light, but biting.
A good, interesting beer, but I don’t think I could drink more than one in a sitting. Fun to try though!
Overall: 3.5 out of 10
As a SOUR ALE: 5.5 out of 10
Poolside is a cherry wheat beer with a 5.8% ABV rating.
This wheat beer is a familiar golden color with orange highlights along the edges.
The nose is fruity (citrus), with slight cherry notes.
Poolside is a very middle of the road beer. There was something different in there, but I wouldn’t definitively say that it was cherry flavoring (no where near the levels of the Sam Adams Cherry Wheat, though).
The mouthfeel is really light and dries the mouth, but doesn’t leave any aftertaste.
A forgettable American wheat beer.
Overall: 3.5 out of 10
As a WHEAT BEER: 3.5 out of 10
A robust porter for all occasions. A blend of dark malts give this beer flavors of coffee and chocolate with subtle roasted notes.Gold medal winner in the Brown Porter category Brewers Association World Beer Cup 2008.
Bell’s foray into the world of porters comes in the form of a 5.6% ABV brew.
This beer is a dark brown with ruby highlights. A mild head covers the beer, but there is mucho lacing.
Smells like chocolate and espresso beans. Mmmmm.
As would be expected, the taste is that of coffee with dark chocolate making an appearance in the finish.
Mouthfeel is medium, with a mild warming quality. There is also a slight drying sensation that isn’t to overpowering or distracting.
Not a heavy porter, but a refreshing one none the less.
Overall: 7 out of 10
As a PORTER: 6.5 out of 10
This experimental rye ale was brewed with wild yeast and has an ABV of 7.3%.
Kal-Haven is tannish colored beer with gold highlights appearing when held to the light. No head, no lacing.
The first thing that popped into my head when sniffing this brew was strawberry Kool-Aid. That definitely made me smile.
This tasted like raspberries…period.
The mouth is light, airy and goes down smooth. There is no bite or sting.
Kal-Haven is like a Belgian red ale’s little brother. This experiment was a success!
Overall: 7.5 out of 10
As a BELGIAN RED: 7.5 out of 10
Deb’s Red is a red ale (duh!) with a 6.2% abv.
Pours ruby red with no head or lacing.
The smell reminded me of strawberry Pop-Tarts. Bell’s apparently loves making their brews smell like my childhood. And for that, I applaud them.
Tastes like beer. Malts, hops, barley, water, yeast, etc. I was hoping to get some of the Pop-Tart-y goodness, but sadly I was let down.
An alcohol tinge is present in both the mouth and the aftertaste. Mouthfeel is medium bodied, bitey and warm.
A seemingly forgettable beer.
Overall: 4.5 out of 10
As a RED ALE: 4.5 out of 10
HARRY MaGILL’S SPICED STOUT
A winter warmer with a 5.6% ABV.
Harry MaGill’s is a dark brown, almost black brew. The head is slight (odd for a stout) and the lacing is mild.
Taste, nose, and aftertaste all have hints of gingerbread, nutmeg and cinnamon! Tasty! (Even my dad, who’s doesn’t like dark beers, enjoyed this brew.)
Mouthfeel is surprisingly light and smooth.
Harry MaGill’s Spiced Stout is a fantastic beer and would love to try one of these on a cold winter night.
Overall: 8 out of 10
As a SPICED STOUT: 9 out of 10
Wedding Ale is a honey wheat beer with a 7% ABV (wow!).
Color is golden/orange color with a light head and mild lacing.
Tastes like a wheat beer, but the honey is more prevalent then your average honey wheat (Dundee, I’m looking at you!).
Mouthfeel is light, but viscous like honey. Aftertaste is kinda sweet, foamy and a little warm.
This is one of the better honey-laced brews I’ve tried.
Overall: 7.5 out of 10
As a HONEY WHEAT: 8.5
Golden Rye is Bell’s version of the pale ale and has a 6.5% ABV.
A thin strip of white foam dots this straw-colored brew. Dark orange highlights are visible when the light hits it.
Smells of hops and slight pine notes. Kinda sweet-smelling.
Golden Rye tastes like your standard American pale ale. It’s good, but doesn’t set the bar in the genre. Where’s the rye?
The mouthfeel is light and smooth, but drying.
Even though the rye didn’t make its presence known as much as I would have hoped, I still enjoyed drinking it. I could definitely see myself getting wasted off these!
Overall: 6.5 out of 10
As a PALE ALE: 6.5 out of 10
All in all the Bell’s Brewery experience was a success. Good brews, knowledgeable staff and friendly customers, equals one fun evening in K-zoo.