Bell's Brewery is awesome. They make a ridiculous selection of beers which are almost always great. And by great, I mean freakin great.
Yet I can't get their beers. I write this blog out of New Jersey, which is unfortunate for a big reason: we don't get Bell's beer. New Jersey, believe it or not, gets distribution from more breweries than any other state in the nation. More than Oregon. More than California. More than New York. Yet we get no Bell's (not to mention no New Belgium, a craft brewery that gives Sam Adams and Yuengling a run for their money when it comes to size). Bell's just doesn't get here.
Bell's is out of Michigan, which, you'd never guess, is one of the best brewing states in America. I'm firmly on record as loving Founder's beers, also out of Michigan. Michigan also has Atwater, the much celebrated Jolly Pumpkin, the cool New Holland Brewing Co., Arcadia Ales, and dozens more. Bell's may be the biggest of all. They're pretty major when it comes to craft beer.
My first Bell's beer came courtesy of my friend Eric Ceresa. When he visited from Michigan in 2007 he brought local beer with him. That beer was
Oberon, and as he explained, in Michigan you had Oberon with a slice
orange. At the time, this idea was alien to me. Blue Moon had yet to
explode and fruit in beer? No.
Well, yes. Because good is good. I had it that way, it was delicious, and I'm forever in his debt.
But I can't buy Bell's in New Jersey.
Thankfully, my buddy Jim, my coauthor on A Year of Hitchcock and co-host of the Year of Hitchcock Podcast, hooks me up when he visits. I've been able to have over a dozen Bell's beers, most more than once. On our most recent get together he brought me a fantastic assortment that included a six-pack of my already reviewed Bell's Oberon, among others.
So this week is dedicated to Bell's. Each day, I'm going to do a quick review of one of this brewery's awesome beers. Hope you enjoy ... especially if you can get their beer. Enjoy!