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How much to they love hops at Bell’s?

John Mallett's license plate

Eccentric Cafe entranceLet’s start with the license plate on the back of production manager John Mallett’s truck (above).

Then there’s the collection of plates at the entrance of the Eccentric Pub, which is where Larry Bell started what was then called Kalamazoo Brewing. They still brew “downtown” but most of production — which will surpass 100,000 barrels this year — takes place in the purpose-built brewery in nearby Galesburg.

Four 200-barrel fermenters in the brewery look just a little different than the others. They have special large tops to make dry hopping easier. The brewers can easily open them to dump in a bunch (yes, the technical brewing term) of Centennial hops.

This car spotted in the pub parking lot indicates a certain level of satisfaction with the effort.

Bell's fan

10 Responses to How much to they love hops at Bell’s?

  1. Todd July 15, 2008 at 9:19 am #

    Any hop farms in MI?

  2. SteveH July 15, 2008 at 2:04 pm #

    Todd — I believe that answer is yes, though maybe not anything significant. Word has gotten out that Larry Bell has a few friends cultivating hops and Kalamazoo has been experimenting with batches served up at the Eccentric Cafe.

  3. Stan Hieronymus July 16, 2008 at 5:27 am #

    No commercial hop farms.

    Bell’s has beautiful vines at the Eccentric Cafe, but the hops wouldn’t be usable because everything is on an old industrial base. They’ve also got vines at the production brewery, but not enough for even one 50-barrel batch.

    There have been farmers selling Bell’s a few hops for years. Here’s something I wrote a while back.

  4. Kristen England July 16, 2008 at 10:56 am #

    Im just wondering Stan if you’ve gotten your IQ tested lately. 120bu’s is a lot to live up to!! 😉 HA


  5. HBTolllllo July 16, 2008 at 12:57 pm #

    I can’t resist. I guess that’s why they call it a vanity plate!

  6. SteveH July 17, 2008 at 5:16 am #

    Sweet — the Brewmaster at one of the local brewpubs (Art at Flatlanders, Lincolnshire, IL) has had the same plate on his pickup for years — since back when he started home-brewing: I BREW. Makes me wonder what the local constabulary might think…

  7. Stan Hieronymus July 17, 2008 at 2:58 pm #

    Kristen – care to guess the BUs on Two Hearted?

  8. Kristen England July 18, 2008 at 7:53 am #

    Stan I would guess right around 50 or so. Another beer you shouldn’t be drinking! HA HA

  9. Stan Hieronymus July 19, 2008 at 5:10 am #

    Kris – Good job. Most people peg it in the 60s, but it is high 50s (that’s measured, not calculated).

  10. Sopor42 July 19, 2008 at 10:43 am #

    @Stan Hieronymus – Not true! There is a commerical hop farm in Saranac… not very big, but I’ve bought and used their Fuggle and Nugget, pretty good! But I think they’re too small to supply a brewery, just homebrewers.

    Also, word is there is a new comm Hop Farm going in near Holland…

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