A Bell Ringing in Belgium

I haven’t had to weigh in with comment on the business side of brewing for quite a bit but yesterday breaking news arrived that Bell’s Beer was joining New Belgium which itself is part of Lion (aka Kirin).

I know that is a bit of a complicated flow chart but it boils down to the two iconic breweries becoming siblings of a sort.

And it doesn’t strike me as a bad thing. Then again, I am non-plussed when it comes to good breweries banding together. Sometimes it won’t work but it can produce a bigger company that can then do more.

My usual advice stands. Monitor both breweries beers and if the nothing changes, don’t worry, be happy.

A Better Uber

Imagine Anchor Steam Beer or Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, an iconic beer. Then barrel it.

That is what Bell’s Brewery has done with Uberon, their twist on Oberon. “Uberon is a bourbon barrel-aged version of our iconic American Wheat Ale. It’s strong, spicy, warming… Uberon tastes like our classic American Wheat Ale with a shot of bourbon dropped into it.”

HopSlam a Robot

If you look for the mini-kegs of Hopslam from Bell’s, you will need to look for flying saucers and robots because the packaging has been sent out of this world…

… one of the classic craft beers.

Ring the Bell 35 Times

Bell’s is bringing out an extra special Russian Imperial Stout for their 35th year and this is the type of beer that you should get one for now and one for later because they really do some complex dark beers that you will want to test again in a year or so.


Thanks to a windfall of breweries distributing in L.A., instead of bemoaning when a new beer was released (but nowhere near me), I now get to buy it. Which means that I can pick up a can of Bell’s Brewery newest addition, Quinannan Falls Special Lager Beer when it arrives in June.

Here is part of the backstory- “Quinannan Falls” pronounced “҆Kwi-ni-naan,” or Q-Falls as it affectionately known at Bell’s pub, has been an Eccentric Café favorite since 2009.”

And the beer description – “The end result is a dry-hopped lager that possesses a crisp, dry bitterness you would expect from a German pilsner, but the use of highly aromatic Simcoe hops from the Pacific Northwest, evoke the fragrant pine forests that inspired this beer.”

Featured Review – Christmas Ale from Bell’s

Well, if you brew a beer called Christmas Ale, it might as well be vivid red in color. That is what Bell’s has accomplished as you can see….
Their Midwestern take on the holiday seasonal almost smells like fruitcake as well. Their is a definitive fruit note here that evokes the better aspect of the oft neglected cake. The jelly note and sweetness is here as is a tang of metallic swirling with the soft malts. There is a tiny touch of bitterness as well but it doesn’t linger for long. A lighter take that I would like to see bulked a little bit with some roastier malt but is an interesting viewpoint on what Santa might drink.