Founded by Larry Bell in Kalamazoo, Michigan, Bell’s Brewery, Inc. sold its first beer in September 1985. Beer was initially brewed in a 15-gallon soup kettle and the company has grown remarkably from its production of 135 barrels (1 bbl = 31 gal.) in 1986 to a capacity of more than 500,000 barrels today.
Originally self-distributed, Larry and his staff of 9 employees bottled and delivered all of the beer to market during
the company’s first four years. By 1989, Bell’s was shipping over 500 barrels annually and assigned its first wholesaler to further establish itself across the state of Michigan. In 1993, Bell’s became the first Michigan brewery to open an onsite pub.
After struggling several years to produce and sell robust, full-bodied ales against a tide of mass-market domestic beer, Bell’s began to see the demand for craft beer grow dramatically and expanded into new markets. Bell’s currently distributes to 19 states with more than 80 wholesalers.
In 2003, Bell’s opened a new brewery in nearby Comstock. This facility has now seen five expansions since then.
Original brewery – Downtown Kalamazoo
Come see where it all started. Free tours of our original and still functioning brewery, connected to the Eccentric Café at 355 E. Kalamazoo Ave., are offered on Saturdays and Sundays (except when posted).
They generally run about 30-45 minutes and are available at 12:30 p.m., 1:30 p.m., 2:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. on Saturdays and 1:30 p.m., 2:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. on Sundays.
When you arrive, please add your name to the list in the atrium.
Comstock Brewery – 8938 Krum Ave. Galesburg, Mich.
With our original brewery surrounded on three sides by train tracks along with Kalamazoo Ave. on the fourth side, we recognized a need to plan for more space in which to grow early on. In 2003, we opened our Comstock Brewery.
Our most recent addition was a 200-barrel brewhouse along with expanded grain handling facilities, additional fermentation space and more.
Free guided tours are offered on Saturdays (except when posted) at 12:30 p.m., 2 p.m. and 3:30 p.m.
Our new brewhouse was designed for self guided tours as well. Everyone is invited to walk through at their own pace. Observation decks offer a prime viewing of our Bottling Hall, our older 50-barrel brewhouse, fermentation cellars and more.
Everyone is welcome to visit the brewing gallery from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays.
355 East Kalamazoo Ave.
Kalamazoo, MI 49007
General Store Hours
10 a.m.-9 p.m. Mondays-Saturdays
Noon-7 p.m. Sundays