All day Saturday, September 12 the city of Kalamazoo was bustling with craft beer lovers. The week of September 7 marked the 30th anniversary of when Larry Bell, the founder and original Bell's beer mastermind sold his first commercial beer in 1985. In the last 30 years Bell's Brewery has gone from a hand delivered product in the area to a nationally distributed craft beer powerhouse. In many ways, Bell's Brewery is what initially put SW Michigan on the map as a destination for craft beer lovers. With drafts like Oberon and Two Hearted finding their way to more and more menus and restaurant's across the state and country, the 30th Anniversary celebration was an envied event to attend!

 

The event sold out at 3,000 people attending and the energy was surging from everyone's excitement! As a ticket holder you were able to check in early to the event at Homer Stryker Field, home of the Growlers. Upon check in, you received your sample snifter glass, a booklet with all your beer and food tokens, as well as a sneak peak at all the beers and breweries that were waiting behind closed gates.

 

Once the event kicked off at 4PM, there was no stopping the good times! The Detroit Party Band was in attendance keeping the music going, and the lines began to form for the 100+ breweries that were represented at the event. There were life size yard games, delicious food, a Ferris Wheel was brought in, and you could even go hang out at Oberon Oasis and see a boat decked out and souped up to hold all the Oberon you could want!

 

With 100 breweries and over 200 beers, there were plenty to choose from!

Larry Bell himself found his way to the pitchers mound in the middle of the event to tap and serve a single large bottle of "Batch 9000" to the gathered around attenders. Under 100 samples were poured from the mighty maker himself, but chants of "Larry, Larry, Larry!" could be heard across the stadium as he finished the bottle off himself. “We have been brewing in Kalamazoo for almost 30 years and we are extremely proud of where we got our start,” said Laura Bell, Bell’s Vice President. “This festival is a celebration of that heritage, our community and our fans,” she said.

 

We are sure the fans who were able to attend will remember the 30th Birthday of Bell's for years to come. Kalamazoo is forever grateful to be the home of this renowned brewery. We want to know if YOU were there? What beers did you love and what beers did you miss? Share your thoughts and love in the comments below!