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Bell’s Eccentric Cafe Visit

What’s up everyone? Yesterday, I took a trip up to Bell’s in Kalamazoo to have dinner with my girlfriend, Kristin, at the Eccentric Cafe. This was our second trip there, and it did not disappoint. The Cafe has a great atmosphere, and attracts craft beer enthusiasts and craft newcomers alike.

After situating ourselves at two recently vacated spots at the bar, we ordered our first drinks. Kristin started with a glass of Two Hearted (American IPA, 7%), while I had much more I wanted to try. Because I was driving, I stuck to some smaller, but still delicious glasses to maximize what I got to enjoy. My half flight consisted of Bourbon Barrel Batch 9000 (American Strong Ale, ??%), Bourbon Barrel Cherry Stout (Fruit Stout, 10.4%), and This One Goes to 11 (Imperial Red Ale, 11%).

The Bourbon Barrel Batch 9000 was far and away my favorite beer of the day – really great bourbon vanilla, molasses, plum, and chocolate. This One Goes to 11 was very enjoyable as well, but more on that later. Bourbon Barrel Cherry Stout was not my pint of choice, and I was just not a fan of the mixture of cherry flavor and bourbon barrel aging. We then ordered some dinner. Kristin got the Pulled Pork Sandwich while I enjoyed the Smoked Chicken Sandwich. Both turned out to be pretty tasty. I do however wish I had ordered the Jambalaya as I had done the first time (delicious!!). After wrapping up the meal, we each ordered one more beer. I opted for the Raspberry Ale (not pictured, but very tart and delicious – I’m a big sour fan), while Kristin got a Two Hearted from the firkin.

I will definitely say this, Two Hearted really does taste better than anywhere else, both on cask and draft, at the Eccentric Cafe. I’m guessing it is the fact that it is incredibly fresh, but it blows any bottle or draft of it I’ve had in South Bend out of the water. Much more juicy, and full of grapefruit and citrus flavor. As we left, we stopped into the General Store located out front, and I grabbed a Hopslam poster for myself, and a 6 pack of This One Goes to 11 for Andy. There seemed to be a handful of cases of “11” left in the back, but I would certainly call before planning a trip up there any time soon to make sure they have it. This beer will also see limited distribution, most likely this coming week.

All in all, a great way to spend a beautiful Saturday evening. The drive isn’t too bad, about an hour and twenty minutes using the main roads out of South Bend. I highly recommend making the trip up one afternoon with a few friends to grab a flight or a few pints and a meal. If you would like to check the tap list before you make the trip, you can go to Bell’s website via this link – http://www.bellsbeer.com/eccentric-cafe/beers-on-tap/. Navigating through the site will provide you with a food menu as well.

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