Kalamazoo, Mich.-based Bell's rang in with a knockout tasting event at The Beer Sellar a week or so ago and people are still talking about the fabulous opportunity to sample brews available only at Bell's Eccentric Café (355 E. Kalamazoo Ave.). The usually un-boastful founder, Larry Bell, allowed that not too many other breweries can "throw off 30 specialties at one time" while complimenting "folks in Indianapolis who worked hard to make the event possible." Bell cited navigating legal issues for transporting beer across state borders and the challenge for creating a learning and fun experience for a large number of people.
World Class Beverages personnel mingled, specialty brewer Kevin Stuchell came from Kalamazoo to chat informally, Bell's sales rep Veronica Sanders emceed the give-aways and Beer Sellar staff kept the brews flowing to everyone's delight, including carloads from Illinois, Ohio, Kentucky and across Indiana. Beer Geeks especially noted Rye Stout with a "hint of smokiness" as a favorite.
The delight of the event, however, was inviting a lifetime non-craft beer drinker to try Bell's Lager of the Lakes and hear him say, "That is good. I'd buy it. Pretty smooth with a little wood taste." He could detect a variety of character and converse knowledgeably.
"Celebrating great diversity of beer in America is really cool," Larry Bell commented. "Bravo to the beer connoisseur and thank you for opening your mind to the craft beer industry." For the full listing with descriptions, log on to www.bellsbeer.com and www.worldclassbeverages.com.
July 12, it's worth a trip to Shoreline Brewery Restaurant, 208 Wabash St., Michigan City, Ind., for their annual Red White and Brews Fest, 2 p.m.-midnight. Ribs and more from their fine kitchen, plus fireworks. $10/$15. www.shorelinebrewery.com.
July 15, experience Sun King, Indianapolis' newest craft brews, served in concert with a menu by Chef JJ Boston and Goose the Market at Spencer's Stadium Tavern, 802 S. West St., at 6 p.m. $39. 317-916-8888; 317-602-3701; www.sunkingbrewing.com.
The 14th Annual Indiana Microbrewers Festival is July 18, 3-7 p.m. at Opti Park, 820 E. 66th St. $30 advance tickets; $35 at the gate, if not sold out. Designated driver entry is $8 (at gate only; not subject to sell-out) and includes complimentary water and soft drinks. The event benefits The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and Optimist International. Call 317-856-6092 or log on to www.indianabeer.com.