Bell’s Vanilla Black Note Stout
Style: Imperial Stout (w/ Vanilla Beans. Barrel Aged. Bourbon.)
Availability: 12oz Bottles. Limited Release.
Bell’s Brewery’s Two Hearted Ale is known epically as one of the best (if not the best) India pale ale in America. As you read this, fans are eagerly awaiting Double Two Hearted Ale, which is basically Two Hearted turned into the Incredible Hulk. The “Hearted Ale” series has a lesser known, lovable lighter side – Light Hearted Ale.
The 110 calorie, 8.7 carb, 3.5% alcohol by volume “light” ale has been a Bell’s General Store exclusiver release, showing up on social media earlier this summer.
By the looks of it, the brewery has redesigned the artwork, presumably in a move to take this session India pale ale national. Sample bottles with the new artwork have surfaced online.
Per the brewery’s description:
Light hearted is everything you love about Two Hearted: 100% centennial hops, balanced, a firm malt backbone, and all of the hop aroma too, from pine to grapefruit.
Bell’s Light Hearted Ale does not appear on the brewery’s release calendar currently.
Bell’s Sparkleberry Ale returns to 16-ounce cans for summer 2019.
This fruit-forward release first debuted in 2013 in honor of the Kalamazoo, Michigan Pride Festival. Bell’s Brewery was a presenting sponsor. Since then, the beer has been made more widely available on draft, plus a few 750-milliliter bottles at Bell’s General Store.
This summer, Bell’s Sparkleberry Ale returns in 16-ounce cans. The brewery continues to maintain their partnership with Kalamazoo Pride, a fundraiser for OutFront Kalamazoo. The Kalamazoo Gay-Lesbian Resource Center, OutFront Kalamazoo, continues to serve the gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender community of greater Kalamazoo, its friends, and allies.
“Our celebration of diversity is no secret, but this can says it front and center. No matter who you are or who you love, all are welcome at Bell’s.”- Laura Bell, Bell’s Brewery
Bell’s Sparkleberry Ale is now available in 16-ounce cans and draft seasonally.
Debut: June 2013 (Draft)
Can Debut: June 2018
Latest Return: June 2019
Image: Beer Street Journal
Bell’s Song of Myself
A few years ago, it was a series of planetary releases inspired by Gustav Holst’s orchestral suite by the same name. Now Bell’s Brewery is taking their latest beer inspirations from Walt Whitman, his poetry collection Leaves of Grass.
Starting this month, and continuing into 2020, look for seven different literary beer pieces, each brewed with Whitman in mind. Up first – Song of Myself, a German-inspired American India pale ale.
“Over the years, we’ve drawn inspiration from a variety of different sources from music to literature to the Great Lakes. This series is just the latest example of how the arts have inspired us to create new and innovative recipes.” – Larry Bell, President, and Founder
After Song of Myself IPA, the series will tentatively look like this:
The Prairie-Grass Dividing (July) – Gose-Style Ale Brewed with Plum, Salt & Coriander
Oh, Captain! My Captain! (September)- Black India pale lager
To a Locomotive in Winter (November) – Smoked Porter
Song of the Open Road (January 2020) – Winter Warmer
Salut Au Monde! (March 2020) – Lager with old world grains
Spontaneous Me (May 2020) – Wild Fermented Beer
Leaves of Grass was first published in 1855. Whitman spent a good bit of his life revising the collection, which started as just 12 poems, growing to over 400 at the time of his death. The last edition, aka “The Deathbed” edition, was published in 1892.
Each of the Bell’s Leaves of Grass Series will be available in 12-ounce bottles, in limited quantities nationally.
Article updated with future potential styles.
Bell’s Official Hazy IPA joins the brewery’s year-round portfolio in 2019.
It’s been almost 8 months since the announcement, and finally, Bell’s Official Hazy IPA is on shelves. The release combines two things the brewery says they do best, India pale ale and wheat beer.
Mosaic, Citra, Azacca, Amarillo, and El Dorado hops are the stars in this wheat heavy release. Development of this future release started in 2017, alongside Titania and Larry’s Latest IPA. As Bell’s describes this newbie, “Official is a refined beer for those who love hops AND for those who prefer wheat beers. Not to be confused with New England IPAs, Official is Bell’s Hazy IPA.”
Look for Official Hazy IPA in 16-ounce cans, 12-ounce cans, 12-ounce bottles and draft across the brewery’s 40 state distribution plus Washington D.C. and Puerto Rico starting in March 2019.
Hops: Mosaic, Citra, Azacca, Amarillo, El Dorado
Availabilty: 12oz Cans, 16oz Cans, 12oz Bottles, Draft.
Debut: March 2019
Bell’s Double Two Hearted Ale will be bottled for the first time this summer.
For years, Bell’s Two Hearted Ale overtook Russian River Pliny the Elder as #1 India Pale Ale in America, according to Zymurgy Magazine, published by the American Homebrewer’s Association. Elder had the spot for seven years straight. Two Hearted Ale has both “classic” and “epic” statuses in our book.
In the past, you might have been lucky to come across Bell’s Double Two Hearted Ale on draft. It’s a hoppier and definitely boozier edition of its famous predecessor, to the tune of 11% alcohol by volume.
Expect 12-ounce bottles and draft of Double Two Hearted Ale to arrive in July 2019.
Style: Imperial IPA
Availability: 12oz Bottles (New), Draft.
Debut (Bottles): July 2019