Q&A: Bell’s mini-kegs (storage, shelf life, Oberon design and more)

Bell's Brewery, Inc.

OberonQA.jpgWith the recent release of this year’s Oberon mini-kegs, we wanted to pull together some of the more commonly asked questions (along with answers) about them here on our blog. Of course, these and many other Frequently Asked Questions can always be found here.

Q: Where did this year’s design come from?

A: The photo featured for 2012 was taken on the shore of Lake Michigan in Ludington (Mich.).

Q: How long will a mini-keg last after opening?

A: We recommend finishing them within 24-48 hours. They can be stored longer if refrigerated and with the top vent closed, but the carbonation will start to suffer. There is no counter pressure that would help hold the carbonation in, so the top seal will only offer so much protection.

Q: How long can they be stored unopened?

A: Several months, as long as you store them in a cool place. Refrigeration helps as well, and we encourage retailers to keep them cold as an added benefit for our fans, but at home - closets or basements will also work.

One other thing to keep in mind is the six-digit packaging date, which is marked on the upper portion of every mini-keg alongside the batch number. Oberon has a shelf life of six months, so please make note of when your mini-keg was packaged.

Q: Can I use your mini-kegs with my counter-top dispensing system?

A: We have recently tested two and while we do not endorse them, the Avanti Portable Party Pub and Vinotemp Mini Keg Beer Dispenser seemed to work well.

Q: Do you sell empty mini-kegs?

A: Yes we do, but only at the Bell’s General Store.

Q: Where can I find them in my area?

A: They are slowly rolling out to areas outside of Michigan. You can consult our Beer Finder for locations near you that have received recent deliveries of Oberon as a starting point (Please note: The Beer Finder’s reach is limited. More on that can be found here.).

Q: Will other brand be available in mini-kegs (Two Hearted, etc.)?

A: We hope to offer other beers in this additional packaging option again this year, but it is too early to say if and when (we will keep everyone posted though).

Q: Are they recyclable?

A: Yes they are, where available. We have also seen them used to build tables, reused as planters, converted into fountains, amps and even a turned into a canjo. (We would love to see how you have re-purposed them. Send photos here.)

Bell's beer event roundup: Dinners, Brat Festival, Chicago Craft Beer Week and more

Bell's Brewery, Inc.

ZaziosDinner.jpgHere is a look at Bell’s beer events this week in Michigan, Illinois and Minnesota.


May 22

5 course beer dinner
Cinco Lagos in Milford will host a five course beer dinner featuring Sparkling Ale, Double Cream Stout and others starting at 6 p.m. Call 248-684-7455 for more information. Find the menu here.

May 23

Chef's Table and beer dinner
Big E’s Sports Bar & Grill in Midland will host this beer dinner starting at 6 p.m. Reservations are required. Call 989-794-858 for more information.

Anniversary celebration
Fuel Wood-Fire Grill in Port Huron will celebrate their first anniversary with Batch 9,000, Oberon, Two Hearted, Amber Ale and a great menu. Call 810-479-4933 for more information.

May 24

Bell's beer dinner
This four course dinner at Zazios in Kalamazoo will feature Smoked Vienna Lager, Oberon gelato and more starting at 5:30 p.m. Call 269-384-2650 for more information.

Beer dinner
Seasonal Grille in Hastings will hots a dinner featuring Cherry Stout, Kalamazoo Stout, Lager, Two Hearted and Debs' Red at 7 p.m.

May 26

Michigan Beer & Brat Festival
Sample more than 50 of Michigan’s finest microbrews, local hard ciders & mead. Gourmet brats from northwest Michigan will also be served. This event is held outdoors, slope side at Crystal Mountain from 3-9 p.m. For more information, go here.


May 22-24

Chicago Craft Beer Week 2012
Here is a brief rundown of our events for Chicago Craft Beer Week.

May 22: Skylark - Hell Hath No Fury & Two Hearted Ale

May 23: Michigan brewery night at Beer Bistro on Madison - Smoked Vienna Lager

May 24: Tap takeover with Great Lakes Brewing Co. at Brixie’s - Smoked Vienna Lager, Harvest Ale and Black Note.

For more details, visit the official website or contact the venue.


May 22

Bell's Beer Tasting
Join Jason Gillum at Ale Jail in St. Paul for Amber Ale, Kalamazoo Stout, Lager, Oarsman, Oberon, Porter, Third Coast Beer and Two Hearted Ale. Call 651-698-9463 for more information.

May 24

Cask Ale Night
We'll be tapping a cask of Two Heated at Gun Flint Tavern in Grand Marais to kick off the Memorial Day weekend at 5 p.m. sharp. Call 218-387-1563 for more information.

Looking ahead

Join us for Bell’s night at Romans’ Pub in Milwaukee for Black Note and Batch 9,000 on May 31 and two tastings in Minnesota.

Tips, directions: Tour Bell's new brewhouse, Production Facility May 19-20

Bell's Brewery, Inc.

OpenHouseBlog.jpgFor those of you who will be stopping by our Open House this Saturday and Sunday (May19-20), here are some things to keep in mind.

  • Our Production Facility, 8938 Krum Ave. in Comstock, will be open from noon to 5 p.m. both days. All are welcome.
  • We will be grilling and serving soda.
  • Be sure to grab a brochure from the table when you walk in for more details about our latest expansion.
  • Afterward, stop by the Eccentric Café in downtown Kalamazoo, to sample any of our 26 different beers on taps along with special menu items.
  • To help celebrate our grand opening, four downtown Kalamazoo restaurants are also offering special beers and menu items this week. For more details, take a look at our previous post.

And so you know where you are going …


To our Production Facility, from the Eccentric Café  and Bell’s General Store (downtown Kalamazoo):

  • Head west on E. Kalamazoo Ave.
  • Take the first Left onto Pitcher St.
  • Take the second Left onto E. Michigan Ave.
  • Turn Right onto M-96 E
  • Turn Right onto Van Bruggen St. which becomes Krum Ave. Production facility will be on the right.

To the Eccentric Café & General Store from our Production Facility:

  • Head west on Krum Ave.
  • Continue onto Van Bruggen St.
  • Turn Left onto M-96 W/E. Michigan Ave.
  • Turn Left onto E. Michigan Ave.
  • Continue onto E. Kalamazoo Ave.
  • General Store/Eccentric Café will be on your right: 355 E. Kalamazoo Ave.

You can also find a Google map here.

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