Lance's Brewery Tour comes to Kalamazoo, Comstock

Josh Smith | Bell's Brewery
10.29.2013

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We were thrilled and honored to welcome Lance's Brewery Tour to Bell's this week.

Team stopped by for a tour and interview in Comstock then headed to the Eccentric Cafe afterward to sample the menu and beers on draft.

For those not familiar with this project, Lance Rice is a beer historian with autism who has been collecting beer memorabilia and memorizing beer history since 1974.

With the help of a small film crew, he has set out to fulfill his dream to write a book about the history and culture of American beer. The entire process is being captured in a documentary.

From Lance's website:

For Lance, his nationwide brewery tour is the first time he has left home without his mother or a guardian figure. In fact, it’s the first time he has faced his fears and abandoned the routines that help Lance cope with life. For anyone who understands autism, these feats are more than breakthroughs – they are miracles. What’s even more astonishing is Lance is doing all of this at 55 years-old.

At an age when most people give up on development, Lance is experiencing the most rapid period of emotional, cognitive and personal growth in his entire life. To fully understand Lance’s autism, as a child he wouldn’t leave his home, would not speak and was institutionalized. Now fast forward half a century. Lance began his brewery tour just over a month ago and in that time he tackled claustrophobia, a fear of heights, social phobias, initiated a conversation with a stranger for the first time and even addressed a crowd. For those touched by autism, Lance represents incredible hope. He is an adult who is embracing autism, achieving a dream most thought was impossible and inspiring countless people as he journeys – and he’s doing this one brewery at a time.

Lance and crew have traveled all over the country and are nearing the end of the first part of this project (the traveling, research and filming). For more on this inspired project, please visit their website.


Comstock brewery tour hours are changing, here’s what you need to know

Josh Smith | Bell's Brewery
10.22.2013

BrewhouseVertical.jpgThe temperatures are falling, the sun is setting sooner and stouts and porters are flowing more frequently.

Beginning Nov. 1, we will be changing over to a winter hours schedule for brewery tours.

Tours at our brewery in downtown Kalamazoo will be unaffected and we will continue to offer them at  12:30 p.m., 1:30 p.m., 2:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. on Saturdays and 1:30 p.m., 2:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. on Sundays.

But for brewery tours in Comstock there are two changes we want everyone to be aware of:

  • Public visiting hours during the week will be offered from 2 to 5 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays.
  • Guided public tours will only be offered at 12:30 p.m. on the first Saturday of each month, except on holidays.

Private group tours are still an option at our Comstock location on other weekends, and this change will actually allow us to expand the available time window for bus groups and other large tours.

If you are interested in group tours, please contact our Tour Coordinator.


Photos: New fermenters have arrived in Michigan

Josh Smith | Bell's Brewery
10.22.2013

Our new 800-barrel fermenters have arrived in Michigan. They will begin their journey to our Comstock Brewery later this week.

The photo below on the left, was taken in Marine City. The one on the right was taken in Port Huron as the ship crossed underneath the Blue Water Bridge.

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