Bell's brews first ale in 100-year-old wooden fermenters

Fritz Klug | Bell's Brewery

Andrews Ale_003 smalll.jpg

Bell’s Brewery is releasing its first beer fermented in 100-year-old wooden cypress tanks that were used by Stroh Brewing Company in Detroit.

Andrews’ Ale is inspired by the traditional English style Extra Special Bitter and uses a semi-retired malt variety, Chevallier, that was popular during the 19th Century in England.

The tanks came to Bell’s from Detroit, where they were sitting in a warehouse for more than 50 years. They were transferred in pieces and reassembled by local carpenters at Bell’s. Each tank is about 12 feet in diameter and stands about 8 feet tall.

Bell’s Director of Operations John Mallett’s idea for Andrews’ Ale was to make a beer with a heritage barley malt. The wooden tanks were used because it was the material used in fermenters when the style was popular.

Chevallier was the primary barley grown in England through the 19th century. By the late 1880s, it made up 80 to 90 percent of all the barley grown there. Today, it has all but disappeared. In 2012, it was grown in small quantities in England where it was malted as a test plot.

Our friends at Brewers Supply Group had some of the malt available this year but in limited supply. Bell’s was one of the few breweries that were offered some to brew with. 

The name “Andrews’ Ale” is derived from one of the laborers of the Reverend John Chevallier whose surname was Andrews. In “Malt: A Practical Guide from Field to Brewhouse” Mallet writes that the barley originated from a laborer named Andrews. While walking through a field of barley, Andrews plucked a couple of ears out of the ground. Upon returning to his cottage, he tossed a few kernels into his garden to feed the chickens. The barley grew quite fine and well, so much so that Chevallier decided to try and cultivate it.

The beer is 5% ABV and is toasty, biscuity, with notes of caramel and a grassy hoppy flavor.

Andrews’ Ale is on tap at the Eccentric Café. You can see the wooden tanks from our brewery gallery. See them during public museum hours or during a tour. Learn more about visiting Bell’s.

12 Bell's events for Cleveland Beer Week 2015

Josh Smith | Bell's Brewery


Photo caption: Bell's and Cleveland Beer Week 2014

We have quite a few events lined up for this year's Cleveland Beer Week, including our annual Bell's Ruins Cleveland Beer Week tappening. Hope to see you soon.

Oct. 9-18

Bell's Satellite Brew Pub: Tremont Tap House - 12 Bell's beers on tap all week including core, seasonal, and specialty beers.

Oct. 9

Keepin’ it 100: La Cave du Vin, Cleveland Heights, 9 p.m.

Oct 10

Our annual Bell's Ruins Beer Week: Tremont Tap House, Cleveland, noon - close

A tap takeover of epic proportions featuring a variety of beer all day long.

Special tappings: Oracle at noon, Wild One at 1pm, Hell Hath No Fury (available for first time in 3 years!) at 2 p.m., Mango Habanero Oberon (limited release!) at 3 p.m., 30th Anniversary beer at 4 p.m., Traverse City Barrel Aged Porter (one of only 3 kegs brought to Ohio) at 5 p.m., and two more tappings TBA at 6 p.m. and 7 p.m.

Oct. 11

Birthday Brunch: Town Hall - 6 Bells beer on draft, a magician, clown and prizes, 11 a.m.

Draught beers: Best Brown Ale, Octoberfest, Two Hearted, Mango Habanero Oberon, 30th Anniversary Ale, and Wild One.

Oct. 12

Offshore Pour: Nautica Queen - A 2.5 hour cruise on Lake Erie with 15 of the best craft breweries in the world. Meet the brewery reps, enjoy the beer, and take in the beautiful view of Cleveland from Lake Erie. 6-9 p.m.

Oct. 13

Culture Yourself: Great Lakes Brewing Tasting Room

Oct. 14

Pint Night: Mike's Bar & Grille, Berea, 5 p.m. – Mini-tap takeover and keep the glass, featuring Hell Hath No Fury... Ale, Octoberfest, Quinannan Falls Special Lager, Two Hearted Ale and a firkin of Best Brown Ale.

Onshore Pour: Dive Bar, 7-11 p.m. - Brewery reps will be on hand, mixing and mingling and having a raucous good time plus, a Skee Ball tournament!

Shipwrecked: The Official On and Off the Shore After Party, Tremont Tap House, 10 p.m.

Oct. 15

30th Anniversary Celebration: Winking Lizard, Independence, 4-9 p.m. - Two Hearted, Octoberfest, Best Brown, Hell Hath No Fury... Ale and 30th Anniversary Ale.

Oct. 16

Fourth Street Fanfare: Beginning at 4 p.m. at Corner Alley - Join 6 phenomenal breweries as we parade up and down 4th street drinking beer and having a raucous good time! [DETAILS]

Beer & Chocolate Extravaganza: Heinen's Downtown, 6:30-8:30 p.m. - Meet brewery and chocolatier reps and enjoy this interactive, walk-around event while discovering your favorite pairings. Advance tickets are required.

Make an autumn wreath out of Best Brown and Two Hearted cans

Melissa DeKoff | Bell's Brewery

Aluminum cans hold many benefits for beer drinkers, from their ability to go places that glass can’t to keeping out oxygen and light.

Looking for a way to upcycle your Bell’s cans and celebrate the fall?

Then this Upcycled Can Autumn Wreath is for you!

We used an empty twelve pack of 12 oz. Two Hearted cans, two four-packs of Best Brown cans along with an EK tools leaf die cut punch to put together this fun, beer-centric? take on a seasonal wreath!


  • Two Hearted & Best Brown Cans – rinsed and dried
  • Scissors
  • Can opener
  • Fork
  • Hot glue gun and glue sticks
  • Flat floral and craft ring
  • Large leaf paper punch (we used EK Tools Maple Leaf Large Punch)
  • Ribbon


  1. Rinse out your cans with warm, soapy water. 
  2. Carefully, remove top of can using a can opener. 
  3. After the top has been removed, use scissors to cut [vertically along the government warning?] down the government warning. 
  4. Remove the curved top of the can. 
  5. Next, remove the bottom.
  6. Use scissors to make clean cuts on all four edges of can to make a rectangle shape. Use caution while cutting the aluminum.
  7. Using the leaf paper punch, punch out leaves from your Best Brown and Two Hearted aluminum rectangles. Be careful with sharp edges.
  8. After you have punched out your leaves, you can use the edge of a fork to emboss leaf veins before you affix to your craft ring. This will also help the leaves curve in the right direction for your wreath.
  9. Tie a ribbon at the top of your craft ring to hang the finished wreath. After tying ribbon, use excess ribbon to create a loop to hang your wreath. 
  10. Begin applying leaves to craft ring using a hot glue gun. Apply the leaves in random orientation and layer to build out the shape and add depth. 
  11. After your leaves are applied, go through and fan out the edges of the leaves to create a textured look.
  12. Hang the wreath, crack open a Best Brown Ale and enjoy!

« View Previous Articles

Please enter your birth date:
(e.g. 1977)
(e.g. 3 for March)
(e.g. 21)

Note: By Law You Must be 21 Years of Age or Older to View Our Website.
We Ask Your Birthday Only for Age Verification.
We Do Not Store or Share this Information for Any Reason.
Please Refer to Our Privacy Policy for More Information.