Your Guide to Oberon Day 2022, the Unofficial Start of Spring in Kalamazoo

KALAMAZOO, MI — A Kalamazoo tradition, Oberon Bells Day will once again serve as an unofficial celebration of the arrival of spring when the annual beer release takes place on Monday, March 21.

The popular seasonal wheat beer will begin appearing in bars and stores statewide and nationwide next week along with midnight taps and other events in communities from Kalamazoo to California that can be found on the calendar. Bell events.

Residents of Kalamazoo, or who make the pilgrimage for the annual festivities, can enjoy a celebration from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. at Bell’s Eccentric Café at 335 E. Kalamazoo Ave. The celebration will feature live and dj’d music, a special menu and tappings of a variety of Oberon variations.

Bell executive vice president Carrie Yunker told MLive that attendees can also expect a surprise announcement at noon when she will give the official toast to this year’s Oberon Day.

“We’re not going to let the cat out of the bag,” Yunker said. “But we have a little surprise up our sleeve for the day. Let’s just say it’s going to be really important for the whole state of Michigan.

Yunker said this year’s event will feature a “Reach for the Sun” boat theme.

Patrons are encouraged to wear their favorite Hawaiian or beach shirt and can get Oberon served at a bar built from founder Larry Bell’s old sailboat, which will be moored in the cafe’s beer garden.

This year marks the first Oberon Day since Bell sold the company last fall. The sale, to Australian beverage company Lion, closed on December 31 and launched a partnership between Bell’s and Colorado craft favorite New Belgium Brewing.

Related: Bell’s Brewery is taken over by an Australian company which bought New Belgium Brewing in 2019

As Bell’s original Oberon celebrates its 30th seasonal tapping on Monday, Yunker said people can also expect several Oberon variations, including Cherry Oberon, Chipotle Lime Oberon, and Pineapple Mango Habanero. habanero, all of which will be available in limited quantities.

The 21-year celebration will feature live music from local yacht rock band, The Docksiders, from 2-5 p.m., as well as a DJ before and after. There will also be a 1977 VW Bus photo booth on site, and Red Trike will have ice cream. Other dishes served on Monday will include Oberon brats, mojo pork tacos, chickpea “meatball” subs, ginger orange rice noodles and fries with habanero salsa to the mango.

There will also be a pub crawl departing from Bell’s at 3 p.m. that will allow guests to visit six to nine area bars that celebrate Oberon Day with the brewery, Yunker said. The Green Top Tavern at 250 E. Michigan Ave. will be the first Kalamazoo beer to pull the brew this year, when it does so at midnight the night before.

Oberon Day, like Eccentric Day, are near and dear traditions at the heart of the company’s values, Yunker said.

“To think of Oberon Day, or a quirky day — it’s a community holiday,” she said. “It’s Kalamazoo vacation. And I think it’s equally important for all colleagues here that we celebrate that, and that we continue to invite our colleagues and our community to celebrate. That’s how this brewery was built, one pint at a time, on the other side of this bar.

As Monday marks the start of Oberon season in Michigan, fans of Bell’s summer beers can look forward to the release of Tropical Oberon, which will begin shipping in mid-April, and Oberon mini kegs from five liters, which will begin shipping in June. with an all-new design for 2022. Limited-edition 19.2-ounce cans of Oberon are also slated for release in June.

Oberon Day attendees will not be required to bring proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 lab test as Bell’s relaxes its protocols, Yunker said.

The event at the Eccentric Café will take place from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., and attendees can expect the possibility of a line to enter. The Bell General Store will be open from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Monday.

Also on MLive:

Michigan’s Best Local Eats: The Root Beer Stand, a sign of spring for 92 years in Kalamazoo

Steinspark, an Authentic German-Style Beer Garden and Food Court, Comes to Kalamazoo County

Corned beef, bluegrass, morning beers and other St. Patrick’s Day shenanigans in Kalamazoo

Michigan’s Best Local Foods: Murray Street Brewing Co. Brings Quirky Beers and Classic Ales to Mattawan

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