UPDATE FEB. 17: Two more places have announced Bell’s Brewery launch events. Via 313 will have four of Bell’s Brewery favorites at the Oak Hill and North Campus locations — the two brick-and-mortar spots — along with a special pizza, the Hat Trick, loaded with three different types of pepperonis. That launch will be from 6 to 9 p.m. March 2.
It’s no surprise the pizza restaurant is supporting Bell’s: Via 313, like Bell’s, is from Michigan.
Banger’s Sausage House & Beer Garden is launching the same day as Hopfields (see below) with a celebration tied to Fat Tuesday, Feb. 28. The Rainey Street bar will have a whopping nine of Bell’s beers on tap, including the Consecrator Doppelbock, a traditional example of the Old World style. Drink ’em while snacking on boudin balls and beignets as part of the Mardi Gras party from 6 to 9 p.m. that evening.
EARLIER: Texas beer lovers have been salivating since last spring at the announcement that a much-coveted Michigan brewery, Bell’s Brewery, was headed our way. Now, we don’t have to wait too much longer — about another two weeks.
On Feb. 28, Hopfields will be the first bar in Austin to feature the Bell’s lineup. That will include the beer that Bell’s, which is already in 30 other states, has made specifically for the Texas market: an American IPA called Am I Right or Amarillo. According to Bell’s, the hoppy beer marks the first time the brewery has produced “a beer specifically for a new market.”
The beer, as hop aficionados might have guessed, was brewed entirely with Amarillo hops and has “big, bold aromas of citrus and tropical fruit, balanced with a firm malt backbone,” according to Bell’s. The one-off batch of Am I Right or Amarillo is primarily going into 12 oz. six-packs, but a limited number of bars and restaurants, like Hopfields, will also have it on draft.
Hopfields isn’t sure yet what other Bell’s Brewery beers will be available just yet, so keep an eye on social media for updates. But the campus-area pub does plan to have Michigan-inspired food pairings to go along with your pour or flight, as well as free glassware and branded swag.
Another beer bar, Easy Tiger, is also planning a big launch party on March 1. On that day, you’ll be able to purchase a $10 flight with some of Bell’s mainstays brews: Lager of the Lakes, Two Hearted Ale, Porter and Kalamazoo Stout. If you’re one of the first 50 people to buy the flight, you’ll come away with a free swag bag. And if you just want to nurse a can of Two Hearted — another American IPA, this one brewed with 100 percent Centennial hops — you can do that, too.
Easy Tiger’s sister restaurants will have a tap or two of Bell’s beer as well. The ELM Restaurant Group, which owns each of them, is thus launching a Passport promotion. Have the flight at the launch party or the four featured beers individually at Easy Tiger; then, get a stamp at Italic, Irene’s and 24 Diner showing you’ve had their Bell’s beer on draft as well. Once you’ve visited each spot and gotten your Bell’s fix, you will receive a Bell’s shirt, hat and glass.
Got that straight? Italic will be tapping the Amber Ale on March 3, Irene’s will have the Oatsmobile Ale on March 6 and 24 Diner is offering the Amarillo IPA on March 8.
We’ll update this blog with more places that are throwing Bell’s Brewery launch events once we see them.