Bell's Beer is Back! (sort of)

Oh, happy day. Keep your fingers crossed because Bell’s Beer may be coming back to Chicago. The small craft brew out of Kalamazoo was pulled over a year ago from the Windy City market. Founder Larry Bell was peeved when his Chicago distributor planned to sell the rights to market Bell’s to Chicago Beverage Systems, a huge conglomerate known for its lack of service. (Only licensed distributors can bring booze to the Chicago market – it can’t come directly from the manufacturer.) Rather than work with a company he didn’t respect, he gave up one of the most lucrative beer markets. Good for him.

Now he’s found a way around it, I hope. He’s created new beers under the name Kalamazoo. Because it’s a different beer, and not technically the ones National Wine & Spirits were assigned, he may be able to swing it. Don’t go waiting in line at the liquor store, or bug your local bartender just yet. He still has to get license and label approval, and National has threatened to keep them tied up in the courts. I suppose they have to fight it. I mean, gosh, if they let Bell’s get away with it, there will be total anarchy.

While I’m sad I still won’t be able to get Oberon, unless I head to Wisconsin or Indiana, Bell’s crafts great beer, so I’m sure I’ll be happy with Kalamazoo. And really, that will be almost as much fun to order as Stella Artois, which must be ordered Marlon Brando-style.






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