Bell’s announced this morning the return of its popular Kalamazoo-brewed beers to the Chicago market.

The press release is below; for deep and fascinating background, go read Nick Day’s Reader cover story Bye-Bye Bell’s, about the mysteries of liquor distribution and why Bell’s left in the first place. 

July 31, 2008

Popular Bell’s beer brands return to Chicago

KALAMAZOO, Mich. ­ After a two year absence from Chicagoland, the
brands of Bell’s Brewery — including favorites such as Oberon Ale,
Bell’s Amber Ale, Kalamazoo Stout and Bell’s Porter — are back.

The recent announcement of distribution agreements with Central
Beverage Company, Schamberger Brothers, and Skokie Valley Beverage
Company means that Chicagoans can enjoy these renowned craft beers
once again, starting on August 1st.

“For many craft beer enthusiasts in this city, these brands were their
first introduction to full-flavor,  thoughtful brewing,” remarked
Donna Spagnola, president and owner of Central Beverage Company.
“We’re extremely excited to be a part of bringing them back to

“I love Chicago and there’s no big city I spend more time in,” added
Larry Bell, owner and founder of Bell’s Brewery. “I’m thrilled that
our beer will be available again in this market and I’m very pleased
to be working with such first-rate distributors. It’s a true
partnership — they know their markets and they know our beers.”

The company hopes to widen its distribution throughout Illinois in the
near future.

While they may not have been a presence in Chicago over the past two
years, the Bell’s Brewery brands have been earning accolades around
the country. Most recently, at the 2008 Brewers Association World Beer
Cup in San Diego, where 2,864 beers from 644 breweries and 58
countries were judged by an esteemed panel, Bell’s Porter captured a
gold medal in the Brown Porter category. At the 2008 Brewers Cup in
Indiana, Bell’s Double Brown, Bell’s Consecrator Doppelbock and Bell’s
Porter all won gold in their respective categories.

“We’ve always believed that if we stay focused on brewing good beer,
good things will happen,” noted Bell. “The return of these brands to
Chicago — where I was born and raised — proves that.”

Bell’s Brewery distributes beer in fifteen states. The company
produces a variety of unfiltered, bottle-conditioned beers, ales,
porters and stouts. In 2007, sales volume exceeded 90,000 barrels, an
increase of more than 22% from the previous year. Similar growth is
expected this year. For more information about Bell’s Brewery, Inc.,