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Feb 20, 2014 07:31 AM

Bell's Beer in NYC!

Beer geeks have been talking about the arrival of Bell's beer in NYC:
and I was pleasantly surprised to see some in the Harlem Fairway last weekend. It is ridiculously good stuff, and has quickly taken me from working-mama-who-is-too-tired-to-drink-alcohol-ever to let's-have-beer-with-dinner-again-tonight-shall-we?

At what other shops have you found Bell's? And which varieties?

Actually, if you do a search on their website, they seem to be all over.

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  1. it seems to be everywhere now...Whole Foods, Fairway, local delis, etc.

    I like the two-hearted IPA but i was very disappointed with the Hop Slam. People are going nutz over the Hop Slam and I didn't think it was that great and definitely not worth $21/6-pack.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Yaxpac

      Interesting that it went from being unavailable to ubiquitous. I really like the Smitten ale. We got something else too--maybe the Midwestern Pale Ale(?) that was good too, but not as great as the Smitten. Hmm...$21/6 pack?

    2. I like pretty much the whole portfolio. Their Midwestern Pale Ale is a very good version of the style as is their Porter. The Kalamazoo Stout is excellent as is their Cherry Stout. I am not usually a fan of fruit beers but they use sour cherries in this and it has a nice sour cherry undertone that mixes really well with the chocolate notes.

      The Two Hearted is an excellent IPA that I am happy to have as an auction. The Hop Slam is ok but I have been personally going away from double IPAs.

      All in all Bell's is a great brewery to have in town.

      Also Meantime Brewery launched in NY this week. They are from London and offer a really good lineup. Their smoked bock is fantastic, a take on a rauchbier. If you see one of their beers, give it a shot.

      1. $21 / 6pk?

        Where does that price point put Bell's in relation to other premium beers available in NYC?

        Here in the Mitten, Bell's can't price any of their beer more that $9.99 / 6pk. Competition from other robust craft brewers is fierce. Hence, very competitive pricing for terrific brews.

        5 Replies
        1. re: RedTop

          Redtop .... Hopslam is $17-20 and up a 6 pack in Michigan.

          1. re: Markcron

            Maybe that's why it's not stocked widely here in our home state.

            1. re: RedTop

              Ya, it is not stocked because it flies off the shelves in the short time it is available. Some shops put it behind the counter for only their regular customers.
              I came across 3 cases in the Detroit Whole Foods and bought it all, which was greedy and a little over the top, lol. Sent 1 case to friends in PA, who do not have access to Hopslam.

              1. re: Markcron

                I'll have to inquire at two of my favorite "beer stores". Thanks for the follow up.

          2. re: RedTop

            the Hopslam is priced much higher then the rest of their brews.

            i would say it is on the high end of the DIPA pricing but not too far out of wack...just not worth it when i can get other brews that are better for less $$$.

            Here is a good list if you want to see NYC pricing...


          3. wow, $21 for a six pack? just as expensive as some wine.
            i wonder what makes it so good. I am currently in love with Allagash beer. =)

            1 Reply
            1. re: Monica

              Not to be provocative, and this is just the opinion of one (long time Bell's drinking) person, but I don't think it really is that good. It is a limited production, limited distribution beer that was originally made as a one off for a contest to see who could make the hoppiest beer. Some combination of limited availability and extreme hops and alcohol are the factors that seem to drive these super high ratings for Hopslam, Pliny the Elder and even to an extent Westvleteren 12 which is often discussed as the best beer in the world, but is in my opinion a beer that is quite good just extremely difficult for most people to get. I think of the Rate Beer and Beer Advocate ratings much like Robert Parker scores, I know that I tend to not see eye to eye with the overall preference so pay no heed, but if I found that I liked the style I guess the points might mean something to me.

              I prefer almost every other Bell's offering; Midwest Pale Ale, Two Hearted Ale, porter, Kalamazoo Stout, Double Cream Stout, Smitten Rye, Cherry Stout, Amber Ale, etc. I am looking forward to Oberon in the spring, if you are currently in love with Allagash, this might be up your alley, not the same by any means, but a fascinating wheat beer nonetheless.

              Anyhow for those who love Hopslam, all power to you and enjoy! And if you aren't familiar with it, certainly give it a try, it is just great to have the Bell's line as an addition to the New York scene.

            2. I picked up a sixpack of Two Hearted Ale at the Fine Fare on Grand Street (Midwestern Pale Ale was also available). It's good, but kind of frothy. I like Lagunita's better.