By Matt Muñoz
Bell’s Brewery released its seasonal beer ‘Oberon’ on Monday, bringing out people from the Kalamazoo community to celebrate.
Many Kalamazoo College students were among those who went to bars to await the midnight release of the beer.
The beer is locally produced in Kalamazoo and Comstock and is only available during the spring and summer months. It accounts for 65 percent of all Bell’s beer sold in the state of Michigan, according to an article in the Kalamazoo Gazette by John Liberty.
“I think it’s a nice little novelty,” said Alex Morgan K’11, who went to Bell’s for the release on Monday. “I think the symbolism of it coming out on the first day of spring quarter helps.”
Sales began at bars across the area starting at 12:01 a.m. on Monday morning, according to Jessica Moore, 23, a bartender at Rugger’s Up and Under Bar on West Michigan Avenue.
“It’s like they campout because they can’t wait for it,” said Moore. “We did way more sales than we usually do on a Monday.” Moore cited local appeal as a reason for the beer’s popularity.“I think it’s mostly because it’s a Kalamazoo seasonal beer,” said Moore. “I don’t think it tastes very good. Drink a blue moon, it tastes the same.”
Alexis Irons K’11 was among those from the K College community who went to Up and Under for the release.
“At midnight they tapped the kegs everywhere,” said Irons. “It’s a very Kalamazoo thing, not a college let’s-get-drunk thing.”
The appeal was enough to draw out Harold Hermanson K’11 who purchased the first Oberon pint at Up and Under for 20 dollars. The money went to charity, said Hermanson, and the bartender gave him the beer, two bottle openers, a bumper sticker, and a t-shirt on the house.
“I think it’s interesting because everyone participates,” said Irons, who was with Hermanson and noted seeing around 45 other K seniors at the bar at midnight for the release. “It was a great start to the quarter.”
The beer stays on the market until the end of summer and is available at stores throughout the Kalamazoo area. It is currently sold in kegs, “mini-kegs,” and bottles. The company is considering plans to start producing the beer in cans starting in 2012, according to an article by the Associated Press.