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Nectar of the Gods: Bell’s Oberon

*Disclaimer: I am of the legal drinking age. Oberon is an integral part of Kalamazoo culture, so I deemed it an appropriate topic to blog about.

After one year of suffering, I recently completed my Senior Individualized Project in Philosophy. Instinctively, my friends and I celebrated by popping the cap off a bottle of freshly released Oberon. My taste buds were met with a chilled mixture of wheat, citrus, and sunshine. The murky, burnt orange color of the liquid cascading into my pint glass mirrored the setting sun on a hot summer night in Kalamazoo. The foamy head sizzled like flipped burgers on a grill.

Spring in Kalamazoo begins with an Oberon.

Bell’s Brewing Company was established by Kalamazoo College alum Larry Bell back in the 1980s and has since become one of the nation’s leading breweries. The Brewer’s Association named Bell’s the No. 7 top craft brewer just this past week. They were also named No. 13 top company for overall brewing in the country. This is on top of the numerous awards and recognition the individual brews receive themselves. We’re pretty lucky to have Bell’s Eccentric Café located in downtown Kalamazoo where the beer is always fresh and hard-to-find seasonal brews are on tap.

Oberon is one of Bell’s seasonal brews and is only available from late March to early fall because of its distinct flavor that makes it the taste of a Michigan summer. The release day is a widely celebrated holiday and for many (of age) K students, it becomes a tradition to scour the city and get their hands on some Oberon the day it comes out. However, this year, we were on spring break and I was in Washington, D.C. looking at grad schools on Oberon Day. But I insisted that we find a bar serving Oberon. Sure enough, Penn Social in Washington, D.C. had this gold elixir on tap and when that first sip hit my lips, I was ready to head to Lake Michigan.

As I head toward graduation and enjoy my last quarter at K, I’m sure that there will be many evenings spent sitting on a friend’s porch with an Oberon in hand. If you happen to walk by, don’t be surprised if we offer one to you.

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