Bell’s celebrates women in craft beer with specialty release, event

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Courtesy Bell’s Brewery

Bell’s Brewery is rolling out a specialty beverage and hosting a release event to celebration the contributions of women in the craft beer industry.

The Comstock-based brewery said Wednesday, April 20, it is rolling out Sparkle and SMaSH, a new beer designed and brewed by Bell’s staff as part of the International Women’s Collaboration Brew Day Unite Celebration 2022.

A Belgian tripel featuring a single malt and single hop blend, Sparkle and SMaSH has an ABV of 8% and features strong fruit and spice notes.

The beer will be available for purchase in six-packs of 12-ounce bottles at Bell’s General Store in downtown Kalamazoo and on tap at the adjacent Eccentric Café.

Bell’s will host an official release event called Unite 2022 Tappening from noon-4 p.m. April 24 for a special tapping of Sparkle and SMaSH at its Eccentric Cafe & General Store at 355 E. Kalamazoo Ave. in Kalamazoo. The celebration is open to the public and will include food and entertainment.

Sparkle and SMaSH celebrates the often overlooked contributions of women in the beer industry and beyond. A women-led committee representing departments throughout the company united to write the recipe, brew the beer, package it and plan the event.

“This beer and others like it are part of our commitment to connect what we do best: brew amazing, delicious beer with something that our industry needs to continue to strive to do,” said Carrie Yunker, Bell’s executive vice president. “We need to ask whose voices and ideas are being represented in our business, then seek out and amplify underrepresented perspectives to both the brewing industry and our wider communities.”

Sparkle and SMaSH is brewed with ingredients from two women-owned Michigan businesses: hops from Mr. Wizard’s Hops Farm in Monroe, along with malt from Empire Malting Company.

“Women’s contributions to craft beer are vast and go back to the beginning of brewing, but their stories are often missing from the narrative,” said Courtney Simmons, equity and inclusion director for Bell’s.

The Unite committee chose four organizations to support with this release:

  • Helping Women Period provides free menstrual products to those experiencing homelessness or with low incomes. Menstrual hygiene product donations can be dropped off at the Bell’s General Store through April 24.
  • YWCA Kalamazoo is dedicated to eliminating racism, empowering women and promoting peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all.
  • Red Birth Green provides accessible, full-spectrum reproductive care to the Kalamazoo area with a focus on birthing justice and health equality.
  • Lifting Lucy is an organization committed to supporting Black, Indigenous and women of color communities within the brewing industry.

More Unite Tappening event details are on Facebook.

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