I was lucky enough to be one of the 3,000 guests at Bell’s Funvitational back in September of 2015. The event was a one-of-a-kind celebration of Bell’s 30th anniversary.
The event was held at Homer Stryker Field in Kalamazoo. This minor league ballpark was a great choice for the venue, as it was spacious and offered ample seating, something lacking at many other beerfests.
I’ve been to some brewery organized events that were not incredibly well-organized, and I’ve heard horror stories from others (Dark Lord Day!). This one was first class all the way, from the well-designed plan for picking up your festival glass and packet early, to having a plan as to get the crowd into the stadium when the festival began in an orderly fashion. Once inside, Bell’s zero-waste philosophy was very obvious.
We were certainly blessed with great weather, and I don’t know anyone who attended who didn’t have a great time.
Besides bringing a whole bunch of their own beers, both special and standard, Bell’s brought in close to 100 other breweries, many of which had never been to Michigan and are not distributed here.
There was more than beer. They had a pretty good food menu, and there were also some unique games. The ballpark’s Ferris Wheel was also operational. At the end of the night, there were fireworks for those who’d stayed for the whole event.
Obviously, being able to spend time with so many of my favorite beer drinking friends was also a highlight of the afternoon & evening. Even my non-beer drinking wife managed to have a good time. It was a great festival, and one that will be hard to top. Can’t wait to see what Bell’s does for their 40th in 2025 🙂
(Special thanks to my wife- who put in two forms for the ticket lottery. I was initially skeptical of the lottery system and didn’t care if I went or not. I’m so glad she knew me better than that!)