With Bell’s on: Carelli’s hosting launch party in Craig for seasonal microbrew | CraigDailyPress.com

With Bell’s on: Carelli’s hosting launch party in Craig for seasonal microbrew

Carelli's owner Brett Etzler displays a sign for Bell's Brewery's Oberon Ale. The Craig restaurant will be part of a special evening to promote the Michigan-based seasonal brew.
Andy Bockelman

If you’re a lover of craft beer, there’s a place you’ll want to be next week. And before you say, “I’ll be there with bells on,” that part’s already covered.

On tap, that is.

Michigan-based Bell’s Brewery hosts its annual re-release of its seasonal favorite, Oberon Ale, and part of the pouring effort will be Craig eatery Carelli’s, hosting a special evening with a tap takeover of drinks from the provider.

The night starts at 5 p.m. March 28 and includes the guest of honor, Oberon, as well as several other Bell’s brews coming from the Great Lakes — Hopslam Ale, Flamingo Fruit Fight, Two-Hearted Ale, and Third Coast Old Ale.

Bell’s, which operates out of Kalamazoo and Comstock, Michigan, will also provide a variation on the Oberon recipe with a tangy blend of mango-habañero.

There is no admission charge for the evening, which lasts as long as the kegs keep flowing.

Carelli’s owner Brett Etzler said he has been a fan of Bell’s since his college days when attending Ferris State University in Big Rapids, Michigan.

“It was the early ’90s, Bell’s was just a few years old and a kind of tiny place,” he said. “That was one of the first microbrews I ever had, which is why it’s near and dear to my heart.”

He added that in its inception, Oberon Ale was known as Solsun, before a lawsuit from the makers of El Sol beer forced a name change.

“The quality hasn’t changed much. If anything, they’ve gotten better,” he said.

Etzler first brought in Bell’s inventory last fall as part of his ongoing effort to promote a variety of microbrews on the menu among Carelli’s Italian fare.

“Ever since we’ve started selling, we’ve been one of the biggest sellers in Colorado,” he said, adding that he was thrilled when he was approached about helping to kick off Oberon’s return.

Etzler’s hook-up in the area is Steamboat Springs-based B&K Distributing, with representative Matt Meisegener aiding him in bringing in different kinds of flavor to Northwest Colorado.

“It’s good to see he’s opened the eyes of people to the craft beer world,” he said. “There’s a whole plethora of beers out there.”