Bell’s new brew honors staff, Black history

Kalamazoo County

The packaging for Bell’s Brewery’s new Seneca Village. (Courtesy)

COMSTOCK TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — Bell’s Brewery is preparing to roll out the sixth installment to its Celebration Series beers: the Seneca Village Black IPA.

The Celebration Series is a line of beers designed and brewed by Bell’s staff. This one was brewed in honor of Black and African American employees.

Bell’s Brewery says it aims to bring awareness to a part of American history that is often forgotten. The name Seneca Village calls attention to a 19th century community in New York City that was populated by Black landowners before being subsumed into Central Park under eminent domain.

The packaging for Bell’s Brewery’s new Seneca Village. (Courtesy)

“Stories of thriving and flourishing African American communities like Seneca Village, the Greenwood District in Tulsa (Oklahoma), and Gullah Island are left out of the spotlight. This committee of Bell’s employees wanted to specifically bring attention to a part of American history that deserves more attention than it has received in the past,” Jay Maddock, Bell’s equity and inclusion specialist, said in a Monday release.

On June 19 — Juneteeth, which marks the end of slavery in the United States — Seneca Village, which has an ABV of 6.19%, will be available to purchase in six packs of 12-ounce bottles only at Bell’s General Store in downtown Kalamazoo. It will also be on tap at the Eccentric Café for a special event, also on June 19 at noon.

For more on West Michigan beers, check out our series Hops with #HeyLuke, which features local craft breweries.

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