The aura of Oberon has attained near-mythical proportions in its home state of Michigan and throughout the Great Lakes Region. To many (present company included), this seasonal craft beer brewed by Bell’s Brewery of Kalamazoo comes as close to a perfect blend as can be found on this orbiting big blue sphere. As Alison and I were going to be in Kalamazoo this past Saturday anyhow, one simply could not forego a journey to the birthplace of outer Earth’s most splendid liquid creation.
Bell’s is divided up into two locations, the brewery is located just east of the city, while the general store and eccentric café are occupy a finely adapted and refurbished former auto service garage in Kalamazoo’s trendy Downtown/East End business district. On this particular Saturday, we chose to alight at the general store, where this author was totally entranced by the variety of Oberon delights available for sale and then added a tidy sum to his monthly credit card bill. No one ever said Shangri-La was free. Either way, it really didn’t matter because I was mesmerized by the opportunity to visit what is arguably a beer lover’s national shrine. Judging by the difficulty finding a parking space and the variety of license plates seen, I was not alone in this transcendental quest for beer brewing Nirvana.
If you are ever wandering along Interstate 94 between Detroit and Chicago, or U.S. 131 between Grand Rapids and Elkhart, be sure to escape the mundane concrete behemoth long enough to partake of some soulful bohemian cleansing found only in the sweet city of boiling waters (Kalamazoo). It is most definitely a spiritual experience.