Oberon Day kicks off in West Michigan

Great Lakes Brass plays to a crowd of Oberon fans at Bell's Eccentric Café in Kalamazoo, Michigan, Monday, March 20, 2023. Photo by Lisa Enos

Revelers came from far and near to hail the beginning of Spring and to enjoy their first sip of the celebrated seasonal ale “Oberon” at Bell’s Eccentric Café, 355 E. Kalamazoo Ave., Kalamazoo, on Monday March 20, 2023. 

The OB Crew. Photo by Lisa Enos

The festivities started outdoors with the raising of an Oberon flag as a brass band played “You are my sunshine” to a crowd of onlookers who had been standing in line waiting for the pub doors to open. 

Among them were eight men from the Detroit area who call themselves “The OB Crew.” 

Mike Grima, Wayne Heggie and six of their comrades boarded trains Monday morning in Troy, Dearborn and Ann Arbor to make the journey, like they do every year, with Amtrak appointed as their designated driver. Clad in matching Camp Oberon themed t-shirts and shoes that were hand painted by Heggie’s daughter Ella (a GVSU student), the eight big time Oberon fans were a standout in a crowd of many inside the cheery, exposed brick craft beer pub which soon became packed to the gills. 

Oberon themed shoes hand painted by GVSU student Ella Heggie. Photo by Lisa Enos.

The taps were flowing with the “OG” Oberon and several variations of the day’s namesake ale infused with a wide range of fruits and other flavors – Pineapple Jalapeno, Peach, Blood Orange, Creamsicle, Watermelon Basil, Chipotle Lime, Fruit Punch and Raspberry Hibiscus among them.

Bell’s currently brews more than 20 beers for distribution out of its Kalamazoo area brewery: Oberon, Two Hearted Ale, as well as Light Hearted Ale and Official Hazy IPA and other season and small-batch beers that run the gamut, from ambers to Christmas ales and everything in between.

Kalamazoo native Sara Sine made her annual trip to the Eccentric Café from Chicago to enjoy Oberon Day with her parents. She said she explained to her employer that Oberon Day is a holiday in her hometown, and that she would be taking the day off to celebrate. “It’s a day to put behind the cold and miserable weather and look forward to spring,” Sine said.  

Greg Kirchmeier and Troy Schilling enjoy Oberon Day in Kalamazoo, Michigan, Monday, March 20, 2023. Photo by Lisa Enos

Old high school friends Greg Kirchmeier and Troy Schilling of Jackson said they attend Oberon Day each year with their friend Steve Robinson because their birthdays all fall around the date of Oberon Day (which varies from year to year, but is usually the first Monday of the third month of March). 

Closer to home, Logan’s Ally was abuzz and the parking lot full by 1 p.m. The Michigan street taproom, located at 916 Michigan St NE, in Grand Rapids, hosts the longest running Oberon launch event. Special Oberon variants on tap this year include Blood Orange and Peach. 


Other West Michigan Oberon launch events take place as follows:
March 20, 4 p.m.
Oberon Tap Feature
Sunnybrook Country Club
624 Port Sheldon St SW, Grandville, MI

March 20, 5 p.m.
Oberon Tap Feature
Vitale’s of Hudsonville
5779 Balsam Dr, Hudsonville, MI

March 20, 5 p.m.
Downtown Holland Social District’s Oberon Pup Crawl benefitting Harbor Humane Society
City Flats Hotel, Courtyard Marriott, Big E’s Sports Bar & Grill, Crust 54, Curragh Irish Pub, HopCat, Hops at 84 East, Skiles Tavern, Sperry’s Movie house, Waverly Stone Gastropub
Downtown Holland Social District Pub Crawl

March 20, 4 p.m.
RedRock Grille
4600 Macatawa Legends Blvd, Holland, MI
Oberon Tap Feature

March 20, All Day
Oberon Day Launch Party!- All Day
Rad Dad’s Taco & Tequila Bar
470 W Western Ave Suite A, Muskegon, MI
Tap Feature; $3 Oberon’s All Day!

March 20, lunch time
Personal Pizza & Oberon Lunch Deal
The Northside Pub
2353 Holton Rd, Muskegon, MI

March 22, 5 p.m.
Oberon Tap Feature
Peppino’s Pizzeria & Sports Grille of Jenison
135 Chicago Dr # 4, Jenison, MI

March 22, 5 p.m.
Oberon Tap Feature
Peppino’s Pizzeria & Sports Grille – Allendale
5065 Lake Michigan Dr, Allendale Charter Twp, MI

March 23, 6 p.m.
Oberon Tap Feature & Music Bingo
Rendezvous Bar
6626 US–10, Fountain, MI

March 23, 5 p.m.
Fowling Warehouse Grand Rapids
6797 Cascade Rd SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49546

March 23, 5 p.m.
Pints & Quarts
950 W Norton Ave, Muskegon, MI
Oberon Launch Event, Tap Feature

March 23, 5 p.m.
Oberon Tap Feature
Vitale’s Pizza of Zeeland
59 W Washington Ave, Zeeland, MI

March 24, 5 p.m.
Oberon Release Event Featuring Peach Oberon
Woodrow’s Duckpin Bowling
200 Lyon St NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49503

March 26, 11 a.m.
Pints, Pups Ober-ON the Patio Bags tournament
Bostwick Lake Inn
8521 Belding Rd NE, Rockford, MI 49341
Oberon Release Party Bags Tournament benefiting Kent Co. Humane Society. There will be puppies at this event.

For more information, visit BellsBeer.com.

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