Monday, May 2, 2016

Bell's Brewery recently announced the release of The Planet Series, which is inspired by Gustav Holst's The Planets. (Image courtesy of Bell's Brewery)

Dogfish Head American Beauty (Eric Strader)
Bell’s Brewery announces release of series inspired by The Planets

Posted on June 10, 2014 at 12:16 p.m.

Eric Strader writes about the craft beer scene in Indiana and Michigan. He's a dad, husband, potter, soccer coach and special education paraprofessional who likes to read, bike, hike and canoe. You can read more from him in his community blog for The Elkhart Truth, Hop Notes.

Music has always been a large part of my life, and I listen to music daily in the car, at home and in my pottery studio. I graduated from Western Michigan University with a clarinet performance degree, which has influenced my diverse musical interests.

So, it is always intrigued me when brewers create musically inspired beers, whether it is North Coast Brewing Co.’s Brother Thelonious Belgian Style Abbey Ale, Heavy Seas’ Smoke on the Water Porter, Abita Brewery’s Purple Haze or Dogfish Head’s American Beauty. One of my favorite aspects of Anna Blessing’s book, Locally Brewed, is a music playlist from each brewer featured in her book.

Although rock, pop and jazz are big influences to brewers, Gustav Holst’s orchestral music is the inspiration behind Bell’s Brewery’s latest series. Holst’s The Planets is a dramatic orchestral suite containing seven movements – each named for a planet of the Solar System.  Each planet except Earth that was known during the time that Holst composed this piece (1914-1916) is represented. I have had the wonderful experiences of performing this piece once and attending several live performances.

The following text was taken from a Bell’s Brewery press release.

COMSTOCK, Mich. – In the same tradition as our Batch and Wheat Series, Bell’s Brewery, Inc., is proud to announce The Planet Series. It will feature seven different beers, each inspired by a different movement from The Planets, composed by Gustav Holst. Each beer will be limited and released both in six-packs and on draft according to the arrangement of Holst’s composition across all area’s Bell’s distributes to.

The first Planet beer will be released this August, with each successive entry debuting about every two months after. The final beer is scheduled for release in July 2015.

“Our two most successful brands come from a couple of my great literary references. This time, I took inspiration from a great piece of music,” said Larry Bell, Bell’s President and Founder.

“This piece, being in seven movements, gives us a lot of freedom to innovate and create,” he added.

Holst conceived the idea for “The Planets” in 1913 with the first complete performance occurring in 1920. Each movement of the suite is named after a different planet and its corresponding astrological character

The lineup:

"Mars, The Bringer of War" – Double IPA

"Venus, The Bringer of Peace" – A Blonde Ale brewed with honey, apricot, vanilla and cardamom

"Mercury, The Winged Messenger" – A Belgian Single

"Jupiter, The Bringer of Jollity" – A malt forward Brown Ale

"Saturn, The Bringer of Old Age" – A Bourbon Barrel-aged Barleywine

"Uranus, The Magician" – Black Double IPA

"Neptune, The Mystic" – A beer inspired by Dr. Bell’s Medicinal Stout, one of Larry Bell’s homebrews that also helped inspire Eccentric Ale

More information will be released as it becomes available on the Bell’s website ( as well as on its social media channels (Facebook, Twitter and Google+).


Bell's Brewery, Inc. began in 1985 with a quest for better beer and a 15 gallon soup kettle. Since then, we've grown into a regional craft brewery that employs more than 200 people over a 20 state area, in addition to Puerto Rico and Washington DC. The dedication to brewing flavorful, unfiltered, quality craft beers that started in 1985 is still with us today. We currently brew over 20 beers for distribution as well as many other small batch beers that are served at our pub in Kalamazoo, the Eccentric Cafe. Our ongoing goal is to brew thoughtfully, creatively and artistically. We strive to bring an authentic and pleasant experience to all of our customers through our unique ales and beers. For more information, please visit

You can also find Bell’s on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Instagram, Pinterest, Flickr and foursquare.

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